Sunday Million: EVERFR0ST runs hot for $142K

There's a lot to be said for bringing the chip lead to a Sunday Million final table. Who wouldn't want the biggest stack with more than $142,000 on the line? But no matter how many chips you bring to the table, just having a seat is enough to give you a chance to win. Usually that's the sort of sentence you'd qualify with a word like "technically," because the incoming big stacks are the big winners more often than not, but tonight there's no need. Finland's EVERFR0ST spent the better part of an hour playing patient poker before riding an 18-minute hot streak from short stack to Sunday Million champion.

sunday_million_chips.jpg

Those 18 minutes came at the end of more than 12 and a half hours of poker, which kicked off as usual at 2 p.m. ET. Late registration nudged the field up to 5,003 players, enough to put the prize pool $600 over the million-dollar guarantee. With a $142,424.83 top prize set and the top 692 players collecting at least $459.37 each, the long march to the final table was on.

That march carried over into the next morning. Team PokerStars Pro's Chen-An Lin just made it into that territory, cashing out in 102nd place for $1,000.70. By 1:34 a.m. ET, China's MSN74BBC had joined the rail in 10th place for $5,879.22 to set up the lineup of what would prove to be a very brisk final table.

Seat 1: RigasDinamo (3,408,062 in chips)
Seat 2: EVERFR0ST (2,241,704 in chips)
Seat 3: Jon "luckyfish89" Clark (9,774,056 in chips)
Seat 4: Fitness_g (7,435,609 in chips)
Seat 5: Cr00kedF00t (8,379,619 in chips)
Seat 6: I am 8 (4,989,192 in chips)
Seat 7: flauschi16 (9,613,290 in chips)
Seat 8: anhiluun0905 (1,570,756 in chips)
Seat 9: Denksson (2,617,712 in chips)

The pace was set from the very first hand, which was the entire duration of short-stacked anhiluun0905's final table stay. The player from Mongolia picked up 6♥ 6♠ in middle position and opened all-in for 1.55M chips. EVERFR0ST was waiting with K♠ K♥ on the button and moved all-in in for just a few big blinds more. That cleared out the rest of the field, the kings held up on the 7♣ T♠ 3♣ Q♦ 3♥ board, and anhiluun0905 was out in ninth.

Sunday Million 10-9-16 ft.jpg

Two more matchups of dominated hands resulted in back-to-back knockouts an orbit later. flauschi16 opened the first by moving all-in with A♠ Q♦ from the small blind, and Denksson called in the big blind with A♥ J♣. The board fell 5♦ K♦ K♠ 8♦ 7♣, and Denksson was gone in eighth. Then past Sunday Warm-Up champ RigasDinamo moved all-in from the small blind with T♣ T♠ over the top of a 587K-chip raise by past Super Tuesday finalist Jon "luckyfish89" Clark and a call from fitness_g, also a past Super Tuesday finalist. luckyfish89 folded, but Fitness_g called with Q♣ Q♦ and won when the board came J♦ 2♥ 2♣ 5♦ 6♥ to knock RigasDinamo out in seventh.


Want to compete for a PokerStars title of your own? Click here to get a PokerStars account today!

The seven minutes between that hand and the break passed without any more knockouts, keeping the table six-handed as the blinds and antes rose to 150K/300K/30K. Another 10 minutes went by before Fitness_g opened for 615K on the button with 9♦ 8♣ and the United Kingdom's I am 8 called in the big blind with J♥ 5♦ and 1.4M left behind. I am 8 led out with a straight draw on the T♥ Q♦ 9♣ flop and called when Fitness_g raised with bottom pair, which held up after the 6♣ turn and A♦ river to bust I am 8 in sixth.

