Sunday Millon: danycou topples claffit01 in epic heads-up match, banks $217k

For most of this final table, it was claffit01's to lose. Coupling relentless aggression with a hot run of big pairs, claffit01 eliminated five players at the final table and got heads-up with danycou with a 3.7 to 1 chip advantage. No stranger to big money jumps, claffit01 was already a Super Tuesday champion and looked to pair that title with a Sunday Million win. However, danycou tempered his aggression with patience and finesse in their 90-minute battle royale, and in a stunning final hand, pulled off a come-from-behind victory.

This week's Million drew 7,243 players, the prize pool topping out at $1,448,600.00. 1,080 places were paid with $217,294.70 set aside for first place. Red Spades in the field included Jake Cody, George Danzer, Richard Toth, Andre Akkari, Vanessa Rousso, Eugene Katchalov, Natalie Hof, and Johnny Lodden. Three made the money: Henrique Pinho (761st), David Williams (137th), and Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome (43rd).

It was a banner day for Rowsome, who followed up her sixth-place finish in the Women's Sunday with a deep run in the Million. Short-stacked with five tables remaining, Rowsome three-bet shoved her last 511,000 in chips with A♦Q♦, but was dominated by leitalopez's A♥K♥. Both players flopped an ace, but Rowsome couldn't pair her kicker and exited in 43rd place.

A double elimination took us to the final table. With the blinds up to 100,000/200,000, Onlevels moved in for 410,156, danycou raised to 620,312 and Pasha713 shoved for 4.56 million from the big blind. Danycou called and the cards went on their backs.

Onlevels K♥8♥
danycou Q♠Q♥
Pasha713 9♠9♥

Danycou's pocket queens kept the lead on the J♦8♣2♠ flop and the Q♦ turn left both opponents drawing dead. Onlevels hit the rail in 11th place while Pasha713 took official final table bubble boy honors in tenth.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: mr.gricha (5,108,293 in chips)
Seat 2: eiy rumby (4,839,031 in chips)
Seat 3: danycou (12,893,694 in chips)
Seat 4: cbzn77 (3,639,203 in chips)
Seat 5: keyhell (15,421,291 in chips)
Seat 6: lroland83 (11,044,385 in chips)
Seat 7: claffit01 (10,074,321 in chips)
Seat 8: bostero27 (2,519,830 in chips)
Seat 9: Arkesilas289 (6,889,952 in chips)

A bust and a double in the first two hands

There was no easing in period at this final table as its first hand produced an unexpected elimination. Danycou led off the action with a min-raise to 400,000, claffit01 called on the button and Arkesilas289 squeezed from the big blind by moving all-in for 6.86 million. Danycou folded but claffit01 called and turned up Q♥Q♣. Arkesilas289's A♠K♦ lost the race when a queen hit the flop and ended his run in ninth place ($11,226.85).

Claffit01 took the chip lead with 17.6 million on that hand, but lost a bit back on the very next deal. Claffit01 opened for 500,000 with A♣6♥ and called bostero27's 2.37 million shove only to discover he was dominated by A♦9♦. Bostero27's hand held up and he doubled to 5.32 million.

eiy rumby cracks mr.gricha's aces

Down to 3.7 million with the blinds up to 150,000/300,000, eiy rumby three-bet shoved from the small blind with K♠Q♥ and initial raiser mr.gricha snap-called with A♣A♦. However, mr.gricha couldn't have liked the K♥J♣T♥ flop. Eiy rumby made top pair and an open-ended straight draw and snapped off mr.gricha's aces when the 9♣ turn made him a king-high straight. The river was the 8♦ and eiy rumby doubled to 8.2 million, leaving mr.gricha on only 919,000. Iroland83 finished the job a few hands later when mr.gricha shoved 889,000 with Q♠J♠ and he snap-called with A♣A♠. Iroland83 flopped top set and turned quads to send mr.gricha home in eighth place ($17,383.20).

Claffit01 KOs two more

Claffit01 picked up his second KO a short time later. Cbzn77 open-shoved for 3.94 million with Q♠T♠ and claffit01 reshoved from the small blind to isolate. Claffit01's K♠Q♥ rivered Broadway on the A♣A♠7♥T♥J♠ board and cbzn77 was out in seventh place, earning $31,144.90.

