Neeeeek nicks Stammdogg for Sunday Million title

Tonight, three formidable forces in the PokerStars universe clawed their way back to the Sunday Million final table. Ten months ago, Austria's Gambler4444 won the Million, banking $159,000 on July 1 of last year, Tobias "PokerNoob999" Reinkemeier captured his Sunday Million crown in May 2011, and Kevin "Stammdogg" Stammen made the final table twice in a month back in November 2008. Stammen is also a two-time Super Tuesday champ, took third place in the 10th Anniversary High Roller tournament for nearly $220k, and won a WSOP bracelet in 2009. While Gambler4444 arrived short-stacked to this final table and made an early exit, Stammdogg ascended to the chip lead and got heads-up with Poland's Neeeeek for the title. However, a crushing river card in the tournament's most crucial pot sent him reeling and made way for Neeeeek to emerge as our newest Sunday Million champion.

This week's Million drew 7,274 players to the felt, the prize pool topping out at $1,454,800. 1,080 places were paid with first place set to earn $218,224.92. Among the 17 Red Spades in the field were Team Pros Chad Brown, Johnny Lodden, Lex Veldhuis, Vanessa Selbst, Jake Cody, Joe Cada, and Victor Ramdin. Only Brazil's Andre Akkari finished in the money, bowing out in 374th place.

Blinds were up to 100,000/200,000 with ten players remaining. Dealt A♣K♦ in the small blind, pokerdan1234 three-bet shoved for his last 2.57 million and initial raiser Neeeeek called with pocket jacks, having him well-covered. Pokerdan1234 didn't find an ace or a king on the Q♣9♥6♥2♥4♥ board and went out on the final table bubble as Neeeeek's stack passed the 14 million mark.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: cookedoh (1,089,372 in chips)
Seat 2: ozzieowen (8,889,043 in chips)
Seat 3: Stammdogg (14,847,862 in chips)
Seat 4: Gambler4444 (2,076,129 in chips)
Seat 5: EirikS (7,739,342 in chips)
Seat 6: PokerNoob999 (7,062,196 in chips)
Seat 7: Neeeeek (14,206,075 in chips)
Seat 8: Bequipe (5,593,093 in chips)
Seat 9: IA TUTA (11,236,888 in chips)

cookedoh crumbles, Gambler4444 goes bust

Arriving at the final table with less than six big blinds, cookedoh had only one move left. With 420,000 remaining and the blinds up to 125,000/250,000, cookedoh open-shoved from the button and ozzieowen three-bet to 800,000 from the small blind to isolate. Unforuntatley, cookedoh's K♥9♣ was dominated by K♣J♣, and unable to improve, he exited in ninth place with a $11,274.70 payday.

Gambler4444 was also dangerously low in chips, holding only 1.35 million. He staved off elmination by doubling through IA TUTA, his A♠T♦ holding up vs. K♥9♣. However, the reprieve lasted little more than an orbit. With the action folded to Stammdogg in the small blind, he opened for an over-raise to 6 million and Gambler4444 called all-in for 2.88 million from the big blind. Gambler4444 held the preflop lead with A♠T♦ up against Q♣9♥, but Stammdogg hit a queen on the flop and a nine on the turn to end Gambler4444's run in eighth place ($17,457.60).

PokerNoob999 mounts a comeback

On the very next deal, ozzieowen picked up steam when his A♠K♦ flopped Broadway. PokerNoob999 paid him off on three streets in the 11.2 million pot and saw his stack reduced by more than half, falling from 9.2 million to 4.4 million. Even worse, PokerNoob999 picked up K♥J♣ and three-bet all-in for his last 14.5 big blinds only to run into EirkiS's pocket queens. Unable to improve, PokerNoob999 was left on less than half a million in chips with the blinds up to 150,000/300,000.

PokerNoob999 was an overwhelming favorite to go out next, but instead doubled up three times in a row to get back to a workable stack. First, his K♦7♠ hit a pair of sevens on the flop vs. IA TUTA's 3♥5♦, followed by Q♥J♥ turning a flush against ozzieowen's 9♦T♠. Finally, PokerNoob999 found pocket jacks UTG and open-shoved for 2.51 million. Bequipe called from middle position with A♥T♠. PokerNoob999 added an open-ended straight draw to his pair of jacks on the K♥Q♣T♠ flop and made Broadway on the A♣ turn to double to 5.7 million.

Now Bequipe was the one in dire shape. Dealt J♥6♦, he moved all-in for his remaining 672,000 only to run into Stammdogg's K♥K♦. Bequipe didn't find a miracle on the 8♦5♣3♣7♥A♣ board and went out in seventh place, earning $31,278.20.

