Sunday Million: Timonpoika takes top prize, earns $174K
As the NBA finals played out on Sunday night, thrilling fans with another wild overtime game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Sunday Million on PokerStars was providing thrills as well, and in fact the player Nba-Slam from Lithuania made a strong push toward the goal of earning the victory in this week's installment of online poker's most popular weekly tournament.
But at the end it was Finland's Timonpoika swatting away Nba-Slam and all other comers to capture all of the chips and a handsome $174,607.39 first prize.
A total of 5,582 took part in this week's Milly, building a $1,116,400 prize pool that bested the $1 million guarantee. The money bubble burst right around the tournament's five-hour mark, and soon the field began to shrink quickly from the 810 who made the money, with chubb10, Konstantinos "arxigos" Nanos, and Carol Lisita among those at the top of the counts as play pushed forward.
About two hours after that the field had shrunk under 160 players, with cipple444, sebekmks11, and mazurov533 the new chip leaders.
Two-and-a-half hours after that they were down to 18, with john4kos8 having moved into first position by building a stack of more than 8 million. Meanwhile former frontrunners sebekmks11 (29th, $2,400.26), Konstantinos "arxigos" Nanos (49th, $2,009.52), mazurov533 (73rd, $1,507.14), chubb10 (111st, $1,004.76), and Carol Lisita (150th, $781.48) had all fallen, while cipple444 remained battling with a below average stack.
oohohoo (18th), hauzis (17th), and cwixtopher (16th) were the next to go, each earning $3,293.38 for their finishes. VaFadrian (15th), Luke "lukeboy88" Davies (14th), and Kadnan1815 (13th) followed, picking up $4,967.98 apiece. Then cipple444 (12th), A.Brandon (11th), and john4kos8 (10th) successively fell, taking away $6,642.58.
With NinziAkaPaxi the new chip leader with just over 9.1 million, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: ihaterivers (Canada) -- 5,450,308
Seat 2: Ltradee (Sweden) -- 7,783,083
Seat 3: J. Gelades (Ukraine) -- 6,020,751
Seat 4: Timonpoika (Finland) -- 6,054,554
Seat 5: Bookie1978 (Netherlands) -- 8,756,780
Seat 6: Simon "dybban" Lindell (Sweden) -- 5,875,344
Seat 7: Gleb "psyhoagromor" Kovtunov (Ukraine) -- 555,003
Seat 8: Nba-Slam (Lithuania) -- 6,219,312
Seat 9: NinziAkaPaxi (Finland) -- 9,104,865
On just the second hand of the final table, the short stack Gleb "psyhoagromor" Kovtunov open-raised all in from the button for just over 380,000 (not even two big blinds). Kovtunov is a former WCOOP champion, having won a $1,050 NLHE event in 2014 -- a special Super Tuesday -- for $242K.
Nba-Slam responded to Kovtunov's push by three-betting to just over 510,000 from the small blind, and NinziAkaPaxi called the reraise from the big blind.
Both Nba-Slam and NinziAkaPaxi checked after the 9♠K♦3♥ flop and 5♣ turn, then when the river brought the J♥, Nba-Slam bet 428,500, NinziAkaPaxi raised to 1.75 million, and Nba-Slam folded. NinziAkaPaxi showed 3♠3♦ for a flopped set, better than the Q♦4♥ of Kovtunov and the latter was out in ninth.
About an orbit later the blinds were still 125,000/250,000 when Timonpoika min-raised to 500,000 from middle position, then Bookie1978 reraised to 1.5 million from a seat over. It folded around ihaterivers who called all in with the almost 173,000 left after posting the big blind, and Timonpoika stepped aside.
Bookie1978 had A♣Q♣ while ihaterivers needed help with K♥3♣. The board rolled out T♦6♦4♣6♥Q♠, and ihaterivers was done in eighth.
Another 15 minutes went by, then it was Ltradee open-raising all in from the button for about 2.62 million (not quite 9 BBs) with K♠5♠, Timonpoika calling from the big blind with A♥T♥, then watching a board come T♣K♣J♦T♦5♥. Ltradee had paired both hole cards, but Timonpoika had trip tens and so Ltradee was eliminated in seventh.
Ten more minutes went by and the blinds increased again to 200,000/400,000, and soon J. Gelades opened for 816,000 from the cutoff seat. It folded to Simon "dybban" Lindell in the big blind who made it 1.6 million to go, then J. Gelades typed "gl" before shoving all in for about 6.81 million and Lindell called right away.
J. Gelades had a good hand with which to be shoving -- A♠K♦ -- but Lindell was waiting with A♣A♥. The board came jack-high -- 8♠5♣J♦4♥9♦ -- and J. Gelades's Sunday Million had ended with a sixth-place finish.
Very soon after that knockout Timonpoika raised 2x to 1 million from the button, Bookie1978 shoved for about 7.85 million from the small blind, and Timonpoika called. It was Q♣J♦ for Bookie1978 versus Timonpoika's A♣9♥. Once again the better hand held as the community cards came 4♥3♦7♦T♥8♥, and Bookie1978 collected 5th-place prize money.
The remaining four players were just starting to talk about the possibility of a deal when suddenly a huge three-way all-in hand arose that would swiftly chop the field in half.
It began with Simon "dybban" Lindell min-raising to 1 million from UTG, then NinziAkaPaxi shoved all in for about 7.65 million from the small blind. Timonpoika called the push from the big blind, then Lindell reraised all in over the top for just under 17.6 million total and Timonpoika called again.
The flop came 6♣2♣2♦, which meant all three players had two pair but Timonpoika's kings and deuces led. The turn was the 5♥ and river the 2♠, improving Timonpoika to the best full house and knocking NinziAkaPaxi out in fourth and Lindell out in third in a single stroke.
That gave Timonpoika a huge lead to start heads-up play with about 45.1 million to Nba-Slam's almost 10.7 million. They'd play a few small hands over the next couple of minutes, then it was Nba-Slam open-pushing from the button and Timonpoika calling to set up the final confrontation of the night.
Timonpoika had another big pair -- J♥J♣ -- while Nba-Slam was needing to improve with A♥5♦. The board came 6♥Q♦T♣, then 3♦, then 8♦, and the jacks remained best, sending Nba-Slam out in second and giving Timonpoika the win.
Congratulations to Timonpoika for dunking over a big Sunday Million field after dribbling through the final table to win this week's top prize of more than $174K.
6/7/15 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Prize pool: $1,116,400.00
Places paid: 810
1. Timonpoika (Finland) -- $174,607.39
2. Nba-Slam (Lithuania) -- $130,060.60
3. Simon "dybban" Lindell (Sweden) -- $91,935.54
4. NinziAkaPaxi (Finland) -- $63,076.60
5. Bookie1978 (Netherlands) -- $47,447.00
6. J. Gelades (Ukraine) -- $36,283.00
7. Ltradee (Sweden) -- $25,119.00
8. ihaterivers (Canada) -- $13,955.00
9. Gleb "psyhoagromor" Kovtunov (Ukraine) -- $8,931.20
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.