Sunday Million: Karma Wins Out

sunday-million-thumb.jpgWhile fireworks abound in the live world--due to some sort of Revolutionary War celebration or something--the online world was not to be out done, as exciting play and big pots highlighted the final stages of this week's Sunday Million. Of course the weekend's festivities coupled with more World Series events meant there would be a slightly overlaid prize pool in the Million this week, but 6,149 runners still managed to celebrate the patriotic holiday by playing an American pastime, online poker. Among the 6,149 were plenty of your favorite PokerStars pros, including PokerStars Team Portugal member Nuno Coelho (579th for $495), Team online pro Martha "marene" Herrera (411th for $570) and PokerStars Team Canada pro Marcello Del Grosso (120th for $1,260), who all managed to turn their efforts into a little cash.

Let the Fireworks Begin!

I said this Sunday players in the Million put on a pyrotechnic show worthy of July 4, and the final table bubble was no exception. With a few short stacks battling with each other for that oh-so-important last spot among the final nine, strangely two of the bigger stacks got into a raising war. On the button, and with a healthy 9 million in chips, Maim911 made a fairly standard 2.2x raise of 555,555. The small blind got out of the way, but KingKaizers, with a slightly bigger stack, made the call in the big blind. After a 9♥ 2♦ 6♥ flop, and a KingKaizer check, Maim911 made a continuation bet of 650k only to face a check-raise to 1.455 million from KingKaizer. Maim911 made the call. The turn brought the 9♣ and this time KingKaizer led out with a bet of 1,444,444. Maim911 decided to double the bet to 2,888,888, sending the action back to KingKaizer who moved all-in for 6.25 million. Maim911 debated the call for quite a while before finally pushing the last of his chips into the middle. Maim911 had a strong one, J♥ 9♦ for trip nines, but it was second best to KingKaizer's 6♦ 6♣ for a full boat. Maim911 could still improve to a better full house or even quads, but it wasn't to be for Maim911 as a river ten sealed his fate. The monster 17.6 million chip pot was shipped to KingKaizer, who in one fell swoop became the chip leader, and Maim911 was sent home in tenth, good for $8,400.

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Seat 1: iSpeeZ (4248130 in chips)
Seat 2: csaba333 (14526001 in chips)
Seat 3: Showtime43 (3232413 in chips)
Seat 4: dope west (2675362 in chips)
Seat 5: KingKaizers (18755939 in chips)
Seat 6: The Doc (5312992 in chips)
Seat 7: JIZOINT (5090257 in chips)
Seat 8: memfis-mizra (3696276 in chips)
Seat 9: danceofddead (3952630 in chips)

As the final nine resembled at table 325 for the tournaments final stages, KingKaizer with 18.7 million in chips was the heavy chip leader. csaba333, who had been pounding the final table bubble with his big stack since the Million got down to two tables, was KingKaizer's closest competitor, holding just over 14.5 million chips. Manning the short stacks were iSpeeZ, Showtime43, memfis-mizra and danceofddead, who were all hovering between three and four million in chips. Blinds were 125k/250k with a 25k ante as play restarted.

And So Ends Showtime

After starting the final table as one of the short stacks, iSpeeZ had enjoyed a good run in the first 24 hands of final table play, building his stack up to about 9 million. Showtime43, conversely, had been unable to build the same kind of momentum and by hand 24 his short stack had shrunk even shorter, hovering at about 1.4 million. Needing to make a stand, and facing an early position raise of 900k from iSpeeZ, Showtime43 moved all-in for his last 1.4 million. Action was then folded back around to iSpeeZ who made the call. When the cards were revealed Showtime43 was in good shape, his A♥ J♦ crushing iSpeeZ's K♠ J♥. However, the flop was unkind to Showtime43, falling K♦ 2♣ 9♦. Showtime43 was looking for an ace to catch up to iSpeeZ's pair of kings and stay alive, but instead the 3♣ on the turn and 7♠ on the river sent Showtime43 packing in ninth place ($11,625).


It turns out the final table bubble's fireworks were just sparklers in comparison to the real action that was to come. In hands 47 and 48 of final table play it seemed players decided to switch from bottle rockets to bazookas, resulting in extremely exciting back-to-back eliminations.

Hand 47: With blinds at 200k/400k and a 40k ante, JIZOINT open shoved all-in for his last 6.6 million under-the-gun. Action his folded around to iSpeeZ in the hijack seat, who instantly called. Everyone left folded, leaving JIZOINT at risk heads-up against iSpeeZ heading into the flop. If you have to get yourself all-in pre-flop in Texas hold'em, you could do a lot worse than JIZOINT's holdings, A♣ K♠. However, this time big slick was in big trouble, as iSpeeZ was holding the big one, pocket aces. A rather uninteresting board, J♠ 6♦ 4♠ 2♦ 4♥, sent JIZOINT home in eighth, earning him $18,000 for his strong effort.

Hand 48: PokerStars Team Canada pro and final table moderator Pat Pezzin had yet to type JIZOINT's congratulation when we were at it once again. csaba333 opened in middle position for 800k and action folded around to a short-stacked memfis-mizra in the big blind. Instead of moving all-in, memfis-mizra raised to 2.4 million, leaving him with about 900k behind. Action went back on csaba333, who thought for a while before pushing memfis-mizra all-in. memfis-mizra called and revealed A♥ 3♠, which was behind csaba333's 3♣ 3♦. The flop came down 5♥ K♣ 2♥, giving memfis-mizra's a few more outs to the wheel straight. However the J♦ on the turn and 6♦ on the river spelled memfis-mizra's doom,  who exited in seventh, receiving $33,000 to console himself with.