Sunday Million 10-9-16 ft five-handed.jpg

Cr00kedF00t tried to make it consecutive knockouts on the next hand, opening for 750K with A♠ J♦ and calling for 4M more when EVERFR0ST jammed from the big blind with 9♣ 9♠. Cr00kedF00t's overcards stayed live the whole way, as did a gutshot Broadway draw after the Q♥ T♠ 3♠ flop, but the 7♣ turn and 7♥ delivered the 9.9M-chip pot to EVERFR0ST.

After hovering at or near the bottom of the chip counts for the entire final table so far, EVERFR0ST had suddenly moved into second place - only one big blind ahead of luckyfish89, and holding just over half of leader Fitness_g's stack, but a massive improvement compared to the early stages of the final. But that was nothing compared to the improvement when EVERFR0ST was dealt A♠ A♦ on the same hand as Fitness_g held 7♠ 7♦. EVERFR0ST min-raised and the button and snap-called when Fitness_g jammed from the big blind, doubling up to 21.1M when the board ran out T♣ A♥ J♠ 4♠ J♦.

Within minutes EVERFR0ST would expand what was already a dominant chip lead, min-raising under the gun with A♦ 7♠ and calling when Fitness_g jammed for 6M on the button. The river of the 5♣ 3♠ T♥ 8♣ 7♣ gave EVERFR0ST a pair of sevens, sinking Fitness_g's sixes in fifth.

Sunday Million 10-9-16 ft four-handed.jpg

EVERFR0ST's stack was now worth more than the other three players' put together, an edge that would grow again just four hands later. EVERFR0ST opened for the minimum on the button with A♦ T♠ and called when Cr00kedF00t shoved for 6.4M. The player from the U.K. had the dominant position with A♥ J♠, but the T♦ K♠ 7♥ turned that upside down. A queen or jack could have kept the short stack alive, but the 6♥ turn and 5♦ river sent Cr00kedF00t to the rail in fifth.

flauschi16 broke the streak, doubling to 12M on the next hand with J♣ J♥ to EVERFR0ST's 5♦ 5♠. The Austrian player dropped about a third of that stack over the next six minutes, then picked up J♣ J♥, min-raised on the button, and called when EVERFR0ST shoved from the small blind with A♠ Q♣. EVERFR0ST had a cushion of 25.5M chips that proved unnecessary after hitting a pair of queens on the turn of the 2♠ 6♦ 9♠ Q♠ 5♥ board, and flauschi16 departed in third.

Jon "luckyfish89" Clark started heads-up play at a big disadvantage with 8M chips to EVERFR0ST's 42M, so a cheap flop was the perfect prescription to begin chipping up. He called EVERFR0ST's button min-raise, then check-called a 1M-chip bet on the A♠ 2♦ Q♥ flop to see the A♦ hit the turn. luckyfish89 check-called another 2.1M there, leaving 4M chips behind heading to the K♥ river. He checked one more time, and EVERFR0ST applied maximum pressure with a pot-sized bet. It was more than enough to put luckyfish89 all-in, and after using the time bank to consider a move, he made the call and showed Q♠ 5♣ for two pair, aces and queens. EVERFR0ST had been betting for value with A♣ 3♣, though, and the Finnish player's three of a kind brought the heads-up match to an abrupt end.

luckyfish89's comeback was over as soon as it began, but with second place worth just shy of $100K there shouldn't be too much pain. And to EVERFR0ST, congratulations on truly making the most of a good run on a big stage!

10/9/16 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,003
Total prize pool: $1,000,600
Places paid: 692

1. EVERFR0ST (Finland) $142,424.83
2. Jon "luckyfish89" Clark (United Kingdom) $99,946.53
3. flauschi16 (Austria) $70,139.25
4. Cr00kedF00t (United Kingdom) $49,221.61
5. Fitness_g (Canada) $34,542.11
6. I am 8 (United Kingdom) $24,240.53
7. RigasDinamo (Latvia) $17,011.20
8. Denksson (Sweden) $11,937.85
9. anhiluun0905 (Mongolia) $8,377.62


Want to compete for a PokerStars title of your own? Click here to get a PokerStars account today!

Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million