Sunday Million: TrondheimAAA triumphs, tops field of 31,439 to win $489K

Typically PokerStars' Sunday Million awards first prizes that approach or exceed the $200K mark. But this week saw no less than six players take away at least $240K apiece thanks to a super-sized field for the year's final installment of the weekly $215 no-limit hold'em tournament. Ultimately it was Norway's TrondheimAAA taking just over 14 hours to top a massive field of 31,439 to win this week's Milly and end 2014 with an eye-popping $489,130.83 score to add to the year's ledger. And a six-way final table deal meant five others ended their years with handsome cashes as well to record.


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A $5 million guarantee was attached to this last Sunday Million of 2014 -- five times the usual $1 million guarantee -- and that helped encourage the big turnout which ultimately built an enormous prize pool of $6,287,800. After a little over five hours they'd played down to 5,220 players and the money bubble had burst, with Djoni Di., Jo589, and jcpoloh then leading the counts.

It would take another five hours after that for the field to be whittled down to 100, during which stretch Djoni Di. (330th, $2,200.73), jcpoloh (347th, $1,697.70), and Jo589 (641st, $649.65) were all sent railward. Meanwhile chipdonkey247 had become the new chip leader with hate3cards not far behind.

By the 12-hour mark of the tournament just 18 players were left gathered around the final two tables. hate3cards remained near the leaders, chipdonkey247 had slipped to below the average, and TrondheimAAA had risen to the top of the counts with more than 33 million.

Desmoplakin (18th), Aftret (17th), and EddyMerckx3 (16th) next were knocked out, each earning $21,692.91. Andrew "achen" Chen (15th), MarlaDurrden (14th), and indy.songo9 (13th) followed, taking away $29,112.51 apiece. And chipdonky247 (12th), hate3cards (11th), and zuppy90 (10th) were next to go, each picking up $39,110.11 for not quite making the final table.

During that stretch TrondheimAAA increased the lead and was sitting with more than 100 million chips as the final table began.


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Seat 1: EVITS_AK (Brazil) -- 14,520,139
Seat 2: straßenjupp (Germany) -- 50,229,068
Seat 3: alwaysdegen (India) -- 21,539,136
Seat 4: manipulatoor (Poland) -- 38,044,510
Seat 5: Tiago "tgassen" Gassen (Brazil) -- 33,429,112
Seat 6: TrondheimAAA (Norway) -- 103,613,318
Seat 7: Aditya "Donkab0mber" Sushant (India) -- 12,510,944
Seat 8: Zarmil (Austria) -- 32,122,376
Seat 9: Ivan Barros (Brazil) -- 8,381,397

A little over an orbit into the final table, alwaysdegen opened from early position with a 2x raise to 3.4 million, Aditya "Donkab0mber" Sushant three-bet to 15.3 million from the cutoff, alwaysdegen shoved, and Sushant caled with the 350,944 left. alwaysdegen had A♠K♠ and Donkab0mber 8♣8♦, an ace flopped, and when no eight followed Sushant was out in ninth.

Shortly after it was Tiago "tgassen" Gassen opening with a slightly-more-than-minimum raise to 3,502,000 from the cutoff, Ivan Barros shoving over the top for about 13.6 million from the big blind, and Gassen calling. Ivan Barros needed help with A♥9♣ versus Gassen's Q♠Q♦, but the board brought nothing for Ivan Barros whose run ended in eighth.

The blinds increased to 1m/2m, then a hand arose in which Zarmil opened for 4 million from middle position, alwaysdegen pushed all in from the small blind for about 14.6 million total, and Zarmil called. It was alwaysdegen's J♣J♥ versus Zarmil's A♠3♠, and through the turn those jacks remained in front. But the A♥ fell on fifth street to pair Zarmil's hand, and alwaysdegen was sent away in seventh.

The final six continued a short while longer, then paused proceedings to discuss a possible chop. TrondheimAAA was still the overwhelming leader with nearly 125 million, Zarmil was next with about 57 million, and the other four were all in the 27-37 million range. Both "chip chop" and ICM-based figures were presented -- in each case leaving $50,000 for which to play -- and working from the ICM numbers a few tweaks were made and a deal was agreed upon.

As noted, all six had guaranteed themselves paydays greater than the usual Sunday Million first prize, and with $50K still left on the table, there was still a lot worth playing for as cards went back in the air.

On the first hand back, straßenjupp open-shoved from the small blind with T♣7♦ and manipulatoor called all in for about 24 million from the big blind with A♥5♠. The K♠9♠2♠ flop and K♥ turn were okay for manipulatoor, but the 7♣ came on the river to give straßenjupp a pair and stop manipulatoor in sixth.

Three hands later leader TrondheimAAA opened with a 3x raise to 6 million from the button, EVITS_AK reraised to nearly 14.5 million from the big blind, and TrondheimAAA called. TrondheimAAA had K♣J♦ and EVITS_AK Q♣T♠, and when the board came eight-high EVITS_AK was done in fifth.

Just a few minutes later Tiago "tgassen" Gassen open-shoved for a little less than 44 million from the button and TrondheimAAA was there to call from the small blind. Gassen had Q♦J♦ and TrondheimAAA K♦Q♥, a couple of kings came among the community cards but no queens, and Gassen was eliminated in fourth.

Just two minutes after that hand straßenjupp min-raised to 5 million from the button, Zarmil shoved for about 27.5 million from the big blind, and straßenjupp called. Zarmil had 6♥6♠ and straßenjupp 2♣2♦. Once again a hand would reach the river with the at-risk player still in front following the 3♠9♥A♣ flop and J♣ turn. But the 2♥ dropped on fifth street, giving straßenjupp a set and knocking out Zarmil in third.

Heads-up play began with TrondheimAAA enjoying a better than 2-to-1 chip lead with over 222 million to straßenjupp's almost 92 million. Ten hands into their duel TrondheimAAA had chipped away just a little at straßenjupp's stack when suddenly -- just over 14 hours after the tournament had started -- the final hand took place.

It began with TrondheimAAA opening for the minimum with a raise to 6 million from the button with straßenjupp calling. The flop came K♠7♠T♣. straßenjupp checked, TrondheimAAA bet 9 million, straßenjupp check-raised to 27 million, TrondheimAAA reraised again to more than 90 million and straßenjupp called with the 52,057,506 left.

straßenjupp: T♠5♠
TrondheimAAA: K♣7♦

straßenjupp had flopped middle pair plus a flush draw, while TrondheimAAA had two pair with kings and sevens. The turn was the 8♣ and river the 4♣, and that was it -- TrondheimAAA had won the extra $50K and the title.

Congratulations to TrondheimAAA for taking away an almost half-million dollar score following the six-handed deal, and kudos as well to the other five players making it to the chop for securing themselves huge paydays as well to round out 2014.

12/28/14 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants:  31,439
Prize pool: $6,287,800.00
Places paid: 5,220

1. TrondheimAAA (Norway) -- $489,130.83*
2. straßenjupp (Germany) -- $268,725.21*
3. Zarmil (Austria) -- $325,775.16*
4. Tiago "tgassen" Gassen (Brazil) -- $265,743.51*
5. EVITS_AK (Brazil) -- $275,802.74*
6. manipulatoor (Poland) -- $241,074.70*
7. alwaysdegen (India) -- $96,014.70
8. Ivan Barros (Brazil) -- $71,177.89
9. Aditya "Donkab0mber" Sushant (India) -- $52,754.64

*= reflects the results of a six-way deal that left $50,000 in play for the winner

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million