Dead is...well...dead

Doubling up against csaba333 with queens in the previous hand, dope west found himself in another good position in final table hand 76. Facing an open shove from danceofddead under-the-gun, dope west woke up with A♠ Q♠ on the button and pushed all-in over the top. Everyone else folded and danceofddead revealed 5♣ 5♠. The race ended almost soon as it began, a Q♦ 3♥ 7♥ flop pushed danceofddead's tournament life to the edge. Looking for a third five, a turn [10h] and river 9♠ ended danceofddead's day, who collected $48,000 for his sixth place finish.

Doc Says "It's Time to Go Home"

Five hands after danceofddead's exit, one time chip leader csaba333 finally succumb after a bad run left him with just 3 million in chips. In the cutoff, csaba333 moved his last chips into the middle. Action then folded around to The Doc in the big blind, who made the call with A♦ 7♥; csaba333 was behind, holding K♣ 6♥. csaba333 came up dry on the flop, [10s] 5♠ 8♦, and on the turn, J♠, and, finally, on the river, 9♦, eliminating him in fifth, good for a $63,000 payday.

Here is how the stacks looked following csaba333's exit in fifth:

Seat 1: iSpeeZ (14678584 in chips)
Seat 4: dope west (16142086 in chips)
Seat 5: KingKaizers (18668452 in chips)
Seat 6: The Doc (12000878 in chips)

Blinds were 250k/500k with a 50k ante as play restarted four handed.

It's that Time Once Again

Not long after csaba333's elimination chat turned toward deal making. Friendly, chip-chop discussions led to one of the easiest deals made in the Million's recent memory. The deal even inspired a few players to comment how long they had been waiting to type in that one, magical word, "Deal."

Anyway, with $30,000 left on the table here is how the deal worked out:

KingKaizers: $171,190.15
dope west: $140,010.25
iSpeeZ: $133,339.05
The Doc: $124,860.55


With the ink not quite dry yet on the deal, The Doc found himself in need of some intensive care. dope west raised to 1.2 million in the cutoff only to have The Doc shove all-in for about 11 million from the small blind. Surprisingly, iSpeeZ flat called in the big blind, forcing dope west to give up his position. Heading into the flop The Doc needed some help, holding A♦ [10h] versus iSpeeZ's A♣ Q♣, and after 9♥ Q♥ 3♦ fell, The Doc needed a miracle heading into the turn. It was not to be as the 7♠ on the turn and A♥ on the river sealed the good doctor's fate, a fourth place finish good for $124,860.55.


KingKaizers, who made out the best in the deal with a locked up $171,190.15, maintained a steady stack in the 27 hands following The Doc's exit. However, hand 28 proved to be the king's undoing. In a battle of the blinds, chip leader dope west open shoved all-in from the small blind for a little over 26 million. KingKaizers snap called off his last 17.5 million and revealed A♣ Q♥, which was far a head of dope west's A♠ 4♣. The flop was safe for KingKaizers, falling 2♦ [10s] 8♦, but a dagger 4♥ on the turn pushed KingKaizers to the brink. No queen on the river and KingKaizers exited in third place. Don't feel too bad for KingKaizers's bad break, however. The deal struck when the table was four handed had locked up KingKaizers top money. Neither dope west nor iSpeeZ could cash for more now, even with the $30,000 bonus for first. Nice deal making.

Karmic Win?

The stacks were pretty uneven as heads-up play commenced in the Million. KingKaizers's exit had given dope west a commanding 44.4 million to 17 million chip advantage over iSpeeZ. And with the limits at 300k/600k with a 60k ante, iSpeeZ had less than 30 big blinds to play with. But iSpeeZ had started the final nine with a chip disadvantage and was looking to spin that early comeback into a late charge.

Karma Time?

iSpeeZ got his big chance 18 hands into heads-up play when, after raising to 1.8 million on the button, dope west re-popped the pot all-in. iSpeeZ called, revealing K♠ Q♠, a coin-flip against dope west's A♥ 5♣. dope caught a pair, fives, on the flop, but was trumped by iSpeeZ caught king. The board completed 6♥ 5♠ K♣ 9♦ [10d], doubling iSpeeZ to 44.5 million and knocking dope west down to just under 17 million.

After a small rally by dope west, the Million would come to an end just eight hands later when we got one last fireworks show to close out the night. iSpeeZ raised to 1.8 million on the button and was flat called by dope west. The flop came a very well connected 8♠ 9♥ 7♥. dope west checked to the bettor and iSpeeZ made another 1.8 million bet. dope west then moved in over the top for nearly 20 million total and iSpeeZ called. Ready for the finale? dope west turned up with a monster heads-up, Q♠ Q♣, only to be way behind iSpeeZ's A♦ A♣. The board kept kosher, 3♥ 8♥, and iSpeeZ was the victor, taking home the extra $30k for $163,339.05 total. dope west, of course, didn't exit in second place empty handed, collecting $140,010.25 for his efforts.

$1,500,000 Guarantee Sunday Million Results (07-04-10)
(* denotes part of four-way deal)

1. iSpeeZ (Clemency) *$163,339.05
2. dope west (LA) *$140,010.25
3. KingKiazers (Randaberg) *$171,190.15
4. The Doc (Sydney) * $124,860.55
5. csaba333 (Baia Mare) $63,000.00
6. danceofddead (Youghal) $48,000.00
7. memfis-mizra (Moscow) $33,000.00
8. JIZOINT (Fair Oaks) $18,000.00
9. Showtime43 (Ottawa) $11,625.00