Second Sunday Million win for kevsteele in 2011

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGIt was a perfect Sunday for online poker. Weather was getting chilly in many parts of the world, and staying in next to the warmth of a laptop was ideal. Poker was also amidst the broadcast of the World Series of Poker final table, and players gathered around to watch new Team PokerStars Pro Pius Heinz compete as one of the November Nine.

And all of that was conducive to pulling up a few online poker tables on PokerStars, namely the Sunday Million. It's a staple on Stars, and its $1 million guarantee brings thousands of players to the tables week after week.

November 6 was no different, and the numbers were solid, as usual:

Players: 6,967
Prize pool: $1,393,400
Paid players: 990

There were several members of Team PokerStars Pro who made it through the first portion of the tournament and into the money. Arnaud "frenchkiss" Mattern was the first to cash in 938th place, and awhile later, Sebastian Ruthenberg exited in 419th. Toni Judet headed out in 248th, with Nuno Coelho closely behind in 235th.

The last Team Pro standing was Celina Lin, who finally exited in 165th place with $766.37 in prize money.

Celina Lin.jpg

The final two tables were running through most of the tenth hour of play, and action heated up in the following hour with the bubble looming.

Hand-for-hand action went on for more than 30 minutes before an elimination finally occurred. It happened when Furunduk moved all-in preflop with 8♦8♥ against the A♦K♦ of ShipTheFliip. The board came J♥T♠7♣9♦Q♣ for the straight, and Furunduk left in tenth place with $7,803.04.

V1rtuozzzzzz veers into initial lead

Action at the final table began in Level 38 with blinds of 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000 ante. Starting chip counts were as follows:

Seat 1: gray31 (5,921,979 in chips)
Seat 2: Graftekkel (7,350,136 in chips)
Seat 3: kevsteele (10,752,442 in chips)
Seat 4: $Big| (1,892,328 in chips)
Seat 5: gnetaren (9,786,929 in chips)
Seat 6: CesarSPA (4,358,886 in chips)
Seat 7: V1rtuozzzzzz (15,782,605 in chips)
Seat 8: ShipTheFliip (8,663,620 in chips)
Seat 9: Sir_Ellwood (5,161,075 in chips)

2011 Sunday Million table pic 11.06.11.JPG

It didn't take long to see action, as short-stacked $Big| moved all-in from the position of big blind for less than 1.5 million. Original raiser kevsteele, in the small blind, called with T♥9♣, which was up against 4♣4♥. The board came Q♣T♦6♦2♣3♥ gave kevsteele the flopped pair of tens, which stood up to eliminate $Big| in ninth place with $10,798.85.

A short time later, ShipTheFliip started a hand with a raise, and gray31 pushed all-in from the big blind for little more than 5 million chips. ShipTheFliip called with A♥K♣, which dominated the A♣8♠ of all-in player gray31. The board brought T♣K♠7♥Q♥5♥ to solidify the win for ShipTheFliip, and gray31 was gone in eighth place with $16,720.80.

Four hands later, gnetaren made the push with A♦T♣ from the button, but V1rtuozzzzzz called from the big blind with A♠K♥. the flop of 7♣T♦K♦ gave both player a pair, and the 8♦ turn and 6♠ ended the hand with the pair of kings in the lead. Gnetaren exited in seventh place with $30,654.80.

It only took another four hands for CesarSPA to make the push from early position with K♥2♦. Sir_Ellwood reraised all-in with A♣9♣, and all of the other players folded. The flop again provided both players with pairs when it came Q♦9♦2♣, but the 3♦ and 8♠ finished the board to leave CesarSPA out in sixth place with $44,588.80.

The next to be at risk was Graftekkel, who pushed from the small blind after an initial raise from ShipTheFliip. Kevsteele then reraised from the big blind, which prompted a fold from ShipTheFliip. Kevsteele showed A♣K♠, and Graftekkel was behind with A♦3♦. The board of 9♥6♠9♦5♣9♣ gave each player three nines, but the ace and king played as kickers. Graftekkel finished the tournament in fifth place with $58,522.80.

Deal for final four

The last four players paused the game to discuss a potential deal, and after several adjustments to the chip-chop numbers over the course of more than 30 minutes, they agreed on some payouts. With $20,000 set aside for the eventually winner, each player was guaranteed the following:

Seat 3: kevsteele (23,746,906 in chips) = $148,838.99
Seat 7: V1rtuozzzzzz (26,078,594 in chips) = $156,500.00
Seat 8: ShipTheFliip (11,446,539 in chips) = $121,467.70
Seat 9: Sir_Ellwood (8,397,961 in chips) = $110,000.00

After play resumed, it took some time, but Sir_Ellwood made his move with 9♠8♠ from the small blind, and kevsteele called from the big blind with 8♦8♥. The pocket pair held up to the A♣Q♦K♣3♣4♠ board, and Sir_Ellwood took his $110,000.00 and the fourth place finish.

In order of chip counts, ShipTheFliip was the next at risk, making the move with 2♣2♠. Kevsteele called again, this time with 9♠9♣. The board of 3♣3♦K♥T♦7♠ eliminated ShipTheFliip in third place with $121,467.70.

Strong lead for kevsteele going to heads-up

The last two players standing took their positions for the final battle as follows:

Seat 3: kevsteele (51,556,096 in chips)
Seat 7: V1rtuozzzzzz (18,113,904 in chips)

The agression from kevsteele was unmistakable from the start, but V1rtuozzzzzz did find a place for a double-up:

RSS readers click through to see replay

But kevsteele stayed strong and took it all the way to the final hand. V1rtuozzzzzz started with a raise, and kevsteele moved all-in with 7♣2♥. V1rtuozzzzzz called all-in with A♦T♦, but the hammer paid off when the board came 9♦5♠K♣2♦3♠ to give him a pair of deuces. That left V1rtuozzzzzz out in second place with $156,500.00.

The Sunday Million title went to kevsteele, his second of the year as he won a July Sunday Million as well, along with $168,838.99 in prize money. Congrats!

Sunday Million Results for 11/06/11 (reflects deal):

1st place: kevsteele ($168,838.99)*
2nd place: V1rtuozzzzzz ($156,500.00)*
3rd place: ShipTheFliip ($121,467.70)*
4th place: Sir_Ellwood ($110,000.00)*
5th place: Graftekkel ($58,522.80)
6th place: CesarSPA ($44,588.00)
7th place: gnetaren ($30,654.80)
8th place: gray31 ($16,720.80)
9th place: $Big| ($10,798.85)

*Numbers based on a four-way chop agreement

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