Sunday Million: Monchonidas manages win, Team Pro Christophe de Meulder sixth

It was another huge Sunday Million field this week to kick off April, with an exciting final table that included the Team PokerStars Pro Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder who managed a sixth-place finish. Not long after the Belgian's knockout a four-way deal ensued, with eventual third-place finisher Filurn of Denmark ultimately earning the biggest cash of $186,599.61 before the U.K.'s Monchonidas came away with the win and a cool $163,000 prize.

In all there were 8,207 participating this week, thus building a $1,641,400 prize pool divided among the top 1,170 finishers. It would ultimately take almost exactly 12 hours for the tourney to play out, and here's the story of how Monchonidas managed the win.

From 8,207 to 100

It took exactly five hours for the field to be whittled down to 1,171 players and start of hand-for-hand play on the money bubble, then another couple of minutes for dasefekt to be the unfortunate 1,171st-place finisher and the tourney to reach the cash.

At that point grphn led all with Akofelaz and Martin "0PIGGYBANK" Finger occupying the next two spots in the counts. Meanwhile Team PokerStars Pro Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder was doing well with an above average stack and Team Online member Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen also in the money although short on chips.

Petersen would soon bow out in 1,130th ($328.28) after shoving his last eight-and-a-half big blinds with K♠[10d] from the button, running into doOomer sitting in the blinds with A♣K♦, and failing to improve. But de Meulder would keep adding to stay in the top half of the counts as the tourney continued.

Almost three hours later they were down to just 100 players, with Martin "0PIGGYBANK" Finger (113th, $1313.12) and Akofelaz (143rd, $1,066.91) having been recently eliminated but grphn still inside the top 20 while REM_Fireman, Monchonidas, and iva-zouzi moved into the top spots. Christophe de Meulder was still there, too, at that point hovering around 60th position with a below average stack.

From 100 to 9

Sometime later they were just hitting the 10-hour mark when 18 players were left, with de Meulder, REM_Fireman, Monchonidas, and iva-zouzi still among them while was insanocut sitting in the top spot with more than 12.5 million chips.

A little over a half-hour later they were down to nine, with Amabile61 (18th), Vichyn88 (17th), and Mateus#9 (16th) taking away $4,349.71 each, samomat (15th), armzi92 (14th), and n3xD (13th) making $6,565.60 apiece, and Dimon_77_rus (12th), Falckone (11th), and iva-zouzi (10th) each cashing for $8,781.49.

With Filurn having moved out in front with more than 22 million and de Meulder still among those with chips, the final table was under way.


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Seat 1: Monchonidas (United Kingdom) -- 8,456,314
Seat 2: REM_Fireman (Brazil) -- 2,448,358
Seat 3: Filurn (Denmark) -- 22,250,698
Seat 4: insanocut (Canada) -- 17,762,860
Seat 5: zetheriver (Norway) -- 5,283,860
Seat 6: $K-a-R-e$229 (Russia) -- 7,322,751
Seat 7: Haerdin (Sweden) -- 4,225,181
Seat 8: Team PokerStars Pro Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder (Belgium) -- 5,809,574
Seat 9: Gronî (Gibraltar) -- 8,510,404

$K-a-R-e$229 cashes out in ninth

Just minutes after the final table began, the blinds were 150k/300k when $K-a-R-e$229 opened for 900,000 from middle position, then Gronî reraised all in from the button for more than 7.6 million. The blinds folded, then $K-a-R-e$229 called with the 4,112,751 left behind.

$K-a-R-e$229 had A♣Q♠ but was needing help against Gronî's A♦K♣. The board came 5♦J♣2♥9♠T♥, and $K-a-R-e$229 was out in ninth.

REM_Fireman extinguished in eighth

Not long after that they were in the same level when REM_Fireman open-raised all in from under the gun for 1,628,358 (about five-and-a-half big blinds) and got one caller in Gronî playing from the small blind.

It was A♣J♦ for REM_Fireman and T♥T♠ for Gronî. The flop came 5♣2♦A♥ to pair REM_Fireman's ace and after the 8♥ turn it appeared REM_Fireman was about to double up. But the river was the T♦ to give Gronî a winning set, thus ending REM_Fireman's run in eighth.

Haerdin halted in seventh

Just two minutes later Filurn raised 2x to 600,000 from the hijack seat, then insanocut reraised to 1,774,435 from one seat over. Haerdin called the three-bet from the small blind, then both the big blind and Filurn folded and the flop came 7♠9♥2♠. Haerdin checked, insanocut bet 1,899,955, Haerdin check-raised all in for 6,395,927, and insanocut called.

