Sunday Million: myleftfoot33's solid year continues with $148K victory (12-4-16)

It's been a pretty good year at the PokerStars tables for Ireland's myleftfoot33. A week and a half after winning a $55 tourney back in the spring, myleftfoot33 made a deep run in the Sunday Million, eventually bowing out in 13th place. Another win in August and a deep run in a WCOOP 2016 Super Tuesday Special Edition combined for more than $34,000 in winnings to keep the run of strong form going. Tonight the player from Ireland topped all of those results, breaking through to the Sunday Million final table and setting a new career best mark with a $148,000+ victory.

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The field for this week's Million was up a touch from last week's, topping out at 5,235 for a total prize pool of $1,047,000 that paid the top 728.

If there were a Red Spade equivalent to Gotham City's Bat-signal, it would have been lighting up the sky for most of the day. Team Pro's ElkY plied his trade near the top of the chip counts until there were just a few tables remaining. His momentum stalled with four tables remaining, though, and he eventually bowed out in 26th place ($3,027.81).

Within another hour and a half the final table lineup would be set when BlackFourz opened on the button with A♥ J♣ and called after myleftfoot33 moved all-in from the small blind with J♦ J♥. The J♠ 6♥ A♦ flop left BlackFourz in need of running aces for a win, and the 6♣ turn and 9♣ river sent the player from Mexico to the rail in 10th place.

Seat 1: tezmoney (4,130,409 in chips)
Seat 2: Rogersthiele (809,183 in chips)
Seat 3: donkey310 (7,914,354 in chips)
Seat 4: Ashwatthama (17,034,215 in chips)
Seat 5: myleftfoot33 (8,761,964 in chips)
Seat 6: vladulaNko (2,292,892 in chips)
Seat 7: ronaldnld (3,002,852 in chips)
Seat 8: mighty28 (6,277,213 in chips)
Seat 9: TheKhopMan (2,126,918 in chips)

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Short-stacked Rogersthiele picked up 9♥ 9♠ in the cutoff on the first hand of the final table and moved all-in. myleftfoot33 called form the big blind with J♣ J♠, which led up on the 5♠ 6♥ T♦ 8♣ A♦ board to knock Rogersthiele out in ninth.

vladulaNko and TheKhopMan both avoided the same fate in the next orbit, vladulaNko doubling through myleftfoot33 and past Sunday Million finalist TheKhopMan winning a coin flip with tens against mighty28's A♥ Q♥, to keep play eight-handed. But when TheKhopMan picked up another pocket pair on the following orbit, the results weren't as good. TheKhopMan opened all-in for 2.74M in middle position with 3♣ 3♥ and found just one caller, donkey310, a third-place finisher in the Super Tuesday just three weeks ago, who held 8♦ 8♥ in the cutoff. The board fell 6♥ Q♣ Q♥ K♣ 4♦, the eights held up, and TheKhopMan was gone in eighth.

donkey310 looked sure to build on that win one more orbit later after opening with A♣ A♦ in middle position and calling when mighty28 shoved for 3.68M from the big blind with Q♣ Q♥. Then the K♥ K♣ Q♦ 7♦ Q♠ board made four queens to give mighty28 the 7.66M-chip pot and keep the table seven-handed. donkey310 got most of those lost chips back two hands later thanks to picking up K♣ K♦ in the big blind, which made for an easy call when ronaldnld shoved for 2.93M in the cutoff with A♦ Q♥. ronaldnld picked up the nut flush draw on the 7♦ 8♦ 4♦ flop, but no help from the 4♥ turn or K♠ river meant ronaldnld was out in seventh.

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tezmoney was even shorter when the U.K. player picked up Q♣ Q♠ just before the hourly break and moved all-in from the cutoff seat. Ashwatthama only had to call another 1.27M in the small blind to match the bet and did so, showing A♥ 5♦. Ashwatthama earned some equity from a gutshot draw on the 6♦ 8♥ 4♣ flop, but the A♣ turn left with tezmoney with just two outs to stay alive. The 9♣ river wasn't one of them, and tezmoney departed in sixth.

After 33 minutes of final table action and a quick five-minute break, Ashwatthama was in the lead with 17.1M chips, a change of less than one big blind from the beginning of the final. donkey310 was in second with 12.3M chips, followed by vladulaNko (8.29M), who won the Sunday Warm-Up in 2012, and myleftfoot33 (8.16M), with mighty28 (6.36M), who beat Phil Galfond heads-up for a WCOOP title this year, bringing up the rear.

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vladulaNko was in a strong position to make a run at the chip lead, but not many opportunities presented themselves - and the ones that did dried up quickly. The Bulgarian player lost out on one pot to donkey310, folding to a lead bet on the turn of a J♦ 5♣ T♦ 9♠ board after calling a check-raise on the flop. But the one that hurt was re-raising before the flop with K♠ Q♦, being out-flopped by button raiser myleftfoot33's K♣ J♣, and then bluffing on two streets before checking the river and showing down ace-high on the J♦ 5♣ 4♥ A♦ 8♣ board.

Left with about 11 big blinds, vladulaNko moved all-in from the small blind a few hands later with A♣ 3♠ after Ashwatthama raised in the cutoff with T♣ T♥. The T♠ J♦ K♦ flop gave vladulaNko outs toa Broadway straight, but Ashwatthama's set of tens held up after the 9♠ turn and 5♥ river to knock out vladulaNko in fifth.

