Sunday Million: Heavy metal man Nelson 'FeCoNiCuZn' Maccini bangs out win and 166K score

Iron, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, and Zinc. Those are five metals included on the Periodic Table of Elements, which also happen to make up the online poker moniker of Australian Nelson 'FeCoNiCuZn' Maccini. Before tonight, FeCoNiCuZn was best known for a victory in the opening event at the 2014 SCOOP. I don't know if his mates back home in Adelaide refer to Nelson 'FeCoNiCuZn' Maccini as 'Heavy Metal Maccini' or 'Iron Man Nelson', but perhaps they should simply call him by his newest distinction: The Sunday Million Champion.

With three tables to go, FeCoNiCuZn amassed a big stack and emerged as the player to beat. FeCoNiCuZn held the overall lead for most of the final table until it got heads up. After a rugged, 40-minute heads-up fracas, FeCoNiCuZnlost coughed up the lead but managed to get it back and cruise into the victory's circle. FeCoNiCuZn is now two major victories away (TCOOP and WCOOP) from the elusive Stars Slam.

There must be some sort of disturbance in the force, or a numerology anomaly with 2016 because this year's Sunday Million has seen an inordinate amount of repeat champions embark on hella-deep runs. It happened last week with Luis "Turko_Man" Rodriguez when the Finland-based Turko_Man shipped the Sunday million for a second time after previously winning it back in 2009. Earlier this year, PokerStars celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Sunday Million and at least 10 players can boast that they shipped the Million twice. Yep, 10 repeat champs are members of the Two-Timer Club. Although this week's winner had never won the big one before, a handful of players had final tabled the Sunday Million once again.

This installment of the $215 buy-in Sunday Million attracted 5,866 runners. The field of Sunday grinders and amateurs alike boosted the overall prize pool to $1,173,200, which pushed it over the $1 million guarantee. The top 855 places got a cut of the pool, with a juicy portion worth $181,848.88 set aside to the inevitable champion.

Team PokerStars Pro Elky managed to scrounge up a cash. The French video gamer legend is still sharp as ever at the virtual poker tables, but Elky's deep run was thwarted when he busted in 575th place.

With 27 players to go on the final three tables, FeCoNiCuZn jumped out to a lengthy lead when the Aussie became the first player to pass the 10M chip mark. He held nearly 3x as much as MG10tze, the German player in second place overall. FeCoNiCuZn seemed to have plateaued after hitting 10M. By the time action dwindled down to 18 players, königkunde made a run at the overall lead. The German surged to second overall with over 9.5M and was nipping at FeCoNiCuZn's heels. The two behemoth stacks were prepping for an inevitable heads-up showdown.

On the final table bubble with 10 to go, FeCoNiCuZn chipped up to 14M. That's when jaytheo40 attempted to double up with T♣T♠ against FeCoNiCuZn's A♦9♦. FeCoNiCuZn flopped an Ace and that's all she wrote for jaytheo40, who bubbled off the final table in tenth place.


4/17/16 Sunday Million - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: yukeepplayin (1,654,523)
Seat 2: Vovas05 (4,590,476)
Seat 3: Neoben78 (2,201,504)
Seat 4: liran2788 (3,369,607)
Seat 5: politm69 (1,029,424)
Seat 6: königkunde (12,844,474)
Seat 7: MG10tze (6,222,636)
Seat 8: jerbi9999 (9,519,313)
Seat 9: FeCoNiCuZn (17,228,043)

The Sunday Million final table commenced during the end of level 35 with 80K/160K blinds and a 16K ante. FeCoNiCuZn was in the captain's chair as the final table chip leader. Romania's politm69 was the proverbial short stack with a shade over 1M. The final table was divided into players who went deep in COOP events and players who had previously made a Sunday Million final table.

FeCoNiCuZn is no stranger to the winner's circle. The young Aussie has a SCOOP bracelet after he won the opening event at the 2014 SCOOP for his first-ever COOP title. At the 2015 SCOOP, Germany's königkunde finished in 8th place in the Heads-Up High Roller event after getting picked off by the eventual champion. Meanwhile, fellow German MG10tze final tabled a 2014 WCOOP event for a $20K score. At the 2014 TCOOP, Israel's jerbi9999 won nearly $26K for a sixth-place finish in a Turbo rebuy event.

Several players who previously went deep in the Million had made multiple appearances at the final table including yukeepplayin, liran2788, and politm69. Canada's yukeepplayin final tabled the Sunday Million back in February 2014, but only cashed in eighth place for $15K. In March of 2013, liran2788 got close to winning the Sunday Million, but the Israeli chopped the Million five ways and  eventually finished in second overall for a $166K score. Two years ago, politm69 squeezed out a fourth-place finish in the Sunday Million for a $79K score.

