Sunday Million: Popiedejopie closes out a $192k win

Over the last year, major final tables became familiar ground for Popiedejopie. In January 2012, he made a runner-up finish in TCOOP Event #8 ($82 NLHE Big Antes), good for $40,000. That July, he found himself right here, at the final table of the Sunday Million. His first go at it ended with a sixth-place finish and another $39,000 score, but a title still eluded him. That changed tonight, as Popiedejopie arrived at the final table with the chip lead and never looked back, closing out a win in the Sunday Million and banking nearly $192,000.

The Million drew it's largest crowd of the four-week old year, with 7,686 players buying in. 1,170 of them earned a share of the $1,537.200 prize pool, with first place set to take home $230,583.60. Scattered across the field were 27 Red Spades, among them Jonathan Duhamel, Victor Ramdin, Nacho Barbero, Jan Heitmann, Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome, and the newly relocated Joe Cada (Welcome to Canada!). A half-dozen of them made the money including Fatima DeMelo (693rd), Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (516th), Lex Veldhuis (332nd), Christian De Leon (92nd), and Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas (40th).

Team Online's Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman made the final two tables only to go out in most brutal fashion. Holding 9♣9♦, he three-bet shoved for 2.85 million on the button and original raiser VixenKoala called. VixenKoala was in dire shape with 8♥8♣, but spiked a miraculous eight on the river to make a set and end Thurman's run in 16th place.

Kevin Thurman.jpg

Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman, 16th place

Among the final 16 were two more familiar faces. Amit "AMAK316" Makhija went out in 14th place when he ran his A♦J♥ into Popiedejopie's K♣K♦. James "Asprin1" Akenhead was chasing his second career Sunday Million title tonight (he won the first one around this time last year), but fell short of the final table in 13th place, when cedlic784's 5♥8♠ flopped two pair against Akenhead's A♥3♥.

Popiedejopie wasn't afraid to wield his big stack on the final table bubble, and holding nothing more than J♥7♥, he moved all-in on the button, having both blinds well-covered. With 400,000 of his remaining 1.02 million already committed in the big blind, josheroP called, turning over K♠9♦. JosheroP hit a boffo K♦K♥T♥ flop to make trip kings, but Popiedejopie picked up a flush draw. Popiedejopie filled it on the turn with the 3♥ and josheroP needed to pair the board on the river to survive. Instead, the 5♦ fell and josheroP went out in tenth place, setting the final table.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: nuno200 (3,463,504 in chips)
Seat 2: Achilles591 (1,693,674 in chips)
Seat 3: VixenKoala (13,056,791 in chips)
Seat 4: cedlic784 (2,119,552 in chips)
Seat 5: Popiedejopie (21,419,916 in chips)
Seat 6: bvladimir (17,351,237 in chips)
Seat 7: brikdog24 (8,637,720 in chips)
Seat 8: schmier1 (3,796,568 in chips)
Seat 9: vander9279 (5,321,038 in chips)

Brikdog24 KOs two, bvladimir snaps off schmier1

On Hand #4, Achilles591 open-shoved for his last four big blinds and brikdog24 reshoved for 8.1 million to isolate. Brikdog24's A♣T♠ flopped an ace against Achilles591's K♣J♥, ending his run in ninth place. Only a few minutes later, brikdog24 scored another KO. Cedlic784 three-bet shoved from the small blind and brikdog24 called, his A♣K♥ dominating cedlic784's A♥J♦. Brikdog24 caught a king on the flop and cedlic784 exited in eighth place.

Three hands later, it was schmier1's turn to shove. After bvladimir opened for a min-raise to 800,000, schmier1 moved all-in for 2.31 million with 5♣5♠. Bvladimir called with only 3♠T♠, but snapped off Presto on the K♦T♥2♣ flop. Schmier1 didn't improve and went out in seventh place.

