Sunday Million: Victory for Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov valued $183,675
We've gotten used to seeing Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov's username high on the leaderboards in big events on PokerStars. Before this week the he had collected a WCOOP title in 2013 (in a $320 Stud event) and a SCOOP win this past spring ($109+R NLH, Big Antes). He'd also won multiple Super Tuesdays, so it was no surprise to see his avatar showing up again at this week's Sunday Million final table.
Nor was it a surprise to see Vezhenkov finish the deal yet again to add a Sunday Million title to his list of accomplishments, topping a field of 5,925 to take away a $183,675 first prize.
That big field meant a prize pool of $1,185,000, beating the $1 million guarantee. It would take just over five hours for that starting field to play down to 855 players and the money bubble to burst, at which point João "soleeJ" Ferreira enjoyed the chip lead.
More than four hours later they were down to just 18 players with Ferreira having just been sent railward in 24th ($2,784.75). HU4FU was the new chip leader then, sitting on a stack of more than 8.2 million with nearest challenger Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov with almost 6.9 million.
Lancelot AA (18th), LAPT4 Uruguay champion and WSOP Europe bracelet winner Alex "komarolo22" Komaromi (17th), and Eric "psuNYY51" Ladny (16th) next went out, each earning $3,318. Rui "sousinha23" Sousa (15th), H.Oussalé (14th), and Jonas "Palsgaard1" Palsgård (13th) fell after that, taking away $5,095.50 apiece. Then Brusk21xerab (12th) and Josh "PocketAcesA5" Thibodeau (11th) were successively eliminated, both picking up $6,873.
The last 10 players played hand-for-hand at two tables for a short while thereafter, then came two knockouts on simultaneous hands.
On one table berches88 pushed with A♥T♠, was called by DaNteisKing who had K♦Q♥, and when the board brought two kings berches88 was ousted in 10th ($6,873). Meanwhile JJdyno99 was all in and at risk with 7♦7♠ versus Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov's A♠Q♥, and a queen on the board spelled a ninth-place finish for JJdyno99 ($9,243).
With one seat already vacant and HU4FU still the pace-setter with more than 14 million, the final table was underway.
Seat 1: Bario_03 (Austria) -- 6,325,587
Seat 2: Indigo4life (Austria) -- 2,525,560
Seat 3: empty
Seat 4: pilsuhng (United Kingdom) -- 3,064,640
Seat 5: prsalute (Greece) -- 9,469,163
Seat 6: Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (Russia) -- 6,094,223
Seat 7: HU4FU (Sweden) -- 14,048,483
Seat 8: DaNteisKing (Germany) -- 12,333,891
Seat 9: topoz (Israel) -- 5,388,453
On the very first hand of the final table came another knockout. The blinds were 125K/250K when Indigo4life open-shoved from the cutoff for just over 2.5 million with A♥6♦, and pilsuhung reraised all in from the button with 9♥9♣, chasing the blinds. The board came 8♣3♣5♥T♣3♥, and Indigo4life was done in eighth.
Just two hands after that a short-stacked Bario_03 was already all in after posting not quite enough for a full big blind, and after pilsuhung raised from UTG everyone else stepped aside. It was 2♥2♠ for Bario_03 and K♥K♠ for pilsuhung, and after a king flopped Bario_03 was already drawing dead by the turn to finish in seventh.
The remaining six players pushed through the next break marking the tournament's 10-and-a-half-hour mark, then about 25 minutes after that the blinds were up to 200K/400K when DaNteisKing min-raised from early position, then topoz reraised all in for about 3.85 million from a seat over. It folded back to DaNteisKing who called immediately. topoz had A♥J♠ but had run into DaNteisKing's A♦A♣, and five cards later -- Q♠J♥K♣5♥4♦ -- topoz was sent railward in sixth.
About 20 minutes after that it was prsalute open-pushing from the cutoff for about 5.54 million (about 11 big blinds), then Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov reraised all in from the button and the blinds folded. prsalute had A♠9♣ and needed to improve versus Vezhenkov's T♣T♥. The J♦J♣5♣4♥7♦ board provided no such help, however, and prsalute's Sunday Million run ended in fifth.
Four-handed play continued nearly a half-hour more, with Vezhenkov moving out in front with nearly 23 million. Then with the blinds at 300K/600K it was pilsuhng opening from the button with an all-in raise for a little under 4.75 million, then Vezhenkov reraised all in from the small blind and HU4FU folded the big blind. pilsuhng had K♦J♣ and a couple of live cards versus Vezhenkov's T♥T♦. The board then rolled out nine-high -- 8♦6♠9♣6♥9♠ -- and pilsuhng was eliminated in fourth.
It wasn't long after that hand that Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov min-raised to 1.2 million from the button, HU4FU three-bet to 3.3 million from the small blind, then DaNteisKing reraise-shoved for a little less than 12.2 million from the big blind. Vezhenkov folded, but HU4FU made the call showing 9♣9♥ to DaNteisKing's 2♠2♦. The flop came 9♦4♥5♣ to improve HU4FU to a set, then after the 4♣ turn made a full house for HU4FU the river was no matter for DaNteisKing who was out in third.
That pot helped HU4FU edge in front of Vezhenkov to begin heads-up play with 30,951,344 versus the latter's 28,298,656. But Vezhenkov immediately seized the lead once more, and by the 10th hand between them had already built up to just over 48.5 million to HU4FU's not quite 10.7 million.
The blinds had increased again to 400K/800K, and that's when Vezhenkov pushed all in from the button and got a call from HU4FU. Vezhenkov had K♦8♠ and a slight preflop edge versus HU4FU's Q♥9♠. The A♦4♠7♦ flop changed nothing, but the 9♦ paired up HU4FU.
Then came the river... the K♠! A better pair for Vezhenkov who collected the pot and the win!
Congratulations to Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov who as noted above adds this week's Sunday Million title and a handsome first prize of $183,675 to his WCOOP title, his SCOOP title, and those Super Tuesday wins.
11/15/15 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Prize pool: $1,185,000.00
Places paid: 855
1. Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov (Russia) $183,675.00
2. HU4FU (Sweden) $136,275.00
3. DaNteisKing (Germany) $95,985.00
4. pilsuhng (United Kingdom) $66,537.75
5. prsalute (Greece) $49,770.00
6. topoz (Israel) $37,920.00
7. Bario_03 (Austria) $26,070.00
8. Indigo4life (Austria) $14,812.50
9. JJdyno99 (United Kingdom) $9,243.00
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.