Zwuerbs zig-zagged right to a Sunday Million win and $230,852.32

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The Sunday Million was on hiatus for a few weeks to give players as many opportunities to play SCOOP tournaments as possible. And it was a fun ride for all involved, though the SCOOP event winners might argue that they enjoyed it more than others.

But on May 23, the Sunday Million returned to the weekly lineup with its usual $1.5 million guarantee. Though some players were in transit to Las Vegas for the upcoming World Series of Poker - the one that is less than a week away from kick-off! - the crowd up for some Sunday Million action was still a solid one, as always. There were 8,120 registrants for the event, which made for a total prize pool of $1,624,000. From that, the top 1,170 players were paid.

As the final table neared in the ninth hour of the tournament, play moved along quickly, and when fishbones11 exited in 11th place, hand-for-hand play began. And it didn't take long before players were putting themselves at risk. But it was Bryan "badbeatninja" Devonshire who pushed for 4,689,107 chips with A♠3♠ but ran into loungeactOo's A♣J♥. The board brought no help for the ninja when it came Q♦7♥K♥A♥6♦, and badbeatninja was eliminated in tenth place with $8,688.40 to show for it.

LoungeactOo entertaining from top spot on the leaderboard

Earlier than most Sunday nights, the final table was underway in the middle of Level 35, with blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 30K ante. The players' chip counts were as follows when they took their seats:

Seat 1: suckout9 (5,974,208 in chips)
Seat 2: 10IsTheYear (10,214,036 in chips)
Seat 3: zwuerbs (12,890,092 in chips)
Seat 4: Browntown19 (3,669,434 in chips)
Seat 5: chilenocl (8,147,696 in chips)
Seat 6: Chateau49 (8,665,279 in chips)
Seat 7: Timur Valeev (10,387,124 in chips)
Seat 8: gourgaz (7,504,574 in chips)
Seat 9: loungeactOo (13,747,557 in chips)

2010 Million final table 05.23.10.JPG

Though loungeactOo soared into the chip lead with the final table bubble hand, there was no safety in that position, as zwuerbs was close behind and Timur Valeev and 10IsTheYear were in striking distance.

On the second hand of the action, Browntown19 doubled through chilenocl, but both still remained in the lower half of the chip counts. But when Browntown19 did it a second time, that time versus 10IsTheYear, the 11.8 million-chip pot propelled him into third place. And then chilenocl doubled through zwuerbs in a pot worth more than 15 million chips, and chilenocl sat in first place. Gourgaz then doubled through chilenocl to jump into first place.

Clearly, no one had a lock on the tournament at this early stage, but players were willing to gamble and make that all-in choice more often than was expected.

The next player to take a chance for all of their chips was suckout9, who pushed all-in preflop with 9♥7♣ from the button. Little did he know that zwuerbs would call from the big blind with a solid A♣K♥. The board produced 2♥J♥5♥4♥6♦ full of hearts for both players, but zwuerbs had the nut flush to grab the pot and regain the chip lead. Suckout9 took $12,586.00 for the ninth place finish.

One round later, loungeactOo made an attempt to climb again and pushed all-in with A♠J♦. Again, zwuerbs was right there, in the big blind, holding A♥K♥. This time, the board came 5♣Q♥5♦J♠T♦ to give zwuerbs the straight. And lounceactOo was left the stage in eighth place with $18,676.00.

More high-stakes action went down as 10IsTheYear doubled through gourgaz, who then doubled through Timur Valeev, and the latter then doubled through zwuerbs. There was little time to turn away for fear of missing the changing of the guard at the top of the leaderboard.

Timur Valeev had the all-in move perfected and did it again preflop. But chilenocl decided to call all-in for his tournament life from the big blind with T♠T♥. Lucky for Timur Valeev, his hand was J♣J♥, and the board allowed it to stand when it came 9♣Q♦5♥2♣7♠. That sent chilenocl out of the tournament in seventh place with $32,480.00 just before the first break of the final table.

