Sunday Million: nareee gets the last laugh, banks $187k after heads-up deal

Deal-making in a big money situation is an extremely delicate dance. It requires excellent timing, deft negotiation, and most of all, the ability to walk away in the face of temptation. Tonight, some of the most intense action in the Sunday Million happened when the cards weren't in the air as the final four players attempted to divide more than half a million dollars in prize money between them. Holding 55% of the chips, Australia's pinguinho was negotiating from the strongest position, but despite his 15 big blind stack, thx4urm0n3y decided to hold out for more money than pinguinho was willing to relinquish. However, after two lengthy rounds of failed discussions, pinguinho lost his grip on the lead and finished a disappointing third, his chips landing with nareee. Thex4urm0n3y went in to heads-up at nearly a 3 to 1 deficit, but clawed back to even and at last, struck a deal for an even chop. Five hands later, nareee won the bonus $20k and his first Sunday Million title for a $187,575.27 haul, while patience paid off for thx4urm0n3y, who earned at least $30,000 more than his highest deal offer.

6,711 players bought in to this week's Million, creating a $1,312,200.00 prize pool. 990 places were paid with first place set to earn $204,153.03. Team Online's Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara won the Red Spade last-longer and made quite a deep run, busting out in 36th place when his A♠Q♠ ran into pocket aces.

Thx4urm0n3y took the chip lead with three tables remaining and at his peak, held more than twice the chips of second place. However, he fell back to the 13 million mark as the final table bubble approached. With ten players remaining and the blinds up to 150,000/300,000, pinguinho opened for a min-raise from the cutoff and pokerzysta90 shoved for 3.03 million. Pinguinho snap-called with A♥A♠ and a dismayed pokerzysta90 turned over K♥K♦. Pinguinho's aces held and pokerzysta90 departed on the final table bubble.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: Asso_PB (4,116,359 in chips)
Seat 2: pinguinho (11,075,333 in chips)
Seat 3: nareee (9,103,748 in chips)
Seat 4: Rafael Ary (8,636,530 in chips)
Seat 5: thx4urm0n3y (13,232,423 in chips)
Seat 6: CONCRETE1990 (8,293,388 in chips)
Seat 7: krikun-slava (1,425,775 in chips)
Seat 8: Vico$carpini (6,050,510 in chips)
Seat 9: dagonet21 (5,175,934 in chips)

Short stack krikun-slava got a reprieve when he doubled to 3.1 million on Hand #3, but less than an orbit later, krikun-slava three-bet shoved with A♥J♣ and ran into Asso_PB's pocket kings to go out in ninth place. Pinguinho crept into the chip lead with 16.2 million and solidified it when Vico$carpini open-shoved for 2.8 million. Pinguinho called from the big blind and his A♣6♥ hung on vs. Vico$carpini's J♦9♣ on a ten-high board that paired eights and fours. For eighth place, Vico$carpini took home $16,106.40.

Pinguinho picked up even more momentum when he won a A♣K♥ vs. Q♣Q♥ coinflip and eliminated Asso_PB in seventh place. The hand took him up to 30.9 million in chips, more than triple thx4urm0n3y's second-place 9.73 million. Then, on the very next deal, thx4urm0n3y opened for a min-raise to 800,000 and CONCRETE1990 shoved for 6.07 million from middle position. The action folded to nareee in the big blind and he shoved for 8.93 million, folding out thx4urm0n3y. Nareee's pocket kings held up against pocket tens and CONCRETE1990 hit the rail in sixth place.

CONCRETE1990's elimination left dagonet21 as the short stack and he moved his last 1.73 million in the middle with A♥9♥ from the small blind. Pinguinho called the extra 1.33 million with 5♠6♥ in the big and flopped a five on the T♦5♥3♣K♠8♠ board to take us down to four players.

The final four immediately agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

pinguinho 36,807,217
nareee 16,483,660
Rafael Ary 8,007,284
thx4urm0n3y 5,811,839

Holding 55% of the chips in play, pinguinho was in the drivers seat as negotiations began. Before ICM and chip chop numbers were presented, he warned his opponents that it would take a substantial number to get him to make a deal.

pinguinho: guys i have more than half of chips so wont take any less than 180

That $180,000 figure was a decent enough starting point for the negotiations, falling almost halfway between pinguinho's $161,906 ICM share and his $195,065 chip count chop share. However, short stack thx4urm0n3y was irked at the idea of giving up so much to the chip leader.

thx4urm0n3y: ping take 170k and let us figure rest out
thx4urm0n3y: you dont live in dream land where you win this all the time

Despite his 15 big blind stack, thx4urm0n3y demanded a minimum $110,000 share-- $6,500 more than his ICM share, $17,000 more than his chip chop share and a whopping $36,000 more than fourth-place money. Pinguinho scoffed at his hubris, and reminded him of his current chip position.

pinguinho: u have 15bbs
thx4urm0n3y: you had 15 bb an hour ago
thx4urm0n3y: and i had 50bb
thx4urm0n3y: **** happens

Pinguinho conceded and backed down from his $180k requirement to $170k. However, Rafael Ary and nareee were not willing to give up enough of their respective shares to get thx4urm0n3y up to $110k. With an agreement far off, cards went back in the air and action resumed.

