Sunday Million: all in 2526 finds a diamond to win after three-way chop

new_sunday_million_thumb.PNGComing from a colder climate, it does not take much to make an excuse to go outside during the summer months when the air isn't so frigid that your nose hairs transform into icicles after the first step outside the home. As always PokerStars gives all poker players a reason to stay indoors on Sundays with a slew of massive guarantees such as the Sunday Million and the brand new kid on the block, the Sunday Cubed (with a $50,000 guarantee), and next week the Bigger $55 buy-in tourney will morph into the Red Spade Open. A $1,000,000 guarantee (at a fourth of the cost of the Sunday million) and all Team PokerStars pros and Team Online will have a $100 bounty sitting on top of their pretty little avatars should you knock one of them out. Tonight's Sunday Million gave 6,383 players $194,175.00 reasons to stay indoors as the man or woman who tackled the field would find that amount in their bankroll after ten to eleven hours of play. 987 players would not walk away with the six figure first, second, or third prizes but lasted long enough to make the money.

Team PokerStars pros Sebastian Ruthenburg (284th place, $548.93) and Jose "nacho" Barbero (249th place, $548.93) may have exited the tournament in a one-two punch but outlasted all the other Red Space holder tonight. Fresh off a fourth place in last week's Sunday Warm-up Jan Heitmann notched another cash in a Sunday major, winning $344.68 tonight in 736th place. Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas scored a minor cash (760th place, $344.68) as his fellow countryman Georgios "gkap13" Kapalas enjoyed another deep run in tonight's Sunday Warm-up. Several other Team PokerStars pros and Team Online such as Andre "acoimbra" Coimbra, Jorge "Baalim" Limon, and Angel Guillen would fall just short of cashing tonight.

Down to two tables with those three six-figure prizes on the horizon, play slowed down a bit. Nearing the ten hour mark of the tournament we would need to eliminate nine more players before the final table. Willibal (18th place, $3,574.48) and IIIothup (17th place, $3,574.48) were the first to go. ilona_iuby would find a queen on the river to eliminate the short-stacked steveface (16th place, $3,574.48). The easy to pronounce sjaak2afhaak would take the rest of jeelennon's chips in 15th place ($5,361.72). piratepeaty would sink hartwith, holding big slick versus hartwith's pocket sevens, a king on the river shipped $5,361.72 to hartwith in 14th place. Blind versus blind and IIIbill87's T3o found a trey on the flop to shoot down tosa3's KQo in 13th place ($5,361.72). Déjà vu? IIIbill87 pressured Joe_Banks with an open shove from the small blind and got called by the big blind. Q♣T♦ for IIIbill87 found enough of the 2♣ T♣ 4♣ J♣ T♥ board to take down Joe_Banks' K♠J♠ in 12th place ($7,148.96). Similar hands on the opposite table at the same time saw ilona_iuby's KJs take down Elia001's QTo (11th place, $7,148.96).

Just ten minutes shy of the 11 hour mark of the tournament we would have an all-in and a call on table 109. With the blinds at 150K/300K ante 30K, tollgate was trying to swipe the blinds from the button with a shove to the tune of 4.1 million chips. Short-stacked 6Thor6 made the call for less from the small blind holding A♥J♦. tollgate needed to catch after flipping up T♥K♠. It would wait till the turn but a king on the board 7♣ 8♣ 7♥ K♣ 3♠ sent 6Thor6 back to Asgard with $7,148.96 in cash for the tenth place finish.


Seat 1: tollgate (7064525 in chips)
Seat 2: sjaak2afhaak (12295616 in chips)
Seat 3: piratepeaty (4365912 in chips)
Seat 4: ilona_iuby (4874409 in chips)
Seat 5: all in 2526 (6731864 in chips)
Seat 6: wizowizo (7164417 in chips)
Seat 7: Janosch (9257804 in chips)
Seat 8: Polymathes (3650192 in chips)
Seat 9: Illbill87 (8425261 in chips)

Easy math problem

With the blinds moved up to 200K/400K ante 40K and only a few hands into the final table, Polymathes shoved over the top of all in 2526's 880,000 raise from early position. Folded back to all in 2526 holding pocket jacks J♣J♦ no math was needed to make the call, as Polymathes showed the dominated pocket tens T♥T♦. We looked twice but there was no straight on the A♦ 7♥ 9♣ 4♦ 8♦ for Polymathes. all in 2526 took down the 6.4 million chip pot as Polymathes was left to calculate $9,893.65 into the currency of his choice.

Small blind > Big blind

After watch several eliminations leading up to the final table, the small blind definitely had a better night of luck in blind versus blind confrontations. Case in point, folded around to sjaak2afhaak in the small blind who puts in enough to force piratepeaty in the big blind to call all-in. Big slick K♥A♥ was an easy enough decision as sjaak2afhaak showed K♣8♠. Luck came around for the small blind once again, as sjaak2afhaak found cards to surround the eight kicker on the 9♣ 9♠ T♠ 7♣ J♦ board to make a straight, sending piratepeaty's big slick to Davy Jones' Locker and finishing his night in eighth place ($15,319.20).

