Sunday Million: JopperHarryN goes from short stack to champion

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGFifteen big blinds. It's enough to make an opponent think twice when you three-bet shove, enough to keep you out of total danger. But should that re-shove run afoul of the poker gods or into a monster hand, well, game over. That's the situation JopperHarryN faced as he made the final table of the Sunday Million. He wasn't down to one move yet, but without gaining traction early, that's exactly where he'd wind up, and in short order. Luckily for the Dutchman, that first all-in did work out in his favor and propelled him on a blazing run to his first Sunday Million title and a $165k payday.

A 6,377-strong turnout pushed this week's prizepool up to $1,275,400. 990 spots were paid, with $193,992.39 set aside for first place. A baker's dozen of Red Spades were in the mix, including Vanessa Rousso, George Danzer, Shane "shaniac" Schleger, Christian "el grillo" De Leon and Anders "Donald" Berg. Two of them made the money, Jan Heitmann and Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman, who busted out in 587th and 559th places respectively.

Ten players remained after ten hours of play. After losing a critical coinflip to $trateGema when his A-Q did not improve against pocket fives, geelo79 was left with a scant 744,000 on the final table bubble with the blinds up to 100,000/200,000. Following a UTG min-raise from eamonn2009, geelo79 shoved with K♥T♣ and was called by the very hand that vexed him earlier-- A♦Q♠. Eamonn2009 hit an ace on the flop and another on the river, ending geelo79's run and setting the final table.

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Final table chip counts:

Seat 1: JopperHarryN (3,103,032 in chips)
Seat 2: Garnerus (6,473,400 in chips)
Seat 3: horserat (3,494,379 in chips)
Seat 4: NickGoff79 (11,157,664 in chips)
Seat 5: KKcrawlerKK (2,130,253 in chips)
Seat 6: Luanto 14 (6,940,647 in chips)
Seat 7: $trateGema (8,872,699 in chips)
Seat 8: eamonn2009 (7,471,035 in chips)
Seat 9: gigibaston (14,126,891 in chips)

Cruel cooler

Luanto 14 was hardly the player we expected to be the first casualty of this final table. In the early going, he chipped up to 8.46 million before finding A♣J♥ and opening for a min-raise to 400,000. Gigibaston three-bet to 1,080,000 from the big bilnd and Luanto 14 called. Both players checked the A♠7♣3♦ flop. Gigibaston led out for 1.4 million when the A♦ hit the turn and Luanta 14 smooth-called with his trips. However, when the river fell the 9♥, gigbaston shoved for 11.9 million and Luanto 14 quickly called, only to watch his opponent roll over A♥9♦ for the rivered boat. Luanta 14 was suddenly on the rail in ninth place, taking home $9,884.35.

NickGoff79 dominates eamonn2009, KKcrawlerKK has aces cracked

JopperHarryN's tournament could have easily ended with an eighth-place finish, but the coin landed on his side when his pocket jacks held against eamonn2009's A♦K♠, doubling him up to 7.2 million. However, JopperHarryN's stint in the middle of the pack lasted only a few hands before he lost those newfound chips to horserat, who flopped a set of eights against JopperHarryN's A♠K♠.

Next to pull the trigger was eamonn2009, who three-bet shoved 2.77 million with A♥8♠. NickGoff79 called with A♣Q♠ and paired his queen on the turn, sending eamonn2009 to the rail with $15,304.80 for eighth place.

Eamonn2009's exit left KKcrawlerKK as the table short stack. With only 1.14 million remaining at 125,000/250,000 blinds, KKcrawlerKK found A♥A♦ at a most crucial time and three-bet shoved. Garnerus looked him up with A♠7♠. Garnerus hit an open-ended straight draw when the flop fell 9♥8♦6♦ and although the 3♠ on the turn left KKcrawlerKK still in the lead, Garnerus completed it with the T♦ on the river. With aces cracked, KKcrawlerKK departed in seventh place.

JopperHarryN KOs three

As the short stacks fell, gigibaston continued growing his chip lead, moving up to 25 million after his pocket tens held up against NickGoff79's pocket threes in a 5.2 million pot. JopperHarryN also bobbed and weaved his way back up to 7.4 million in chips before he picked up A♦K♣ and made a standard min-raise to 500,000. Garnerus shoved for 5.89 million from the small bind and JopperHarryN quickly called. Garnerus showed 9♦7♦, but it was all but over for him when the flop came down K♠Q♠6♥. The turn and river were only overkill, the K♦ and K♥ falling to make quads for JopperHarryN, while Garnerus hit the rail in sixth place.

