Sunday Million: Windyk@tor blows through field to win; Team PokerStars Pro Ichinose 24th

The Sunday Million -- poker's most popular weekly online tournament -- features a $215 buy-in, although many players manage to find seats for much less via the round-the-clock satellites on PokerStars, some priced very inexpensively. Such was the path taken by this week's winner, Windyk@tor of Poland, who after starting with just a couple of bucks in a satellite won a seat, then won the whole shebang, earning a cool $193,184.65 first prize for the achievement.

That prize came after a heads-up deal between Windyk@tor and Russia's ROBAZAN, the final two survivors from another big Sunday Million field of 6,923 players. The field created a $1,384,600 prize pool -- well over the $1 million guarantee -- and it would take about five hours and 15 minutes for them to play down to the money.

At that point the Argentinian Fabian "doypaliza" Castro -- winner of the Sunday Million just two weeks ago -- led all of those remaining. Also listed among the 990 who had made the cash was one username with a red spade beside it, that belonging to one of the newest members of Team PokerStars Pro, Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose. A couple of hours later the field had been carved down under 200 players and Ichinose was still in the mix with a top 30 stack.

The first Supernova Elite from Japan, Ichinose was just announced as a new Team PokerStars Pro earlier this month. Besides live wins in events at the Macau Poker Cup, APPT Seoul, APT Cebu, and the Macau Millions, Ichinose has collected numerous online scores as well including cashes in WCOOP, SCOOP, and the Sunday majors. (Learn more about Ichinose here.)

Ichinose would last all of the way into the tournament's 10th hour before finally committing a stack of just over 2 million (about 20 big blinds) with pocket tens versus the pocket fives of Valentyn "touchmynuts1″ Shabelnyk. Alas for Ichinose a five would flop and with no help thereafter he'd finish the tournament in 24th for a $3,239.96 cash.


Team PokerStars Pro Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose

Meanwhile as the tournament shrunk down to just 18 players, Fabian "doypaliza" Castro was still battling with an average stack while another familiar name, John "kleath" Leathart, had assumed the top spot in the counts with more than 12.7 million when his nearest challenger had less than half that amount.

yarden4912 (18th), totilas team (17th), and Wesley "ZeelandBoy" Wiemes (16th) were the next eliminated, each earning $3,876.88. OzzyM91 (15th), BlackCat-IL (14th), and Spanger_Head (13th) followed them to the rail, picking up $5,815.32 apiece for their finishes. Christian "weichhart" Weichhart (12th) was next out, with former leaders John "kleath" Leathart (11th) and Fabian "doypaliza" Castro (10th) knocked out thereafter, like Weichhart earning $7,753.76 for having nearly made the final table.

With nine remaining and SwalzB the new leader with nearly 11.4 million, play continued.


Seat 1: Vasile "mihai_nbl" Mihai (Romania) -- 3,150,566
Seat 2: SwalzB (Germany) -- 11,393,302
Seat 3: ROBAZAN (Russia) -- 8,955,827
Seat 4: diogovezzaro (Brazil) -- 8,620,182
Seat 5: yummylemons (Mexico) -- 7,373,666
Seat 6: Valentyn "touchmynuts1″ Shabelnyk (Ukraine) -- 8,475,138
Seat 7: dodavi (Israel) -- 4,385,084
Seat 8: andos1 (Russia) -- 7,311,103
Seat 9: Windyk@tor (Poland) -- 9,565,132

Soon after the final table began they were nearing the tourney's 11-hour mark when Vasile "mihai_nbl" Mihai open-raised all in from the button for a little under 2.7 million (less than seven big blinds) and got a caller in ROBAZAN in the big blind. Mihai was hoping pocket fives would hold against ROBAZAN's K♥T♥, but a king came among the community cards and Mihai's run was over in ninth.

A few minutes went by, then came two quick eliminations in the space of three hands. First diogovezzaro went down with 9♥7♥ versus yummylemons's K♠Q♦ after committing a short stack preflop. diogovezzaro did flop a pair of nines, but yummylemmons also paired the king, and two cards later they were down to seven.

