Runninggreat lives up to name, comes back to win Sunday Million after five-way chop

When the final table of this week's Sunday Million began some 10-and-a-half hours after the tourney's first hands were dealt, Canada's Runninggreat was well back with less than a quarter of the leader's stack. But Runninggreat ran great, perservering as others fell then earning a big knockout at four-handed to challenge for the lead before going on to take this week's tourney.

There was a five-handed deal prior to Runninggreat's triumph, which meant a lot of big scores with four of the five earning six figures and the fifth nearly doing so. Runninggreat ended up taking away $127,340.49 for the win, with honhanv (2nd) and yurasov1990 (3rd) each earning nearly $140K thanks to possessing the big stacks come deal-making time. Here's how it all happened.

There were 6,834 entrants this week in online poker's most popular weekly online tournament, thus creating a prize pool of $1,366,800 and again besting the event's $1 million guarantee.

It took a little over five hours for the money bubble burst. With 990 players left, Hell-Sharky, TheMulletMan, and datysho led all as the only players with stacks of more than 300,000.

Over the next hour-and-a-half the field was trimmed to less than 300, during which period yurasov1990 leaped ahead of everyone to build a stack of nearly 1.75 million at a time when the nearest competitor -- Heka13 -- had but 870,000 or so.

That stretch also saw a couple of Team PokerStars Pros hitting the rail after having made the money, as David "dwilliams" Williams (401st, $492.04) and Richard Toth (561st, $423.70) were both eliminated. George "Jorj95" Lind of Team Online also made the cash (852nd, $341.70).

yurasov1990 continued to lead as the field was further cut down to less than 100 and then down under 50, being the first player to 2, 3, 4, and 5 million. Along the way the last remaining Team PokerStars Pro, Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso, was knocked out in 225th for a $642.39 cash.

By the time the tournament was approaching the 10-hour mark and just 18 remained, both touchmynuts1 and honhanv had moved up to challenge yurasov1990 for the lead as they all hovered under the 10 million-chip mark.

It took about a half-hour more for nine more to fall, with Specpro_tect (18th), ConTroLRoBoT (17th), and KeyserMM (16th) earning $3,827.04 each, andre2698 (15th), AlbertoC (14th), and ram_siva1 (13th) taking away $5,740.56 apiece, and Marshall252 (12th), Omoschan90 (11th), and Bajoi1 (10th) each claiming $7,654.08 for not quite making the final table.

With honhanv out in front with more than 20 million, yurasov1990 still with a big stack as well, and Runninggreat sitting with less than 5 million, the final table was underway.


Seat 1: risomopeibol (Germany) -- 3,377,610
Seat 2: Runninggreat (Canada) -- 4,850,470
Seat 3: touchmynuts1 (Ukraine) -- 6,004,269
Seat 4: datysho (Moldova) -- 3,601,838
Seat 5: yurasov1990 (Belarus) -- 16,008,002
Seat 6: tzanosdim (Greece) -- 2,614,599
Seat 7: Desmoplakin (Czech Republic) -- 6,549,531
Seat 8: honhanv (Russia) -- 20,713,238
Seat 9: PolecatRider (Germany) -- 4,620,443

It took about a half-hour for the first final table elimination to come, with the blinds increasing to 200k/400k along the way.

After tzanosdim raised 2x to 800,000 from middle position, it folded around to touchmynuts1 in the big blind who shoved all in for 2,198,318 and tzanosdim called. touchmynuts1 had A♠K♥ and the preflop edge versus tzanosdim's A♥7♦, and touchmynuts1 continued to remain ahead after the A♣T♥6♥ flop and 6♠ turn. But the 7♥ fell on the river to give tzanosdim a second pair, and touchmynuts1 was out in ninth.

Alas for tzanosdim the good fortune would be short-lived. Soon the blinds moved up to 250k/500k, with tzanosdim open-raising all in for 2,274,720 from under the gun with A♣7♣ and getting a single caller in yurasov1990 waiting in the big blind with A♥T♣. The board ran out 2♠6♦4♠K♥9♥, and tzanosdim was eliminated in eighth.

Just four hands later, honhanv opened to 1 million from the button. It folded to risomopeibol who had already committed half a million chips from the big blind, and risomopeibol called all in with the 423,196 left behind. It was 9♦4♦ for risomopeibol and A♦8♦ for honhanv. The flop came A♠4♠8♥ to give risomopeibol one pair and honhanv two. The turn then brought the 8♣ to improve honhav to a full house and make the 2♣ river no matter, ending risomopeibol's run in seventh.

