Sunday Million: Lionet is king of the jungle, $203k richer

Two Sunday Million final tables in a career is quite an achievement, but how about two in four months? Such was the case with Norway's fullhouseiii, who finished runner-up on February 2 of this year and returned to the final nine tonight. Armed with the chip lead, fullhouseiii kept it until play turned four-handed and he doubled up two shorter stacks. That's when Lionet hit his rush and took fullhouseiii out in third place, giving himself a 5 to 1 chip lead heads-up. Lionet swiftly put away XXL#1kfcfan and came away with his first Sunday Million title and a $203k score.

6,676 players shook off their SCOOP hangovers and bought into the Sunday Million, their $215 buy-ins combining to create a $1,335,200.00 prize pool. 990 places were paid with first place set to earn $203,088.33. Among the 17 Red Spades in the field were Andre Akkari, Angel Guillen, Humberto Brenes, Lex Veldhuis, Liv Boeree, and Victor Ramdin. Four of them cashed including Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas (949th), Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen (879th), Caio Pessagno (795th) and Maxim Lykov, who ran A♥Q♠ into pocket aces to go out in 352nd place.

Blinds were up to 150,000/300,000 on the final table bubble and Blind4Evil was down to his last eight big blinds. Mat1i opened for 600,000 from the cutoff and Blind4Evil shoved for 2.42 million from the big blind. Mat1i called, his A♣Q♠ leading Blind4Evil's K♣T♠. Blind4Evil didn't get any help on the 6♥4♦4♠5♠5♣ board and went out in tenth place, sending us to the final table.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: XXL#1kfcfan (9,594,109 in chips)
Seat 2: ILTAA (2,734,852 in chips)
Seat 3: shermanash (4,157,211 in chips)
Seat 4: Lionet (6,110,296 in chips)
Seat 5: mat1i (7,177,142 in chips)
Seat 6: macblack1 (1,971,627 in chips)
Seat 7: ruscittobr (6,185,662 in chips)
Seat 8: pAYtAXiSnICE (10,320,032 in chips)
Seat 9: fullhouseiii (18,509,069 in chips)

ILTAA eliminated in ninth place

Short stack macblack1 got an early reprieve when he three-bet shoved for 1.43 million from the small blind and initial raiser Lionet called with J♦T♥. Macblack1's K♠Q♦ held up and he doubled to 3.43 million. ILTAA, however, was not as fortunate when he made the same move with his last 1.91 million. ILTAA's K♣T♥ was no match for ruscittobr's A♣Q♣ and he departed in ninth place, earning $10,347.80.

Lionet doubles twice, busts macblack1 in eighth place

Down to 2.25 million with the blinds up to 200,000/400,000, Lionet picked up T♥T♦ and open-shoved on the button. Macblack1 tanked for quite a while in the big blind, before calling off most of his stack with 5♣5♠. It was quite the dramatic finish as macblack1 hit a set of fives on the J♥7♥5♦ flop, but he only kept the lead for a split second before Lionet turned the T♣ to wrest it back. The river was the A♦ and Lionet doubled to 4.96 million leaving macblack1 on only 725,000.

On the very next deal, Lionet picked up another big pair and doubled through mat1i when his Q♣Q♠ held up vs. A♥Q♥. Now armed with 10.75 million, Lionet finished off macblack1 on the next hand, his A♠6♦ rivering an eight-high straight vs. J♠9♦. For eighth place, macblack1 took home $16,022.40.

mat1i takes seventh, pAYtAXiSnICE succumbs in sixth

Three hands later, mat1i moved in for 1.93 million from UTG+1 and XXL#1kfcfan isolated with a three-bet to 3.46 million from the small blind. XXL#1kfcfan's A♦Q♣ had mat1i's A♥J♣ dominated and it held up on the K♠J♥7♥9♣T♦ board. For seventh place, mat1i earned $29,374.40.

