Sunday Million: Victorious VanDobeln wins $245k

Halfway through this final table, VanDobeln was one card away from the rail. Holding king-queen against pocket jacks on an eight-high board, he had about a 12% chance to survive the river. Somehow, VanDobeln found a king and doubled up, taking himself off the short stack and into safer territory with 25 big blinds. That hand provided both the momentum and the mojo VanDobeln needed to vanquish his remaining foes and close out a win in the Sunday Million (and one without a deal!)

8,173 players bought in to this week's Million, creating a $1,634,600 prize pool. 1,170 places were paid with $245,193.87 set aside for first place. Two dozen Red Spades joined the field, including Theo Jorgensen, Humberto Brenes, Liv Boeree, George Danzer, Richard Toth, Angel Guillen, Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen and Christian De Leon. Two finished in the money; Team Pro Toni Judet finished in 825th place while Randy "nanonoko" Lew went out in 113th place on a horrid beat, his pocket kings cracked in a preflop all-in when his opponent's K♥Q♦ flopped a king-high straight.

Blinds were up to 150,000/300,000 with ten players remaining. Chip leader holly17 opened for a raise to 623,474 from UTG and KPOBHbIE_$ three-bet shoved for 6.48 million from the small blind. Holly17 snap-called with K♣K♦ and KPOBHbIE_$ had some catching up to do with A♥T♣. Although KPOBHbIE_$ hit a ten on the flop, he didn't improve any further and went out on the final table bubble.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: VanDobeln (9,592,587 in chips)
Seat 2: holly17 (18,718,487 in chips)
Seat 3: TroizeN (10,113,111 in chips)
Seat 4: Karagounis10 (4,482,867 in chips)
Seat 5: Gabiru01 (8,998,196 in chips)
Seat 6: Zolisza (9,316,736 in chips)
Seat 7: Pompaaci (4,408,846 in chips)
Seat 8: maerti (6,549,859 in chips)
Seat 9: LilBulldog16 (9,549,311 in chips)

Maerti eliminated on the first hand

It took only one hand before the final table lost its first player. Holding Q♦T♦. maerti opened for a min-raise to 600,000 and VanDobeln called. Both players checked the A♠J♣3♦ flop, but when the 5♣ hit the turn, maerti took a stab at the pot for 900,000. VanDebeln raised to 2.7 million and despite having only a gutshot straight draw, maerti decided to call. The river was the 5♦ and maerti bluffed at it again, moving all-in for his last 3.22 million. VanDobeln called and turned over A♥J♦ for top two pair to eliminate maerti in ninth place.

TroizeN's aces and kings take out two

The blinds had just risen to 200,000/400,000 when LilBulldog16 found T♠T♣ and opened for 900,000 from under-the-gun. TroizeN three-bet to 1.95 million and they went heads-up to a J♣7♥2♣ flop. LilBulldog16 led out for 1.4 million and TroizeN called. When the J♠ hit the turn LilBulldog16 moved all-in for his remaining 6.1 million, having TroizeN slightly covered. TroizeN called and revealed A♣A♠. The river blanked out with the 9♣ and TroizeN doubled to 18.1 million. Left with only 862,000, LilBulldog16 was eliminated two hands later when his K♥7♥ failed to improve against Karagounis10's pocket jacks. For eighth place, LilBulldog16 picked up $18,797.90.

On the very next deal, Gabiru01 opened for a min-raise to 800,000 and Pompaaci shoved for his last 2.77 million. TroizeN cold-called out of the small blind and Gabiru01 gave up his hand. Once again, pocket tens ran into a higher pair, as TroizeN turned over K♥K♠. Pompaaci didn't improve and exited in seventh place for a $32,692.00 score.

TroizeN takes the chip lead, Zolisza zaps Gabiru01

A few orbits later, TroizeN opened for 800,280 and short stack Karagounis10 three-bet shoved for 2.7 million. TroizeN called with A♥9♠ and Karagounis10 revealed K♣Q♥. Although Karagounis10 hit an open-ended straight draw when the flop fell J♠T♥7♦, he couldn't find a nine, ace, king or queen on the turn or river. The T♦ and 2♠ fell instead to send him home in sixth place with $49,038.00.