VixenKoala cripples vander9279, finishes off nuno200

Most of Vander9279's chips landed with VixenKoala. Down to 5.8 million with the blinds at 250,000/500,000, vander9279 opened for a min-raise to 1,000,000 on the button and VixenKoala called. Vander9279 fired another million at the A♣9♥9♠ flop, but didn't shake VixenKoala. Both players checked the A♥ on the turn and when the 4♥ hit the river, VixenKoala made it 2,000,000 to go. Vander9279 called, only to muck at the sight of VixenKoala's full house with A♠4♦. Two hands later, vander9279's run came to an end in sixth place when bvladimir' 6♦9♥ flopped a pair of nines against K♣Q♠.

Vander9279's exit left nuno200 as the only remaining short stack. With less than a million in chips remaining, nuno200 moved in from the button and both VixenKoala and Popiedejopie called from the blinds. The two active players checked down the A♣J♥5♠7♥5♣ board, and VixenKoala took down the pot with J♣T♥, eliminating nuno200 in fifth.

Four-way chop

Before four-handed play got underway, the players all agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. VixenKoala, brikdog24 and bvladimir were happy with an ICM chop, but chip leader Popiedejopie wanted at least a $175,000 share. Bvladimir agreed to give up $2,500 and VixenKoala contributed another $1,650, increasing Popiedejopie's cut to just short of $172,000. Popiedejopie agreed to the new numbers and with $20,000 still in play for the winner, action resumed.

After about five minutes of play, bvladimir opened for a min-raise to 1.2 million and brikdog24 moved all-in for 11.3 million. Bvladimir called with A♦K♦, leaving brikdog24 in a world of hurt with A♠2♥. The ace-king held on the 8♦6♥6♣3♦5♣ board and brikdog24 fell in fourth place, his share of the deal totaling $125,059.66.

Magic 8-ball

The short stack as three-handed play commenced, VixenKoala quickly found a double-up through bvladimir. After three-betting preflop from the small blind, VixenKoala led out for 3.6 million on a K♥5♣3♣ flop. Bvladimir shoved for over 36 million and VixenKoala called all in for 7.35 more, his 8♥8♠ holding up against blvladimir's bottom pair with J♦3♦.

The stack sizes evened up as chips moved around the table until popiedejopie jumped back out to 34.5 million by calling bvladimir's bluff:

Popiedejopie was up to 38.3 million and had opened for a min-raise to 2,000,000 when VixenKoala picked up 8♦8♣ and three-bet to 6.98 million. Popiedejopie moved all-in and VixenKoala called, no doubt sickened to see Popiedejopie's T♥T♣. But don't forget-- eights are pure magic for VixenKoala (recall Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thuman's nasty bustout). So naturally, VixenKoala hit one the flop and raked in the 45.4 million pot with a set.

Both Popiedejopie and bvladimir were down to 15.5 million and on the next hand, the Russian open-shoved from the button with K♥7♣. VixenKoala folded the small blind and Popiedejopie called from the big with A♣9♥, having him slightly covered. The T♦4♦4♠ didn't improve either player, the 7♥ turn gave bvladimir the lead with a pair of sevens, but Popiedejopie caught him on the river, the 9♣ falling to make him a pair of nines. Bvladimir was out in third place, banking $148,385.13.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 3: VixenKoala (44,873,828 in chips)
Seat 5: Popiedejopie (31,986,172 in chips)

VixenKoala and Popiedejopie traded a few medium-sized pots, but mainly ground away at smaller ones. The gap between their chip counts had narrowed to only 1.4 million when one hand decided this tournament. All the money went in on the flop, Popiedejopie's pair of eights holding up to seal the win:

Congratulations to Popiedejopie on finally closing out a Sunday Million title! He took home $191,995.69 for the win while runner-up VixenKoala earned $127,000.00.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 1-27-2013

Players: 7,686
Prizepool: $1,537,200
Places paid: 1,170

1. Popiedejopie (Netherlands) $191,995.69*
2. VixenKoala (Canada) $127,000.00*
3. bvladimir (Russia) $148,385.13*
4. brikdog24 (Canada) $125,059.66*
5. nuno200 (Norway) $61,488.00
6. vander9279 (United Kingdom) $46,116.00
7. schmier1 (Germany) $30,744.00
8. cedlic784 (Belgium) $17,677.80
9. Achilles591(Germany) $11,913.30

*=reflects the results of a four-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