Conjuring up a win

wizowizo cast the right spell against ilona_iuby in this 6.2 million chip pot shown below:

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Blinds still at 200K/400K ante 40K and ilona_iuby pushed over the top of wizowizo's UTG min-raise for 2.8 million total. Back to the original raiser, and wizowizo made the call holding pocket nines 9♠9♦. ilona_iuby showed a suited ace T♦A♦, but the board lacked enough diamonds 3♣ 7♣ 5♦ J♥ 6♠ for ilona_iuby to continue in the tournament finishing in seventh place ($28,085.20).

Chop attempt #1, status FAILED

wizowzio and tollgate did not receive enough compensation despite the high blinds (250K/500K ante 50K) and average chip stack of just over 20bbs. After a brief conversation with the group, and wizowizo not getting the $100,000 requested, we went back to work.

$48,000 mistake

Some say its karma, others say its greed, but when the person who refuses a deal busts out next they say all justice has been served. wizowizo got served. With the blinds still at 250K/500K ante 50K wizowizo open shoved from the cutoff for 8.8 million as it folded quickly around to tollgate in the big blind who just happened to have wizowizo covered and pocket aces A♥A♠ resting in his lap. Easy call, as wizowizo could only produce 8♥T♥ and watched several thousand dollars slide away after drawing dead by the turn 6♦ 5♣ 6♥ Q♣ K♣. Sixth place five minutes prior would have earned $88K, but much like Enron stock, the value of the placement plummeted quickly as wizowizo took away $40,851.20 instead.

River cards make Bill sick

Illbill87 tried to improve on a dwindling stack. Facing rising blinds to 300K/600K ante 60K and only 5.9 million in the stack, Illbill87 would shove holding big slick K♥A♦. all in 2526 had nearly twice as many chips in the small blind and decided to join the party with a re-shove showing T♣A♣. No flush draw getting there this time, but rather an untimely three-out flopped gutshot straight draw, as a king fell on the river J♣ 3♥ Q♥ 5♠ K♠ to hand all in 2526 the 12.7 million chip pot and sending Illbill87 out on a stretcher in fifth place ($53,617.20).

Failed to pay the toll

The very next hand sjaak2afhaak tried to improve the worth of his now last place stack by shoving from the cutoff. All tolls were clear for the blinds and antes until tollgate lowered the barrier as shown below:

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Q♠A♣ for tollgate meant sjaak2afhaak's K♣Q♦ did not have the proper toll fee to pass the 6♣ T♦ 8♦ 8♠ 2♦ board, leaving the tournament just before everyone left decided to play nice and make a deal in fourth place ($70,213.00).

Six figures assured, lock up the extra cash

All players remaining were going to get six figures, but quickly decided to lock the sizable profit (with $20,000 set aside for the champion) shown below:

tollgate: $153,837.36
all in 2526: $133,839.22
Janosch: $132,243.92

Happy with the cash, now making a dash

Janosch seemed a little bored after the deal was cut. Losing an all-in to all in 2526 holding Q5o all-in preflop. Then seven hands later with the blinds at 300K/600K ante 60K was all-in again prelfop with the mighty 4♣2♥. Friends tell me it is a powerful hand, but in this case was powerless against the A♣T♥ of all in 2526 as the flop showed an ace and the river missed Janosch's gutshot draw 7♦ 6♣ A♦ 3♦ J♠ ending the Austrian's night in third place ($132,243.92).

That was a non-optimal way to lose

tollgate would start out heads-up play with a 21.3 to 38.9 million chip deficit against all in 2526 but cut it down to 29.2 million to 34.5 million when the game-changing hand went down just five hands into heads-up play. Watch below, and have some Pepto Bismol nearby:

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The two players would trade preflop raises until 17.8 million sat in the middle to see a coordinated 4♦5♦7♥ flop. Both liked it enough to shove in the rest of their chips as tollgate was standing tall with pocket rockets A♣A♥, and all in 2526 needed some massive help holding second pair A♦5♣. Turn card 9♦ opened up the diamond flush draw and river brought another diamond 3♦ to complete the runner-runner flush and brutally crack tollgate's aces to become this week's Sunday Million champion!

$1,000,000 guarantee Sunday Million results (07-24-11):
(* denotes part of three-way deal)
1. all in 2526 (Israel) *$153,839.22
2. tollgate (Australia) *$153,837.36
3. Janosch (Austria) *$132,243.92
4. sjaak2afhaak (Netherlands) $70,213.00
5. Illbill87 (Germany) $53,617.20
6. wizowizo (Germany) $40,851.20
7. ilona_iuby (Romania) $28,085.20
8. piratepeaty (Canada) $15,319.20
9. Polymathes (Russia) $9,893.65

Here's the Online Poker Show with a recap of the final table...

David Aydt
@PokerStars in Sunday Million