A.Cretu conquers the Sunday Million, scores $190k

A.Cretu and krakts had two things in common as they went into heads-up battle tonight. Both had momentum from recent deep runs on their side and both knew the agony of a near-miss in a Sunday major. Last month, krakts bubbled the final table of the July 21 Sunday Warm-Up and a week prior, A.Cretu took fourth place in the Sunday 500. Although both players blew those results away in this week's Million, it was Romania's A.Cretu who came away with the title along with a $190k score.

This week, 7,102 players took a shot at the Sunday Million, the prize pool topping out at a smoking $1,420,400.00. 1,080 places were paid with first place set to earn $213,064.40. A baker's dozen of Red Spades were scattered amongst the field including Joe Cada, Jake Cody, George Danzer, Andre Akkari, Lex Veldhuis and Leo Fernandez. Three finished in the money: Marc-Andre "FrenchDawg" Ladouceur (975th), Liv Boeree (294th), and Ike Haxton (115th).

Ten players remained and the blinds were up to 100,000/200,000 when the action folded to stato_1 on the button. He moved all-in for 2.28 million with J♠8♠ and andreyluis reshoved for 3.1 million from the small blind. Andreyluis's A♦9♥ held up on the K♣T♠5♦2♥6♦ board, sending stato_1 to the rail and the remaining nine contenders to the final table.

Sun_Million_FT_081014.jpg

Final table chip counts

Seat 1: Richardson22 (8,467,485 in chips)
Seat 2: krakts (12,669,160 in chips)
Seat 3: pelezinho28 (4,650,282 in chips)
Seat 4: KungKroon (5,770,486 in chips)
Seat 5: A.Cretu (12,087,826 in chips)
Seat 6: sixth sen$e (2,193,867 in chips)
Seat 7: andreyluis (5,691,354 in chips)
Seat 8: Schauka (5,681,235 in chips)
Seat 9: LadyDoDo91 (13,808,305 in chips)

krakts krushes KungKroon

Nine different nations were represented at tonight's final table, and unfortunately, Sweden's flag was the first to be lowered. LadyDoDo91 led off with a min-raise to 400,000 from UTG+1, krakts called, and the action passed to KungKroon in the cutoff. He moved all-in for 5.4 million, LadyDoDo91 folded and krakts called, his A♦Q♠ up against T♥T♠. Krakts flopped top two pair and rivered aces full of queens, ending KungKroon's run in ninth place ($11,008.10).

pelezinho28 perishes, Schauka slain

With the blinds up to 125,000/250,000, pelezinho28 opened for 510,000 from the cutoff and andreyluis defended his big blind with 7♥8♥. The K♠T♥5♥ flop gave andreyluis a flush draw and he check-called lelzinho28's 510,000 bet. Andreyluis made his flush when the J♥ turned and he checked again, allowing pelezinho28 to fire another 2.75 million. Andreyluis moved all-in for 4.06 million and pelezinho28 called, revealing K♣Q♠. The 9♥ river improved pelezinho28 to a king-high straight, but it was no matter as andreyluis made a jack-high straight flush and raked in the 10.5 million pot. Pelezinho28 was left with only 352,000.

Two hands later, Richardson22 opened for 500,000 from UTG and krakts three-bet to 1,222,122 from UTG+1. Pelezinho28 called all-in and Schauka reshoved for 3.7 million from the small blind. Richardson22 folded and krakts called.

pelezinho28 3♦3♥
krakts A♠9♦
Schauka A♥K♥

Pelezinho28's pocket threes held up on the Q♥6♠2♠ flop, but Schauka turned the K♠ to wrest it away with top pair while krakts picked up the nut flush draw. The J♠ river made krakts's flush and both his opponents were eliminated, pelezinho28 in eighth place ($17,044.80) and Schauka in seventh ($30,538.60). With that pot, krakts took a commanding chip lead with 23.8 million.

A.Cretu flushes sixth sen$e

Two hands later, sixth sen$e got a lifeline when his A♥9♥ won a flip vs. A.Cretu's pocket sevens, good for a double-up to 3.7 million. Sixth sen$e bravely fought on until the 200,000/400,000 level when A.Cretu open-shoved from the small blind with 4♣7♠ and he called with K♣4♦. Sixth sen$e's king-high was good on the A♠8♠6♥ flop, but A.Cretu caught running spades to make a flush. For sixth place, sixth sen$e picked up $44,032.40.

