Sunday Million: tost89 burns through final table, bags $170k

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNG7,030. Enrollment at a medium-sized university. Number of calories Manny Paquiao consumes each day during training. Price of a Hermes handbag. And lest you think you're reading the wrong recap, the number of runners in this week's Sunday Million. This virtual army of pros and punters created a prizepool that topped out at $1,406,000, with first place set to earn a $210,900 slice of the pie.

Throwing their lot in were 32 members of the various PokerStars "Teams"-- Pro, Online, and Sports Stars. Six of them made the money including Martin Hruby (899th), Sebastian Ruthenberg (806th), Jude Ainsworth (678th), Vanessa Selbst (516th), and Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen (94th). Lasting the longest, all the way to the final three tables, was Brazil's Gualter Salles, who got his money in with the best of it but ran afoul of the deck. Facing a min-raise from under-the-gun, Salles three-bet shoved his last 12 big blinds with A♥K♣ and was called by LaurisL91 holding A♦Q♠. A queen hit the flop, however, and Salles did not improve, his 26th-place finish earning him $3,275.98.

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Gualter Salles, 26th place

With ten players remaining, there were far shorter stacks that Lopez_Breakz, who sat with more than 6.8 million in chips. Holding A♦J♥, he opened for 550,000 and was met with a three-bet to 1.15 million from tost89 in the small blind. Perhaps believing he could move tost89 off his hand, Lopez_Breakz shoved, but tost89 quickly called with J♣J♦. The pocket jacks held and Lopez_Breakz suddenly found himself out on the final table bubble while tost89 moved up to second in chips.

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Final table chip counts:

Seat 1: PetjeXL (5,756,129 in chips)
Seat 2: LaurisL91 (20,667,328 in chips)
Seat 3: tost89 (15,241,251 in chips)
Seat 4: super_proper (6,307,828 in chips)
Seat 5: gedhanna (2,999,854 in chips)
Seat 6: XueNanqing (3,430,255 in chips)
Seat 7: flpro157 (2,390,080 in chips)
Seat 8: jkfrankfurt (6,848,681 in chips)
Seat 9: true v story (6,658,594 in chips)

Live by the eights, die by the eights

With the blinds up to 125,000/250,000 three players held stacks under 15 big blinds. However, before any of them could get involved, a preflop cooler played out between two of the medium stacks. PetjeXL four-bet shoved for 5.6 million with A♠A♥ and super_proper called with A♦K♥, having him covered by about 1.5 million. The aces held up and PetjeXL moved up to 11.8 million in chips. Luckily super_proper picked up 8♥8♦ only a few hands later and gedhanna gave him action, calling with A♥Q♦. Super_proper flopped a set on an ace-high board and moved back up to 3.65 million-- still short, but not the shortest.

Those honors now belonged to gedhanna, the player on the other end of that flip. Left with 898,000 after that hand, his stack bled out to only 318,000 when the last of his chips went in the pot. Gedhanna's A♠6♦ did not improve against PetjeXL's pocket fours and he hit the rail in ninth place, earning $10,896,50.

Still hanging on with 3 million in chips, super_proper picked up 8♦8♥ again and three-bet shoved from the button. Under-the-gun raiser jkfrankfurt called with 7♦7♠. Super_proper was poised to double up, but the flop fell an ugly Q♠3♠2♠, giving jkfrankfurt a flush draw. He filled it on the turn with the 5♠ and super_proper was bounced in eighth place, earning $16,872 for his efforts.

flpro157's triple-double-double

While the medium stacks were busy knocking each other out, flpro157's short stack had withered to 755,000-- only two and a half big blinds. He staked his tournament life on J♣T♠ and was called by both jkfrankfurt and XueNanqing. Second pair on a J♠6♦Q♦6♣5♣ board was enough to take it, and flpro157 tripled to 2.38 million.

With the blinds up to 150,000/300,000 flpro157 was still in dire shape. He managed another double-up when his K♣T♥ held up against LaurisL91's 9♣T♦ and a third when his K♥J♣ made a straight on the river against tost89's T♥T♣. With 6.26 million, he was back in the game.

Right call, wrong result for PetjeXL; XueNanqing peters out

A short time later, the action folded all the way around to true v story in the small blind. He moved all-in for 5.32 million and after a long tank PetjeXL made the call with A♦6♦, having true v story only slightly covered. True v story turned over Q♥7♠ and paired up when the flop came down J♣7♣2♠. PetjeXL caught up on the turn when the A♣ landed, but the river was a disaster, the Q♠ falling to make true v story queens up. Left with about half a small blind, PetjeXL was eliminated two hands later and collected $30,229 for seventh place.