PLANET CARAVAN: liran2788 eliminated in 9th place

It took a classic race to bring down the first player at the final table. The good ole Jacks vs. Big Slick. Alas, the rich got richer because big-stacked FeCoNiCuZn dragged the pot with two pair -- Jacks and fours. All the money went in pre-flop when liran2788 open-shoved for 3,273,607. Everyone got out of the way, except FeCoNiCuZn who snap-called with J♠J♥ versus liran2788's A♣K♥. Although liran2788 turned a Broadway straight draw, it would have been futile because a Jack would have filled in a boat for FeCoNiCuZn. The board finished up Q♠4♠4♥T♥8♣ and liran2788 failed to improve. FeCoNiCuZn won with "Jacks Up" or two pair. Israel's liran2788 became the first player to exit the final table and busted in ninth place, which paid out $9,150.96.

ELECTRIC FUNERAL: yukeepplayin eliminated in 8th place

Two hands later, we saw the second bustout at the final table. Alas, yukeepplayin was not playing anymore after running A♠4♣ into Neoben78's A♦K♠. Short-stacked yukeepplayin bombed it all-in for 1,586,523 and Neoben78 insta-called from the small blind with a dominating Big Slick versus Ace-rag. Both players flopped a pair of Aces, but Neoben78 won with a better King-high kicker after the board finished up A♣J♣8♥2♣6♠. Canada's yukeepplayin was dunzo in eighth place, which paid out $14,665.00.

With seven remaining, a formidable FeCoNiCuZn retained first with nearly 18M while königkunde sat in second with 14M. Shorty politm69 continued to bring up the rear with 1.4M.

FAIRIES WEARS BOOTS: politm69 eliminated in 7th place

Romania's politm69 gaunt stack was down to 559,848 before making a final stand with K♠Q♦. However, jerbi9999 called with A♥T♣, hoping to pick off a shorty. The board ran out 9♥8♣8♥5♥Q♥. politm69 rivered a Queen to improve to two pair -- Queens and Eights -- but jerbi9999 rivered a four-flush to win the pot with Ace-high heart flush. Romania's politm69 earned $25,810.40 for a seventh-place performance.

With six left in the hunt, FeCoNiCuZn led with 15.2M and königkunde was in second with 14.5M. Meanwhile, MG10tze and Neoben78 battled it out as basement dwellers with 5.1M each.

RAT SALAD: Vovas05 eliminated in 6th place

Two shorties rumbled. Only one survived. The other was read their last rites. Another coin flip. This time Big Slick was pitted against pocket treys. Alas, a late King on the river trumped the treys. Vovas05 open-shoved for 3,346,287 and Neoben78 re-shoved for 3,869,360. Vovas05 led slightly with 3♣3♥ against Neoben78's A♥K♠. However, the board ran out T♠T♦5♠7♦K♥. Vovas05 had flopped two pair but was rundown on the river when the King of hearts spiked and crushed Vovas05's hopes of staving off an elimination. Neoben78 won the pot with Kings and tens. Meanwhile, Ukraine's Vovas05 was knocked out in sixth place, which paid out $37,542.40.

HAND OF DOOM: Neoben78 eliminated in 5th place

Neoben78 attempted to square off against big-stacked FeCoNiCuZn. The chip leader min-raised to 800K and both the blinds called (Neoben78 and königkunde). The flop was A♣T♦T♠. The blinds checked to FeCoNiCuZn, who fired out 800K. Neoben78 called, but königkunde bailed. Heads-up. The J♣ fell on the turn. Neoben78 checked, FeCoNiCuZn bet 1.6M, Neoben78 check-raised all-in for 5,935,647, and FeCoNiCuZn called.

Neoben78: A♦9♦
FeCoNiCuZn: K♦Q♦

Neoben78 flopped two pair with Aces Up, but FeCoNiCuZn flopped a Broadway gutter and got there on the turn. The river was the J♠, which did not help Neoben78, who lost with two pair against FeCoNiCuZn's Broadway straight. Neoben78 from Luxembourg busted in fifth place, which paid out $49274.40. After dragging a 16M pot, FeCoNiCuZn chipped up to over 36M.


With four to go, a deal discussion took place. FeCoNiCuZn held an overwhelming lead with over 60% of the chips in play and an intimidating 36M stack. The other three were roughly the same size with approximately 7.5M each. They had to leave $20,000 on the table for first place, but the numbers were floated:

FeCoNiCuZn ($146,377,34)
MG10tze ($104,171.55)
königkunde ($103,564.06)
jerbi9999 ($103,558.31)

The players liked the ICM numbers and everyone agreed on the deal. With a money chop in place, action resumed.

