Sunday Million: eightndeuce survives marathon heads-up to win, earn $162K

"Wow... five all-ins," typed chess87 in the chat box after the conclusion of tonight's Sunday Million.

"Luckboxed my way through life," chess87's heads-up opponent, eightndeuce, humbly replied.

Both were no doubt a bit fatigued. After all, they'd just finished a marathon heads-up battle lasting more than two hours, ending with Canada's eightndeuce managing to win the last all-in to finish first this week.

eightndeuce took away a final prize of $162,386.67 while the German chess87 earned nearly as much, grabbing $159,000 for finishing runner-up. Here's the story of how the pair found themselves battling deep into the night to conclude this week's Sunday Million on PokerStars.


Those two were the last ones standing from a big field of 6,073 entries. That turnout meant a prize pool of $1,214,600, well over the tournament's $1 million guarantee, with the top 900 finishers getting to split those winnings.

They were already into the tournament's 11th hour by the time just 18 players were left, by which point LeNaber had pushed way out ahead with more than 9.5 million chips while no one else had as much as 6 million.

zeruka (18th), DanielLUCKY (17th), and teppana (16th) were the next players eliminated, with those three each picking up $3,400.88. gortsos (15th), SPFC.SMM (14th), and orgi3000 (13th) were knocked out next, picking up $5,101.32 each. Then Conglomo222 (12th), Gustavo "gremistaAK" Pinto (11th), and Jiigsaw (10th) were sent railward, taking away $6,801.76 apiece.

With LeNaber still in but with an average stack and kosilkO the new chip leader with more than 18 million, the final table was underway.


Seat 1: 61Chris61 (Macao) -- 1,847,916
Seat 2: tomakgchm (Poland) -- 7,531,310
Seat 3: chess87 (Germany) -- 11,225,115
Seat 4: OMGitshunt (Belarus) -- 2,973,521
Seat 5: LeNaber (Ireland) -- 7,105,298
Seat 6: amitshur2984 (India) -- 4,761,859
Seat 7: kosilkO (Belarus) -- 18,047,224
Seat 8: 4QuietSTorm4 (Canada) -- 1,746,927
Seat 9: eightndeuce (Canada) -- 5,490,830 

On the very first hand of the final table, the blinds were 80,000/160,000 when chess87 opened for the minimum of 320,000 from under the gun. It folded around to 4QuietSTorm4 in late position who three-bet all in for just over 1.73 million, and once the action got back to the original raiser, chess87 called the shove.

4QuietSTorm4 had T♠T♥ but was in dire straits against chess87's A♦A♥. The board rolled out 8♦8♥2♦J♣9♥, and 4QuietSTorm4 was out in ninth.

About a dozen hands later, the blinds had increased to 100,000/200,000 when 61Chris61 open-raised all-in for 1,671,916 from middle position and it folded to amitshur2984 who called from the big blind. 61Chris61 had T♣8♣ and was behind amitshur2984's K♣Q♥. The T♦2♥9♣ flop helped 61Chris61, but the J♣ turn made a straight for amitshur2984. 61Chris61 still had flush outs, but the river was the K♦ and 61Chris61 was eliminated in eighth.

Soon after that hand, tomakgchm made a just-over-2.5x-BB raise to 452,000 from UTG, OMGitshunt shoved all in from a couple of seats over for 2,997,521, and tomakgchm called. OMGitshunt had 9♦9♣ and was well behind tomakgchm's J♦J♠. The board then came K♠4♠K♣Q♦J♥, making a full house for tomakgchm and ending OMGitshunt's run in seventh.

Almost 20 minutes later they were nearing the tournament's 12-hour mark when chess87 min-raised to 500,000 from the cutoff, then LeNaber pushed all-in for 1,487,769 from the button. The blinds folded, and chess98 called showing 8♦8♠ versus LeNaber's A♥4♦. The Q♣J♥6♣Q♥3♣ board failed to improve LeNaber's hand, and they were down to five.

About 10 minutes after that the blinds were 150,000/300,000 when tomakgchm raised to 678,000 from under the gun, amitshur2984 reraised all-in for nearly 3.95 million from the button, then eightndeuce reshoved all-in over the top to force a fold from tomakgchm. amitshur2984 had Q♣Q♦ but had run into eightndeuce's A♥A♠. The board came K♥5♥2♥, then 9♥, making a flush for eightndeuce and the river no matter to knock amitshur2984 out in fifth.