Just a few minutes after that one it was PolecatRider open-raising all in for 2,797,208 from the cutoff seat and yurasov1990 calling from the big blind. PolecatRider had K♦9♥ and was hoping the hand would hold versus yurasov1990's Q♥T♠. But the flop came 5♣4♦T♣ to pair yurasov1990, and after the 4♠ turn and 3♥ river PolecatRider was sent railward in sixth.

The remaining five battled onward for a little while longer, then all agreed to pause proceedings to discuss a possible deal. yurasov1990 was in front with about 21,755,930 million with honhanv close in second with 20,964,970. The other three were all bunched together with much shorter stacks with Runninggreat sitting with 9,777,529, Desmoplakin next with 8,338,895, and datysho fifth with 7,502,676.

Both "chip chop" and ICM figures were produced -- leaving $20,000 for which to play -- and perhaps unsurprisingly, the two chip leaders favored the "chip chip" figures (which gave them more) while the other three preferred what ICM guaranteed (which gave them more).

Discussion continued for a while, and at last the shorter stacks were able to persuade the leaders to go with the ICM figures. The deal having been struck, cards were soon back in the air.

Shortly after play resumed the blinds were 300k/600k when datysho raised to 1.2 million from the cutoff, then Desmoplakin reraised all in for more than 6 million from the small blind. It folded back to datysho who called with the 4,918,895 left behind, turning over A♦9♥ to Desmoplakin's Q♣T♣.

The community cards came A♣Q♥7♠, then 8♥, then 7♥, giving both players two pair but datysho's hand was best, knocking Desmoplakin out in fifth.

The final four played a couple of orbits, then came a hand in which honhanv min-raised to 1.2 million from the button, then Runninggreat reraise-shoved for more than 14 million from the small blind. datysho responded by calling all in for 11,223,142 from the big blind and honhanv stepped aside.

Runninggreat: T♣T♠
datysho: A♠J♦

daysho needed improvement, but the 2♦7♥8♥2♣K♦ brought none and they were down to three with Runninggreat having nudged ahead of honhanv and into the lead.

The final trio played into the next level where the blinds were 400k/800k. A hand then arose in which yurasov1990 raised all in for 10,455,930 from the small blind and honhanv quickly called from the big blind.

Both players had been dealt big aces, with honhanv's A♣K♠ ahead of yurasov1990's A♦J♠. The flop came 2♦5♠T♦, then the K♣ turn paired honhanv while giving yurasov1990 hopes to fill a gutshot to Broadway. But the river was the 3♠, and yurasov1990 was out in third.

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Winning that hand helped honhanv move into the chip lead to start heads-up play with 36,949,329 to Runninggreat's 31,390,671.

The pair played a half-dozen hands with Runninggreat winning a couple of medium-sized pots along the way to grab the lead and then extend it quickly, pushing up over 47 million while honhanv slipped back to just over 20 million.

That's when honhanv opened with a 2x button raise to 1.6 million and Runninggreat called. The flop came 8♣Q♣2♦ and Runninggreat checked. honhanv took the opening to bet 2.4 million, then Runninggreat check-raised to 5.9 million. honhanv responded with an all-in push for 18,909,329 and Runninggreat called.

honhanv had A♣6♣ for a flush draw while Runninggreat had top pair with Q♥T♣. The turn was the 4♠ and the river the 5♥, and Runninggreat's queens were good enough to secure the hand and the Sunday Million title.

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Congratulations to Runninggreat who after entering the final table as one of the short stacks managed to fulfill that username's destiny to run great when it mattered most and win this week's Sunday Million. And kudos as well to the five top finishers for making it to the chop and all assuring themselves nice paydays.

10/6/13 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results (*reflects five-way deal)

Players: 6,834
Prize pool: $1,366,800.00
Places paid: 990

1. Runninggreat (Canada) -- $127,340.49*
2. honhanv (Russia) -- $137,649.11*
3. yurasov1990 (Belarus) -- $139,121.14*
4. datysho (Moldova) -- $97,912.52*
5. Desmoplakin (Czech Republic) -- $101,559.40*
6. PolecatRider (Germany) -- $43,737.60
7. risomopeibol (Germany) -- $30,069.60
8. tzanosdim (Greece) -- $16,401.60
9. touchmynuts1 (Ukraine) -- $10,592.70

The European Poker Tour has reached the second stop of its 10th season in London. Be sure to follow the PokerStars blog as the Main Event plays out all week long.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million