One orbit later, keyhell opened for a min-raise to 800,000 and bostero27 shoved for 3.55 million from the small blind. Keyhell called, his 8♦8♥ crushing bostero27's 7♠7♣. Keyhell flopped a set for good measure and eliminated bostero27 in sixth place, $44,906.60 his reward.

Less than five minutes passed before claffit01 made a UTG min-raise and eiy rumby shoved for 7.1 million with 2♠2♣. Claffit01 called with A♥K♦ and flopped an ace, ending eiy rumby's run in fifth place ($59,392.60).

Wrecking ball

The relentless pace kept on, claffit01 opening for 1,000,000 and keyhell moving all-in for 12.2 million from the big blind. It was another race situation, claffit01's J♠J♣ sprinting alongside A♥K♦. Although a king hit the flop, a jack came with it and claffit01 made it four knockouts, sending keyhell to the rail in fourth place ($76,775.80).

As play turned three-handed, claffit01 led with 44.2 million, danycou held 16.85 million and Iroland83 was the short stack with 11.3 million. Only four hands after keyhell's elimination, Iroland83 open-shoved for 11.8 million from the small blind and claffit01 called from the big. Claffit01's A♥K♣ had Iroland83's A♦T♣ dominated, the board running out 8♠7♣6♣J♦5♥ to send him home in third place ($115,888.00).

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 3: danycou (15,403,694 in chips)
Seat 7: claffit01 (57,026,306 in chips)

A 3.7 to 1 dog to start, danycou spent the first half hour of this 90-minute match slowly chipping up to 24.8 million. That 24.8 million turned into 32 million after danycou called claffit01's turn and river bets on a K♣K♠3♥T♠Q♠ board. Claffit01 had nothing but a busted flush draw with J♥8♥ and danycou raked in the 14.3 million pot with T♣7♣.

About five minutes later, danycou evened up the chip counts and took a slight lead over claffit01 when his 3♣5♣ flopped a pair and an OESD and rivered a seven-high straight. With over 72 million chips in play, claffit01 and danycou were separated by only 1.4 million.

The counts were still pretty even as heads-up play entered its second hour, the blinds up to 600,000/1,200,000. Trailing slightly, danycou pushed back into the lead when he raised claffit01 off the turn in this 20.4 million pot.

Danycou moved up to 45.7 million and maintained that lead through the rest of the level. Then, with the blinds up to 700,000/1,400,000, claffit01 and danycou saw a K♠J♦9♠ flop for a min-raise apiece. Danycou check-called claffit01's 2,675,600 bet and checked again when the 6♥ hit the turn. Claffit01 fired another 5,790,976 and danycou called. However, when the 4♠ river put three spades on the board, danycou led out with a 26.6 million overbet.

"Flush?" wondered claffit01 as he folded, saving his remaining 15.5 million.

Claffit01 doubled to 34 million a few hands later when his K♥6♦ flopped trip kings vs. danycou's pocket tens. Once again, their chip stacks were virtually even and there was seemingly no end in sight.

Danycou and claffit01 traded pots for four more minutes before danycou limped in on the button and claffit01 shoved for 34.8 million from the big blind with A♠5♦. Danycou snap-called, having successfully trapped claffit01 with A♦A♣. Danycou's aces held up and after nearly 13 hours of play, he had a Sunday Million title to show for it.

Congratulations to danycou on a remarkable come-from-behind victory! He banked $217,294.70 for the win, while runner-up claffit01 earned $159,881.98.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 10-13-2013

Players: 7,243
Prizepool: $1,448,600.00
Places paid: 1,080

1. danycou (Argentina) $217,294.70
2. claffit01 (Sweden) $159,881.98
3. Iroland83 (Hungary) $115,888.00
4. keyhell (Brazil) $76,775.80
5. eiy rumby (Denmark) $59,392.60
6. bostero27 (Argentina) $44,906.60
7. cbzn77 (Turkey) $31,144.90
8. mr.gricha (Russia) $17,383.20
9. Arkesilas289 (United Kingdom) $11,226.65

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million