Success for Seraph14 of Slovakia with Sunday Million win

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGLast week, in celebration of the new start times of the Sunday majors, the Sunday Million found itself with a hefty $2 million prize pool. It was a one-time bonus for players, and more than 10,000 of them came out to play for portions of that money.

This week, the new start time was firmly in place, and there was no special guarantee. Well, that is if you don't consider the weekly $1 million guarantee special. (If you don't, we'd like to say, "Huh?") But so many people were charged up about the $1 million and the new place on the Sunday schedule that the crowd of players was quite substantial. When registration was complete, the following numbers were given:

Players: 6,889
Prize pool: $1,377,800
Paid players: 990

Quite a large field and well beyond that guarantee. We'll say that's special.

After the initial hours passed, the money bubble came and went to ensure that everyone in that top 990 would receive a minimum of $316.89 for their efforts.

Only two Team PokerStars Pros made it into that group. Slovakian Dag Palovic left in the early stages of the payment process in 738th place, but moving forward was fellow pro and German representative Sebastian Ruthenberg. Ruthenberg held up for awhile but eventually exited in 283rd place.

Sebastian Ruthenberg.JPG

Played moved on to find out two tables remaining into the tenth hour, and hand-for-hand play was in action just 15 minutes into the next hour. But only five minutes later, it was Pessagno who risked it all from the big blind with K♦6♣, but jAKIELOL had K♠Q♦ in the small blind, and that hand stayed best through the 3♠8♠3♣5♦A♠ board. Pessagno was gone in tenth place with $7,715.68.

Patorojas86 pulls ahead to start action

Level 37 kicked off the final table with blinds at 125,000/250,000 and a 25,000 ante. Players' starting chip counts were:

Seat 1: jAKIELOL (5,193,973 in chips)
Seat 2: suckerfishtw (8,438,106 in chips)
Seat 3: AA1284 (6,227,707 in chips)
Seat 4: 321Gentleman (3,581,858 in chips)
Seat 5: patorojas86 (12,809,178 in chips)
Seat 6: mikexace (8,530,627 in chips)
Seat 7: Thorup1 (9,170,616 in chips)
Seat 8: SLUUUURP (5,098,959 in chips)
Seat 9: Seraph14 (9,838,976 in chips)

2011 Sunday Million table pic 06.12.11.JPG

Play started off relatively cautiously, though there were some players pushing the action.

And about 15 minutes into the table, it was time for the shortest stack to make a move. When mikexace opened for a raise, SLUUUURP reraised all-in with K♣Q♠. Mikexace called with 4♦4♥, and the fours held up to the A♣6♥T♠2♣9♣ board. That left SLUUUURP out in ninth place with $10,677.95.

Suckerfishtw and Seraph14 got into a raising war preflop, and suckerfishtw ultimately moved all-in with A♣Q♦. But Seraph14 called and turned over K♥K♣. The flop of Q♣6♦T♥ gave a pair of queens and hope to suckerfishtw, and the J♣ on the turn provided even more outs. But the 4♦ on the river left Seraph14's pair of kings the winner, and suckerfishtw swam off in eighth place with $16,533.60.

Mikexace makes moves

With that pot, Seraph14 climbed into the top spot on the leaderboard and began to battle for first position with mikexace. Patorojas86 was relegated to third and wasn't finding much momentum at the table. But after mikexace took a pot worth nearly 7.7 million chips from patorojas86, the latter was unable to recover.

Patorojas86 was in the big blind got involved with jAKIELOL preflop to see the T♣7♣T♥ from the dealer. When jAKIELOL bet, patorojas86 check-raised all-in with J♠9♠, and jAKIELOL called with A♠K♥. The 5♦ turn and K♠ river left jAKIELOL with the two pair and the pot, as patorojas86 left in a surprising seventh place with $30,311.60.

