Wasaberga wins 11/28 Sunday Million for a $211,180.98 score

Sunday Million logo.jpgThe last weekend in November meant several things. First and foremost, huge monthly tournament opportunities were taking place on PokerStars, namely the Battle of the Planets and the Turbo Takedown. Second, a number of Regional Championships of Online Poker events were taking place in locales like the United States, Canada, and Germanic, Asia Pacific, and Mediterranean countries. And finally, the last weekend in November soon brings us to December and the close of another year. Who's ready for 2011?

But tonight, we were focused on November 28th happenings, specifically the Sunday Million.

And another stellar one it was, as 8,653 players signed up to compete for the $1.5 million guarantee, though as usual, the actual prize pool soared well beyond that amount. The competitors were looking at a $1,730,600 pool of money, though only the top 1,260 of them cashed in on it. Among them were several members of Team PokerStars, such as Angel Guillen who finished in 1143rd place, Juan Maceiras in 1113th, Liv Boeree in 844th, Gualter Salles in 578th, Diego "vgreen22" Brunelli of Team Online in 227th place, and Tom McEvoy in 175th.

As the field thinned considerably toward the ninth hour of play, one Team PokerStars Pro remained, as Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth of Ireland represented deep in the tournament.

Jude Ainsworth.jpg


Ainsworth held close to the bottom of the pack during three-table action, but a double-up through OU THE NICK moved him up the leaderboard a bit. Ainsworth then proceeded to eliminate OU THE NICK with pocket tens over pocket nines, which pushed him into the top ten. He climbed further, all the way to second place, until he got involved with pocket sevens against the eights of JRD312. Incidentally, those eights turned into quads, and Ainsworth was in trouble again. But a double through Todd "tbt4653" Terry put him back in the running for the final table.

After tbt4653 was eliminated in 13th place, it took awhile before others departed, though 1CDN_Hustler and wake29 exited soon enough, and hand-for-hand action took only minutes. It was JRD312 who moved all-in from the button with A♦8♠, and Ainsworth reraised all-in from the small blind with A♣K♠. The big blind folded, and the board came T♠5♦3♣4♥Q♦, which was enough to eliminate 2010 WSOP November Nine player John "JRD312" Dolan on the final table bubble, which was worth a $9,172.18 payday.

Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth leads final table

The final nine players took their seats in Level 36, with blinds at 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante, and their starting chip counts were listed as follows:

Seat 1: wasaberga (14,796,286 in chips)
Seat 2: j.thaddeus (17,730,657 in chips)
Seat 3: patasss (9,723,008 in chips)
Seat 4: dariusz1979 (5,474,567 in chips)
Seat 5: shaniac (7,586,274 in chips)
Seat 6: sontilou (2,808,708 in chips)
Seat 7: eman1126 (16,828,700 in chips)
Seat 8: WSOP_143 (4,680,434 in chips)
Seat 9: joao bauer (6,901,366 in chips)

2010 Million final table 11.28.10.JPG

Action got underway with several players on short stacks, but sontilou held on to some hope with a prompt double-up through chip leader Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth and another through shaniac, though the latter happened after WSOP_143 doubled through sontilou. The shorter stacks were battling it out with some aggression early in Level 37.

Sontilou was still struggling and made another push, this time with A♠J♣, but eman1126 happened to call with J♥J♦. The flop of 3♥J♠T♣ only gave eman1126 the set of jacks, and the K♠ turn and 8♠ river ended the hand. The ninth place finisher was sontilou, who collected $13,412.15.

Without much ado, another big hand developed when joao bauer made a preflop raise but j.thaddeus responded with an all-in move. Joao bauer called for his tournament life with T♥T♠, and j.thaddeus showed K♠Q♠. All was well for the double-up on the 8♥6♣8♦ flop, but the K♣ on the turn gave j.thaddeus the better two pair. A 4♥ on the river was the card that eliminated joao bauer, one of the 2010 WCOOP winners, in eighth place with $19,036.60.

The very next hand saw another push from j.thaddeus, who still maintained the chip lead. Dariusz1979 called all-in from the big blind with K♠Q♦, and j.thaddeus showed A♥2♠. As with the last hand, the flop made it look as if a double-up was in order when it came 8♥Q♠2♥, and the 4♣ on the turn changed nothing. But the A♦ dropped on the river, giving j.thaddeus two pair and leaving dariusz1979 to cash out in seventh place with $34,612.00.