After folding nearly every hand at the final table, XueNanqing finally found himself all-in from the big blind for his last 485,000. True v story tried to clear the field with a min-raise to 1,000,000, but LaurisL91 came over the top with a very small three-bet to 1,514,825. True v story gave it up and LaurisL91 turned over K♣K♦. He handily beat XueNanqing's 3♠9♥, sending him to the rail in sixth place with a $43,586 score.

jkfrankfurt flips for his tournament life

There was no doubt jkfrankfurt's last 12.5 big blinds were going in the pot when he picked up J♣J♠ five-handed... although he probably didn't expect true v story to pick up A♠K♦ and reshove behind him. Despite the Q♥8♥4♦ flop falling in jkfrankfurt's favor, true v story hit the A♥ on the turn to outdraw his opponent and eliminate him in fifth place. Jkfrankfurt took home $57,646 for his run.

At this point, tost89 broached the subject of a deal. At first, chipleader LaurisL91 wasn't having any of it, saying he'd prefer to run numbers when they were down to three players. However, after dragging an 8.7 million-chip pot that padded his lead even more, LaurisL91 consented to the pause. Negotiations quickly fell apart over the share LaurisL91 wanted to guarantee himself and cards went back in the air.

tost89 takes the lead, true v story ends in 4th place

After sitting in second place for most of the final table, tost89 finally pulled ahead of LaurisL91 on this hand, when he turned top pair and was able to extract some value:

True v story decided to pull the trigger for his last 22 big blinds when he picked up K♠J♠ in the cutoff. He opened for a min-raise to 1.2 million, LaurisL91 three-bet to 2.4 million from the button, and true v story shoved for his last 13.5 million. LaurisL91 called with pocket tens and watched as another hit the T♠7♥6♦ flop. Although the 8♥ on the turn provided a ray of hope with a straight draw for true v story, the 3♥ fell on the river, spelling his elimination in fourth place.

Down to three players, everyone agreed to run chip-count chop numbers again. This time, they quickly agreed to a deal that left $20,000 on the table for first place and divided the vast majority of the remaining prize pool.

tost89 on top, flpro157 busts in 3rd

As three handed play continued, tost89's stack was inching upwards while flpro157 was down to 19 big blinds. The last of flpro157's chips went in the middle preflop with K♣Q♥, but he could not improve against tost89's 9♦9♣. Tost89 raked in the 23.4 million chip pot and took his biggest lead yet, while flpro157 exited in third place, the three-way deal earning him a $130,000 payday.

Tost89 held a 1.7 to 1 chip lead over LaurisL91 as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 2: LaurisL91 (26,089,493 in chips)
Seat 3: tost89 (44,210,507 in chips)

A stretch of hands where tost89 won 17 out of 20 hands took him up to 52 million while LaurisL91's stack fell to less than 20 big blinds. The two slogged it out for twenty minutes before all the chips went in. Tost89 was the initial raiser, making it 2 million from the button with A♣4♥. LaurisL91 picked up K♥K♦ and shoved for 16.7 million total,tost89 making the call.

It was all but over on the flop, which fell 4♣4♠3♦ to make tost89 trip fours. The A♦ on the turn made him a full house and left LaurisL91 drawing dead. And if that wasn't enough, the 4♦ hit the river for quads. Although he didn't take home the largest chunk of the prize pool, tost89 earned the title, and is this week's Sunday Million champion. He earned $170,000 for the win. For his runner-up finish, LaurisL91 bagged $178,560.22.

Sunday Million results for 11/13/11

1. tost89 (Germany) $170,000*
2. LaurisL91 (Lithuania) $178,560.22*
3. flpro157 (Germany) $130,000*
4. true v story (Belarus) $74,518
5. jkfrankfurt (Germany) $57,646
6. XueNanqing (China) $43,586
7. PetjeXL (Netherlands) $30,229
8. super_proper (Russia) $16,872
9. gehanna (Lebanon) $10,896.50

Five weeks from today, on December 18th, PokerStars is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special $10 million guaranteed edition of the Sunday Million. Over $2 million is guaranteed for first place and really, if you have $215 and an internet connection, you should be playing. Head over to the 10th Anniversary Sunday Million page for more information.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million