Sunday Million: For metis669, the final table's lovelier the second time around

Sunday Million final tables can be even sweeter the second time around. Just ask metis669. In August 2014, he finished sixth in the Million, taking home $42k. Tonight, 17 months later, metis669 had a chance at redemption. When the field was down to four players and a deal was struck, metis669 was one of two short stacks stuck between two giants. However, after b2k-Snick's elimination in fourth place, metis669 hit a rush and moved into the chip lead when he took out onetime chip leader PureRunnings. Metis669 took a 3 to 1 advantage into heads-up play and although he briefly lost the lead, metis669 found his footing and emerged victorious, claiming the Sunday Million title and over $112k.

This week's Million drew 5,799 entries, the prize pool topping out at $1,159,800.00. 855 players earned a share of it with $179,771.70 set aside for first place.

The blinds were up to 100,000/200,000 with ten players remaining. When b2k-Snick opened for a min-raise to 400,000, short stack db49 looked down at A♥9♥ and moved in for his last 2.59 million. Unfortunately for him, b2k-Snick snap-called and tabled K♦K♠. B2k-Snick's pocket kings held up on the T♥4♠2♠T♦Q♦ board and db49 hit the rail one spot shy of the final table.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: max15183 (2,430,706 in chips)
Seat 2: metis669 (7,452,833 in chips)
Seat 3: phenom11218 (5,583,206 in chips)
Seat 4: PureRunnings (15,646,747 in chips)
Seat 5: blazinchron (5,425,279 in chips)
Seat 6: Ravishka (4,383,627 in chips)
Seat 7: FoppTheFlop (2,731,466 in chips)
Seat 8: lio10k (4,371,840 in chips)
Seat 9: b2k-Snick (9,964,296 in chips)

A massive pot unfolded on Hand #2, metis669 leading off the action with a raise to 400,000. B2k-Snick called from the big blind and both players checked the T♦9♦7♣ flop. The turn came the 2♠ and b2k-Snick checked again. Metis669 bet 475,888 and b2k-Snick came in with a raise to 1.2 million. Metis669 called and they went to the river, which fell the 2♥. This time, b2k-Snick led out for 2,296,800 and metis669 looked him up. B2k-Snick rolled over 7♦7♥ for sevens full of deuces and raked in the 8.07 million pot, taking his stack up to a second-in-chips 14.1 million.

Moments later, FoppTheFlop had the misfortune of running his Q♦Q♣ straight into lio10k's A♣A♦ on a 9♥7♥2♠ flop. FoppTheFlop couldn't find a queen on the turn or river and was crippled to only 74,000 in chips. FoppTheFlop moved in on the next hand and both blinds called. They checked down the 8♦5♥2♠ flop and the 6♠ turn, but when the 3♥ rivered, PureRunnings bet 347,557. Blazinchron called, but couldn't beat PureRunnings's K♠4♥ for a six-high straight. FoppTheFlop mucked and was eliminated in ninth place.

Then, on the very next deal, max15183 open-shoved for 2.46 million and metis669 reshoved behind him for 3.48 million. Metis669's A♣K♠ had max15183's A♥J♣ dominated, and nothing changed on the Q♣T♠4♥8♥4♣ board. Metis669 raked in the 5.6 million pot and max15183 hit the rail in eighth place.

With seven players remaining, Ravishka was down to less than ten big blinds. Holding pocket threes, Ravishka open-shoved for 2.88 million from UTG+1 only to have blazinchron wake up with A♥A♣ in the big blind. Ravishka got no help on the J♥9♠8♠9♥K♠ board and had to settle for seventh place.

A few minutes later, phenom11218 made the same fatal mistake as Ravishka. After PureRunnings opened for 816,000 from UTG, phenom11218 found A♦2♠ and moved all-in for 4.33 million from the big blind. PureRunnings snap-called with K♣K♠ and phenom11218 hit the rail in sixth place when the board ran out T♥9♠5♥6♠8♦.

When play turned five-handed, the remaining players agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

PureRunnings 22,584,342
blazinchron 18,157,612
b2k-Snick 6,403,627
netis669 6,090,739
lio10k 4,753,680

Per their request, the players were presented with ICM and chip chop numbers. While the three short stacks favored the flatter payouts of the ICM deal, big stacks PureRunnings and blazinchron wanted to meet somewhere in the middle. However, none of the short stacks were willing to give up anything from their shares to facilitate it and after fifteen minutes of hemming and hawing, b2k-Snick finally threw up his hands and asked to play on.

On the second hand after action resumed, chip leader PureRunnings three-bet shoved for 23.3 million and initial min-raiser b2k-Snick quickly called. It was a classic race, PureRunnings's pocket queens vs. A♥K♣. B2k-Snick hit a king on the flop and an ace on the river to make two pair and doubled to 12.65 million while PureRunnings slipped to 17.2 million. Unfortunately, b2k-Snick gave back most of those chips three hands later when his eights and sevens fell to PureRunnings's kings and sevens in a 9.5 million pot.

