Sunday Million II: Joao M. wins one for Brazil, banks $147k

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGThe long Sunday grind often leaves us seeing double, only today it was no mere mirage. Double Vision Sunday was back, each of the Sunday Majors running twice to give players double the chance at a life-changing score. Cards went in the air for the Sunday Million II 30 minutes after the first one began and it found its champion eleven hours later, Brazil's Joao M. taking the top prize following a six-way deal.

5,957 players agreed that two Sunday Millions were better than one, creating a $1,191,400 prize pool. 855 spots were paid with first place set to earn $184,669.79. More than two dozen Red Spades were in the mix for this one and seven finished in the money: Fatima De Melo (617th), Ana Marquez (497th), Liv Boeree (336th), Bryan Huang (292nd), Martin Staszko (128th), Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas (127th), and Dag Palovic (76th).

Blinds were up to 125,000/250,000 on the final table bubble and kpoidoki068 was down to his last 580,000 in chips. He moved in from the button with 7♥T♥ and Joao M. isolated him with a 1.25 million raise with A♦K♥ in the small blind. Although kpoidoki068 picked up a straight draw on the flop he didn't find any of his outs, Joao M. rivering a king to make top pair and send us to the final table.

Sunday Million FT 11-4-12.jpg

Final table chip counts

Seat 1: Code Red 666 (5,406,728 in chips)
Seat 2: ciulbuonelis (3,661,169 in chips)
Seat 3: Versace777 (6,007,286 in chips)
Seat 4: guth888 (5,014,126 in chips)
Seat 5: hkbben (7,674,337 in chips)
Seat 6: Joao M. (13,320,997 in chips)
Seat 7: Racus (2,690,816 in chips)
Seat 8: wesko78 (13,034,895 in chips)
Seat 9: RichieRichZH (2,759,646 in chips)

Short stacks clash

Both Racus and RichieRichZH arrived at the final table with little more than ten big blinds apiece and got involved in short order, Racus opening for 750,000 with A♣6♦ and RichieRichZH three-bet shoving for 2.7 million with 3♠3♦ in the big blind. Racus called and hit aces up on the A♦8♣6♥ flop to double to 4.75 million. RichieRichZN was left on less than four big blinds and although he managed to double through guth888 when his A♦2♣ rivered an ace against pocket sixes, he went out two hands later. RichieRichZN had Code Red 666 dominated with A♦K♠ against A♥J♦, but Code Red 666 rivered a jack to send RichieRichZN to the rail in ninth place.

Five hands later, and the blinds up to 200,000/400,000, ciubuonelis open-shoved for his last 2 million and guth888 reshoved for 3.3 million from the small blind. Guth888's J♦J♠ handily beat 5♦9♣ when the board paired aces and threes, and ciubuonelis exited in eighth place, earning $14,892.50.

Only three hands passed before another player was at risk, Versace777 open-shoving for 5.37 million and Joao M. calling on the button. It was a classic A♣K♥ vs. Q♠Q♥ race that was all but over on the Q♦J♠6♠ flop as Joao M. made top set. He improved to a boat when the board paired jacks on the river and Versace777 was out in seventh place with $26,210.80 to show for his efforts.

Chop it like it's hot

As play turned six-handed, Joao M. and wesko78 controlled 65% of the chips in play between them with stacks of 20.9 million and 17.9 million respectively, while their four opponents held stacks between 3.06 million and 6.85 million (7.6 BB-17 BB). Everyone agreed to take a look at numbers for an ICM chop, but when the figures were presented, wesko78 refused the deal unless he got an additional $7,000. After a bit of negotiating, hkbben, guth888, and Code Red 666 agreed to give up enough money to satisfy wesko78, and with $20,000 still left in play for the winner, the six remaining players agreed to the following deal

HostJosephP (Administrator): wesko78:$126,468.36
HostJosephP (Administrator): guth888:$84,869.58
HostJosephP (Administrator): Code Red 666:$80,014.59
HostJosephP (Administrator): Racus:$74,096.13
HostJosephP (Administrator): hkbben:$60,563.10
HostJosephP (Administrator): Left To Play for place 1: $20,000.00