Deal? No, no, and no...

The final six players decided to pause the game to discuss the possibility of a deal, but Timur Valeev seemed to have difficulties participating due to little ability to speak English. A Russian translator came in to attempt to help, but since it seemed that Timur Valeev simply wanted to play it out, the game was restarted. Timur Valeev quickly moved all-in with 9-5 against the A-Q of gourgaz, and the short-stack doubled up. The rest of the table was not amused, especially as Timur Valeev had consistent disconnection issues as well.

Still short-stacked, Timur Valeev got involved with zwuerbs to see a K♠J♣4♠ flop. Timur Valeev pushed all-in for 2,131,206 chips with T♣T♠, but zwuerbs called with K♥Q♥ for top pair. The 2♣ came on the turn and the J♦ on the river to end the tournament for Timur Valeev, who walked away with $48,720.00 for the sixth place finish.

The five players paused the tournament again to discuss deal options, and just when they thought they had a deal that everyone liked, one player expressed concern and the desire to continue play. That was 20 minutes we'll never get back.

Play resumed - again - and it was eventually gourgaz who made the next all-in move, doing it with A♣Q♠. But original raiser Browntown19 called with A♦A♥, and those rockets held up to the T♦3♣7♦T♥4♠ board. That left gourgaz out in fifth place with $64,960.00 to show for it.

Shockingly, the four remaining players paused the tournament - again. Result? No deal.

Short-stacked 10IsTheYear doubled through zwuerbs to stay alive, and that hand, which plays out here, proved to be one that pushed 10IsTheYear forward to the finals:

RSS readers click through to see replay

That left Chateau49 at the bottom of the pack. From the big blind, Chateau49 risked it all with A♥J♠, and zwuerbs called with A♣9♠. The board supported a double-up with a T♠2♣K♣ flop as well as a 5♠ turn, but the river of 9♦ hit hard and gave the pot to zwuerbs. Chateau49 was out in fourth place with $81,849.60.

Only a few hands later, a big hand developed between Browntown19 and zwuerbs. The two went to see a 6♣5♥T♠ flop and both checked to see the 9♠ on the turn. Zwuerbs led out with a bet, and Browntown19 responded with an all-in raise for 11,900,940 chips. Zwuerbs called with 8♦6♠, and Browntown19 showed T♣T♥ for the set. The 7♠ hit on the river, giving zwuerbs the straight and leaving Browntown19 out of the tournament in third place with $121,800.00.

Two players, one deal, and a quick match

Heads-up play started as the twelfth hour of the tournament neared, and chip counts were as follows:

Seat 2: 10IsTheYear (28,508,448 in chips)
Seat 3: zwuerbs (52,691,552 in chips)

Deal talks again ensued, but this time, as chip-chop numbers came over the wire, both quickly agreed! Zwuerbs was guaranteed $200,852, and 10IsTheYear was promised $191,387, and the two would play on for $30,000 more. Done and done. Play resumed.

10IsTheYear finally put his tournament life on the line with K♦T♣, a good hand heads-up unless someone like zwuerbs has A♦J♠. Not only did that hand stand up to the 3♦4♠7♠A♠3♠ board, but it turned into a flush. That left 10IsTheYear with $191,387.68 for the second place finish.

And zwuerbs became this week's Sunday Million champion, for which he was awarded $230,852.32.

Sunday Million Results for 05/23/10:

1st place: zwuerbs ($230,852.32)*
2nd place: 10IsTheYear ($191,387.68)*
3rd place: Browntown19 ($121,800.00)
4th place: Chateau49 ($81,849.60)
5th place: gourgaz ($64,960.00)
6th place: Timur Valeev ($48,720.00)
7th place: chilenocl ($32,480.00)
8th place: loungeactOo ($18,676.00)
9th place: suckout9 ($12,586.00)

*results of a two-way deal

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