Some 20 hands later eightndeuce and chess87 were battling for the lead with both hovering around the 22 million-chip mark, while kosilkO sat in third with about 9.1 million and tomakgchm in fourth with just over 7.6 million.

That's when a hand arose that saw eightndeuce min-raise to 700,000 from under the gun, and both chess87 (small blind) and kosilkO (big blind) call. The flop came all small cards -- 2♦3♠5♦ -- and it checked around, then after the 2♠ turn chess87 led for 1.05 million, kosilkO raised to 2,625,000, eightndeuce folded, chess87 reraised to 5.25 million, kosilkO shoved for 8,372,596 total, and chess87 called.

chess87 had J♦T♦ for a diamond flush draw while kosilkO had a spade flush draw plus an open-ended straight draw with 7♠4♠. The river then brought the Q♦ to fill chess87's draw, eliminating kosilkO in fourth.

Shortly afterwards chess87 was the one min-raising to 700,000 from the button, with both eightndeuce (SB) and tomakgchm (BB) calling. The flop came 3♠8♥3♥ and it checked to chess87 who continued for 1.05 million from the button. eightndeuce called from the small blind, then tomakgchm raised all-in for 5,383,979, chess87 called, and eightndeuce folded.

tomakgchm had 8♣6♥ for eights and treys, but chess87 had the same two pair with a better kicker with A♣8♠. The turn was the 9♥ and river the Q♠, and tomakgchm was done in third.

The final two players played a couple of hands, during which eightndeuce had a proposal.

eightndeuce: you want to look at numbers
chess87: nope ;)
eightndeuce: dont mind giving you a little more
chess87: okay

Soon the tournament was stopped with chess87 sitting on 40,018,592 and eightndeuce with 20,711,408. Numbers were produced, leaving $20K for which to play, and chess87 responded to them by asking for close to $4K more than what was being proposed. eightndeuce readily agreed to the adjustment, and a deal being made heads-up play commenced.

It wasn't long before eightndeuce grabbed the lead away from chess87 after doubling through with ace-king versus ace-jack. Soon, however, chess87 got chips back and retook the lead, moving up to more than 45 million at times although eightndeuce kept hanging on, occasionally grabbing the lead back as well.

And as noted at the start, eightndeuce indeed survived some all-ins. One was with Q♥7♥ versus chess87's A♥Q♣, when a 5♥8♥6♦K♦9♠ runout gave eightndeuce a straight. Another, closer to the end, saw eightndeuce's Q♥J♠ hold versus chess87's 9♣2♣.

We'll fast-forward to the end, however, coming two hours and 10 minutes after tomakgchm's knockout in third and after more than 300 hands had been played between the combatants.

eightndeuce was up over 48 million, nearly four times the just over 12.7 million chess87 had. With the blinds up to 600,000/1,200,000, eightndeuce limped in from the button, chess87 shoved the 12,601,299 left after posting the big blind, and eightndeuce called. 

chess87: 9♥9♣
eightndeuce: A♦9♦

The 3♠K♠2♣ flop meant chess87's nines were still best, but the A♠ turn swung the advantage eightndeuce's way. Then, finally, more than 14-and-a-half hours after the tournament's first hands were dealt, came the final card of the night -- the 5♦ -- and the victory went to eightndeuce.

Congratulations to eightndeuce for surviving that epic duel to win this week's Sunday Million, and kudos also to chess87 for making it to the heads-up chop to take away a handsome payday as well.

7/24/16 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants: 6,073
Prize pool: $1,214,600.00
Places paid: 900

1. eightndeuce (Canada) $162,386.67*
2. chess87 (Germany) $159,000.00*
3. tomakgchm (Poland) $97,168.00
4. kosilkO (Belarus) $66,803.00
5. amitshur2984 (India) $51,013.20
6. LeNaber (Ireland) $38,867.20
7. OMGitshunt (Belarus) $26,721.20
8. 61Chris61 (Macao) $14,575.20
9. 4QuietSTorm4 (Canada) $9,413.15
*denotes two-way deal

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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Sunday Million