Sunday Million: Dan "Danny98765" Smith takes first place and then some

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGDan "Danny98765" Smith was already on a career-making rush when he sat down to play today's Sunday Million. Akin to ElkY's 2008 or Vanessa Selbst's 2010, Smith has banked $3.6 million in live tournament earnings in 2012, including wins in the $100k Aussie Millions Super High Roller, the €50k EPT Barcelona Super High Roller, and three €5k NLHE side events at the EPT Grand Final. An entire seven weeks had passed since Smith made his last final table appearance (a seventh-place finish in the Partouche Main Event for $224k), and lest we thought his remarkable ride had come to an end, tonight Smith felt the wave crest one more time. Not only did Smith win the Sunday Million, but thanks to the five-way deal he walked away with almost $8,000 more than the published first-place prize for a total haul of $219,504.25.

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Dan "Danny98765" Smith, your 10/21/2012 Sunday Million champion

Smith was one of 7,060 players who bought into this week's Million, creating a $1,412,000 prize pool. 1,080 places were paid, with first place set to earn $211,800. Of the 21 Red Spades in the field, five made the money: Christophe De Muelder (980th), Angel Guillen (666th), Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome (490th), Henrique Pinho (230th), and Christian "el grillo" De Leon (146th).

Stacks were shallow on the final table bubble, the chip average hovering below 20 big blinds. Elia001 was hanging in the middle of the pack with 3.9 million before opening for a min-raise to 600,000 with A♠6♦, then calling tulipaner's three-bet shove. Tulipaner's A♦K♠ held up, leaving Elia001 on little more than two big blinds. Elia001 put them in with Q♠2♥ on the next hand, tulipaner remarkably picking up A♠K♦ again to finish off Elia001 and send us to the final table.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: Shane Gamble (8,239,424 in chips)
Seat 2: Karger222 (4,020,673 in chips)
Seat 3: yurabond (9,853,571 in chips)
Seat 4: tulipaner (8,113,978 in chips)
Seat 5: AMELPADRINO (5,138,268 in chips)
Seat 6: smokey3511 (2,169,808 in chips)
Seat 7: untouchble10 (8,758,849 in chips)
Seat 8: sunseeker (6,201,722 in chips)
Seat 9: Danny98765 (18,103,707 in chips)

Danny98765 extends his lead

Although Shane Gamble was in fairly decent shape in terms of chips, pocket nines ended up being a hand he couldn't resist. Danny98765 four-bet shoved with A♣Q♣ and Shane Gamble called. After watching the flop fall a safe 7♦5♥4♣, Danny98765 spiked the Q♥ on the turn to eliminate Shane Gamble in ninth place. Shane Gamble pocketed $10,943 for his efforts while Danny98765 moved up to 25.2 million in chips.

AMELPADRINO doubles, smokey3511 snuffed out

With 12.5 big blinds to start the hand and A♥Q♠ in the hole, AMELPADRINO got his money in on a Q♦5♠4♠7♣ board and Danny98765 called, his K♠Q♥ outkicked. The cooler left Danny98765 with the 18.1 million he began the final table with while AMELPADRINO doubled to 10.8 million.

Meanwhile, short stack smokey3511 blinded all the way down to 320,000 and ended up all-in for less than the big blind with A♥2♦. Karger222 and yurabond each attempted to isolate smokey3511 but instead went three ways to a A♦K♠Q♣ flop. Karger222 shoved yurabond off the hand, turning up top two pair with A♣K♣ to eliminate smokey3511 in eighth place.

Danny98765 KOs two

Moments later, sunseeker picked up pocket sixes and open-shoved for 3.87 million on the button, only to have Danny98765 reshove for 19.7 million from the small blind with J♣J♦. Danny98765's jacks held and sunseeker exited in seventh place with a $30,358 score.

No sooner did sunseeker's avatar disappear did AMELPADRINO broach the subject of a deal. Both tulipaner and Danny98765 agreed to pause the action but before the rest of the table could weigh in, untouchble10 limp/three-bet all-in with K♣T♥ from the small blind and Danny98765 called with A♦K♠ from the big. Danny98765's dominating hand held and untouchble10 departed in sixth place, earning $43,772.

Big Deal

A few hands later, the final five agreed to discuss a potential deal. When the chip count chop numbers were presented, everyone was ready to agree except short stack yurabond, who wanted his $82,610.72 share increased to $85,000. Danny98765 said he was willing to give him an additional $1,000 to close the gap if others were willing to do the same. Tulipaner and Karger222 quickly agreed to the plan, the trio ending up sacrificing $800 apiece. The numbers were recalculated to reflect this change, and with $20,000 still left in play for the winner, all five agreed to the following deal.