Two hands later, Neeeeek reduced the field to five when the turn card that made IA TUTA two pair gave him a set of queens. For sixth place, IA TUTA banked $45,098.80:

EirikS slips, Stammdogg cracks kings

IA TUTA's elimination put Neeeeek in the chip lead with 26.2 million, Stammdogg right on his heels with 23.4 million. Ozzieowen held 24 big blinds with 9.5 million while EirikS and PokerNoob999 were the short stacks with about 5.5 million apiece. EirikS put his tournament at risk when he three-bet shoved with A♦9♣ and Stammdogg called with 7♥7♣, but EirikS hit a nine on the flop and doubled to 11.8 million.

PokerNoob999 stuck to playing smaller pots, but managed to chip up to 18 million over the next level, thanks in large part to an 8 million pot where he made queens full vs. EirikS. However, PokerNoob999's upswing came to a screeching halt in a most unlucky spot. All-in preflop with K♥K♣ against Stammdogg's A♠J♥, PokerNoob999's pocket kings were snapped off when the flop fell. A♥8♥7♠. Stammdogg doubled to 28 million and PokerNoob999 was left with only 4.5 million. A few hands later, PokerNoob999 moved in for his last 4 million with K♥7♠, but Stammdogg had him dominated with K♣J♦. Stammdogg made Broadway on the river and PokerNoob999 hit the rail in fifth place, earning $59,646.80 for his efforts.

Stammdogg sinks EirikS, ozzieowen out in third

On the very next deal, the action folded to Stammdogg in the small blind and he moved in for 26.2 million. EirikS called off his remaining 3.45 million with Q♥2♥ in the big blind and was in horrible shape vs. Stammdogg's Q♦3♠. Neither player improved by the turn, but EirikS spiked a deuce on the river to double to 8.35 million. EirikS made it through a few more orbits, but ended his run on a cooler, his A♦K♦ falling to Neeeeek's K♠K♥ in a preflop all-in. For his fourth-place finish, EirikS banked $77,104.40.

The next hand saw ozzieowen pick up A♣8♦ and three-bet shove for his last 10 million from the big blind. Initial raiser Stammdogg called with 6♥6♠, his pair improving to fours full on the 4♣2♥4♦4♥J♣ board. That was all she wrote for ozzieowen, who collected a hefty $116,384.00 for third place.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 3: Stammdogg (34,213,640 in chips)
Seat 7: Neeeeek (38,526,360 in chips)

Their chip counts less than 4 million apart, Stammdogg and Neeeeek immediately agreed to pause the action and discuss a deal. They quickly came to an agreement to more or less split the remaining prize pool, leaving the required $20,000 in play for the winner. With Neeeeek guaranteed at least $180,000 and Stammdogg $178,791.19, a deal was made and cards went back in the air.

Stammdogg struck first, seeing through Neeeeek's check-raise bluff on the flop to rake in this 14.5 million pot:

Stammdogg took a 40.8 million to 31.9 million lead with that hand and widened the gap even further when he three-bet Neeeeek off a K♦7♠7♣ flop. Down to 23.1 million, Neeeeek ground back about 5 million of those lost chips, before winning the pot of the tournament. Holding J♥T♦, Neeeeek opened for a min-raise to 1.6 million. Stammdogg three-bet to 4 million with 9♦9♣ and Neeeeek called. Both players hit the T♣9♠7♥ flop, Stammdogg making a set of nines while Neeeeek flopped top pair and a gutshot straight draw. All the money went in on the flop--Stammdogg led out for 3.6 million, Neeeeek raised to 7.2 million, Stammdogg three-bet to 12 million and Neeeeek shoved for 24.3 million. Stammdogg called, his set more than a 4 to 1 favorite to win the pot... and the tournament. The turn blanked with the 2♥, making Stammdogg more than a 90% favorite, but victory was yanked away in an instant when the 8♦ hit the river, making Neeeeek's jack-high straight.

Stammdogg was left on 15.8 million but couldn't regain momentum. Two hands later, Neeeeek closed out the win, his Q♦9♦ rivering two pair against Stammdogg's unimproved K♥T♥:

Congrautlations to Neeeeek on his first Sunday Million title! He banked an even $200,000 for the win while runner-up Kevin "Stammdogg" Stammen earned $178,791.19 thanks to the heads-up deal.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 5/5/2013

Players: 7,274
Prizepool: $1,454,800
Places paid: 1,080

1. Neeeeek (Poland) $200,000.00*
2. Kevin "Stammdogg" Stammen (Canada) $178,791.19*
3. ozzieowen (United Kingdom) $116,384.00
4. EirikS (Norway) $77,104.40
5. Tobias "PokerNoob999" Reinkemeier (United Kingdom) $59,646.80
6. IA TUTA (Russia) $45,098.80
7. Bequipe (Finland) $31,278.20
8. Gambler4444 (Austria) $17,457.60
9. cookedoh (United Kingdom) $11,274.70

*= reflects the result of a heads-up 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