Then it was yummylemons all in at risk for over 7.2 million (about 14.5 big blinds) with A♦J♦ versus ROBAZAN's A♦T♣, and when a ten turned ROBAZAN won the pot and yummylemons was sent railward in seventh.

Just an orbit later andos1 was all in preflop for 8.2 millino with A♦K♠ versus Windyk@tor's J♥J♠. The flop came J♣2♣2♥ to give the latter a full house, and by the turn andos1 was drawing dead to finish in sixth.

Soon after that hand Valentyn "touchmynuts1″ Shabelnyk open-pushed from under the gun for just under 5.4 million (less than 11 big blinds) and watched Windyk@tor reraise from a couple of seats to isolate. Shabelnyk had A♠8♣ and Windyk@tor pocket kings, and while Shabelnyk paired the eight there was no additional improvement, eliminating Shabelnyk in fifth.

At that the remaining four stopped the proceedings to talk about a possible deal. Windyk@tor led with about 29.3 million, ROBAZAN was next with just over 23 million, dodavi third with a little less than 8.8 million, and SwalzB fourth with about 8.1 million. As the deal talk proceeded, SwalzB, as it happened, was simultaneously playing the final table of this week's $530 buy-in Sunday 500, sitting with an average stack with eight players remaining in that event.

Both "chip chop" and ICM-based figures were produced (leaving $20,000 aside for which to play), but no consensus followed and play quickly resumed.

It wasn't long after than ROBAZAN min-raised to 1.2 million from the small blind, dodavi called from the big blind, and the pair saw a flop come T♦6♣4♦. After ROBAZAN checked, the two then traded bets back and forth until dodavi was pushing with the 14.8 million or so left behind and ROBAZAN calling. dodavi had K♥T♠ for tens, but ROBAZAN held A♣A♥ for aces, and after a queen and a seven completed the board, dodavi was done in fourth.

Just a few hands later Windyk@tor opened from the small blind, SwalzB shoved for almost 9.5 million from the big blind, and Windyk@tor called. It was Q♥T♥ for SwalzB and A♣5♠ for Windyk@tor, and the 8♣8♦A♥5♥6♦ runout meant two pair for Windyk@tor and a third-place finish for SwalzB. SwalzB soon after that would go out in sixth in the Sunday 500 for a $15,655 cash as well.

The final pair again stopped the tourney for some deal talk. The stacks were nearly dead even -- Windyk@tor 34,782,977 and ROBAZAN 34,447,023 -- and both readily assented to an even 50/50 split of the remaining prize money, minus the $20K for which they would play.

"i am here on a satellite buy in 2.2$" typed Windyk@tor, clearly elated at how the tournament had gone and the terms of the deal.

Once play resumed Windyk@tor quickly seized the advantage, and by the time they were approaching the 12-hour mark Windyk@tor had pushed up over 57 million to the 11.5 million of ROBAZAN. Then came a hand that saw Windyk@tor open-raise all in from the button and ROBAZAN respond by calling all in and committing around 19 big blinds total.

Windyk@tor had 8♠7♦ and was behind ROBAZAN's A♣T♦. The flop came T♠J♣7♥ to pair both, then the 6♣ turn brought ROBAZAN one card away from a double-up. But the river was the 7♠ to give Windyk@tor trip sevens and the title.

Congratulations to Windyk@tor for turning that small satellite buy-in into a more than $193K score. Kudos as well to ROBAZAN for making it to the heads-up deal, and to Fabian "doypaliza" Castro for just missing the final table after winning the Sunday Million two weeks ago.

1/18/15 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants:  6,923
Prize pool: $1,384,600.00
Places paid: 990

1. Windyk@tor (Poland) -- $193,184.65*
2. ROBAZAN (Russia) -- $173,184.65*
3. SwalzB (Germany) -- $110,768.00
4. dodavi (Israel) -- $76,153.00
5. Valentyn "touchmynuts1″ Shabelnyk (Ukraine) -- $58,153.20
6. andos1 (Russia) -- $44,307.20
7. yummylemons (Mexico) -- $30,461.20
8. diogovezzaro (Brazil) -- $16,615.20
9. Vasile "mihai_nbl" Mihai (Romania) -- $10,730,65

*= reflects the results of a two-way deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million