Sunday Million: LilFishAtL thrives in big pond, banks $141k

When this final table was down to its last three players, all signs pointed to a win for Grayson "gray31" Ramage. Only last week, Ramage took down a TCOOP title and over $213k for his victory in the $2,100 NLHE High Roller event and was riding a wave of momentum into this Sunday Million final. Gray31 arrived at the final table with the largest stack and knocked out the eighth, seventh, sixth, fifth, fourth, and third-place finishers to end up heads-up with LilFishAtL at a 7.5 to 1 chip advantage. However, LilFishAtL wasn't about to go gently into this good night and went on a tear, winning five pots in a row, ending in a double-up to 19.4 million. The gap now closed to 2 to 1, LilFishAtL hacked away at gray31 and moved into the chip lead. From there, it wasn't long before gray31 succumbed and LilFishAtL pulled out his first Sunday Million win.

5,718 players bought into this week's Million, pushing the prize pool up to $1,143,600.00. 855 places were paid with first place set to earn $177,260.79.

The blinds were up to 125,000/250,000 with ten players remaining when short stack buiu01 open-shoved for 1.79 million from UTG. 1974cww called, his pocket sixes racing with A♦J♥. The sixes held up on the 5♦5♣3♣7♥9♣ board and buiu01 had the misfortune of missing the final table by one one spot.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: LilFishAtL (7,370,074 in chips)
Seat 2: bRe3za (3,824,187 in chips)
Seat 3: tonyfo14 (3,077,464 in chips)
Seat 4: 1974cww (12,024,757 in chips)
Seat 5: gray31 (14,147,686 in chips)
Seat 6: Speedyy1986 (6,976,067 in chips)
Seat 7: Ship It 2010 (2,338,456 in chips)
Seat 8: 1morepls (2,933,128 in chips)
Seat 9: diablo8807 (4,488,181 in chips)

BRe3za was the first player to depart the final table, exiting in ninth place when his A♥K♦ fell to diablo8807's rivered set of tens. Diablo8807, however, was next to go after open-shoving preflop with A♦K♣. Gray31 called with 7♥7♦ and they held up on the Q♣8♦6♣3♥5♥ board to send diablo8807 to the rail in eighth. Now up to 19.4 million in chips, gray31 picked up A♣J♣ and reshoved over 1974cww's 1.6 million opening raise. 1974cww called and turned up Q♥Q♦, but gray31 rivered an ace on the 7♠6♠3♦8♥A♥ board to end 1974cww's run in seventh place.

With six players remaining, gray31 was up to 28.1 million, LilFishAtL was second in chips with 8.8 million, and the rest of the pack was below 6 million apiece. Having already eliminated two opponents, gray31 went on to win 13 of the next 15 hands, taking out three more players along the way.

When the action folded to him on the button, gray31 moved in with 6♥9♣ and Speedyy1986 snap-called with 8♥8♣. The eights held up through the turn, but gray31 spiked a river nine on the J♠7♥J♦4♣9♥ board and Speedyy1986 went out in sixth. A few hands later, tonyfo14 found K♥J♦ and moved all-in from the cutoff. Gray31 three-bet to 8 million with pocket fours and both blinds folded. Gray31's pocket pair held up and tonyfo14 exited in fifth place. Then, with the blinds up to 250,000/500,000, gray31 made a small blind shove with A♦8♥ and Ship It 2010 called from the big blind with K♥J♠. Gray31's ace-high held up on the 7♠7♣2♣6♥3♥ board and Ship It 2010 had to settle for fourth place.

Moments later, the final three players agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

gray31 46,489,188
LilFishAtL 7,307,684
1morepls 3,383,128

Gray31 was clearly in a great position to negotiate and came away with a deal that guaranteed him over $156k-- significantly more than second-place money with a shot at nearly the full published first-place prize should he win and pick up the additional $20k. Given their short stacks, LilFishAtl (14.5BB) and 1morepls (6.5BB) were pleased to emerge with $121k and $104k shares respectively. With $20k still at stake for the winner, cards went back in the air.

On the first hand back, gray31 opened for a 1,000,000 min-raise and 1morepls shoved for 3.33 million with A♠3♠ Although gray31 trailed preflop with J♣7♦, he picked up a pair of sevens on the flop and jacks up on the turn, ending 1morepls's run in third place.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: LilFishAtL (6,757,684 in chips)
Seat 5: gray31 (50,422,316 in chips)

Although a gray31 victory appeared to be a fait accompli, LilFishAtL wasn't deterred in the least. Despite a 7.5 to 1 chip disadvantage, LilFishAtL won the first four hands in a row and on the fifth, he doubled to 19.4 million when his K♣J♥ flopped a pair of jacks vs. gray31's pocket deuces. LilFishAtL and gray31 traded small pots for the next ten minutes, the chip counts remaining relatively unchanged until gray31 opened for 1.2 million and LilFishAtL three-bet to 3.05 million. Gray31 called and they saw a 9♥5♣4♠ flop. LilFishAtL led out for 2.8 million and gray31 called. The turn brought the 4♦ and LilFishAtL fired another 3.8 million. Again, gray31 called. The river was the 6♣ and LilFishAtL moved in for his last 9.9 million. Gray31 called and turned up A♠9♠ for nines and fours, but LilFishAtL had him crushed with Q♦Q♠ for queens and fours. LilFishAtL doubled to 39.2 million, leaving gray31 on 17.9 million.

LilFishAtL whittled gray31 all the way down to 10.5 million in chips before gray31 three-bet shoved preflop with K♠T♦. LilFishAtL called with A♥Q♠, but gray31 hit a king on the flop to double back up to 21 million. Gray31 had chipped up to 24.4 million when he opened for 1.6 million with K♣J♠ and LilFishAtL moved all-in from the big blind. Gray31 called and LilFishAtL turned over A♦9♣. The Q♠J♥2♥ flop moved gray31 into the lead with a pair of jacks, but the turn brought the A♠, making LilFishAtL a pair of aces. The river was the 8♠ and LilFishAtL pulled off an incredible comeback to win his first Sunday Million title.

Congratulations to LilFishAtL on joining the ranks of Sunday Million champions! He banked an even $141,000.00 for the win. However, thanks to the three-handed deal, runner-up Grayson "gray31" Ramage departed with the largest share of the prize pool at $156,406.39.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 2-7-2016

Players: 5,718
Prizepool: $1,143,600.00
Places paid: 855

1. LilFishAtL (Mexico) $141,000.00*
2. Grayson "gray31" Ramage (Canada) $156,406.39*
3. 1morepls (Greece) $104,000.00*
4. Jamie "Ship It 2010" O'Connor (United Kingdom) $64,213.14
5. tonyfo14 (Lebanon) $48,031.20
6. Speedyy1986 (Romania) $36,595.20
7. 1974cww (United Kingdom) $25,159.20
8. diablo8807 (Hungary) $14,295.00
9. bRe3za (Germany) $8,920.08

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

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million