Sunday Million: Five-time SCOOP champ Luke "lb6121" Schwartz takes the title

July 2007. The iPhone had been on the market for less than a month. Jerry Yang was the newly crowned WSOP Main Event champion. Barack Obama was an underdog U.S. Presidential candidate and Fedor Holz was still in primary school. In the ensuing nine years, millions of dollars in bankrolls have been won and lost and won again as poker itself continues its constant evolution. Adaptability and even more so, longevity, have proven to be precious commodities in our game.

Nine years ago, the Sunday Million still bore a $530 buy-in once a month and on July 29, 2007, Luke "lb6121" Schwartz turned that sum into over $158,000. Although he fell short of the title and was eliminated in third place, Schwartz earned the largest share of the prize pool after a four-way chop. That score was his springboard into high-stakes games, where his chat box verbiage earned him notoriety and his fearless play put millions in the bank.

Schwartz is 32 now, a father, and as sharp as ever having won five SCOOP events, three of them in the last two years. Tonight, he added a Sunday Million title to his still-growing Poker CV, although in a twist of fate eeriliy reminiscent of his last trip to this final table... it was the third-place finisher, Jayme "jayme1987" Bury, who walked away with the lion's share of the prize pool.

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Luke "lb6121" Schwartz, playing at the EPT Monte Carlo in 2013

This week's Million drew 6,030 entries (4,820 unique players and 1,210 re-entries), driving the prize pool up to $1,206,000.00. 900 players earned a share of it with $183,432.60 up top.

Among the final ten players were two who had made a Sunday Million table before-- Schwartz and NNNQQQ, who finished fourth for $67k back in July 2012. NNNQQQ, however, lost all but 17,000 of his chips when he open-shoved from the small blind with Q♥7♣ and Stoooookie! called with A♠T♦ in the big blind. NNNQQQ put the rest of his chips in a few hands later but lost his shot at a second trip to the final table when TheGreatPike's A♥6♥ made aces up on the A♦8♠3♥8♥2♠ board.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: lb6121 (7,570,056 in chips)
Seat 2: TheGreatPike (12,022,069 in chips)
Seat 3: zavag (2,157,960 in chips)
Seat 4: donki4 (8,630,299 in chips)
Seat 5: MO-82-3 (7,513,684 in chips)
Seat 6: Naghash (6,112,877 in chips)
Seat 7: Badrakh8888 (1,865,011 in chips)
Seat 8: jayme1987 (9,067,776 in chips)
Seat 9: Stoooookie! (5,360,268 in chips)

Badrakh8888 took little more than six big blinds to the final table and although things started to look up for him when he doubled through Stoooookie!, he found the rail three hands later. Badrakh open-shoved on the button with A♥9♥ and Stoooookie! woke up with A♦K♦ in the big blind. An eight-high rainbow board send Badrakh8888 home in ninth place.

The blinds up to 200,000/400,000, Stoooookie! found A♠K♠ in the small blind and three-bet shoved over MO-82-3's opening min-raise. MO-82-3 called with pocket jacks, but lot the 10 million-chip pot when an ace hit the flop. MO-82-3 was left with 896,000 and moved in two hands later. Both zavag and lb6121 called and checked down the K♣6♦4♦3♦7♠ board. Lb6121's A♥7♣ won the kicker war against zavag's J♥7♥ and MO-82-3 quietly departed in eighth place.

With one hour having ticked off the clock at the final table, play reached somewhat of a stalemate seven-handed. The 250,000/500,000 level came and went, and with the price of poker up to 300,000/600,000, Luke "lb6121" Schwartz decided to speak up.

lb6121: boys , you prob all wanan save face and not asking to see numbers , but beleive me ive won this and chopped this comp befor , tonight it is a super crapshoot
lb6121: everyone got 10-20 blinds its super luckbox at this point
lb6121: i fancy myself but i wanna see numbers

As eager as Schwartz was to begin deal discussions, his veteran advice was met mostly with silence. But at last, someone chimed in.

TheGreatPike: go hard or go home

No one was willing to budge, but with only seven big blinds remaining, Naghash was out of options and moved in from UTG+1 with pocket sixes. Unfortunately for him, jayme1987 snap-called with Q♥Q♠. The queens held and Naghash hit the rail in seventh place, Jayme1987 assumed the chip lead with 15.3 million, closely trailed by lb6121 with 14.2 million and donki4 with 14.15 million.

One orbit later jayme1987 found a familiar hand, Q♠Q♦, and made it 1.32 million to go. Donki4 shoved from the big blind for 12.8 million and jayme1987 called. Donki4's A♣J♦ needed some serious help, but he got none of it from the T♥3♦2♠6♥7♦ board and ended his run in sixth place as jayme1987 took the chip lead with 26.3 million.

