Sunday Million: Keiruja carries the day, tops 5,611 to win $175K

For much of the latter stages of this week's Sunday Million, Israel's agnaton was the pace-setter, enjoying the chip lead as the final table began and having an edge all of the way to heads-up play. But in the end it was the U.K.'s Keiruja managing to come from behind to claim all of the chips and a handsome $175,514.78 first prize.

Keiruja topped another big Sunday Million field of 5,611 to earn the win and largest share of this week's $1,122,200 prize pool (again besting the $1 million guarantee). Here's the story of how Keiruja did it.


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After nine-and-a-half hours of poker just 18 players remained with agnaton in first position with nearly 6.2 million, at the time about a million clear of the nearest challenger.

euras79 (18th), Mortan23 (17th), and Sebastian "p0cket00" Sikorski (16th) were the next players eliminated, each earning $3,310.49. caffecia (15th), plez010 (14th), and anetas1 (13th) followed them to the rail, picking up $4,993.79 apiece. Then Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (12th), flong78 (11th), and Kambodsja88 (10th) were successively felted, with each of them taking away $6,677.09 from the prize pool.

With agnaton still leading and FoxyLisa and IMonheat next in the counts, the final table was underway.


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Seat 1: FoxyLisa (Sweden) -- 10,248,156
Seat 2: tone2toni (Germany) -- 4,198,893
Seat 3: khmerkwads (Canada) -- 3,675,368
Seat 4: agnaton (Israel) -- 12,937,854
Seat 5: Keiruja (United Kingdom) -- 8,272,050
Seat 6: Tanveer "T_Dot_D" Dhanjal (Canada) -- 3,307,106
Seat 7: John "j0hndayt0n" Dayton (Canada) -- 1,548,496
Seat 8: IMonheat (Croatia) -- 9,696,589
Seat 9: obradovich (Russia) -- 2,225,488

Those nine battled for almost 15 minutes more, then in the last hand before the next break (coming at the 10-and-a-half-hour mark), tone2toni open-raised all in for more than 4.16 million (just over 16 big blinds) from the hijack seat, then leader agnaton reraised all in from the button and the blinds scattered.

tone2toni had A♣J♦ but had run into agnaton's A♦A♠, and five cards later -- 8♦K♣3♣8♣5♦ -- they were down to eight.

Shortly after play resumed, it was Keiruja raising from the cutoff ot 531,250 (a little over 2x), then IMonheat reraise-shoved for about 5.37 million from the big blind and Keiruja called. IMonheat showed 8♠8♣ but Keiruja had a better pair with T♥T♦, then the T♣A♣3♠ flop improved Keiruja further to a set. The 2♥ on the turn meant IMonheat was drawing dead, with the 8♥ falling on the river -- the card's rank making a second-best set and symbolizing IMonheat's eighth-place finish.

Just a minute later khmerkwads open-pushed from the button for about 2.52 million (about 10 BBs) with 9♥9♦, agnaton called from the small blind with A♦7♦, and a K♣5♦2♦8♦8♥ runout meant a flush for agnaton and seventh place for khmerkwads.

Play continued with the blinds increasing to 150,000/300,000, then a hand arose in which Keiruja raised to 750,000 from the small blind, then Tanveer "T_Dot_D" Dhanjal reraised all in to just over 4.43 million from the big blind and Keiruja called. Dhanjal had A♥3♦ and needed to improve versus Keiruja's T♠T♥, but the Q♠T♦Q♥Q♦2♦ board didn't provide it and Dhanjal was done in sixth.

A little later FoxyLisa was down to just over three big blinds and open-pushed for 1,242,304 from the small blind with agnaton calling from the big. FoxyLisa had A♠K♣ and agnaton Q♠8♦, and the J♠J♦7♠ flop was okay for the all-in player. But the 8♣ turn paired agnaton, and after the 7♣ river FoxyLisa was finished in fifth.

After adding those chips agnaton was soon up over 30 million, more than twice the stack of Keiruja in second position and also more than half the chips in play with four left.

Meanwhile on the short side was John "j0hndayt0n" Dayton, and after Keiruja open-raised all in from the small blind Dayton called all in with the 2,747,968 he had left after posting the 400,000 big blind. Keiruja had 6♣6♥ and Dayton A♠2♥. The Q♣7♠6♠ flop gave Keiruja a set, and a five on the turn meant Dayton was drawing dead to finish in fourth.

Just two hands later obradovich open-raised all in for about 6.26 million from the button with K♣T♣ and Keiruja called from the big blind with A♠6♠. The flop came 4♠9♠A♥, giving Keiruja a pair of aces plus a flush draw. The turn was the J♣ which meant obradovich was still barely drawing live, but the 7♠ completed Keiruja's flush, and obradovich's Sunday Million run ended in third.

A hand later the final pair paused the tournament to discuss a deal, with agnaton still leading with 30,016,374 to Keiruja's 26,093,626. Figures were produced ("ICM" and "chip chop" numbers being the same for heads-up), leaving $20K for which to play.

The proposed payouts were $143,991.69 for agnaton and $142,259.39 for Keiruja. agnaton agreed right away, but Keiruja asked for $143K. "no deal," said agnaton in response, and silence ensued. Finally after a few minutes Keiruja also said "play" and no deal was made.

agnaton pushed out further ahead right away, but Keiruja fought back to even things up, then a while later grabbed the lead. Then, as they were approaching the tournament's 12-hour mark, the final hand took place.

The blinds were 300,000/600,000, and agnaton led with a min-raise to 1.2 million from the button with Keiruja calling. The flop came Q♣5♣8♥, and Keiruja check-called a 1,335,600 bet from agnaton. The turn was the J♦, bringing another check from Keiruja, another bet from agnaton -- this time for 2,751,336 -- and another call from Keiruja.

The river then brought the 2♠. Keiruja checked one more time, and after pausing a few beats agnaton pushed the last 6,319,827 behind in the middle and Keiruja called right away. agnaton had Q♦T♥ for top pair, but Keiruja had Q♥5♥ for two pair and it was all over -- Keiruja had won.

Congratulations to Keiruja for beating a big field to win this week's Sunday Million and $175,514.78.

8/16/15 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants:  5,611
Prize pool: $1,122,000.00
Places paid: 810

1. Keiruja (United Kingdom) -- $175,514.78
2. agnaton (Israel) -- $130,736.30
3. obradovich (Russia) -- $92,413.17
4. John "j0hndayt0n" Dayton (Canada) -- $63,404.30
5. FoxyLisa (Sweden) -- $47,693.50
6. Tanveer "T_Dot_D" Dhanjal (Canada) -- $36,471.50
7. khmerkwads (Canada) -- $25,249.50
8. IMonheat (Croatia) -- $14,027.50
9. tone2toni (Germany) -- $8,977.60

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million