Sunday Million: hamanof holds sway, earns $196K for win

With lots of live poker happening all over the world -- including the both the UKIPT and EPT playing out in London -- there was still a huge field turning out to play online poker's most popular weekly tournament, the Sunday Million at PokerStars. A total of 6,463 players took part in this week's $215 no-limit hold'em tournament, and after a little over 11-and-a-half hours the last one standing was hamanof of Israel who earned a nifty $196,608.60 for the accomplishment.

That big field meant a total prize pool of $1,292,600. The top 990 finishers would divide up those riches, with everyone making the final table guaranteed a five-figure score and six-figure prizes awaiting those finishing in the top three.

It would take almost exactly five hours for the field to be trimmed down to 990 and the money bubble to burst, at which point LMartinC led all with a stack of just under 400,000. Also on the first page of the leaderboard at that point was Team Online's Caio "Pessagno" Pessagno sitting in 15th position.

Meanwhile among the several players knocked out on the final hand of hand-for-hand play was Team PokerStars Pro Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder, who after sweating the hands getting played out on the other tables saw he'd squeaked into the cash with a 988th-place finish, worth $297.29.

Pessagno would remain above the average a while longer, but by the tourney's seventh hour had slipped down to just over 20 big blinds. That's when he'd commit his stack before the flop with A♣K♥ versus chispa51's A♥Q♦, but alas for Pessagno a queen fell among the community cards to end his Sunday Million run in 273rd for a $555.81 cash.

They were approaching the eight-hour mark when just 100 players remained, with Pol_Thor out in front with just over 2.8 million and former chip leader LMartinC having been knocked out in 163rd ($710.93). A little over a half-hour after that 50 were left with bacco092 on top with about 3.86 million and Pol_Thor in third position.

Eventually the tourney's 10th hour was coming to a close and with 18 players left hamanof had built a big lead with more than 13.6 million when nearest challenger Timothy "weygang" English had but a little under 6.1 million and Pol_Thor (in fourth position) and bacco092 (in seventh) still part of the mix.

It would take about 40 more minutes for nine more players to fall. seraph0411 (18th), tizulian (17th), and Bazhok22 (16th) each picked up $3,619.28 for their finishes. Fofan10 (15th), negiemu (14th), and Darko XYZ2 (13th) were next to go, taking away $5,428.92 apiece. And francesc8311 (12th), Kkidmoney (11th), and bangOutNow (10th) each cashed for $7,238.56.

Just as the 10-and-a-half-hour break of the tournament arrived, the final table had been set.


Seat 1: bacco092 (Argentina) -- 3,353,504
Seat 2: Timothy "weygang" English (Australia) -- 8,496,963
Seat 3: Azamat09RUS (Russia) -- 4,214,907
Seat 4: hamanof (Israel) -- 19,210,901
Seat 5: Pol_Thor (Poland) -- 9,606,421
Seat 6: husajn54 (Poland) -- 5,146,706
Seat 7: martiniano07 (Argentina) -- 4,731,222
Seat 8: Nandinhojah (Brazil) -- 5,160,435
Seat 9: stone_s_g (New Zealand) -- 4,708,941

hamanof still enjoyed a big chip lead as the final table began with that stack of more than 19.2 million -- about twice what Pol_Thor in second position had.

It would take another 40 minutes for the next elimination to come, during which time the blinds increased to 250k/500k. That's when Azamat09RUS opened for 1 million from middle position, then a short-stacked martiniano07 rereaised all in for 1,244,516 total from the small blind and Azamat09RUS called.

martiniano07 had J♦6♠ and Azamat09RUS A♠J♣, and after the 5♦A♣9♣8♣6♥ board it was martiniano07 hitting the rail in ninth.

Just three hands later hamanof -- still the overwhelming chip leader -- opened for 1 million from under the gun, then watched bacco092 reraise-shove for 4,454,184 from the button. Timothy "weygang" English then folded the small blind, but Azamat09RUS four-bet pushed over the top for 8,952,631 from the big blind. hamanof stepped aside and the remaining two players showed their hands.

Azamat09RUS: K♣K♦
bacco092: Q♦Q♠

Both had big pairs, but Azamat09RUS had the bigger one, and when the community cards came jack-high -- 2♣J♥4♠2♦7♠ -- bacco092 was out in eighth.