Guth888 gutted

Third-in-chips guth888 was the first to get his stack in the middle when action resumed, open-shoving for 6.77 million. Hkbben called all-in for 4 million from the cutoff, turning over A♥K♥ to guth888's 6♦7♦. Guth888 whiffed the flop and hkbben caught an ace on the river to double to 9.1 million. Left with 2.7 million, guth888 picked up A♠J♥ on the next deal and shoved from UTG, but ran into Racus' A♥K♦. Racus' hand held up and he doubled to 6.3 million while guth888 was crippled to little more than one 50k ante. He was all-in from the big blind with 2♦4♠ on the next hand, but couldn't pull out a miracle, his 2♦4♠ falling to Joao M.'s K♠Q♦. Guth888 was eliminated in sixth place, but still took home the third-largest share of the prize pool, his haul totaling $84,869.58.

Thirty hands, three eliminations

The next three eliminations happened in quick succession. Code Red 666 was next to get his chips in, picking up J♥J♣ seven hands after guth888's exit and three-bet shoving for 4.86 million. Wesko78 called with A♦Q♦ and hit a queen on the flop to end Code Red 666's run in fifth place. Racus was the next to take a stand, three-bet shoving his last 1.8 million with K♥8♣. Wesko78 cold four-bet to 2.75 million with A♦T♣ and original raiser Joao M. folded. Racus' king-high did not improve, the board running out 7♦6♥4♥Q♥2♦ to send him home in fourth place.

Although hkbben doubled to 9.9 million when his pocket sevens held against wesko78's Q♥T♥, he didn't end up hanging on much longer. Hkbben opened for a min-raise to 1.2 million from UTG, wesko78 three-bet to 2.7 million, and hkbben came back over the top for his remaining 8.7 million. Wesko78 called, his K♥J♠ trailing hkbben's Q♦Q♠. Hkbben's queens were good on the J♦T♦2♦ flop, picking up a flush draw to go with the overpair. The 7♥ on the turn was harmless, but wesko78 spiked the K♣ on the river to make two pair, snapping of hkbben. The shortest stack when the six-way chop was made, hkbben clawed his way to third place but unfortunately didn't pick up any additional cash to show for it, his share of the deal totaling $60,653,10.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 6: Joao M. (29,758,779 in chips)
Seat 8: wesko78 (29,811,221 in chips)

Joao M. and wesko78 were virtually tied to start heads-up play... but not for long. A 14.5 million pot unfolded on the first hand of their match, Joao M. opening for a min-raise to 1.2 million preflop. Wesko78 called, then check-raised to 2.4 million on the J♥5♠4♠ flop. Joao M. called the additional 1.2 million and they went to the turn. It was the K♥ and wesko78 led out for 3.6 million. Joao M. raised to 7.8 million and wesko78 gave up his hand, the 14.5 milllion pot and the chip lead headed across the table.

Four hands later, Joao M. picked up a 12.1 million pot when he shoved over wesko78's 3.6 million lead bet on a K♦6♠4♠ flop. Joao M. moved up to 45.8 million, while wesko78 was left with 13.7 million.

Joao M. whittled wesko78 down to 10 million before the deciding hand unfolded. And what better way to win the Sunday Million than by flopping trips and rivering quads, as Joao M. did with his J♥8♣ against wekso78's A♣J♠:

The chat box flooded with "VAMOOOOOOOS" for Joao M. as he shipped his first Sunday Million title along with $147,233.14. For his runner-up finish, wesko78 banked $126,468.36.

PokerStars Sunday Million II (Double Vision Sunday) results for 11/4/2012

Players: 5,957
Prizepool: $1,191,400
Places paid: 855

1. Joao M. (Brazil) $147,233.14*
2. wesko78 (Ireland) $126,468.36*
3. hkbben (Australia) $60,563.10*
4. Racus (Netherlands) $74,096.13*
5. Code Red 666 (Canada) $80,014.59*
6. guth888 (Germany) $84,869.58*
7. Versace777 (Germany) $26,210.80
8. ciulbuonelis (Lithuania) $14,892.50
9. RichieRichZH (Switzerland) $9,292,92

*= reflects the results of a six-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