Five-way fail

A short time later, the final five decided to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

krakts 26,342,513
A. Cretu 16,162,491
LadyDoDo91 10,040,178
andreyluis 9,402,836
Richardson22 9,071,982

Team Online's Caio Pessagno assisted the players, providing both ICM and chip count chop numbers. While LadyDoDo91 and Richardson22 were eager to make a deal, A.Cretu didn't want to settle for less than a $145k share, roughly $17k more than he was offered in the ICM deal. Sensing they were at an impasse, andreyluis demanded they play on and soon enough, cards were back in the air.

Domination station

The blinds rose to 250,000/500,000 and A.Cretu made it 1,000,000 to go on the button. Andreyluis shoved for 10.9 million with A♦Q♦ the small blind and A.Cretu snap-called with A♥K♠. Andreyluis didn't improve on the T♣5♥2♦7♦J♥ board and hit the rail in fifth place ($58,236.40).

Two orbits later, LadyDoDo91 met the same fate when she found A♦T♥ and moved all-in for 8.9 million from the cutoff. Krakts was lying in wait with A♥K♥ in the small blind and his dominating hand held up on the A♣J♥4♠A♠6♦ board. For fourth place, LadyDoDo91 took home $75,281.20.

krakts strikes again

When three-handed play commenced, krakts was still the chip leader with 32 million, A.Cretu was close behind with 28.2 million and Richardson22 was the short stack with 10.7 million. The blinds swiftly ate away at Richardson22's stack and with 4.1 million remaining, he moved all-in on the button with J♥7♦. Krakts called with 5♥5♣ in the small blind and made bottom set when the flop fell Q♦J♣5♠. The J♦ turn made krakts fives full and Richardson22 trip jacks, but the river blanked with the 4♥, ending Richardson22's run in third place ($113,632.00)

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 2: krakts (41,398,174 in chips)
Seat 5: A.Cretu (29,621,826 in chips)

Four hands into heads-up play, krakts and A.Cretu agreed to pause the action and take another run at making a deal. This time, they quickly came to terms and agreed to a chip count chop that guaranteed krakts $179,510.39 and A.Cretu $170,323.35. With $20,000 still on the table, action resumed.

A.Cretu evened the counts when he five-bet to 9,000,000 pre flop and krakts gave up his hand. Krakts fought back and chipped up to 40 million, but A.Cretu knocked him back again when he bluffed the flop and turn with only a gutshot straight draw, but spiked his four-outer on the river to drag a 21.2 million pot.

Krakts retook the lead when his A♥2♥ hit two pair on a 4♣4♦2♦ flop and made deuces flu with the 2♣ turned. Krakts check-called all three streets as A.Cretu bluffed off close to 12 million chips with only J♠7♠. A.Cretu fell to 21.2 million, but doubled to 40.7 million when his A♦J♣ held up against A♥7♠.

A.Cretu kept the pressure on and chipped up to 57 million before the final hand unfolded. Holding A♣7♥, A.Cretu opened for a min-raise to 1.6 million and krakts shoved for 13.7 million with K♠6♥. A.Cretu quickly called and his ace-high held up on the 2♥5♥2♠4♦4♥ board, locking up his Sunday Million title.

Congratulations to A.Cretu on joining the ranks of Sunday Million champions. He banked $190,323.55 for the win, while runner-up krakts earned $179,510.39.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 8-10-2014

Players: 7,102
Prizepool: $1,420,400.00
Places paid: 1,080

1. A.Cretu (Romania) $190,323.55*
2. krakts (Israel) $179,510.39*
3. Richardson22 (Poland) $113,632.00
4. LadyDoDo91 (Switzerland) $75,281.20
5. andreyluis (Brazil) $58,236.40
6. sixth sen$e (Austria) $44,032.40
7. Schauka (Germany) $30,538.60
8. pelezinho28 (Portugal) $17,044.80
9. KungKroon (Sweden) $11,008.10

*= reflects the result of a heads-up 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