Sunday Million: njåguar claws to a $183k score

It was difficult to tell what njåguar was more happy about, making the final table of the Sunday Million, or having his chat temporarily unbanned for the occasion. From the minute the final table hit, the Canadian engaged in a rambling, stream-of-consciousness monologue that walked a very, very fine line between the humorous and the irritating. Most of it is not worth repeating (and not suitable in polite company) but buried inside were a few gems:

njåguar: does anyone else play PLO here
njåguar: live plo
njåguar: and say "mary-j" instead of "pot"
njåguar: to symbolize a full bet
njåguar: because i do
njåguar: and i think its hilarious
njåguar: but no one else does

Njåguar brought the chip lead to the final table but had two formidable foes standing between him and the title. SCOOP and WCOOP champion flashdisastr was sitting right behind him in second place, while EPT San Remo champ Andrey "ThePateychuk" Pateychuk lurked in the middle of the pack. However, Norwegian upstart trendtrade hit his stride at the right time and took out flashdisastr in sixth place while njåguar dusted off ThePateychuk in fifth. Ultimately, njåguar got heads-up with a slight lead over trendtrade and after a couple of setbacks, roared back when his pocket jacks held up against pocket fives in a 58 million chip pot. Njåguar finished off trendtrade a few hands later and took down his first Sunday Million title, along with a $183,000 score.

This week's Million drew 6,469 players, their $215 buyins combining to form a $1,293,800.00 prize pool. 990 places were paid with first place set to earn $196,790.76.

Blinds were 125,000/250,000 with ten players remaining when njåguar opened for 512,500 from UTG and L.uki18L.uki moved all-in for 2.48 million on the button. Although L.uki18L.uki's A♠K♥ had njåguar's A♥9♦ dominated, njåguar flopped a nine and turned trips, ending L.uki18L.uki's run on the final table bubble.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: trendtrade (4,240,081 in chips)
Seat 2: Dieferson09 (3,667,195 in chips)
Seat 3: rocketsrony7 (8,400,486 in chips)
Seat 4: McSchmäh (8,466,902 in chips)
Seat 5: njåguar (15,476,926 in chips)
Seat 6: ThePateychuk (7,048,388 in chips)
Seat 7: Serega_Basov (6,336,645 in chips)
Seat 8: flashdisastr (10,310,249 in chips)
Seat 9: eskimo99 (743,128 in chips)

Eskimo99 clawed his way to the final table with only three big blinds and open-shoved with J♠9♠ only a few hands in. Njåguar found pocket sixes in the small blind and called, his pocket pair holding up on the A♥8♠5♣2♦3♥ board to eliminate eskimo99 in ninth place. Moments later, the action folded around to Serega_Basov who moved in for 5.18 million on the button with K♠J♥. Flashdisastr snap-called with A♠Q♦ in the small blind and flopped trip aces, ending Serega_Basov's run in eighth place. The carnage continued, as only two hands later, roacketsrony7 three-bet shoved for 3.48 million with pocket sixes in the big blind and opening raiser ThePateychuk called with A♦J♣. ThePateychuk hit top two on the A♥J♥5♦ flop and sent rocketsrony7 to the rail in seventh place.

Meanwhile in the njåguar monologue, he offered up this gem of an unsolicited anecdote:

njåguar: i was playing plo and the grinder was playing
njåguar: and i took some weird line
njåguar: then hes in the tank on the flop
njåguar: and i pull a full baguette out of my backpack
njåguar: and start eating it
njåguar: he now calls me french bread kid

Meanwhile, trendtrade climbed into second place when he doubled through ThePateychuk, his 9♠9♣ flopping a set vs. A♦K♠. A few hands later, njåguar made it 820,000 to go on the button and flashdisastr three-bet to 2,158,000. Njåguar called and they saw a A♥J♦3♣ flop. Flashdisastr led out for 1,658,555 and njåguar called. Both players checked the Q♦ turn, but when the 8♣ rivered, flashdisastr fired 2,869,555. Njåguar called and turned up J♠J♣ for a set, while flashdisastr showed Q♠8♥ for two pair. Njåguar raked in the 14 million pot and took the chip lead with 27 million while flashdisastr fell to 6.8 million.

