semaj2 secures Sunday Million win after four-way chop, earns $168k

It's Sunday again, which means poker, poker, and more poker for tournament players, with the Sunday Million, the $215 no-limit hold'em tournament that highlights everyone's Sunday grind, once again proving a most popular destination. There were 7,464 signed on for the Milly this week, and after more than 12-and-a-half hours four were left to strike a deal, then semaj2 of Ireland won out to take away a nifty $168,227.65 prize.

That big field created a total prize pool of $1,492,800, again besting the Sunday Million's $1 million guarantee. The top 1,080 split those winnings, and it would take just about five hours for the big field to play down to the bursting of the money bubble. At that point GuiAx held the top spot with ManiacRazor, thipoker10, roselotte, and Matt "lookoutdudes" McEwan all close behind.

There were three red spades scattered through the counts at that point, though over the next two-and-a-half hours all would be eliminated as the field was cut down to 100 players as André "acoimbra" Coimbra of Team Online (118th, $1,134.52), Team PokerStars Pro Andre "akkarri" Akkari (372nd, $552.33), and PokerStars Greek Challenger Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas (397th, $522.48) were among the eliminated.

With 100 left it was former Sunday Million winner Jono "Spyver" Beck on top with more than 3.28 million chips with Schmitzen (2.31 million) and Anrikt (2.02 million) the nearest challengers.

By the time they were approaching the tourney's 10-hour mark just 18 remained, with Stefan "mindgamer" Jedlicka having pushed up over the 13 million-chip mark to claim the lead by a wide margin.

It would take about 45 minutes for nine more to fall, after which Jedlicka still led but ManiacRazor and jonna10 had both built big stacks as well. HammerXX (18th), LordGregoire (17th), and Carlos11497 (16th) each earned $4,179.84 for their finishes. KIngAntsi (15th), GOGOGOGO#1 (14th), and pistecaloze (13th) took away $6,195.12 apiece. And B1GRed0ne (12th), Josito_ESP (11th), and stevensegalx (10th) each made $8,210.40.

The final table was underway.


Seat 1: ManiacRazor (Denmark) -- 14,689,387
Seat 2: realquiz (United Kingdom) -- 2,893,068
Seat 3: semaj2 (Ireland) -- 4,101,140
Seat 4: puan29 (Argentina) -- 2,485,327
Seat 5: Stefan "mindgamer" Jedlicka (Austria) -- 16,541,123
Seat 6: gortsos (Greece) -- 4,060,053
Seat 7: Golfdish (New Zealand) -- 7,214,232
Seat 8: jonna10 (Belgium) -- 14,345,526
Seat 9: Schmitzen (Germany) -- 8,310,144

They played about 20 minutes more, then the first two eliminations of the final table came on the same hand.

With the blinds at 150k/300k, realquiz open-pushed all in for 1,853,068 from early position, then puan29 reraised all in for 5,625,981 from two seats over. It folded around to jonna10 who reshoved over the top for more than 7 million from the small blind, and after Schmitzen folded in the big blind the three players' cards were revealed.

jonna10: Q♣Q♠
puan29: J♠J♥
realquiz: K♠T♦

The flop came an intriguing J♦3♥Q♦, giving both puan29 and jonna10 sets and realquiz an open-ended straight draw. The turn then brought the 6♦ and river the K♣, and jonna10's set of queens proved best, sending out puan29 in eighth and realquiz in ninth.

They played on for 10 more minutes, then a few players began to bring up the possibility of a deal in the chatbox. But Stefan "mindgamer" Jedlicka -- still chip leader -- said he'd rather play on, then suddenly three eliminations came in the space of just four hands to cut the field to four.

The blinds had reached 200k/400k, and in the first of the hands Goldfish open-pushed for 4,870,467 from under the gun with K♣Q♣, ManiacRazor reraise-pushed for more than 9.7 million from the cutoff with A♦K♥, and everyone else folded. The board ran out J♣K♠5♥2♣4♥, meaning both made kings, ManiacRazor had won with the better kicker, and after missing filling a flush Goldfish was eliminated in seventh.

The next hand saw a short-stacked semaj2 survive with a double-up after picking up K♣K♠ and having the hand hold against Schmitzen's A♥Q♣. The next hand after that then saw semaj2 opening for 2x to 800,000 from early position, gortsos calling from the button, and a crippled Schmitzen calling all in for just 207,354 after posting the big blind.

semaj2 led at the 4♣5♥2♠ flop to force gortsos to fold, then showed Q♠Q♦ while Schmitzen had but J♦7♥. The turn was the 2♥ and river the 3♠, and Schmitzen was out in sixth.