Unfortunately for Rafael Ary, he ended up on the wrong side of a coinflip for all his chips. After pinguinho opened for a min-raise to 1 million on the button, Rafael Ary shoved for 10.6 million with pocket sevens and thx4urm0n3y called all-in for less from the big blind with A♣J♦. A jack hit the flop and Rafael Ary was crippled to only 2 million in chips. Two hands later, Rafael Ary went out in fourth place when his Q♣T♠ didn't improve vs. nareee's K♦3♥.

Now armed with a much bigger stack, thx4urm0n3y immediately chimed in that he was willing to look at numbers again. Nareee and pinguinho agreed and the action paused a second time.

pinguinho 28,777,217
mareee 22,179,105
thx4urm0n3y 16,153,678

Not much had changed except for the chip counts. Once again, short stack thx4urm0n3y took the reins and once again, pinguinho had a hard number in mind.

thx4urm0n3y: let us be fair this time guys
pinguinho: I very was fair
pinguinho: 170k at least
thx4urm0n3y: you wont get that
thx4urm0n3y: come on me and nare aren't stupid

However, in his next breath thx4urm0n3y revealed his own hard number, $1,100 more than his ICM share and $3,650 more than chip chop. Naturally, pinguinho wasn't having any of it.

thx4urm0n3y: i am taking 140k minimum
pinguinho: LOL
pinguinho: LOL

Despite thx4urm0n3y's best attempts to manipulate his opponents into accepting a deal that would award him a $140k share, pinguinho would not relent. As a last-ditch effort, pinguinho lowered his number to $165k, but neither he nor nareee were willing to give up the $3,750 that would get thx4urm0n3y to $140k.

thx4urm0n3y: give me rest or let s play
thx4urm0n3y: 2643.54 from ping , 1k from naree
thx4urm0n3y: or let s play
pinguinho: lets play

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Once again, cards went back in the air and nareee soon took the chip lead away from pinguinho. In a pot nareee three-bet to 2.87 million preflop, both players checked the 9♣4♠2♣ flop. When the K♣ turned, pinguinho fired out 2.4 million and nareee called. The river was the 5♠ and pinguinho made it 4.2 million to go. Nareee smelled a rat and called with A♠5♣ for only a pair of fives. Pinguinho had compete air with T♦7♦ and nareee raked in the 19.1 million pot.

Pinguinho fell to 14.1 million and with the blinds up to 300,000/600,000, he made a 3x raise to 1.8 million from the small blind. Nareee called and they saw a 6♣5♣5♠ flop. Pinguinho bet 2.4 million and nareee called. The turn was the Q♦ and pinguinho shoved for his remaining 9.9 million. Naree called and turned over 4♥5♥ for trips while pinguinho was drawing dead with 3♥T♦. The inconsequential river card was the 8♥ and pinguinho departed in third place, earning $107,376.00.

Still, thx4urm0n3y couldn't resist a needle.

thx4urm0n3y: he should have taken the deal

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 3: nareee (49,580,708 in chips)
Seat 5: thx4urm0n3y (17,529,292 in chips)

After fifteen minutes of small-pot poker, thx4urm0n3y had chipped up to 24.2 million. With the blinds up to 400,000/800,000, nareee opened for 1.6 million on the button and thx4urm0n3y three-bet to 4.21 million. Nareee came back over the top for 8.77 million and thx4urm0n3y shoved. Nareee gave up his hand and thx4urm0n3y raked in the 17.7 million pot without even seeing a flop.

Nareee and thx4urm0n3y's chip counts were now within about 650,000 of one another. Although their two previous attempts at deal-making were unsuccessful to say the least, nareee finally made thx4urm0n3y an offer he couldn't refuse.

nareee: even chop?
thx4urm0n3y: yea ill take it

The deal guaranteed nareee and thx4urm0n3y $167,575 apiece and action resumed with $20,000 still at stake. However, it only took five more hands to find a winner. All the money went in preflop, thx4urm0n3y making the final raise holding A♣7♥. Naree called with pocket sixes. The T♠7♣5♣ flop paired thx4urm0n3y's kicker, but nareee hit a $20k two-outer on the turn when the 6♥ fell. The river was the K♦ and thx4urm0n3y had to settle for second place while nareee claimed his first Sunday Million title.

Congratulations to Brazil's nareee on a massive $187,575.27 score! For his runner-up finish, thx4urm0n3y took home $167,575.26.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 12-7-2014

Players: 6,711
Prizepool: $1,342,200.00
Places paid: 990

1. nareee (Brazil) $187,575.27*
2. thx4urm0n3y (Canada) $167,575.26*
3. pinguinho (Australia) $107,376.00
4. Rafael Ary (Brazil) $73,821.00
5. dagonet21 (Cyprus) $56,372.40
6. CONCRETE1990 (Netherlands) $42,950.40
7. Asso_PB (Germany) $29,528.40
8. Vico$carpini (Brazil) $16,106.40
9. krikun-slava (Russia) $10,402.05

*= 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