PARANOID: jerbi9999 eliminated in 4th place

Short-stacked jerbi9999 busted in a multi-way pot after attempting to triple up (for his last 277,789) against FeCoNiCuZn and königkunde. The board finished up A♦8♥8♣T♣J♠ and königkunde rivered a Jack-high straight with 9♥7♠ to scoop the main pot and side pot. Both FeCoNiCuZn and jerbi9999 mucked their losing hands. For a fourth-place finish, Israel's jerbi9999 locked up $103,558.31.

With three remaining... it was an Aussie and two Germans... FeCoNiCuZn led with 30M, followed by königkunde's 17.6M and MG10tze (10.8M).

WAR PIGS: MG10tze eliminated in 3rd place

It did not last three-handed very long before we saw fireworks in a Motown-inspired brawl or the "Jackson Five Bout" when a pair of Jacks held up against pocket fives. königkunde min-raised to 1M, MG10tze bombed it all-in for 5,999,658, FeCoNiCuZn called, but königkunde folded. Heads-up. MG10tze trailed with 5♥5♣ against FeCoNiCuZn's J♠J♥. FeCoNiCuZn improved to a set of Jacks on the flop, yet MG10tze failed to improve after the board finished up K♠J♦7♥3♣8♠. FeCoNiCuZn dragged the 13M pot. Germany's MG10tze was knocked out in third place, which paid out $104,171.55

HEADS-UP: königkunde (Germany) vs. FeCoNiCuZn (Australia)
Seat 6: königkunde (23,853,491)
Seat 9: FeCoNiCuZn (34,806,509)

FeCoNiCuZn picked off one German, but he was heads-up with the other. It was finally down to the final two with FeCoNiCuZn holding a 34.8M to 23.8M edge. The two would spar for a good 15 minutes before either of them did any significant damage.

Approximately 25 minutes into heads-up, a huge hand developed in which königkunde doubled up from 19M to 38M with A♥K♦ vs. FeCoNiCuZn's A♠7♥. königkunde dragged a 38.3M pot to seize a 2-1 advantage. However, königkunde's lead was short lived because FeCoNiCuZn rallied and stormed back to even up the score within nine hands.

königkunde embarked on another mini-rush winning five consecutive hands including a 13M pot to take a sizable lead 41.4M to 17.2M. FeCoNiCuZn quickly launched a counter-attack and won 6 out of the next 9 hands including a pair of 22M pots. The first one closed the gap 33.3M to 25.3M. The second one put him back in the lead 45M to 13.5M after he dragged a pot with two pair -- Queens and eights. Four hands later... it was all over.

IRON MAN: königkunde eliminated in 2nd place; FeCoNiCuZn binks Sunday Milly!

On the penultimate hand, FeCoNiCuZn won a 17.4M pot with two pair with Doyle Brunson's favorite hand -- 10-2 off suit. That hand put FeCoNiCuZn ahead 52M to 6.5M.

On the final hand... FeCoNiCuZn insta-shoved for 52,026,036 and königkunde called for 5,433,964. königkunde was in trouble with J♦T♦ against a sturdy Ace and FeCoNiCuZn's A♦9♣. The turn gave königkunde a glimmer of hope with an open-ended straight draw, but FeCoNiCuZn faded a straight on the river to win the pot.  The board ran out K♦7♠3♥Q♦K♣. FeCoNiCuZn never improved but won the pot with a pair of Kings a better Ace-high kicker. Unfortunately, königkunde could not come from behind to avoid an elimination. For an impressive second-place performance, Germany's königkunde earned a payday worth $103,564.06.

Congrats to the newest Sunday Million champion -- FeCoNiCuZn from Australia. With a four-way money chop locked up, first place this week paid out $166,377.34. That's almost enough cash to play the Sunday Million every week for the next 15 years!


4/17/16 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,866
Prize pool: $1,173,200
Places paid: 855

1. Nelson 'FeCoNiCuZn' Maccini (Australia) $166,377.34 *
2. königkunde (Germany) $103,564.06 *
3. MG10tze (Germany) $104,171.55 *
4. jerbi9999 (Israel) $103,558.31 *
5. Neoben78 (Luxembourg) $49,274.40
6. Vovas05 (Ukraine) $37,542.40
7. politm69 (Romania) $25,810.40
8. yukeepplayin (Canada) $14,665.00
9. liran2788 (Israel) $9,150.96

* = denotes a four-way chop

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Pauly McGuire is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in Sunday Million