Sunday Million: Mustapha "lasagnaammm" Kanit extends magnificent run, banks $177k

There are hot streaks, great runs, and lucky breaks in poker... and then there is Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit's last ten months. The 24-year old not only won the SCOOP Main Event for $1.3 million, not only took the #1 spot on the all-time money list in his native Italy, but won three EPT high roller events (Monte Carlo €50k, Barcelona €10k and Dublin €25k) since last May, pushing his total combined live and online MTT earnings over the $10 million mark. Just last week, Kanit quietly shipped the Sunday Supersonic for $48,000 and tonight, he joined the ranks of Sunday Million champions, as he topped a field of 5,717 to win over $177k. 2016 may only be ten weeks old, but Kanit has already cashed for over $1.4 million this year, both online and live.

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Sunday Million champion Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit, pictured in victory at the EPT12 Dublin High Roller

Another interesting footnote to this week's Million was the potential for another repeat champion. In the ten-year history of the Sunday Million, only nine players have won it twice. One of those nine, Hungary's twirlpro, finished in 14th place tonight and three other Sunday Million champions, goodvibe1 (3rd), 147_star (4th), and xKoSSSx (12th) were among the final 12.

This week's Million drew 5,717 players, the prize pool topping out at $1,143,400.00. 855 places were paid with $177,229.79 set aside for first place.

The blinds were up to 125,000/250,000 with ten players remaining. Vladlen911, the second-shortest stack remaining, open-shoved for 1.84 million on the button with A♠8♦ and Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit called from the big blind with A♣9♣. The two appeared to be headed for a chop with the board reading Q♠3♦6♠T♣ on the turn, but Kanit rivered the 9♦ to make a pair of nines and sent Vladlen911 to the rail one spot shy of the final table.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: lasagnaaammm (14,504,591 in chips)
Seat 2: anteen (876,643 in chips)
Seat 3: goodvibe1 (7,708,246 in chips)
Seat 4: Pumpingpoker (3,687,804 in chips)
Seat 5: uknowProsky* (2,897,137 in chips)
Seat 6: Beth Abbey (6,375,763 in chips)
Seat 7: 147_star (9,422,868 in chips)
Seat 8: XouLio131 (7,278,599 in chips)
Seat 9: tracedyew (4,418,349 in chips)

The first five hands at the final table produced three eliminations. On Hand #1 the action folded to uknowProsky* in the cutoff and he moved in for 2.87 million with pocket sixes. XouLio131 called with A♦J♥ and rivered an ace on the K♠T♦T♣3♣A♥ board to send uknowProsky* home in ninth place. Three hands later, Pumpinpoker picked up 9♥9♦ and moved in for 3.58 million from UTG+1. Kanit called from the small blind with A♣Q♠ and won the coinflip when an ace hit the flop, ending Pumpingpoker's run in eighth. Then, on the next deal, 147_star opened for 500,025 and anteen committed his remaining 501,643. Anteen's 5♦9♦ did not improve against 147_star's A♣7♠, and he went out in seventh place.

Beth Abbey's stack took a hit when tracedyew's A♦K♦ held up against A♠T♥, good for a double-up to 5.2 million. Beth Abbey fell to 3.26 million and with the blinds up to 150,000/300,000, she three-bet shoved from the small blind with K♠Q♥. Goodvibe1 called with 8♥8♣ and the pocket pair held up to send Beth Abbey to the rail in sixth place.

Four hands later, XouLio131 opened for 630,000 from UTG and tracedyew moved all-in for 4.45 million with K♣Q♣. XouLio131 called and his dominating A♠K♠ held up to eliminate tracedyew in fifth.

Among the final four players were two former Sunday Million champions-- goodvibe1 snagged the title and $205k in August 2013 while 147_star picked up $258k back in April 2010. However, 147_star took a turn for the worse during four-handed play, losing over half his stack to goodvibe1. Holding 7♦8♥, goodvibe1 limped in from the small blind, then fired three times on the J♥9♦5♦T♠2♥ board. 147_star called him down and mucked at the sight of his turned straight. 147_star was left with 3.99 million and three hands later, he open-shoved from the cutoff with J♦T♦. Goodvibe1 called with A♠K♥ from the big blind. 147_star unfortunately did not improve on the 8♣7♥6♠5♣K♠ board and finished in fourth place.