Both players had overpairs, but insanocut's A♠A♥ was better than Haerdin's J♠J♦. The turn was the 6♣ and river the 9♣, and Haerdin hit the rail in seventh.

Christophe sent off in sixth

On the very next hand, Filurn min-raised to 600,000 from UTG, then Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder shoved from the button for 5,129,574 and the blinds stepped aside. Filurn called quickly, showing A♣Q♠ to de Meulder's 6♣6♦, and when the board came Q♦9♣5♦5♠J♣ Filurn's hand was best and the Team PokerStars Pro was out in sixth.


2014.04.06-sundaymillion-demeulder.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder

Gronî gone in fifth

It would take a while for the next elimination to come, with the blinds moving up to 250k/500k during the interim. Then a hand arose that saw Gronî raise to 1 million from the button, Monchonidas reraise all in from the small blind for more than 12.7 million, then Gronî call all in with the 6,274,126 left behind.

The pair were racing as Gronî held A♥K♣ and Monchonidas Q♠Q♥. The board then came nine-high -- 6♣4♣7♠9♣5♠ -- and Gronî was eliminated in fifth.

A four-way deal, then zetheriver zonked in fourth

The final four played on for a short while, then paused the tourney to discuss a possible deal to divide up most of the remaining prize pool. At the time Filurn led with almost 26.7 million, insanocut was close behind in second with about 25.4 million, Monchonidas was third with just over 18.7 million, and zetheriver fourth with a little less than 11.2 million.

An "ICM"-based division of the money leaving $20,000 for which to play was proposed, then after insanocut, Monchonidas, and zetheriver all agreed to give Filurn a bit more a deal was agreed upon and play continued with $20,000 still up for grabs.

About 10 minutes after play resumed the blinds were 300k/600k when insanocut opened for 1.2 million from the button, zetheriver called from the small blind, then Monchonidas pushed all in for more than 25 million from the big blind. insanocut folded, but zetheriver called with the 8,010,880 left and the two remaining players' cards were revealed.

zetheriver: 3♦3♥
Monchonidas: J♦T♦

The flop came J♥6♥Q♠ to put Monchonidas ahead, and after the 4♥ turn and 8♦ river they were down to three.

Filurn falls in third

Former leader Filurn slipped to short-stacked status, relatively speaking, versus the other two, and soon was open-pushing all in for 6,620,339 (about 11 big blinds) from the button and getting a caller in insanocut.

Filurn had K♦5♦ but was in a tough spot against insanocut's A♠5♠. The 9♥A♣6♣K♣8♣ board then paired both players, but it wasn't enough for Filurn who went out in third although pocketed what was already guaranteed to be the biggest payday of the night thanks to the four-way chop.


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Monchonidas outlasts insanocut, takes title

insanocut started heads-up play with a lead over Monchonidas with 49,880,563 to the latter's 32,189,437. The pair battled for a while, then Monchonidas won a big preflop all-in with A♠Q♦ versus insanocut's Q♥J♥ to take a commanding lead.

insanocut chipped back to narrow the gap, then just as the tourney reached the 12-hour mark the final hand took place.

The blinds were 400k/800k, and the hand began with a min-raise to 1.6 million by insanocut from the button. Monchonidas responded by reraising to 3.6 million, then insanocut made it 7,245,645 to go. Monchonidas then pushed all in, and insanocat called with the 28,220,408 left.

Monchonidas had A♣T♦ and the preflop edge over insanocut's A♦9♦, and five cards later -- 4♥3♦7♥K♠5♦ -- Monchonidas's hand remained best.


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As it happened, by winning the heads-up duel and collecting the extra $20,000, Monchonidas equaled insanocut's takeaway of $163,000. Congratulations to both players as well as to Filurn and zetheriver who also ensured themselves handsome paydays after having made it to the four-way deal.

4/6/14 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants: 8,207

Prize pool: $1,641,400.00 
Places paid: 1,170

1. Monchonidas (United Kingdom) $163,000.00*
2. insanocut (Canada) $163,000.00*
3. Filurn (Denmark) $186,599.61*
4. zetheriver (Norway) $120,000.00*
5. Gronî (Gibraltar) $65,656.00
6. Team PokerStars Pro Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder (Belgium) $49,242.00
7. Haerdin (Sweden) $32,828.00
8. REM_Fireman (Brazil) $18,876.10
9. $K-a-R-e$229 (Russia) $12,720.85

*= reflects the results of a four-way deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner

Have you been reading about the ever-expanding Super Tuesday fields of late? A record 711 played the $1,050 no-limit hold'em event last time, with Marty "TheLipoFund" Mathis making it to heads-up for a second straight week! Read all about it here.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million