Then on the next one -- with the blinds up again to 250k/500k -- gortsos pushed from early position with 4,293,106 and got one caller in ManiacRazor from the small blind.

gortsos had 6♠6♥ and ManiacRazor A♠9♦, and the sixes remained good through the 4♠2♥Q♠ flop and Q♦ turn. But the river was the 9♣ to give ManiacRazor the better pair, and gortsos was gone in fifth.

At that point the remaining four did decide to stop the tournament to talk about a chop, at which juncture jonna10 led with just over 27 million, semaj2 was next with about 25.4 million, ManiacRazor third with a little over 12.6 million, and mindgamer fourth with almost 9.6 million. They'd discuss terms for nearly half an hour before finally settling on a deal with which everyone was satisfied that also left $20,227.65 on the table for the eventual winner.

At last cards went back in the air, and a little while later Stefan "mindgamer" Jedlicka doubled through jonna10 with A♦J♦ against jonna10's A♣K♥ in a preflop all-in that saw a jack fall on fifth street.

They pushed onward through the 12-and-a-half-hour mark of the tournament, then another huge hand occurred that saw semaj2 all in following a 8♥T♥9♦ flop for almost 22.5 million total versus ManiacRazor who began the hand with just a little more. semaj2 was behind with 6♦6♠ against ManiacRazor's K♦K♥, but the 7♣ appeared on fourth street to fill a straight for semaj2, and after the 8♠ river semaj was suddenly up over 46.7 million while ManiacRazor had tumbled to just 691,478.

On the next hand the blinds were 400k/800k when jonna10 open-pushed for 11,011,114 from under the gun, then ManiacRazor called all in with the blind-and-a-half left from the button. New leader semaj2 then reraised from the small blind to chase mindgamer, and the three showed their hands.

semaj2: J♦J♥
jonna10: 6♥6♣
ManiacRazor: A♥5♠

The board ended up rolling out K♦7♣Q♣A♠7♥, that ace meaning ManiacRazor had taken the main pot to survive with a triple-up. Meanwhile semaj2's jacks were enough to win the bigger side pot and send jonna10 railward in fourth.

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On the very next hand, Stefan "mindgamer" Jedlicka was pushing all in for more than 15.1 million from the small blind with A♠J♥ and ManiacRazor was calling all in for 1,885,912 from the big blind with Q♦2♣. The community cards came 5♦2♦8♣, then J♠, then 8♦, and ManiacRazor had fallen in third.

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Heads-up play then began with semaj2 well in front with 56,575,284 against mindgamer's 18,064,716. The pair played two quick hands without seeing a flop, and their stacks were roughly the same when the final hand took place.

It began with a 2x raise to 1.6 million from Stefan "mindgamer" Jedlicka who had the button. semaj2 three-bet to 4 million, and mindgamer called. The flop came 2♦Q♣T♣. semaj2 led for 4 million, Jedlicka raised all in for 15,344,716, and semaj2 called.

mindgamer had J♥9♥ for an open-ended straight draw while semaj2 was drawing as well with hopes for a flush with 8♣5♣. The turn was the Q♦ and Jedlicka remained ahead. But the 2♣ fell on the turn to complete semaj2's flush to win the hand and the tournament.

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Congratulations to semaj2 for topping yet another big Sunday Million field to earn the victory and a $168K-plus payday. And kudos as well to mindgamer, ManiacRazor, and jonna10 who each also took away big six-figure scores following the four-handed deal.

10/20/13 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results (*reflects four-way deal)

Players: 7,464
Total prize pool: $1,492,800.00
Places paid: 1,080

1. semaj2 (Ireland) -- $168,227.65*
2. Stefan "mindgamer" Jedlicka (Austria) -- $129,000.00*
3. ManiacRazor (Denmark) -- $142,000.00*
4. jonna10 (Belgium) -- $148,000.00*
5. gortsos (Greece) -- $61,204.80
6. Schmitzen (Germany) -- $46,276.80
7. Goldfish (New Zealand) -- $32,095.20
8. puan29 (Argentina) -- $17,913.60
9. realquiz (United Kingdom) -- $11,569.20

Team Online member Isaac Haxton has written a new blog post that many are starting to pass around, a thoughtful essay that offers some nourishing food for thought to those just starting out at poker. Check it out -- it's called "Never give up."

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million