Shaniac was the shortest stack at the six-handed table, and when emad1126 put out the initial raise, shaniac pushed all-in from the big blind with A♠4♣. But eman1126 called with 5♥5♦. The T♣2♥4♦ flop gave shaniac some hope, but the K♠ turn and 6♦ river put an end to that. Shane "shaniac" Schleger finished the tournament in sixth place with $51,918.00.

Chip lead changes hands

It was the final hand before the 10.5-hour break, and wasaberga and j.thaddeus got into a pre-flop war that resulted in the former all-in and scoring a massive double-up that put him into the top spot on the leaderboard.

RSS readers click through to see replay

The five players returned from break with the intention of discussing a deal, but after the numbers were presented, quite a bit of talk led to...well...confusion and the wish of at least one player to cease the discussion. With that, play resumed.

Short stacks patasss and WSOP_143 traded double-ups, but it was the latter that didn't fare so well in the end. WSOP_143 put all 4,795,088 chips at risk with 6♦6♣, but it was j.thaddeus who happened to be there with 7♥7♦. The board only improved the sevens to a set and then a full house when it came K♣3♥4♦7♣3♦, and WSOP_143 was forced out in fifth place with $69,224.00.

Shortly thereafter, patasss took his chance with K♦Q♥, but j.thaddeus turned over A♦Q♦. And Ainsworth's hand only improved on the J♦2♦8♣3♠3♦ board when he made the flush. The fourth place money in the amount of $86,530.00 went to patasss.

Three to a deal

The three remaining players decided to attempt another round of deal talks, and after some wrangling and attempts to change the numbers provided, the three finally agreed to the chip-chop numbers. With the understanding that $30,000 would be added to the ultimate winner's payout, the deal amounts were:

Seat 1: wasaberga (29,441,571 in chips) = $181,180.98
Seat 2: j.thaddeus (37,156,473 in chips) = $194,646.22
Seat 7: eman1126 (19,931,956 in chips) = $164,583.33

When play resumed, it was eman1126 who was the clear aggressor, and several sizeable pots put him into first place in a very short amount of time. And it was j.thaddeus on the short stack as a result. Ainsworth looked as if he was prepared to mount a comeback with a much-needed double-up, but it simply wasn't enough.

But eman1126 would not ease up on the Team Pro. Finally, it came down to another big hand between the two. Some preflop raises led to j.thaddeus pushing all-in for little more than 16.5 million chips holding K♦K♠, and eman1126 showed J♥J♦. The flop was turned everything around when it came Q♣J♣Q♦, giving eman1126 the full house. The turn was the A♣ and the river the 6♦, and that ended the tournament for Team PokerStars Pro Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth, who walked away with $194,646.22 for the third place finish.

Don't call it a comeback

The heads-up match began with the following chip counts:

Seat 1: wasaberga (16,571,117 in chips)
Seat 7: eman1126 (69,958,883 in chips)

Wasaberga showed some stamina and was able to manage a double-up when K-7 flopped a king to beat the pocket fours of eman1126. But it was this crucial hand that evened the stacks:

RSS readers click through to see replay

From that point on, wasaberga applied serious pressure to eman1126 and continued to chip up. Finally, eman1126 was in a corner with less than 20K in chips and all-in with K♣6♦. Wasaberga turned over 7♥7♣, and the two watched the board develop as 9♠Q♥4♥2♥J♦. The sevens held up to eliminate eman1126 in second place with $164,583.33.

Wasaberga won the November 28th edition of the Sunday Million, taking home $211,180.98 for the accomplishment.

Sunday Million Results for 11/28/10:

1st place: wasaberga ($211,180.98)*
2nd place: eman1126 ($164,583.33)*
3rd place: Team PokerStars Pro Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth ($194,646.22)*
4th place: patasss ($86,530.00)
5th place: WSOP_143 ($69,224.00)
6th place: shaniac ($51,918.00)
7th place: dariusz1979 ($34,612.00)
8th place: joao bauer ($19,036.60)
9th place: sontilou ($13,412.15)

*results of a three-way chip-chop agreement

For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in Sunday Million