Geez, paulgees81 wins $253,894.60 for Sunday Million victory

Sunday Million logo.jpgAs many live tournament fans were making their way to Deauville, France, for the next stop on the European Poker Tour, others were resting comfortably in front of their computer screens. The chance to become the next online poker star with a Sunday Million title beckoned, and thousands of poker players gave it a try.

The solid crowd that came to the virtual felt for the $200 + $15 Sunday Million numbered 8,630, and as usual, the $1.5 million guarantee was left in the dust for an actual prize pool which came to $1,726,000 this week. That was enough to pay out the top 1,260 finishers and reserve six-figure cash prizes for the last three players standing.

Among those who finished the tournament in the money were several members of Team PokerStars Pro. Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero was the first to cash in 1124th place, and he was followed by Victor Ramdin in 881st place, Juan Manuel Pastor in 820th, and Christian "elgrillo" de Leon in 319th. But it was Arnaud "frenchkiss" Mattern who was still in the hunt for a seat at the final table a while later.

With 11 players remaining and Mattern on a relatively short stack, though, he chose to make his move with 5♣5♦. Grayzee1 also moved all-in to isolate, which worked, and Mattern was covered and at risk against A♦K♣. The board came T♠T♥8♥7♠7♦, and the two pair on the board with grayzee1's better kicker was enough to end it. Arnaud "frenchkiss" Mattern exited in 11th place with $9,147.80.

Arnaud Mattern.jpg

Hand-for-hand play then ensued for a few minutes. There was no shortage of all-in moves, but it wasn't until locomotives9 pushed all-in with A♣K♦ from the big blind and original raiser ser svensson called with 7♦7♥ that it reduced the field. The flop of 7♣4♠8♣ gave ser svensson the set of sevens, and the A♠ turn and 8♥ river made it into a full house. Locomotives9 left in tenth place with $9,147.80.

Ser svensson soared as final table started

Toward the end of Level 35, with blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000 ante, the final table was set. And less than ten hours since the start of the tournament, the last nine players began action with the following chip counts:

Seat 1: shizgared89 (9,714,594 in chips)
Seat 2: ser svensson (32,654,743 in chips)
Seat 3: 4Kings_Hit (1,546,773 in chips)
Seat 4: grayzee1 (9,782,225 in chips)
Seat 5: nickthenasty (1,184,692 in chips)
Seat 6: BleedBlue33 (6,151,500 in chips)
Seat 7: Ninemil (2,525,934 in chips)
Seat 8: paulgees81 (10,004,210 in chips)
Seat 9: samilero (12,735,329 in chips)

2011 Sunday Million table pic 01.23.11.JPG

It didn't take long for a big hand to develop, and it resulted in BleedBlue33 doubling through shizgared89 to head to second place on the leaderboard.

Then short-stacked nickthenasty made a move, pushing little more than 1 million chips all-in with A♦7♣. But it just so happened that paulgees81 was able to call with A♠T♥. The board was an uneventful 6♣K♥4♥J♠A♥, and that was all it took to end nickthenasty's run in ninth place, for which $13,376.50 was awarded.

The very next hand saw 4Kings_Hit double through BleedBlue33. And the next hand saw more action, as shizgared89 pushed with A♣7♦. BleedBlue33 called with A♥A♦, and the deal brought a board of 8♥T♠8♦J♣J♥ to add a pair of jacks to the aces. Shizgared89 exited in eighth place with $18,986.00.

Then it was Ninemil's turn to double, and it happened three times in a row, first against grayzee1, and then through BleedBlue33 twice. In a matter of three hands, Ninemil went from little more than 1 million chips to more than 11 million.

A few hands later, it was 4Kings_Hit who needed to make another move. The hand started with a raise from 4Kings_Hit holding Q♦5♥, but when BleedBlue33 raised from the big blind, 4Kings_Hit decided to call all-in. BleedBlue33 showed 8♠7♠ but hit the A♠8♥2♥ to jump ahead. Those eights stayed good through the T♠ turn and J♦ river, and that was the end of the road for 4Kings_Hit, who headed out in seventh place with $34,520.00.

Grayzee1 hit a big double-up through paulgees81, but paulgees81 turned around to double back through grayzee1 on the very next hand. Play slowed down a bit after that, until players returned from the 10.5-hour break.

Samilero was looking at less than 5 million in his stack and put the tournament on the line with A♥K♠ on the button. Grayzee1 called with 7♣7♠ from the big blind, and the race was on. But the board of 3♦6♣6♥9♦J♣ did nothing to chance the outcome, and samilero had to exit in sixth place with $51,780.00.

It was awhile before another virtual life was at risk, but the event happened when Ninemil pushed with 4♦4♠. Ser svensson didn't hesitate to call with A♦T♦ from the big blind, and the chip leader hit the needed card on the 5♠8♥A♠ flop. A 2♣ turn card and K♣ river ended the hand, and Ninemil left the table in fifth place with $69,040.00.

Time seemed to stand still for the four remaining players, as they continued to play with few all-in moves and no callers. It happened once toward the end of the tenth hour when grayzee1 doubled through ser svensson, but play moved slowly from there. Into the eleventh hour, grayzee1 took a very short stack into battle again and doubled through BleedBlue33. When paulgees81 doubled through BleedBlue33, the latter was in a bit of trouble, but a double through ser svensson helped.

BleedBlue33 took another shot with K♠J♦, but ser svensson didn't have to think before calling with A♠J♠. The flop only increased ser svensson's lead when it came A♦J♥2♥, and the 2♣ turn and 7♦ river finished it. BleedBlue33 finally bled out and took home $86,300.00 for the fourth place finish.

Grayzee1 moved all-in once and doubled through ser svensson. A few hands later, it was that time again, and grayzee1 all-in with A♠8♠ against the A♣T♣ of paulgees81. The board of 8♦9♥7♥9♦6♦ started off with hope for grayzee1 but finished with a straight for paulgees81. Grayzee1 was gone in third place with $129,450.00.

Paulgeez81 pulls into lead for heads-up battle

With that last elimination, paulgees81 jumped into the chip lead, and ser svensson lost it for the first time at the final table. Their starting counts were:

Seat 2: ser svensson (35,661,822 in chips)
Seat 8: paulgees81 (50,638,178 in chips)

With one solid hand, ser svensson managed to regain the lead:

RSS readers click through to see replay

But it didn't last long. Paulgees81 was aggressive going forward, and upon taking down a pot worth nearly 43.5 million chips, he put his opponent in a tough spot.

Two hands later, ser svensson decided on the all-in with K♣8♦ in that spot, but paulgees81 had him dominated with A♣K♦. The board was an uneventful 2♦9♦5♣T♥5♥, and the ace kicker eliminated ser svensson in second place with $185,545.00.

Paulgees81 became the latest Sunday Million winner, pocketing $253,894.60 for the victory. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 01/23/11:

1st place: paulgees81 ($253,894.60)
2nd place: ser svensson ($185,545.00)
3rd place: grayzee1 ($129,450.00)
4th place: BleedBlue33 ($86,300.00)
5th place: Ninemil ($69,040.00)
6th place: samilero ($51,780.00)
7th place: 4Kings_Hit ($34,520.00)
8th place: shizgared89 ($18,986.00)
9th place: nickthenasty ($13,376.50)

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