JopperHarryN was now second in chips with 14.9 million, behind only gigbaston's 27.3 million. With the blinds up to 300,000/600,000, $trateGema three-bet shoved for 4.6 million from the small blind and JopperHarryN called with A♠Q♣. $trateGema's A♣8♦ did not improve, his run ending in fifth place as JopperHarryN scored his second KO.

Barely four minutes passed before JopperHarryO struck again. Dealt J♠7♠, he opened for 600,000 on the button and horserat called from the small blind. Horserat check-raised all-in for 4.2 million on the T♦7♣3♦ flop and JopperHarryO called with middle pair. Horserat led with Q♣T♥ for top pair, but JopperHarryN hit a miracle J♥ on the river to make jacks up and eliminate horserat in fourth place.

Three-way deal struck, gigibaston eliminates NickGoff79

The final three quickly agreed to pause the action and look at numbers for a potential deal. Gigibaston held a slim chip lead with 27.9 million to JopperHarryN's 24.6 million, while NickGoff79 was the short stack with 11.2 million. When the chip count chop figures were presented, JopperHarryN made it clear that he'd agree to no other deal. Both gigibaston and NickGoff79 relented, and action resumed with $20,000 still in play for the winner.

After only a few orbits of three-handed play, NickGoff79 and gigibaston went to a J♣T♦T♥ flop for 600,000 apiece. NickGoff79 led out for 600,000, gigibaston raised to 1,665,000, and NickGoff79 called. The rest of their chips went in on the 9♦ turn, NickGoff79 check-raising all-in for 11.6 million. Gigibaston called off the rest of his stack, turning up 7♣8♦ for a jack-high straight. NickGoff79 was live with Q♠T♣ for trip tens and a higher straight draw, but the river blanked with the 3♣, sending NickGoff79 home in third place. NickGoff79 earned $121,951.67 thanks to the three-way deal.

Heads-up chip counts:

Seat 1: JopperHarryN (23,416,795 in chips)
Seat 9: gigibaston (40,353,205 in chips)

Gigibaston struck first, hitting middle pair in a three-bet pot when the flop fell K♥9♥4♦. JopperHarryN led out for 1,267,200 and gigbaston called with 6♠9♠. Both players checked the 3♣ on the turn. The 6♦ on the river made gigibaston two pair, and JopperHarryN paid off gigibaston's 5.25 million value bet, leaving himself only 14 million behind. However, he made a chunk of it back when his A♣T♣ flopped top pair on a T♠7♦4♣5♥6♦ board. JopperHarryN got two streets of value from gigibaston's K♦T♦ before both players checked the river.

JopperHarryN's offensive intensified, first five-bet shoving gigbaston out of an 8 million-chip pot. A few hands later, gigibaston three-bet JopperHarryN's opening min-raise to 2.5 million and JopperHarryN called. Gigibaston led out for 2,335,000 on the Q♥Q♠9♥ flop, but a raise to 6.75 million from JopperHarryN was enough to chase him away. With that pot, JopperHarryN moved up to 29.1 million while gigibaston hung on to a slim chip lead with 34.6 million.

JopperHarryN briefly took the chip lead but gigibaston quickly wrested it back, moving up to 38 million in chips. JopperHarryN, would have his revenge, however, in this 31 million pot where he flopped top pair and kept improving from there:

JopperHarryN whittled gigbaston down to 13 million before gigibaston got his own miracle on the river. After getting his chips in with Q♦J♦ against JopperHarryN's A♦2♥, gigibaston rivered a jack to double up to 27 million. But just as their already-long slog was about to begin another act, it was all decided in one massive pot.

All the money went in preflop, JopperHarryN four-bet shoving for 38.1 million with A♣5♦. Gigibaston called with A♥Q♥. JopperHarryN was dominated and the T♠8♥6♦ did nothing for him. But the turn sure helped, the 5♣ falling to pair his kicker. Gigibaston needed a queen to survive but instead got the A♦, JopperHarryN's comeback coming to a spectacular conclusion.

Congratulations to JopperHarryN on his Sunday Million victory. He took home $165,811.40 for the win while gigibaston earned $151,743.82 for his runner-up finish.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 10-7-2012

Players: 6,377
Prizepool: $1,275,400
Places paid: 990

1. JopperHaryN (Netherlands) $165,811.40*
2. gigibaston (Romania) $151,743.82*
3. NickGoff79 (United Kingdom) $121,951.67*
4. horserat (Costa Rica) $70,147.00
5. $trateGema (Germany) $53,566.80
6. Garnerus (United Kingdom) $40,812.80
7. KKcrawlerKK (Bolivia) $28,058.80
8. eamonn2009 (United Kingdom) $15,304.80
9. Luanto 14 (Germany) $9,884.35

*= reflects the results of a three-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