Sunday Million: Heard the word? Hand it to nerd2121, wins after 6-way deal

It's November already, and as the month kicked off on a Sunday that meant another round of big Sunday tournaments on PokerStars, highlighted as always by the marquee event, the $215 buy-in Sunday Million. This week's Milly drew another huge turnout of 5,573, thus building a prize pool of $1,114,600 (besting the $1M guarantee), and after almost 12 hours of poker it was Germany's nerd2121 rising above them all to claim the victory.

nerd2121 won following a six-player final table deal, which meant the $97,087.10 nerd2121 earned for the win was actually a little less than the amount won by three other players, each of whom made just over $100K on the day. Here's the story of how they all reached the final table and made their deal, as well as how nerd2121 managed to outlast them all.


By the seven-and-a-half-hour mark that big group was down to 100 players, with 10BadBoy10, Simon "Sirocko" Christensson, and AllStar_7474 topping the counts.

About two hours after that they were down to 18. By then former leaders AllStar_7474 (39th, $2,173.47), 10Badboy10 (49th, $2,006.28), and Simon "Sirocko" Christensson (51st, $2,006.28) had each been eliminated. Meanwhile 1HL7 had risen to the top of the counts with a stack of more than 8.3 million -- about three million clear of anyone else at the time.

Pablo238 (18th), BiigplayAA (17th), and ModzillaPL (16th) were the next players knocked out, earning $3,288.07 apiece. alwayswin222 (15th), Rafa Gitti (14th), and camba_jichi (13th) then fell, each earning $4,959.97. Then Thiago "tgrigoletti" Grigoletti (12th), Virgilik (11th), and Tomas "T 54 T 97s" Paiva (10th) were knocked out, each cashing for $6,631.87.

With bigbluffzinc the new big stack with over 15 million, the final table was underway.


Seat 1: PKRisMYstar (Romania) -- 3,023,824
Seat 2: arsendark10 (Russia) -- 3,782,296
Seat 3: Steve "mcnallyville" McNally (Mexico) -- 7,481,214
Seat 4: prusakowski (Poland) -- 11,063,049
Seat 5: bah23 (Bulgaria) -- 1,892,597
Seat 6: Wivil (Canada) -- 6,368,982
Seat 7: bigbluffzinc (Canada) -- 15,208,493
Seat 8: nerd2121 (Germany) -- 4,519,821
Seat 9: 1HL7 (United Kingdom) -- 2,389,724

On just the second hand of the final table, the short stack bah23 open-pushed for about 1.84 million from under the gun, Wivil reraised all in from a seat over, and everyone else stepped aside. bah23 showed 5♦5♠ and Wivil A♥K♣, and after the board came K♦3♥T♣T♥7♥ Wivil's kings were best and bah23 was out in ninth.

A little less than 10 minutes later, the blinds were still 125K/250K when PKRisMYstar open-raised all in for about 2.87 million, then it folded to Wivil in the cutoff who reraised over the top forcing folds the rest of the way. PKRisMYstar turned over A♠K♠ versus Wivil's J♣J♠, and while the flop brought a king there was a jack as well as it came K♦J♥6♥. The 6♠ turn meant PKRisMYstar was still drawing live, but the J♦ river made quads for Wivil and PKRisMYstar was done in eighth.

About 20 minutes after that Wivil was at it again, min-raising to 600,000 from middle position. It folded to 1HL7 in the big blind who three-bet all in for almost 2.2 million, and Wivil called, turning over A♣Q♠ to 1HL7's A♦9♠. The board rolled out T♣8♥2♣3♥4♠, meaning the kickers played and 1HL7 had been eliminated in seventh.

The final six played on a short while longer, then paused the tournament to talk about a possible deal. At that point Steve "mcnallyville" McNally (12.33 million) and bigbluffzinc (12.24 million) were nearly even at the top of the counts with Wivil (11.66 million) not far behind in third. They were followed by nerd2121 (7.46 million), prusakowski (6.56 million) and arsendark10 (5.84 million).

Both "ICM"-based and "chip chop" figures were shared with the group -- leaving aside $20K for which to play in both cases -- and after some discussion they all were able to go along with the "chip chop" numbers and soon play resumed.

They continued on into the tournament's 12th hour, then with the blinds up to 200K/400K a hand arose that saw arsendark10 open-raise all in for just over 3 million from late position and get one caller in prusakowski from the small blind. arsendark10 had A♥9♥ and prusakowski Q♣T♥, and the 5♦3♦5♠ flop kept the at-risk player in front. But the T♦ came on the turn then the Q♠ on the river to give prusakowski two pair and end arsendark10's run in sixth.

Eight hands later Wivil opened from the cutoff with a min-raise to 1 million, nerd2121 reraised all in for more than 11.3 million from the small blind, then when the big blind folded to Wivil called all in for about 6.34 million total. nerd2121 had A♦K♣ and the edge over Wivil's A♣J♦, and five cards later -- T♥Q♥4♣3♥3♣ -- nerd2121's hand was still best and Wivil was sent railward in fifth.

For a short while the four remaining players were close to each other in chips, but then nerd2121 began to push out in front. Then with the blinds up to 300K/600K, nerd2121 opened for 1,358,750 from UTG and prusakowski called from the small blind. bigbluffzinc then shoved all in for almost 13.3 million from the big blind. That move earned a reraise-shove from leader nerd2121, forcing a fold from prusakowski.

bigbluffzinc turned over 9♣9♠ while nerd2121 had that pipped with T♠T♣. The community cards came 7♣4♠8♣, then 6♠, then 7♠, and nerd2121's two pair were best as bigbluffzinc was outsed in fourth.

Not long after that they were in the same level when Steve "mcnallyville" McNally opened for just over 1.3 million from the button and both prusakowski (small blind) and nerd2121 (big blind) called. The flop came K♣9♥J♣, and it checked to McNally who continued for 2,250,750. Only prusakowski stuck around. The turn then brought the 3♦ and a check from prusakowski, after which McNally shoved all in for just over 6.18 million and prusakowski called.

McNally turned over A♠K♦ for top pair of kings, but prusakowski had a straight with Q♣T♠, and after the inconsequential river fell McNally had been stopped in third.

That set up heads-up play with nerd2121 starting out with the advantage with 33,793,916 to prusakowski's 21,936,084. After a few minutes nerd2121 had whittled away nearly all of the latter's stack having chipped up over 52 million while the latter fell below 3.5 million when the final hand took place.

It began with nerd2121 shoving all in from the button and prusakowski called with what amounted to about three BBs after having posted the big blind. nerd2121 had Q♦4♦ which turned out to be ahead of prusakowski's T♥2♥, and after the board came A♥7♣8♦3♠J♠ it was all over -- nerd2121 had prevailed.

Congratulations to nerd2121 for overcoming this week's huge Sunday Million field to earn the victory and nearly $100K, and kudos as well to the other five players who made it to the final table deal, thereby ensuring themselves nice paydays as well.

11/1/15 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants:  5,573
Prize pool: $1,114,600.00
Places paid: 810

1. nerd2121 (Germany) $97,087.10*
2. prusakowski (Poland) $72,134.15*
3. Steve "mcnallyville" McNally (Mexico) $103,755.48*
4. bigbluffzinc (Canada) $103,236.80*
5. Wivil (Canada) $100,061.63*
6. arsendark10 (Russia) $66,259.09*
7. 1HL7 (United Kingdom) $25,078.50
8. PKRisMYstar (Romania) $13,932.50
9. bah23 (Bulgaria) $8,916.80
* = denotes a six-way deal leaving $20,000 for the winner

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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million