One orbit later, the action folded to flashdisastr in the small blind and he open-shoved with K♦6♣. Unfortunately for him, trendtrade woke up with 6♦6♠ in the big blind and called. The T♥7♣4♣2♠8♠ board was of no help to flashdisastr, and the Double-COOP winner hit the rail in sixth place.

ThePateychuk followed flashdisastr out the door a few hands later in a most unlucky fashion. All-in with A♦Q♥ vs. njåguar's Q♦T♥, ThePateychuk saw a ten hit the flop and no ace to follow it on the T♦9♣4♠K♠3♣ board, ending his run in fifth place.

At this stage, all four players were ready to discuss a deal, but just as everyone was checking the box to pause play, trendtrade made a small blind shove for 15.2 million and Dieferson09 called all-in for 4.82 million with K♥Q♦. Trandtrade was in bad shape with 5♦6♠ but got a reprieve on the flop with bottom pair. Trendtrade turned eights and sixes, the board finishing T♦8♦6♣8♣2♠ to send Dieferson09 home in fourth.

As the action paused for the players to discuss their deal options, the chip counts were as follows:

njåguar 35,773,415
trendtrade 20,712,781
McSchmäh 8,203,804

Unimpressed by the ICM share that offered him $158,000, chip leader njåguar was only willing to go with a chip count chop.

njåguar: na
njåguar: eff dat noise
njåguar: 158k doesnt even get me out of makeup

Trendtrade and McSchmäh were willing to accept the ICM chop only. With negotiations at a standstill, final table host Tyler "frosty012" Frost resumed play.

However, on the second hand after cards went back in the air, McSchmäh moved in for 8.75 million on the button and trendtrade called from the big blind. Trendtrade's A♣K♣ held up against K♠3♥ and McSchmäh went out in third place.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: trendtrade (29,766,585 in chips)
Seat 5: njåguar (34,923,415 in chips)

Trendtrade and njåguar played one hand heads-up before making another run at a deal. This time, they agreed to the ICM numbers, with trendtrade kicking up $10 to njåguar so he could have an even $163k share.

When action resumed, trendtrade struck first, raking in a 17.6 million pot when he turned a pair of aces against njåguar's open-ended straight draw. Njåguar fired a 3.43 million bluff on the river just as trendtrade made aces up and slopped to 29.1 million.

Njåguar chipped away at trendtrade and got the counts back to where they started heads-up when trendtrade retook the lead. Njåguar fired the flop and turn on a 7♠8♣4♥2♥7♣ board and trendtrade looked him up with an unimproved A♠9♠. Both players checked the river and trendtrade's ace high held up to win the 13 million pot.

Njåguar was back down to 29 million when he picked up J♠J♥ and three-bet to 3.13 million. Trendtrade four-bet to 29.75 million and njåguar happily called all-in. Trendtrade was in a world of hurt with 5♣5♥ and did not improve on the K♠9♥8♦T♠7♦ board.

Left with 5.8 million, trendtrade open-shoved on the button with 9♣T♣ and njåguar looked him up with A♥5♠. Although trendtrade picked up a gutshot straight draw on the J♦7♣5♦ flop, the turn and river blanked with the 2♦ and the 3♥, locking up the title for njåguar.

Congratulations to njåguar on his Sunday Million victory! He took home $183,000.00 for the win while runner-up trendtrade banked $159,343.26.

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PokerStars Sunday Million results for 4-12-2015

Players: 6,469
Prizepool: $1,293,800.00
Places paid: 990

1. njåguar (Canada) $183,000.00*
2. trendtrade (Norway) $159,343.26*
3. McSchmäh (Germany) $103,504.00
4. Dieferson09 (Brazil) $71,159.00
5. Andrey "ThePateychuk" Pateychuk (Russia) $54,339.60
6. flashdisastr (Luxembourg) $41,401.60
7. rocketsrony7 (Israel) $28,463.60
8. Serega_Basov (Russia) $15,525.60
9. eskimo99 (Canada) $10,026.95

*= reflects the results 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