By the time the blinds rose to 250,000/500,000, lio10k was below 2 million in chips. Dealt K♣Q♦, lio10k open-shoved for 1.67 million and PureRunnings made a fairly easy call with 9♠9♣ in the big blind. PureRunnings's pocket nines made nines full of fours on the 4♣4♠2♠4♦9♦ board and lio10k went out in fifth place.

At this juncture, the final four decided to take another run at making a deal. Here's how their stacks looked this go-around:

PureRunnings 24,519,595
blazinchron 19,527,612
metis669 8,360,739
b2k-Snick 5,582,054

Just like the last time, b2k-Snick wanted to hold out for an ICM deal while his big-stacked opponents PureRunnings and blazinchron were looking for a chip chop, or something between the two sets of numbers. However, when PureRunnings declared that he'd be willing to take a $139k share, $7k less than his chip chop, blazinchron pointed out that it was enough to take b2k-Snick's share up to the ICM number.

blazinchron: u said 139 was fine
blazinchron: so we do chip choip and take 139 and give icm to b2k
PureRunnings: 139 is fine
blazinchron: there u go b2k
PureRunnings: b2k can take the xtra from my chip chop
blazinchron: u get ur icm numbers

B2k-Snick agreed to the deal and with $20,000 still up for grabs, cards went back in the air.

On the first hand back, the action folded to blazinchron in the small blind and he moved in for 19.5 million. B2k-Snick looked down at A♣J♦ and snap-called. Blazinchron's J♠8♦ was dominated, but the 7♥6♦5♣ flop offered him a ray of hope with an open-ended straight draw. Blazinchron didn't fill it on the turn when the Q♦ fell, but the river brought the 8♠ and his pair of eights were enough to send b2k-Snick to the rail in fourth place.

When three-handed play commenced, blazinchron held the chip lead with 25.2 million, PureRunnings was close behind with 24.5 million and metis669 was the short stack with 8.3 million.

Metis669 slogged it out and chipped up to 18.3 million with a series of small pots, nearly all of them won without a showdown. Then, with the blinds up to 300,000/600,000, blazinchron opened for 1,428,000 and metis669 called from the small blind. PureRunnings put the squeeze on and three-bet to 4.2 million from the big blind, blazinchron folded and metis669 called. The flop came down A♣Q♦2♠ and metis669 checked over to PureRunnings, who bet 3,803,040. Metis669 raised all-in and PureRunnings gave up his hand. Metis669 raked in the 17.6 million pot without a showdown and assumed the chip lead with 27.8 million.

Moments later, PureRunnings opened for 1.2 million on the button and metis669 called. Metis669 checked the 8♠6♦3♠ flop, PureRunnings bet 1,296,000 and metis669 shoved. PureRunnings called with A♦6♠ for middle pair while metis669 turned up T♠2♠ for a flush draw. The 2♣ turn paired metis669's deuce, but the Q♠ river made his flush and onetime chip leader PureRunnings was suddenly on the rail in third place.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 2: metis669 (43,489,647 in chips)
Seat 5: blazinchron (14,500,353 in chips)

Although metis669 went into heads-up play with a 3 to 1 chip lead, blazinchron came out firing on the second hand heads-up. On a 5♠4♦3♠ flop, blazinchron check-raised all-in with K♣6♥ for an open-ended straight draw and metis669 called with 6♠9♠ for a flush draw. Neither player improved on the J♦ turn or the 8♥ river and blazinchron doubled up to 23.6 million with king high.

A few hands later, blazinchron retook the chip lead when he moved in on a Q♦Q♠2♥2♦4♥ board and metis669 gave up his hand. Blazinchron moved up to 36.1 million while metis 669 slipped to 21.9 million. However, metis669 roared back and won consecutive 11 million pots to ascend to 35.2 million in chips. Metis669 chipped up a bit more and the counts were nearly what they were to start heads-up play when metis669 opened for 1.2 million on the button. Blazinchron called and they saw a K♠T♦8♠ flop. Blazinchron checked, metis669 bet 999,999 and blazinchron called. The turn came the 4♠ and blazinchron checked again. Metis669 bet 1,888,888, blazinchron shoved for 14.3 million and metis669 looked him up.

blazinchron J♥9♦
metis669 K♦K♥

Blazinchron needed a seven or a queen to make a straight and topple metis669's set of kings. However, the meaningless 2♠ landed on the river and 17 months after his last trip to the Sunday Million final table ended in sixth place, metis669 earned redemption and the title.

Congratulations to metis669 on joining the ranks of Sunday Million champions! He banked $112,764.71 for his finish and thanks to the four-handed deal, runner-up blazinchron earned $129,684.17.

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PokerStars Sunday Million results for 1-24-2016
Entrants: 5,799
Total prize pool: $1,159,800.00
Places paid: 855

1. metis669 (Russia) $112,764.71*
2. blazinchron (Canada) $129,684.17*
3. PureRunnings (Mexico) $139,126.29*
4. b2k-Snick (Ukraine) $90,640.10*
5. lio10k (Switzerland) $48,711.60
6. phenom11218 (Canada) $37,113.60
7. Ravishka (Russia) $25,515.60
8. max15183 (Germany) $14,497.50
9. FoppTheFlop (Canada) $9,046.44

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

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million