Roydon Rock rolled into winner's circle with 1/9/11 Sunday Million victory

Sunday Million logo.jpgA solid portion of the poker contingent is now in the Bahamas, at a little record-setting and news-captivating poker tournament series called the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Many of them are playing tournaments for millions of dollars, while others are enjoying the tropical paradise. Those of us who weren't able to be there (ahem!) can keep up with the PCA Main Event action here and live vicariously through the team of hard-working reporters.

As the rest of us tried to put an umbrella in our hot cocoa drinks to feel the slightest bit tropical, unsuccessfully, we also checked out the Sunday Million as it took over the internet with its usual weekend excitement. This week brought a solid crowd of 8,427 players to the virtual tables, and the result was the prize pool soaring past the $1.5 million guarantee to where it landed at $1,685,400.00. With nearly $250K set aside for the ultimate winner, players looked to make their own poker history by taking it down.

While most of the members of Team PokerStars were focusing on the PCA, some found the time to play the Sunday Million, though only three made it into the money. Team Pro Joe "jcada99" Cada was the first of the team to cash, finishing in 775th place, and awhile later, Nuno Coelho exited in 475th and Maxim Lykov followed in 411th place. The rest was going to be left to players who continued on into the later hours.

Ultimately, before the tenth hour of the event, ten players fought for their seats at the final table. It was short-stacked Shiko21 who decided to take a chance with A♦K♦, and kubik-rubik7 called from the big blind with K♣5♣. The board came T♣5♥Q♣7♠2♥, and that was all it took to eliminate Shiko21 in tenth place for $8,932.62.

Considerable lead for kubik-rubik7

With plenty of time left in Level 35, players took their places to find blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000 ante. Their starting chip stacks were as follows:

Seat 1: vvvSEREGAvvv (10,940,433 in chips)
Seat 2: USCphildo (9,866,511 in chips)
Seat 3: kubik-rubik7 (23,782,708 in chips)
Seat 4: mbumech (2,923,177 in chips)
Seat 5: landlord27 (6,267,530 in chips)
Seat 6: tankitan (1,265,546 in chips)
Seat 7: Roydon Rock (6,567,686 in chips)
Seat 8: inhidonks (10,708,857 in chips)
Seat 9: Doeks (11,947,552 in chips)

2011 Sunday Million table pic 01.09.11.JPG

Action was to be found on the very first hand of the final table action, as mbumech risked nearly 3 million chips with an early all-in move. Original raiser vvvSEREGAvvv called with Q♦Q♥, and mbumech turned over A♠J♦. The board blanked with 7♣K♦5♥2♦3♠, allowing the pocket pair to hold. Mbumech was quickly eliminated from the table, walking with $13,061.85 for the ninth place finish.

Short-stacked tankitan was in trouble and lost ground even further, but tankitan doubled through landlord27 twice in a matter of five hands in order to stay in the game. The two tangled again about 20 minutes later, and tankitan doubled yet again, and tankitan went on to repeat the act through vvvSEREGAvvv. Also in the "stayin' alive" category was Roydon Rock, who doubled through USCphildo, who proceeded to do the same through inhidonks.

Inhidonks proceeded to push all-in on the next ahnd with A♥K♠, but Roydon Rock happened to wake up with A♣A♦ in the big blind and made the obvious call. The dealer provided a board of 4♣8♥2♠J♥K♥, and the kings couldn't match up to the aces, leaving inhidonks out in eighth place with $18,539.40.

That move, combined with a USCphildo double-up through kubik-rubik7, knocked the latter out of the top spot on the leaderboard and put Roydon Rock in its place.

After the 10.5-hour break, as some of the players began to chat about possible deal talks, another player was ready to risk it all. VvvSEREGAvvv pushed all-in with J♠T♣, and landlord27 looked down at A♦4♦ from the big blind and made the call. The flop of A♣2♦T♦ gave each player a pair, but the aces were best. The board rounded out with a 7♥ turn and 9♥ river, and it was vvvSEREGAvvv who was forced out in seventh place with $33,708.00.