While all that was going on, mighty28 managed to avoid bleeding off too many chips by stealing about one pot per orbit. But with blinds and antes freshly up to 150K/350K/30K, there wasn't much room for error moving forward. An opening presented itself within a few hands after mighty28 opened under the gun for 875K with K♥ J♥ and was called by donkey310 on the button and myleftfoot33 in the big blind. mighty28 moved all-in with an open-ended straight draw on the 5♥ Q♣ T♥ flop, ending up with a 39.9-percent chance to win the pot against caller donkey310's top pair with A♦ Q♥. The 6♥ turn added all the hearts in the deck to the list of cards that could have won the pot for the underdog, but the Q♦ river gave donkey310 three of a kind and sent mighty28 to the rail in fourth.

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The final three players remaining were the same three who had been atop the chip counts when the final table had first begun. donkey310 had a relatively small chip lead of about 15 big blinds over Ashwatthama, while myleftfoot33 was further back but still hanging on to a stack worth more than 24 big blinds.

donkey310 seized the initiative within three hands, flopping two pair with Q♣ J♦ and then turning a full house but sitting back and just calling Ashwatthama's bets on each street. Ashwatthama called after being raised on the river of the 9♣ J♣ Q♦ Q♠ 7♥ board but mucked when shown queens full of jacks.

That 23M-chip pot had donkey310 on the verge of putting the tournament away quickly, but two hands later myleftfoot33 raised on the button with Q♦ T♥ and flopped top two pair. donkey310 defended with K♠ Q♣ and check-called the T♠ Q♠ 8♦ flop and 3♦ turn before shoving on the 4♣ river; myleftfoot33 called and doubled to 15.8M with queens and tens. Within seven minutes, Ashwatthama had done the same, this time after calling a small blind raise in the big blind with K♦ 5♦, making top pair on the 8♣ K♣ J♥ flop, and calling down donkey310's bluffs with 7♣ 5♠ on the 8♠ turn and 7♥ river.

The table remained three-handed and competitive for another half-hour. As each player took their fair share of pots, the blinds and antes continued to climb higher. The balance of the wins ended up stacked against Ashwatthama, whose stack was down to 2.7M chips by the time the 250K/500K/50K level arrived and myleftfoot33 check-called three streets' worth of bluffs with K♥ 8♠ for a pair-of-eights-turned-nut-flush, beating donkey310's T♦ 9♣ to move into a firm lead.

Two hands later Ashwatthama called myleftfoot33's button min-raise from the big blind with J♦ 7♠ and moved all-in with a gutshot straight draw on the 8♦ 9♣ 5♦ flop. The timing couldn't have been worse, though - myleftfoot33 called with 7♦ 6♦ for a nine-high straight and an open-ended straight flush draw. Ashwatthama's draw didn't come home on the 9♠ turn or Q♥ river, and the U.K. player was gone in third.

myleftfoot33 had the advantage with 42 million chips to donkey310's 10 million as heads-up play began, but donkey310 quickly doubled with 8♣ 8♠ to myleftfoot33's A♣ 8♥ to trim the lead in half. Three hands later donkey310 re-raised with A♠ 6♦ in the small blind and then check-called bets on the flop and turn of a A♣ Q♥ 3♠ K♠ K♣ board, picking off a big river bluff from myleftfoot33 with 6♣ 5♣.

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With that 22.6M-chip win, donkey310 had claimed the lead at 29.9M chips to myleftfoot33's 22.4M. But after taking their hourly break at 2:55 a.m. ET, myleftfoot33 got in before the flop with T♦ T♠ against donkey310's A♣ K♥ and the pair held up, moving myleftfoot33 back into the lead by just over 10 big blinds. Five hands later donkey310 had moved back ahead a touch but got aggressive with A♠ 7♣ in the big blind at the wrong time, shoving all-in over myleftfoot33's re-raise to end up against K♣ K♠.

One Q♥ K♥ T♠ 8♣ 2♦ board later, donkey310 was left with just under nine big blinds to try to mount a comeback. All those remaining chips went in behind K♣ 6♥ on the button on the next hand, but myleftfoot33 called with A♣ 2♥. Neither player's hand interacted with the Q♣ Q♥ 3♥ 5♣ T♠ board, leaving myleftfoot33 in the lead and bringing the tournament to an end for another week.

Even finishing as runner-up was a breakthrough for donkey310, whose $104,515.09 prize topped a previous career best (set just a few weeks ago) by nearly $70,000. It was an even bigger day for myleftfoot33, who not only set a new personal best by more than $111,000 but also earned a first career Sunday Million title. Congratulations to both players for following up and topping their strong performances earlier in the year!

12/4/16 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,235
Total prize pool: $1,047,000
Places paid: 728

1. myleftfoot33 (Ireland) $148,934.52
2. donkey310 (United Kingdom) $104,515.09
3. Ashwatthama (United Kingdom) $73,345.49
4. mighty28 (Denmark) $51,471.56
5. vladulaNko (Bulgaria) $36,121.18
6. tezmoney (United Kingdom) $25,348.81
7. ronaldnld (Malta) $17,788.94
8. TheKhopMan (Ireland) $12,483.69
9. Rogersthiele (Brazil) $8,760.77

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million