Danny98765: $199,504.25 (33,086,642 in chips, 61.1 BB)
tulipaner: $115,841.91 (13,648,882 in chips, 27.3 BB)
Karger222: $102,993.24 (10,663,672 in chips, 21.3 BB)
AMELPADRINO: $89,991.04 (7,457,758 in chips, 14.9 BB)
yurabond: $85,000.00 (5,743,046 in chips, 11.5 BB)

yurabond hits the slot machine, Karger222 scoops three-way all-in

Yurabond's last ten big blinds went in the middle only a few hands later with 7♦7♥. Tulipaner answered with K♠J♦, but yurabond hit middle set when the flop fell J♣7♣5♥, doubling to 10.2 million. That left AMELPADRINO as the short stack. Facing the 500,000 big blind on the next hand, AMELPADRINO open-shoved for 2.7 million from UTG with K♠9♥ and Karger222 flat-called with Q♣Q♠, only to have tulipaner shove for 10.1 million from the big blind. Karger222 called the additional 7.4 million, tulipaner revealing A♠K♦. It was all but over for both all-in players on the flop, Karger222 hitting top set as it came down Q♥7♠4♦. Karger222 boated up on the river for good measure, sending AMELPADRINO to the rail in fifth place ($89,991.04), while tulipaner finished fourth ($115,841.91).

Karger222 and yurabond move into contention

Now holding 23.5 million to Danny98765's 37.8 million, Karger222 was officially a contender while yurabond was still lurking with 9.2 million. Only four hands after Karger222's double-KO, yurabond picked up A♦Q♣ and four-bet shoved over Danny98765's 3,000,000 three-bet. Danny98765 called with K♠T♠ and yurabond doubled up when the board ran out eight-high. Now all three were clustered fairly close together: Danny98765 with 28.6 million, Karger222 with 22.9 million and yurabond with 19 million.

Karger222's gamble pays off for yurabond

More closely aligned chip counts gave way to a spate of small-pot poker, Danny98765 picking up about 5 million in chips and yurabond snagging more than 3 million, all at Karger222's expense. Down to 14.6 million and perhaps a bit frustrated. Karger222 saw Danny98765 min-raise yet another button and decided to min-three bet to 1.8 million from the small blind with K♣3♠. Yurabond, however, looked down at pocket nines in the big blind and shoved for 22.6 million. Karger222 called off his remaining 12.8 million, but did not improve on the J♣T♠4♠7♦5♦ board. For third place, Karger222 took home $102,993.24.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 3: yurabond (38,712,783 in chips)
Seat 9: Danny98765 (31,887,217 in chips)

Down to 11 big blinds when the five-handed deal was made, yurabond was suddenly heads-up with the chip lead for the $20,000 left in play. Whatever the result of this match it would be a rare feat; either yurabond's first-place haul would be $94,500 less than Danny98765's runner-up score, or Danny98765 would win $7,700 more than the published first-place prize of $211,800.

Yurabond was quick to make a big move, five-bet shoving with K♦Q♣. Danny98765 looked him up with A♠J♥ and flopped top two pair to double to 55 million. Yurabond was left with 15.6 million, but slammed on the gas in response, winning 13 straight hands to move back up to 40.3 million. Danny98765 remained patient and broke the streak with this hand, crippling yurabond:

Danny98765 finished off yurabond three hands later. Left with only 3.46 million, yurabond open-shoved with 3♠4♠ and Danny98765 snap-called with 5♣5♦. The K♠9♥8♥K♥7♦ board brought no help for yurabond and Danny98765 at last had every chip in front of him.

Hats off to Dan "Danny98765" Smith on adding yet another major title to his poker C.V. and $219,504.25 to his bankroll. For his runner-up finish, yurabond earned $85,000.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 10-21-2012

Players: 7,060
Prizepool: $1,412,000
Places paid: 1,080

1. Dan "Danny98765" Smith (Canada) $219,504.25*
2. yurabond (Russia) $85,000.00*
3. Karger222 (Denmark) $102,993.24*
4. tulipaner (Netherlands) $115,841.91*
5. AMELPADRINO (Argentina) $89,991.04*
6. untouchble10 (Moldova) $43,772.00
7. sunseeker (Germany) $30,358.00
8. smokey3511 (Belgium) $16,944.00
9. Shane Gamble (Malta) $10,943.00

*= reflects the results of a five-way deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million