AA1284 had a rough time but managed a double through Thorup1 to stay alive. But only a few hands later, AA1284 looked down at K♦K♥ from the small blind and moved all-in. Original raiser mikexace called with A♣Q♠, and the flop of Q♦6♥A♦ gave him two pair. The J♣ on the turn didn't do much, but the Q♥ made a full house for mikexace. AA1284 was forced out in sixth place with $44,089.60.

Some double-ups were in order going forward, as 321Gentleman did it through Thorup1, and Thorup1 then did the same through jAKIELOL. But when jAKIELOL doubled through mikexace, jAKIELOL took the chip lead as well as the chips. It happened like this:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Then 321Gentleman doubled through mikexace, as did Thorup1. And suddenly, mikexace was the short stack of the group.

When jAKIELOL made a raise on the very next hand, mikexace reraised all-in with A♥8♦. JAKIELOL called with K♣T♠, which looked to be the losing hand through the 2♠5♦2♣7♠ on the board. But the K♦ on the river changed that and gave jAKIELOL two pair. Mikexace went from the chip lead to out in fifth place, which was worth $57,867.60.

Seraph14 doubled through Thorup1, and 321Gentleman did the same courtesy of jAKIELOL.

Final four agree to a deal

During the 11.5-hour break, the four remaining players decided to take a look at chip-chop numbers. The tournament was paused, and they quickly agreed. With $20,000 set aside to be added to the eventual winner's prize, the payouts would be as follows:

Seat 1: jAKIELOL (25,437,959 in chips) = $159,768.45
Seat 4: 321Gentleman (14,326,064 in chips) = $123,079.90
Seat 7: Thorup1 (14,423,327 in chips) = $123,401.03
Seat 9: Seraph14 (14,702,650 in chips) = $124,323.28

With good luck wishes all around, play resumed. And jAKIELOL was the clear aggressor, pushing into an even bigger lead over the other three players.

Thorup1 was anxious to make a move, the first time resulting in a split pot with jAKIELOL when both players held K-8. The second time, it was Seraph14 in the hand with A♠T♦, which dominated the A♥7♦ of Thorup1. The board of 4♥9♠9♥K♣T♣ did not change the outcome, and Thorup1 exited in fourth place with $123,401.03.

Seraph14 began to put the moves on and took a pot worth more than 18.6 million chips from jAKIELOL to take the lead. The two then battled on the very next hand with a preflop raising war that led to jAKIELOL moving all-in with 8♦6♦. Seraph14 made the call with a solid K♣K♠, which turned into a full house on the Q♦K♦6♠J♠J♣ board. That left jAKIELOL out in third place with $159,768.45.

Seraph14 takes strong lead into heads-up

The final two prepared to duel with these starting chip counts:

Seat 4: 321Gentleman (7,286,064 in chips)
Seat 9: Seraph14 (61,603,936 in chips)

There was no giving up for 321Gentleman, despite the chip deficit. The first double-up came for 321Gentleman with K-7 over Q-8, and the second was T-8 over 8-7. But Seraph14 maintained a sizeable lead.

The two then battled preflop to see the K♦T♦6♦. Seraph14 bet all-in, and 321Gentleman check-called all-in in the hopes of another double-up and showed A♦4♥ for the nut flush draw. Seraph14 showed A♠T♥ for the pair of tens, and with no flush on the 5♣ turn or 2♠ river, 321Gentleman had to leave in second place with $123,079.90.

Seraph14 of Slovakia claimed the Sunday Million victory and the $144,323.28 that went with it. Congrats!

Sunday Million Results for 06/12/11 (reflecting deal):

1st place: Seraph14 ($144,323.28)*
2nd place: 321Gentleman ($123,079.90)*
3rd place: jAKIELOL ($159,768.45)*
4th place: Thorup ($123,401.03)*
5th place: mikexace ($57,867.60)
6th place: AA1284 ($44,089.60)
7th place: patorojas86 ($30,311.60)
8th place: suckerfishtw ($16,533.60)
9th place: SLUUUURP ($10,677.95)

*based on 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