Sunday Million: nebo_blizko blitzes final table, scores $184k

Sunday Million logo NEW.PNGFor a lot of us, tomorrow brings the dawn of a new school year. For others, it's the last "normal" Sunday grind for at least a month, the WCOOP poised to take over our minds and monitors in one week's time. Amidst these lazy last days of summer, this week's Million drew 6,397 players to the felt, taking the prize pool up to $1,279,400. 990 players earned a share of it, with first place set to take home $194,600.79.

More than two dozen members of Team Pro and Team Online got in on the action including Jason Mercier, Humberto Brenes, Andre Akkari, Sandra Naujoks, Liv Boeree, Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen, and Vicky Coren. A quartet of Red Spades finished in the money-- Shane "shaniac" Schleger (718th), Christophe De Muelder (472nd), Jude Ainsworth (192nd), and Richard "Tzen1" Veenman, who made a deep run, finishing on the final two tables.

Down to 1.8 million with the blinds up to 80,000/160,000, Veenman moved all-in with J♠8♣ when the action folded to him on the button. Unfortunately for the Dutchman, kyri 888 found A♥T♠ in the big blind. An ace hit the flop leaving Veenman to settle for a 15th-place finish and $5,473.48 in prize money.


Richard "Tzen1" Veenman, 15th place

As the field dropped to ten, a number of short stacks played chicken with the blinds, now up to 100,000/200,000. Wale44 was one of them, and after hitting top pair, top kicker on a J♦6♦2♠ flop, he led out for 481,000 into big stacks nebo_blizko and Elina2008. Nebo_blizko got out of the way, Elina2008 raised to 2,000,000, and the rest of wale44's money sailed into the middle. Elina2008's pocket sevens were in terrible shape against wale44's A♠J♥, but a seven from heaven fell on the river, making Elina2008 a set. Wale44's tournament painfully ended via a two-outer, and on the final table bubble no less.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: flacoalan (6,559,331 in chips)
Seat 2: nebo_blizko (10,901,093 in chips)
Seat 3: loke13 (2,895,398 in chips)
Seat 4: Elina2008 (23,591,053 in chips)
Seat 5: stanman420 (1,466,554 in chips)
Seat 6: mrlogik (5,689,242 in chips)
Seat 7: Manezeza (2,359,138 in chips)
Seat 8: ChaseTh3Ace (9,249,971 in chips)
Seat 9: 5902838181 (1,258,220 in chips)

Short stacks-1, big stacks-4

The remaining short stacks exited in rapid fashion. First to fall was 5902838181, who staked the last of his chips on pocket nines. ChaseTh3Ace looked him up with K♠J♥. It was all over on the A♥T♥Q♠ flop as ChaseThe3Ace hit the nut straight, sending 5902838181 home in ninth place ($9,915.35). Six hands later, loke13 open-shoved for his remaining 2.37 million with K♥J♥ and Elina2008 called with pocket sixes. This time, the king-jack wasn't as fortunate, the sixes holding up on a ten-high board to eliminate loke13 in eighth place ($15,352.80).

Only four hands passed before ChaseTh3Ace opened for a min-raise to 500,000 and stanman420 three-bet shoved for 1.4 million holding A♦8♥. ChaseTh3Ace quickly called with T♠T♥, the pair holding up on the 8♣4♥3♣K♥4♦ board. Stanman420 was out in seventh place, earning $28,146.80.