When three-handed play commenced, goodvibe1 held a slight chip lead with 21.9 million, Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit had 21.3 million, and XouLio131 was the short stack with 14 million.

Kanit dominated three-handed play and moved into the chip lead after taking two 8 million chip pots off goodvibe1. Then, in a three-bet pot vs. XouLio131, he turned a nine-high straight on a J♠7♣5♠8♠ board and bet 1.89 million. XouLio131 called. The K♠ river put four spades on the board and both players checked. Although XouLio131 turned over pocket jacks for a set, Kanit's 6♣9♣ took down the 9.18 million pot.

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

lasagnaaammm 34,551,451
godvibe1 12,110,664
XouLio131 10,507,885

Per the players' request, both chip chop and ICM figures were presented. The chip chop deal offered virtually no downside for Kanit-- it guaranteed him a $155,160.95 share no matter where he finished, and with $20,000 still on the table, he'd still have the potential to walk away with $175,160.95 of the $177,229.79 published first place. Kanit declared he would only accept the chip chop deal, otherwise he was willing play it out. Although XouLio131 agreed to the chip chop, goodvibe1 would not accept it and cards went back in the air with no deal in place.

On the second hand back, Kanit showed his first signs of vulnerability at this final table when he dropped an 11.4 million pot to XouLio131. In for 1.05 million apiece, both players checked a J♣8♠3♠ flop. When the A♠ turned, Kanit checked and XouLio131 made it 1,512,500 to go. Kanit called and the 4♣ landed on the river. Kanit checked again, XouLio131 bet 2,821,250 and Kanit looked him up. XouLio131 revealed A♣3♥ for aces up and Kanit mucked.

Kanit retained the chip lead after that hand, but goodvibe1 snatched it away a short time later. With the blinds up to 300,000/600,000, Kanit opened for 1.38 million and goodvibe1 shoved for 11.77 million with 9♥9♣. Kanit called with A♥K♥ and lost the race when the board ran out Q♦T♠8♠4♠Q♥. Goodvibe1 doubled to 23.7 million while Kanit slipped to 15.3 million.

Kanit rebounded when his K♠8♥ flopped a pair of kings and rivered kings up vs. XouLio131. Kanit raked in an 11 million pot and moved back up to 23.4 million. Then, when the action folded to him in the small blind, Kanit made it 10.5 million to go with A♣6♠ and goodvibe1 called all-in with K♥J♠. Kanit flopped aces and sixes on the A♥8♦6♦K♣7♦ board and goodvibe1 went out in third place, ending our shot at crowning a tenth repeat Sunday Million champion tonight.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 1: Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit (36,518,554 in chips)
Seat 8: XouLio131 (20,651,446 in chips)

Kanit won seven of the first eight hands and chipped up to 48.3 million before XouLio131 picked up J♥T♣ and three-bet shoved. Kanit called with A♥J♣ and had XouLio131 dominated. It looked like curtains for XouLio131... until the K♠K♦T♥ flop made him two pair. Kanit never caught up and XouLio131 doubled to 19.4 million.

With the stacks essentially back to where they started heads-up play, Kanit and XouLio131 exchanged almost a dozen small pots before all the money went in preflop. Kanit opened for a min-raise to 1.6 million, XouLio131 shoved for 16.6 million with 4♥4♠ and Kanit called with J♦J♠. Kanit's pocket jacks held on the T♦8♠7♣3♣7♦ board and the young Italian added yet another title to his already-impressive poker C.V.

Congratulations to the seemingly unstoppable Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit, our newest Sunday Million champion! He banked $177,229.79 for the win, while runner-up XouLio131 earned $131,491.00.

PokerStars Sunday Million results for 3/13/2016

Players: 5,717
Prize pool: $1,143,400.00
Places paid: 855

1. Mustapha "lasagnaaammm" Kanit (Austria) $177,229.79
2. XouLio131 (Greece) $131,491.00
3. goodvibe1 (Germany) $92,615.40
4. 147_star (United Kingdom) $64,201.91
5. tracedyew (Cyprus) $48,022.80
6. Beth Abbey (United Kingdom) $36,588.80
7. anteen (Sweden) $25,154.80
8. Pumpingpoker (Russia) $14,292.50
9. uknowProsky* (Netherlands) $8,918.52

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million