With that hand, TroizeN took the chip lead with 26 million. Holly17 was right behind with 25.1 million, and the three short stacks ranged from 8 to 12 million apiece. Two of those short stacks clashed when Gabiru01 opened for a min-raise to 1 million and Zolisza moved all-in for 8 million with J♣8♠ on the button. Gabiru01 called with 7♣7♥. Gabiru01 survived the flop and was poised to double up, but Zolisza spiked an eight on the river to end his run in fifth place ($65,384.00).

Zolisza in control

Now armed with 16.8 million in chips, Zolisza sought to end TroizeN's reign of terror over this final table. Dealt A♣Q♦ UTG, Zolisza opened for 1 million and TroizeN three-bet to 2.51 million from the big blind. Zoilsza shoved and TroizeN called, revealing A♠K♣. Zolisza's dominated hand stayed that way on the J♣J♦6♦ flop and the 9♣ on the turn didn't held either, but he spiked a three-outer on the river to survive, the Q♥ falling to save Zolisza's tournament. He doubled to 34 million while TroizeN fell to 12.6 million.

Shortly after Zolisza's double-up, holly17 and TroizeN broached the subject of a potential deal. However, Zolisza quickly put the kibosh on that idea.

TroizeN: waiting on zoli to comfirm
holly17: u speak english ?
Zolisza: no ty
Zolisza: play!

TroizeN reclaimed some of his lost chips from Zolisza when he three-bet shoved for 10.2 million with J♥J♣ and Zolisza looked him up with A♦J♠. TroizeN's pocket jacks held up and he doubled to 21.5 million. Five hands later, VanDobeln scored his own double-up, his K♠Q♠ rivering a pair of kings vs. holly17's J♠J♣ to take him up to 15.8 million.

However, most of TroizeN's chips ended up back in Zolisza's stack. TroizeN fired the flop and turn on a K♣T♦7♦3♦4♥ board, but check-folded to Zolisza's 11.2 million river bet, forfeiting the 14.3 million pot. Five hands later, TroizeN open-shoved for 8.37 million with A♥5♦, but ran smack into VanDobeln's J♥J♣. It continued to be a good night for pocket jacks, the board running out 9♥9♠9♣7♥T♣ to send TroizeN to the rail in fourth place ($82,383.84).

VanDobeln takes the lead

As play turned three-handed, Zolisza was the chip leader with 46 million, VanDobeln was in second with 28.4 million and holly17 was the short stack with only 7.3 million. Holly17 turned her seven big blinds into a more workable sixteen when his A♣T♥ held up against Zolisza's K♣J♦ in a preflop all-in. VanDobeln also snagged a chunk of Zolisza's chips when he picked up J♠J♦ against 7♠7♣. Once again, the jacks held and for the first time at this final table, VanDobeln sat atop the leaderboard.

A few hands later, holly17 opened for a min-raise to 2 million and VanDobeln moved all-in for 46.6 million with A♣K♥. Holly17 called with 7♦7♠, but VanDobeln flopped a king and rivered trips to end his run. For third place, holly17 banked $122,595.00.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: VanDobeln (64,897,613 in chips)
Seat 6: Zolisza (16,832,387 in chips)

Although the match started off a bit lopsided, Zolisza doubled up on the first hand of heads-up play, her pocket tens holding up against VanDobeln's A♥7♣. Zolisza ground his stack up to 38.8 million before VanDobeln raised him off a 12.45 million pot on the turn to regain control.

Zolisza, however, couldn't get back on track. Holding A♥9♥ in a limped pot, Zolisza hit an open-ended straight draw when the flop fell 8♥7♠6♣, but VanDobeln was already sitting pretty with top and bottom pair.

Congratulations to VanDobeln on his Sunday Million win! He banked a massive $245,193.87 for the win while runner-up Zolisza earned $179,806.00.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 4-7-2013

Players: 8,173
Prizepool: $1,634,600
Places paid: 1,170

1. VanDobeln (Finland) $245,193.87
2. Zolisza (Hungary) $179,806.00
3. holly17 (United Kingdom) $122,595.00
4. TroizeN (Canada) $82,383.84
5. Gabiru01 (Brazil) $65,384.00
6. Karagounis10 (Chile) $49,038.00
7. Pompaaci (Germany) $32,692.00
8. LilBulldog16 (Canada) $18,797.90
9. maerti (Norway) $12,668.15

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million