Landlord27 had been on the wrong side of numerous hands and suffered a few beats throughout the final table, and a peek at T♦9♣ looked like the perfect opportunity to push all-in for 8,431,644 chips from the small blind. Original raiser kubik-rubik7 made the call with K♦8♦, and the king-high stayed in front as the cards came 2♥J♥5♣4♣2♣. Landlord27 was evicted in sixth place with $50,562.00.

Another big hand soon developed. Doeks started it with a raise, and USCphildo pushed all-in for more than 9.6 million chips. It folded back around to Doeks, who called with A♦Q♣. USCphildo's tournament life was on the line with K♣J♦, and that hand did not improve as the cards produced a 3♠A♥2♥3♣9♠ board. Phil "USCphildo" Collins was eliminated in fifth place with $67,416.00.


Final four find fairness in deal talks

The last four players quickly decided to pause the tournament and look at chip-chop numbers, and with a bit of a tweak and agreement from all, the payouts were recorded. With the exception being $30,000 set aside for the eventual winner, the deal payments would be:

Seat 3: kubik-rubik7 (35,691.614 in chips) = $194,769.94
Seat 6: tankitan (6,143,736 in chips) = $104,151.45
Seat 7: Roydon Rock (10,439,980 in chips) = $128,054.33
Seat 9: Doeks (31,994,670 in chips) = $182,806.44

Tankitan doubled through kubik-rubik7, and it didn't take long for tankitan to choose to move again. The all-in was done with K♥Q♥, but Doeks had A♦K♠ in the big blind and made the call. The board was an uneventful 4♠6♦T♥8♣3♦, and that left tankitan out in fourth place with $104,151.45.

Doeks was in a solid first place, though kubik-rubik7 subsequently doubled through Doeks to close the gap between the two. Roydon Rock then doubled through kubikrubik7 to stay in contention. Action continued as Roydon Rock doubled through Doeks, and kubik-rubik7 did the same through Roydon Rock.

Doeks and kubik-rubik7 then tangled in a pot that was worth more than 51 million chips. A raise and reraise led to Doeks pushing all-in with J♦J♠, and kubik-rubik7 coming over the top with another all-in holding 8♠8♦. Roydon Rock got out of the way, and the two players in the hand watched the dramatic flop as it showed 8♥9♥2♣ to give kubik-rubik7 the set of eights. The K♣ on the turn changed nothing, and the 7♠ on the river served only to end the hand. Doeks, previous winner of a 2010 Sunday Warm-Up, had to settle for third place in this one, which was worth $182,806.44.

Roller coaster showdown

The last two players standing sat with the following chip counts:

Seat 3: kubik-rubik7 (56,090,852 in chips)
Seat 7: Roydon Rock (28,179,148 in chips)

Five hands later, everything changed with this Roydon Rock double-up:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Kubik-rubik7 doubled back, but Roydon Rock turned the tables by doing the same...again. Action slowed a bit as subsequent hands were played with more caution, but Roydon Rock maintained the lead.

Finally, kubik-rubik7 took a chance by moving all-in for 18,661,816 with K♥5♠, and Roydon Rock called with A♦3♣. The board came T♠T♦9♦8♦2♥, and that pair of tens with the ace kicker knocked kubik-rubik7 out of the tournament in second place with $194,769.94.

Roydon Rock came back from a hard place and won the Sunday Million title, along with $158,054.33 in prize money. Congratulations!

Sunday Million Results for 01/09/11:

1st place: Roydon Rock ($158,054.33)*
2nd place: kubik-rubik7 ($194,769.94)*
3rd place: Doeks ($182,806.44)*
4th place: tankitan ($104,151.45)*
5th place: USCphildo ($67,416.00)
6th place: landlord27 ($50,562.00)
7th place: vvvSEREGAvvv ($33,708.00)
8th place: inhidonks ($18,539.40)
9th place: mbumech ($13,061.85)

*results of a four-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