Ponga80 procures a Sunday Million win and nearly $200K

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGWith online players preparing for the annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), they find themselves looking to improve their skills and build a bankroll to play more events. It certainly doesn't hurt to play some Sunday majors to get ready for the big fields and high stakes action.

This week, players came out in solid numbers for the Sunday Million. It's no surprise, really, as the $1 million guarantee brings players to the virtual felt every weekend. The August 14 edition of the biggest tournament on the Internet showed these final stats:

Players: 6,525
Prize pool: $1,305,000
Paid players: 990

Only one player with the PokerStars logo made it into the money today, and it was Friend of PokerStars Pierre "Zoutechamp" Neuville of Belgium. He outlasted all of the Team PokerStars Pros in the field and finished in 771st place.

Pierre Neuville.jpg

Just past the 9.5-hour mark, the field was reduced to only two tables, with two players - kmichael14 and Daywalker82 - the only ones over the 6 million chip threshold. About 45 minutes later, a relatively short period of time compared to previous weeks, hand-for-hand action led to a quick elimination as Gosu_TAS pushed all-in with K♣K♦ against the A♥J♦ of Ponga80. The board of T♣6♥2♦A♦6♦ eliminated Gosu_TAS in tenth place with $7,308.00.

Kmichael14 carries lead to final table

The final table began in Level 37, with blinds of 125,000/250,000 and a 25,000 ante. Initial player chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: ABARZA (8,756,575 in chips)
Seat 2: garfield311 (1,608,237 in chips)
Seat 3: Microove (3,604,731 in chips)
Seat 4: syvers007 (4,562,084 in chips)
Seat 5: dynastyzz (6,988,792 in chips)
Seat 6: kmichael14 (13,363,527 in chips)
Seat 7: Ponga80 (12,098,242 in chips)
Seat 8: Sircall (7,892,214 in chips)
Seat 9: cynicalfish (6,375,598 in chips)

2011 Sunday Million table pic 08.14.11.JPG

The second hand of the table put the shortest stack to the test. When chip leader kmichael14 raised from early position, garfield311 responded with an all-in push holding J♣J♠. But kmichael14 turned over Q♣Q♠, and the queens held up to the 7♣9♠7♥4♦8♦ board. Garfield311 left the tournament in ninth place with $10,113.75.

Minutes later, a bigger hand developed. Syvers007 moved all-in from early position. Kmichael14 also moved all-in, and cynicalfish called all-in from the small blind. The hands:

cynicalfish: A♠K♦
kmichael14: Q♠Q♣
syvers007: 5♦5♠

The board came 8♠6♣J♣3♣T♣, making a flush for kmichael14 and knocking out both opponents. Syvers007 left in eighth place with $15,660.00, and cynicalfish was directly behind in seventh place with $28,710.00.

Play slowed a bit, but big pots were just around the corner. Meanwhile, kmichael14 used sheer aggression to extend his lead and hurdle the 30 million chip mark.

Short-stacked Microove was able to double through Ponga80 but remained the lowest chip count on the board. Microove made several all-in moves without being called. Finally, though Microove was in the big blind and tangled with dynastyzz. After the 5♠3♦9♥ flop, dynastyzz bet, and Microove check-raised all-in. Dynastyzz called with K♠K♥, and Microove showed 4♣4♠. The J♣ and T♣ completed the board, and Microove departed in sixth place with $41,760.00.

ABARZA finally moved all-in preflop with 7♥7♣, and Ponga80 called from the big blind with A♦J♦. The T♦2♦3♦5♦8♥ board flopped a flush for Ponga80, and ABARZA was forced to leave in fifth place with $54,810.00.

Dynastyzz changed things up with this big double-up through Sircall:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Sircall then moved all-in on the next hand with K♥T♣, and dynastyzz made the easy call with A♣A♠. The aces developed into a set on the 4♣7♥A♥6♥2♦ board, and Sircall was out in fourth place with $71,775.00.

Ponga80 then doubled through dynastyzz, putting the latter in position to move again. It happened when dynastyzz picked up A♣J♣, and Ponga80 was there with A♦8♦. The flop looked safe for a double-up with 3♥Q♣6♦, but the 8♠ on the turn gave Ponga80 the best hand. It even elicited a "mother of god" comment in the chat box from host Kevin "WizardofAhhs" Thurman. The T♥ finished the hand, and dynastyzz was out in third place with $104,400.00.

Heads-up straight up with no deal

The final two players began their contest with these counts:

Seat 6: kmichael14 (36,739,082 in chips)
Seat 7: Ponga80 (28,510,918 in chips)

They quickly asked for a pause in the tournament to discuss a deal, but before the numbers could even be displayed, Ponga80 changed his mind and said that second place was already a substantial amount of money. They decided to play with no deal.

Ponga80 quickly took the lead by moving all-in preflop after a series of raises, prompting a fold from kmichael14, to which Thurman replied in the chat box, "This, my friends, is the psychology of poker." However, a few minutes later, kmichael14 took a pot worth more than 16 million chips and regained the lead.

Another gem from Thurman after the next big move from Ponga80:
"The 6bet allin pre and then subsequent fold by your opponent is the stuff dreams are made of."
"Jesus is weeping tears at its beauty."

The 30-minute duel finally ended when a preflop raising war led to an all-in move from Ponga80. Kmichael14 called all-in with 9♣9♠, and Ponga80 showed Q♥J♥. The flop of 4♠J♣4♥ gave Ponga80 the best two pair, and the 7♦ on the turn and 5♠ on the river sealed the deal. Kmichael14 finished in second place with $146,812.50.

Ponga80 won the Sunday Million and $198,490.50 in prize money. Congrats!

Special kudos to Team Online's Kevin "WizardofAhhs" Thurman for providing entertainment and humor throughout his hosting duties.

Sunday Million Results for 08/14/11:

1st place: Ponga80 ($198,490.50)
2nd place: kmichael14 ($146,812.50)
3rd place: dynastyzz ($104,400.00)
4th place: Sircall ($71,775.00)
5th place: ABARZA ($54,810.00)
6th place: Microove ($41,760.00)
7th place: cynicalfish ($28,710.00)
8th place: syvers007 ($15,660.00)
9th place: garfield311 ($10,113.75)

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