Success for Sykoen in Half Price Sunday Million

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGSomething about the Sunday Million was off. It wasn't the $1 million guarantee; that remained the same as usual. It wasn't the thousands of players signing up to participate, as crowds always gather around the largest weekly tournament in online poker. The starting time hadn't changed, and some of the biggest names in online poker were registered.

You got it; the buy-in was slashed in half. In honor of Half Price Sunday, PokerStars opted to reduce the buy-ins of some Sunday majors by half, and that included the Sunday Million. So for a chance at the same $1 million as every week before and after this, players had the chance to buy in for the low, low price of $107.50. That, friends, is a deal!

And the registration number that resulted from the sale was impressive, as was the prize pool as it soared over the $2 million mark:

Players: 20,216
Guarantee: $1,000,000
Prize pool: $2,021,600.00
Paid players: 3,150

After more than 75 percent of the field was gone into thin air, the remaining players burst through the money bubble. When Buckyboy78 exited in 3151st position, kyu1301 cashed for $141.51 in 3150th place, and the payouts continued. There were no members of Team PokerStars in the tournament at that point.

At the 11.5-hour mark, the 11th place elimination of quintero9133 pushed the other 10 players into hand-for-hand mode. That ended whenMimoTzatziki pushed all-in with A♠2♦ against the A♣J♦ of Sykoen. The board of 9♥J♠Q♠8♣4♦ only paired and improved Sykoen, and MimoTzatziki exited in tenth place with $7,581.00.

Maestro Shao holds initial lead

The final table was set with these chip stacks in Level 41, where blinds were 300,000/600,000 and the ante was 60,000:

Seat 1: smokyoner (36,479,235 in chips)
Seat 2: woody1234321 (39,359,892 in chips)
Seat 3: vJIMBOv (10,592,196 in chips)
Seat 4: Maestro Shao (41,909,721 in chips)
Seat 5: Sykoen (36,411,939 in chips)
Seat 6: dtaria (6,656,507 in chips)
Seat 7: FeaNoR4eG (11,998,824 in chips)
Seat 8: 9GLMyBr9 (8,878,750 in chips)
Seat 9: Voveriux (9,872,936 in chips)

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The very first hand of the table brought big action. Maestro Shao made the initial raise, and dtaria moved all-in with A♠9♦. Woody1234321 called from the big blind, which prompted a fold from Maestro Shao, and woody1234321 showed J♥J♣. The board came 6♥2♦6♦K♠K♣, and woody1234321 had the best two pair. Dtaria was out in ninth place with $12,129.60.

Wily woody1234321 pushes into lead

After the last elimination, woody1234321 proceeded to take a pot worth 20 million chips from Maestro Shao, and that was good for the new chip lead.

A few hands later, 9GLMyBr9 pushed all-in from the big blind after an initial button raise from Sykoen. But when Sykoen called with A♦A♥, 9GLMyBr9 could only show 7♦5♦. That hand never improved on the A♠K♦6♦5♠2♥ board, and 9GLMyBr9 had to go in eighth place with $18,194.40.

Sykoen in second leaves little room for others

Sykoen was on a roll, and when Voveriux raised all-in from the big blind, Sykoen called with Q♠J♠. Voverius turned over A♦3♠ for the lead in the hand, but the flop came T♠8♦Q♦ for top pair. The 7♦ on the turn changed nothing, nor did the K♠ on the river. Voveriux had no choice but to leave in seventh place with $28,403.48.

Sykoen took a pot worth more than 31 million chips from smokyoner, after which vJIMBOv doubled through Sykoen. Smokyoner then doubled through woody1234321, putting those two players nearly even on the leaderboard right behind Sykoen in the top spot.

When Maestro Shao was then ready to risk it all, woody1234321 was the caller with 6♠6♦, Maestro Shao was racing with A♦T♣, but the board of J♦2♥K♣6♥A♣ turned a set of sixes to combat the rivered pair of aces. Maestro Shao, winner of a 2012 SCOOP title,fell from glory and accepted $40,432.00 for the sixth place finish.

Battles of the short stacks

FeaNoR4eG was working a short stack but bided time until the cards were ready. That led to not one, not two, but THREE double-ups through Sykoen to stay in the game.

Another short stack, vJIMBOv, decided to move as well. After a button raise from woody1234321, vJIMBOv reraised all-in from the small blind with A♣T♠. Woody1234321 called with A♥K♦, and the board came 7♦2♣8♠7♥7♣. The trip sevens on the board allowed the kickers to play, and vJIMBOv was gone in fifth place with $60,648.00.

Still on a short stack, FeaNoR4eG moved again, that time with K♠J♣. Woody1234321 called from the big blind with A♥2♥. The flop of 9♣J♦5♥ gave FeaNoR3eG the shot at a double-up, but the A♦ on the turn gave woody1234321 the best pair. The 4♠ on the river ended the tournament for FeaNoR4eG in fourth place with $80,864.00.

Three to agree for the deal

The last three players paused the tournament to look at chip-chop numbers. After a little recalculation, they did agree to some numbers with $20,000 set aside to be added to the winner's total. The payouts, excluding the $20K, were:

Seat 1: smokyoner (39,466,932 in chips) = $124,005.63
Seat 2: woody1234321 (44,325,252 in chips) = $134,635.49
Seat 5: Sykoen (118,367,816 in chips) = $174,835.64

It didn't take long for the shortest stack - smokyoner - to move all-in, and it happened with A♠Q♠. But Sykoen was able to call with a dominating A♦K♦. Nothing about the A♥J♥4♥J♣2♦ board changed the outcome, and smokyoner departed in third place with $124,005.63.

Sykoen dominates in heads-up play

The final two players began their match with these chip counts:

Seat 2: woody1234321 (34,945,252 in chips)
Seat 5: Sykoen (167,214,748 in chips)

Woody1234321 made it clear the match wasn't going to be an easy one with hands like this:

RSS readers click through to see replay

But Sykoen stayed aggressive, and woody1234321 had a tough time finding more spots like that one. Finally, woody1234321 pushed all-in in a preflop raising battle with A♥3♦, and Sykoen called with A♠8♣. The board blanked with 6♦4♠5♥T♣K♠, and the kicker played to eliminate woody1234321 in second place with $134,635.49.

Sykoen of Norway claimed the Sunday Million win and $194,835.64 in cash. Congrats!

Sunday Million Results for 06/17/12 (reflects deal):

1st place: Sykoen (Norway) - $194,835.64*
2nd place: woody1234321 (UK) - $134,635.49*
3rd place: smokyoner (Germany) - $124,005.63*
4th place: FeaNoR4eG (Ukraine) - $80,864.00
5th place: vJIMBOv (UK) - $60,648.00
6th place: Maestro Shao (Argentina) - $40,432.00
7th place: Voveriux (Lithuania) - $28,403.48
8th place: 9GLMyBr9 (Russia) - $18,194.40
9th place: dtaria (Cyprus) - $12,129.60

*Numbers based on a three-way deal with $20K reserved for first place

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