By the time the blinds rose to 250,000/500,000, pAYtAXiSnICE had slipped to only 3.17 million. With the action folded around to him on the button, pAYtAXiSnICE open-shoved with Q♠J♣ and chip leader fullhouseiii reshoved from the small blind with A♠3♠. Although pAYtAXiSnICE made top pair on the Q♣9♦3♥ flop, fullhouseiii made aces up when the A♥ turned. The river was the 4♥ and pAYtAXiSnICE was eliminated in sixth place, collecting $42,726.40.

shermanash out in fifth place

Shermanash got a boost when he won a 7♦7♠ vs. J♦9♦ flip against fullhouseiii, doubling his stack to 5.57 million. A few hands later, the action folded to XXL#1kfcfan in the small blind and he moved all-in for 8.1 million. Shermanash called all-in from the big blind, his K♥T♣ leading XXl#1kfcfan's J♣7♣. XXL#1kfcfan flopped a seven and shermanash never caught up, the board running out 9♦7♥4♥4♣A♠ to send him to the rail in fifth place ($56,078.40).

Lionet and ruscittobr knock fullhouseiii out of the chip lead

On the next hand, fullhouseiii opened for a min-raise to 1.2 million and Lionet shoved for 8.75 million from the small blind. Fullhouseiii called, his K♣Q♦ racing with J♣J♦. Lionet's jacks held up and he doubled to 18.3 million while fullhouseiii slipped to 27.1 million. A few hands later it was ruscittobr's turn to double through the chip leader, his K♦T♥ flopping a ten vs. fullhouseiii's A♥9♣.

I wont 150k

At that point, the final four agreed to take a run at negotiating a deal. Here's a look at how they stacked up when the action paused:

Lionet - 27,251,122
fullhouseiii - 16,589,292
XXL#1kfcfan - 11,930,558
ruscittobr - 10,989,028

Final table host Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz provided the players with chip count chop and ICM numbers. While chip leader Lionet was willing to shave a few thousand off his ICM share in order to advance the negotiations, fullhouseiii refused to make a deal for anything less than $150k, about $9,300 more than his ICM share. Realizing they weren't going to get anywhere with fullhouseiii, Lionet, XXL#1kfcfan and ruscittobr asked to resume play.

ruscittobr takes fourth place, fullhouseiii falls in third

Moments after cards went back in the air, fullhouseiii open-shoved from the cutoff with A♥9♣ and ruscittobr called all-in from the big blind with pocket eights. Although ruscittobr survived the J♦5♠4♥ flop, fullhouseiii turned the 9♣, eliminating ruscittobr in fourth place ($73,436.00).

As play turned three-handed, Lionet held the lead with 34.8 million fullhouseiii was back up to 23.3 million and XXL#1kfcfan was the short stack with 8.6 million.

Although XXL#1kfcfan's pocket deuces won a race against fullhouseiii's A♣6♣ to double his stack to 12.1 million, he couldn't hang on much longer. With the blinds up to 400,000/800,000, Lionet opened for 2 million from the small blind and fullhouseiii shoved with A♥4♣ from the big. Lionet called and revealed pocket fives, the K♣8♦2♦9♦9♠ board ending fullhouseiii's run in third place ($106,816.00).

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: XXL#1kfcfan (10,644,316 in chips)
Seat 4: Lionet (56,115,684 in chips)

It only took five hands heads-up before Lionet closed it out, his Q♣J♥ flopping a jack to snap off XXL#1kfcfan's pocket eights:

Congratulations to Romania's Lionet on his first Sunday Million title! He banked $203,088.33 for the win while runner-up XXL#1kfcfan earned $150,210.00.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 5-25-2014

Players: 6,676
Prizepool: $1,335,200.00
Places paid: 990

1. Lionet (Romania) $203,088.33
2. XXL#1kfcfan (Canada) $150,210.00
3. fullhouseiii (Norway) $106,816.00
4. ruscittobr (Brazil) $73,436.00
5. shermanash (Canada) $56,078.40
6. pAYtAXiSnICE (Sweden) $42,726.40
7. mat1i (Poland) $29,374.40
8. macblack1 (Switzerland) $16,022.40
9. ILTAA (Switzerland) $10,347.80

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million