Four hands after that one another big one developed when stone_s_g open-raised all in from UTG for 5,089,631, Azamat09RUS three-bet to more than 9.6 million from a couple of seats over, and the others all folded.

stone_s_g had Q♥J♥ and Azamat09RUS A♠K♣. The 3♥9♥K♠ flop brought some intrigue, giving Azamat09RUS a pair of kings but also a flush draw for stone_s_g. The turn was the 2♠ and river the Q♦, however, leaving stone_s_g with a second-best pair and a seventh-place finish.

They were just about to reach the 11-and-a-half-hour break when the next knockout came. The blinds were up to 300k/600k, and after Timothy "weygang" English open-pushed for 4,291,963 from UTG, only husajn54 called all in from the small blind for 3,353,502 total. English had K♣Q♠ and husajn54 A♠T♦. The 5♣Q♣7♥ flop then paired English to swing the advantage in his direction, and after the 4♠ turn and 5♥ river they were down to five.

By then Azamat09RUS had overtaken the lead with just over 20.5 million, hamanof was next with about 18.5 million, Nandinhojah was third with just over 13.8 million, Timothy "weygang" English was fourth with about 8.5 million, and Pol_Thor fifth with a little under 3.2 million.

Soon Pol_Thor was putting that short stack at risk, open-raising all in for 4,436,422 from the button with Timothy "weygang" English calling from the big blind. Pol_Thor had J♣3♣ and was behind English's A♣J♠. The board came T♠8♠6♣2♦9♠, and Pol_Thor was done in fifth.

Alas for English, the end would soon come for him as well. After opening with a 2x raise to 1.2 million from the UTG, English saw hamanof reraise all in from the small blind, and when the action came back to weygang he called all in for 11,661,887 total.

English had 9♣9♥ and hamanof A♠T♥. The 4♥3♦2♦ flop was okay for English, but the T♦ turn gave hamanof a better pair. The river was the 8♠, and English was eliminated in fourth.

That hand put hamanof back in the lead, and just four hands later hamanof was back at it with a min-raise to 1.2 million from UTG. Nandinhojah then reraised all in for 7,786,546 from the button, and when the blinds folded hamanof called right away.

Nandinhojah had K♠Q♥ but had run into hamanof's K♥K♦. The community cards came J♠8♦J♦, then 7♠, then 9♠, and Nandinhojah had been sent railward in third.

With that pot hamanof enjoyed a better than 2.5-to-1 chip advantage to start heads-up play wiht 46,823,554 to Azamat09RUS's 17,806,446. hamanof would then win the next two hands to add further to the lead, then on the third heads-up hand the end swiftly arrived.

Azamat09RUS began the last hand with a min-raise to 1.2 million from the button, countered with an all-in shove for by hamanof. Azamat09RUS called the push for 10,126,446 total, and the pair's hands were turned over.

hamanof: A♥6♠
Azamat09RUS: A♦5♥

Both had been dealt aces, but hamanof just barely had the better kicker. The board then rolled out 4♠2♣K♥Q♦9♣, hitting neither but meaning those kickers did play. It had been a whirlwind finish, with the last eight eliminations taking just a little over half an hour and hamanof left standing with all of the chips and the title.

Congratulations to hamanof for topping more than 6,400 players to win this week's Sunday Million and a nearly $200K first prize!

10/12/14 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants:  6,463
Prize pool: $1,292,600.00
Places paid: 990

1. hamanof (Israel) -- $196,608.60
2. Azamat09RUS (Russia) -- $145,417.50
3. Nandinhojah (Brazil) -- $103,408.00
4. Timothy "weygang" English (Australia) -- $71,093.00
5. Pol_Thor (Poland) -- $54,289.20
6. husajn54 (Poland) -- $41,363.20
7. stone_s_g (New Zealand) -- $28,437.20
8. bacco092 (Argentina) -- $15,511.20
9. martiniano07 (Argentina) -- $10,017.65

As mentioned above EPT London is now underway, and as usual each day is filled with start-to-finish reporting here on the PokerStars blog. Follow along to see who becomes the next EPT champion.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million