One orbit later, Manezeza moved in for his last five big blinds from under-the-gun and Elina2008 called from the small blind. Manezeza's K♦Q♠ did not improve against A♣Q♣, ending his run in sixth place ($40.940.80)

With the short stacks 0-4 against the big stacks, mrlogik looked down at 8♠8♦ and decided to make his move, three-bet shoving for 4.88 million from the small blind over Elina2008's button limp. Still the chip leader with nearly 24 million, Elina2008 called with A♣9♥, but lost the race as mrlogik doubled to 10.2 million.

nebo_blizko takes the chip lead

Despite doubling up mrlogik, Elina2008 retained the chip lead while nebo_blizko held the second spot with 14.8 million. All that changed, however, when nebo_blizko caught a miracle river card and extracted some serious value from Elina2008:

Down to 17 million in chips vs. nebo_blizko's 24.1 million, Elina2008 attempted to bluff-raise nebo_blizko off a hand. With the board reading 2♣4♠7♦9♣ on the turn, nebo_blizko led out for 1.34 million, having turned top pair with 5♠9♠. Elina2008 raised to 4.2 million and nebo_blizko called. Nebo_blizko checked-called another 4.2 million when the A♠ hit the river, only to have Elina2008 turn over an unimproved K♠J♥. Nebo_blizko raked in the 20 million pot, taking his stack up to 34.4 million. Elina2008 was left with 7.2 million.

Elina2008 eliminates mrlogik, ChaseTh3Ace hunts down flacoalan

Elina2008 got a few chips back when he took out mrlogik, who open-shoved for 3.3 million with 8♥8♠. Elina2008 called with A♣7♠ in the big blind. Mrlogik couldn't go two in a row with pocket eights as seven hit the flop and an ace came on the river to send him home in fifth place ($53,734.80).

ChaseTh3Ace hung on to play another hand, doubling to 14.2 million when his A♠T♠ flopped top pair against nebo_blizko's K♣Q♠. Nebo_blizko, however, quickly recovered those lost chips when flacoalan moved in for 4.27 million on the button. Nebo_blizko found A♦9♣ in the big blind and called, flacoalan turning over Q♥5♦. Nebo_blizko flopped a nine and flacoalan didn't improve, his Sunday Million run ending in fourth place ($70,367.00).

ChaseTh3Ace nabs Elina2008

Four hands after ChaseTh3Ace took out flacoalan, he called Elina2008's small-blind min-raise with K♥9♣. The flop was a juicy A♣K♣9♥, making two pair for ChaseTh3Ace and top pair for Elina2008's A♦T♥. Elina2008 check-raised all-in and ChaseTh3Ace called, turning the 9♠ to make nines full of kings. Onetime chip leader Elina2008 was out in third place, a $102,352.00 score going a long way to soothe any disappointment

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 2: nebo_blizko (43,257,159 in chips)
Seat 8: ChaseTh3Ace (20,712,841 in chips)

ChaseTh3Ace and nebo_blizko immediately agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. They agreed to a chip-chop deal that guaranteed $164,407.03 for nebo_blizko and $154,126.26 for ChaseTh3Ace, with the remaining $20,000 left in play for the winner.

Action resumed, nebo_blizko picking up a 7.3 million pot on the second hand of heads-up play when he called down ChaseTh3Ace's ace-high river bluff with third pair. Up to 49.2 million in chips vs. ChaseTh3Ace's 14.6 million, nebo_blizko picked up pocket kings at a most opportune time, just as a frustrated ChaseTh3Ace four-bet shoved preflop with J♣7♣. Although ChaseTh3Ace flopped top pair, he couldn't crack those cowboys:

Congratulations to nebo_blizko on scoring $184,407.03 and bringing home a Sunday Million title to the Ukraine. For his runner-up finish, ChaseTh3Ace earned $154,126.26

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 8/26/2012:

Entrants: 6,397
Prizepool: $1,279,400.00
Places paid: 990

1. nebo_blizko (Ukraine) $184,407.03*
2. ChaseThe3Ace (United Kingdom) $154,126.26*
3. Elina2008 (Sweden) $102,352.00
4. flacoalan (Argentina) $70,367.00
5. mrlogik (Latvia) $53,734.80
6. Manezeza (Brazil) $40,940.80
7. stanman420 (Costa Rica) $28,146.80
8. loke13 (Denmark) $15,352.80
9. 5902838181 (Denmark) $9,915.35

*= reflects the result of a heads-up deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million