Five hands later, TheGreatPike moved in for 5.5 million on the button with A♣2♠ and zavag called all-in for less with K♠Q♠. Although zavag picked up an open-ended straight draw on the J♣T♦7♣ flop, TheGreatPike's ace-high held up and zavag had to settle for fifth place.

With the field down to four, lb6121 renewed his call for a deal and this time, his remaining opponents were willing to talk. Here's how they stacked up when negotiations began:

jayme1987 26,519,156
lb6121 11,938,180
Stoooookie! 11,516,892
TheGreatPike 10,325,772

Per the players' request, the final table host produced both chip chop and ICM figures. While lb6121 was adamant about doing an ICM deal given the size of the blinds and antes, jayme1987, Stoooookie! and TheGreatPike were looking for increases to their ICM share to the tune of several thousand apiece. With the deal about to fall apart, lb6121 stepped up and convinced his opponents that the variance was far too high in this spot NOT to take ICM.

Stoooookie!: k its clear this isent getting done
Stoooookie!: eeveryone asking for more
lb6121: im not
lb6121: and im the best player and the richest
b6121: we are playing 10 big blind poker stookie
lb6121: lets all take icm
lb6121: and play for the 20k

Although chip leader jayme1987 put up a bit more resistance, ultimately the three of them came around to lb6121's argument and agreed to the ICM chop. With $20,000 and the title still at stake, cards went back in the air.

Stoooookie! struck first once action resumed, scoring a huge double-up at jayme1987's expense. With the action folded to him in the small blind, jayme1987 moved in with 8♣T♥, but Stoooookie! called with A♥J♥. An ace hit the flop and Stoooookie! doubled to 15.9 milion. However, jayme1987 got his chips back and then some when TheGreatPike opened pocket deuces for 9,999,999 from the small blind. Jayme1987 moved in with K♣K♥ and TheGreatPike called. Jayme1987's kings rivered a set on the T♠8♠4♣Q♥K♠ board and TheGreatPike was out in fourth place.

Then, on the next deal, jayme1987 found A♦Q♠ and opened for 1.54 million on the button. Lb6121 three-bet to 2.38 million from the big blind, jayme1987 shoved and lb6121 snap-called with A♠A♥. The aces held and lb6121 rocketed into the lead with 34 million. Jayme1987 moved in with A♦8♣ on the next hand, but lb6121 was waiting for him with A♠K♦. Jayme1987 didn't improve and went home in third place...albeit with the largest share of the prize pool.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: lb6121 (46,666,216 in chips)

Seat 9: Stoooookie! (13,633,784 in chips)

Lb6121 had Stoooookie! on the ropes with 20 big blinds, but ten hands into their match, lb6121 check-raised a Q♣7♠5♠ flop only to have Stoooookie! move in for 14.1 million. Lb6121 called, his top pair with Q♥T♠ leading Stooookie!'s fliush draw with K♠6♠. However, Stoooookie! turned the K♣ to snatch away the lead. The river was the A♣ and Stoooookie! doubled to 31.2 million.

Lb6121 immediately turned up the aggression and fought his way back into the chip lead. After three-betting preflop and firing the flop and turn on an 8♥3♦2♣7♠2♥ board, lb6121 shoved on the river and Stoooookie! released his hand. Lb6121 raked in the 11.5 million pot and moments later, four-bet shoved preflop over Stoooookie's 3.94 million three-bet. Again, lb6121's raise got through and he picked up another 8 million without a showdown.

Lb6121 was back up to 48 million when he picked up the perfect hand at the perfect time. For at least the second time in this heads-up battle, he picked up A♦A♠. Lb6121 limped the button and Stoooookie! moved all-in with K♦3♠ inviting the immediate call. Although the K♠T♦2♠ flop improved Stoooookie! to a pair of kings, the turn and river blanked with the 7♥ and the 5♠, giving lb6121 the win.

Congratulations to Luke "lb6121" Schwartz on his second six-figure score in the Sunday Million! He earned $130,717.53 for the win, while runner-up Stoooookie! took home $109,570.55.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 7-10-2016
Entries: 6,030 (4,820 players, 1,210 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,206,000.00
Places paid: 900

1. Luke "lb6121" Schwartz (United Kingdom) $130,717.53*
2. Stoooookie! (Canada) $109,570.55*
3. Jayme "jayme1987" Bury (United Kingdom) $135,510.73*
4. TheGreatPike (Norway) $106,118.79*
5. zavag (Uruguay) $50,652.00
6. donki4 (Finland) $38,592.00
7. Naghash (Canada) $26,532.00
8. MO-82-3 (Germany) $14,472.00
9. Badrakh888 (Mongolia) $9,346.50

* denotes a four-way deal

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Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million