Rens02 rallies, wrestles, and wins the Sunday Million title and $234,000

Sunday Million logo.jpgThere are many decisions facing online poker players on Sundays. How many tournaments to play? Try satellites or buy in directly? Play from the couch or at a desk? What to type in the chat box? Tweet the table action or retweet the Big Ben clock? You get the picture. But one thing is certain each week; do everything possible to play in the Sunday Million. It's a staple and arguably the most prestigious weekly title in poker.

This week, there were 8,613 players in the running for that title. And though they all initially eyed the $1.5 million guarantee, the prize pool eventually grew to $1,722,600, which was enough to pay out the top 1,260 finishers and reserve more than $250K for the winner. Those kind of numbers keep players coming back week after week.

In the field, there were quite a few representatives of the PokerStars teams in the field, and several of them made it into the money. The first to cash was Johnny Lodden in 1020th place, followed by Ruben "rubenrtv" Visser in 982nd, Team Online's Mer "PeachyMer" Brit in 916th, and Sandra Naujoks in 746th. And the last one standing was Toni Judet, who exited in 515th place and left the remainder of the prize pool for non-sponsored players.

It was just before the ten-hour mark that the two tables were involved in hand-for-hand play to determine the seating at the final table, and the bubble play went on for some time. After some double-ups, play was loosening a bit. It was then that ragenut thought to move in with 4♣4♦, but original raiser marcosretard called with T♠T♥, and that pair held up to the 2♠8♣5♥K♠6♠ board. Ragenut bid adieu in tenth place with $9,129.78.

JohnFR jumped ahead to lead the initial lineup

It was at the usual time in the Sunday Million - in Level 36 with blinds of 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante - that this final table was set, with chip counts as follows:

Seat 1: ZAGABOY (3,036,503 in chips)
Seat 2: marcosretard (19,910,907 in chips)
Seat 3: ShipThisPLZ (16,037,348 in chips)
Seat 4: GALLOWAY55 (3,886,597 in chips)
Seat 5: JohnFR (19,382,774 in chips)
Seat 6: Rens02 (8,678,337 in chips)
Seat 7: PRIVATEPILE (5,299,721 in chips)
Seat 8: otolas (2,604,932 in chips)
Seat 9: plaque20 (7,292,881 in chips)

2011 Sunday Million table pic 04.03.11.JPG

Action began with otolas doubling through GALLOWAY55, which left the latter in some trouble. A few hands later, GALLOWAY55 made the all-in move with 1,521,665 and A♠T♥, and PRIVATEPILE called from the big blind with J♣4♠. The flop of 8♠2♣3♥ changed nothing, but the J♠ hit on the turn to give PRIVATEPILE the pair. The 9♠ on the river ended it, as GALLOWAY55 became the first to leave the final table, taking home $13,350.15 for ninth place.

ZAGABOY found some opportunities and doubled through ShipThisPLZ and did the same through JohnFR a bit later.

Otolas was back in action, pushing all-in from the big blind after a raise from PRIVATEPILE in the small blind, who called that raise with Q♥3♥. Otolas showed A♠4♠, a hand that looked even better after the 6♦7♥8♦ flop was shown by the dealer. But the Q♣ hit on the turn, and the 8♥ on the river ended the hand, eliminating otolas in eighth place with $18,948.60.

The game slowed tremendously, and it was JohnFR who had the rough end of several hands, specifically double-ups by plaque20 and ZAGABOY. That left JohnFR as the short stack, and he finally pushed preflop with K♣K♦. Rens02 reraised all-in to isolate with 9♠9♦, which worked. The board came A♠9♣T♠6♥8♦, and the flopped set gave Rens02 the pot and left JohnFR out in seventh place with $34,452.00.

Rens02 running away with newfound lead

Rens02 took over the lead toward the end of the tenth hour of play, and there seemed to be no stopping the aggression of the new chip leader.

PRIVATEPILE was one of the casualties. The all-in move came with nearly 4.5 million chips holding A♠Q♥, but original raiser Rens02 had no problem calling with K♦6♦. The board of 8♦9♥9♠6♠7♠ gave Rens02 two pair, and PRIVATEPILE was honorably discharged from the tournament in sixth place with $51,678.00.

With five players left, they paused the tournament to make a second attempt at a deal. (The first attempt went nowhere; thus, we didn't mention it earlier.) This time, though it took nearly 30 minutes and several number adjustments, the players were able to come to an agreement. With $30,000 set aside for the eventual winner, the agreement was as follows:

Seat 1: ZAGABOY (11,445,794 in chips) = $120,000
Seat 2: marcosretard (12,171,012 in chips) = $118,120.47
Seat 3: ShipThisPLZ (9,340,845 in chips) = $120,357.35
Seat 6: Rens02 (38,476,587 in chips) = $204,000.00
Seat 9: plaque20 (14,695,762 in chips) = $130,329.91

Action was fast and furious when play resumed. It took only a few hands to find marcosretard all-in with A♣K♠ versus the A♦7♦ of Rens02. The board of 6♦7♥2♠8♣J♥ gave Rens02 the pair of sevens and the pot. Marcosretard, who found his seat in the Sunday Million through a $3 satellite, departed with $118,120.47.

From there, ShipThisPLZ doubled through Rens02, but it was the double-up of ZAGABOY through plaque20 that left the latter in a rough spot. Plaque20 moved all-in on the very next hand, and Rens02 called with K♠Q♦, which was up against the A♣4♦ of plaque20. But the flop of 9♣Q♠2♠ changed the dynamic by giving Rens02 the pair of queens, and the T♦ and 6♠ finished the hand. Plaque20 left in fourth place with $130,329.91.

ShipThisPLZ was the next to risk it all, and it happened during a preflop raising war with Rens02. ShipThisPLZ made the all-in move with A♣T♦, and Rens02 had 5♦5♠ for the classic race situation. The board of 7♦9♣9♦Q♥4♥ didn't change the outcome, as Rens02 took the chips and left ShipThisPLZ out in third place with $120,357.35.

Heads-up for $30K

The final two players started their battle with the following counts:

Seat 1: ZAGABOY (23,990,573 in chips)
Seat 6: Rens02 (62,139,427 in chips)

And the first hand of the duel showed that it was going to be anything but easy:

RSS readers click through to see replay

ZAGABOY had the lead in the match but soon lost his grip on it, ultimately losing that lead in a pot worth nearly 15.5 million chips that went to Rens02. But then ZAGABOY doubled up again, this time with A-K over A-T, which virtually evened the chip counts. As ZAGABOY jetted out to a solid lead, Rens02 planned a comeback and did it with a double-up on a 8-4-K-3-5 board with pocket nines that beat the J-8 of ZAGABOY.

Three hands later, ZAGABOY moved all-in with J♥J♦, a solid hand for heads-up, and Rens02 called with A♦T♠. Not only did the T♣8♠4♣ flop bring one pair for Rens02, but the A♥ turn made it two pair. The 9♥ on the river helped no one, and ZAGABOY had to depart with $120,000 for the second place finish.

Rens02 won the Sunday Million, and along with the title went $234,000 in cash. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 03/27/11:

1st place: Rens02 ($234,000.00)*
2nd place: ZAGABOY ($120,000.00)*
3rd place: ShipThisPLZ ($120,357.35)*
4th place: plaque20 ($130,329.91)*
5th place: marcosretard ($118,120.47)*
6th place: PRIVATEPILE ($51,678.00)
7th place: JohnFR ($34,452.00)
8th place: otolas ($18,948.60)
9th place: GALLOWAY55 ($13,350.15)

*results of a five-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