Sunday Million: snapcall419 ships $137k, $trateGema third for the second week in a row

When is third place more remarkable than a win? Perhaps when it happens twice to the same Sunday Million player in as many weeks. In a feat that will live on as a delicious historical footnote in the history of this tournament, Germany's $trateGema finished third for $93k in the Million one week ago, only to be eliminated in exactly the same position tonight. $trateGema exited at the hands of Canada's snapcall419, who went on to defeat WCOOP champion Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard heads-up and capture $137k and the title. WSOP and WCOOP bracelet winner Thiago "XTheDecanoX" Nishijima added another major final table to his resume and finished seventh.

viiruss_sunday_milly.jpgRunner-up Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard

After a summer flirtation with re-entries, the Million returned to its traditional freezeout format and drew 5,256 players. 728 of them earned a share of the $1,051,200.00 prize pool, with $149,531.00 set aside for the winner.

The blinds were up to 150,0000/300,000 with ten players remaining when $trateGema opened for a min-raise on the button. J.KQ90 moved all-in for 2.2 million from the small blind with A♥8♥ and $trateGema called with J♥T♥. $trateGema caught a ten on the flop and a jack on the turn to make two pair, ending J.KQ90's run on the final table bubble.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: $trateGema (12,862,334 in chips)
Seat 2: viirusss (3,999,103 in chips)
Seat 3: DrAnubis (7,137,934 in chips)
Seat 4: XTheDecanoX (6,115,290 in chips)
Seat 5: LukeN73 (6,474,036 in chips)
Seat 6: JGagMan (3,766,716 in chips)
Seat 7: lipeabruzzi (2,530,953 in chips)
Seat 8: Sexy Bieber (4,101,160 in chips)
Seat 9: snapcall419 (5,572,474 in chips)

Short stack lipeabruzzi was at risk on Hand #1, calling all-in for less from the small blind after JGagMan open-shoved K♠Q♠ for 3.73 million on the button. Lipeabruzzi's A♠T♦ rivered a jack-high straight on the J♥9♣7♥5♥8♠ board and he doubled to 5.57 million, leaving JGagMan on 1.23 million. JGagMan committed the rest of his chips pre-flop on the next deal. Although his K♣Q♠ had snapcall419's K♠7♠ dominated, snapcall419 caught running cards to make an eight-high straight on the T♥8♣4♥6♦5♦ board and JGagMan was eliminated in ninth place. Although $trateGema stole the spolight tonight with his repeat feat, he wasn't the only player at this final table who had been at it before, and recently. Incredibly, JGagMan made the final table of the Million four weeks ago, and finished fifth. The two scores combined gave him a $58,347.51 bankroll boost.

Two hands later, Sexy Bieber found A♣9♣ and open-shoved for 3.53 million from the cutoff. $trateGema called with pocket eights in the small blind and his pair held up, making it curtains for Beibs in eighth place.

By the time the blinds rose to 175,000/350,000, Thiago "XTheDecanoX" Nishijima had shed about 1.5 million chips from his final table starting stack. Holding Q♣J♠ in the cutoff, he open-shoved for 4.44 million, but lipeabruzzi reshoved for 5.79 million from the small blind. Lipeabruzzi revealed A♦K♠ and rivered an ace-high flush on the T♦5♦4♦8♠6♦ board, sending Nishijuma to the rail in seventh place.

xthedecanox_wsop.jpgThiago "XTheDecanoX" Nishijima, pictured in victory at the 2015 WSOP

Viirusss got a boost when he doubled to 7.65 million, his A♣T♣ flopping Broadway vs. $trateGema's 5♥9♠. Moments later, the blinds were up to 200,000/400,000 and LukeN73 moved in for 5.53 million with A♦J♣. Unfortunatley for him, snapcall419 woke up with A♥K♦ on the button. Snapcall419 made kings up on the K♣8♠2♦2♣8♦ board and LukeN73 had to settle for sixth place.

The dust had barely settled on that hand when $trateGema opened for a min-raise to 800,000, viirusss smooth-called from middle position, and DrAnubis three-bet shoved for 6.57 million from the cutoff. $trateGema gave up his hand, but viirusss called, revealing Q♠Q♥. DrAnubis's A♦Q♣ did not improve on the K♣T♦6♣7♣2♠ board and he went out in fifth place, while viirusss moved up to second in chips with 14.5 million.

After running quite well at the final table, lipeabruzzi was dealt a setback at the hands of $trateGema. Holding Q♥7♦, lipeabruzzi opened for 800,000 and $trateGema defended his big blind with J♦2♦. The flop came down Q♦9♦2♥ and $trateGema checked his top pair to lipeabruzzi, who bet 1,306,666. $trateGema raised all-in with bottom pair and a flush draw, and lipeabruzzi called. The T♠ turn was a safe card for lipeabruzzi, but the 2♠ river made $trateGema trip deuces and he raked in the 16.5 million pot.

Down to only 2.14 million in chips, lipeabruzzi picked up 8♣T♣ on the button and open-shoved... only to have snapcall419 do just that with A♠K♦ in the small blind. Lipeabruzzi didn't get any help on the Q♣5♦3♥9♠3♣ board and exited in fourth place. Lipeabruzzi's elimination meant that $trateGema would at least tie his third-place Sunday Million finish from a week ago.

When three-handed play commenced, viirusss was the chip leader with 22.2 million, $trateGema was second with 15.6 million and snapcall419 was the short stack with 14.8 million. However, $trateGema quickly lost ground, dropping two medium-sized pots to viirusss and one to snapcall419, all without a showdown. Down to 6.9 million and facing a 1.5 million button raise from snapcall419, $trateGema found K♠Q♦ and moved all-in from the small blind. Viirusss got out of the way, but snapcall419 looked him up with A♦T♣. $trateGema needed help on the board, but got none of it from the 8♦6♣5♠9♦T♠ runout. $trateGema was third once again, the $73,639.71 he earned tonight combining with last week's score for a remarkable $166,710.40 haul.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 2: viirusss (26,035,921 in chips)
Seat 9: snapcall419 (26,524,079 in chips)

After three hands heads-up and a lead change in this close match, viirusss and snapcall419 agreed to pause the action and make a deal. Here's how they stacked up when the numbers were crunched:

viirusss 26,585,921
snapcall419 25,974,079

The two quickly and painlessly came to an agreement and made an ICM deal that guaranteed each of them a little over $117k. With $20,000 still on the table for the winner, cards went back in the air.

Snapcall419 had ground up about a 7 million-chip lead when viirusss decided to make a move. He opened for a min-raise to 1,000,000 with 7♥T♥ and snapcall419 called. The 9♦6♣4♠ flop gave viirusss only a gutshot straight draw, but nevertheless he fired a 693,000 continuation bet. Snapcall419 called. The turn came the J♠ and snapcall419 checked again. Viirusss made it 1,565,612 to go and snapcall419 came along. The river was the 5♦ and snapcall419 checked a third time. Viirusss fired a 3.9 million third barrel and snapcall419 looked him up with J♣T♠. The pair of jacks were good, and snapcall419 moved up to 37 million in chips, while viirusss fell to 15.5 million.

The two continued sniping at one another for 15 minutes before the final hand unfolded. Snapcall419 made it 1.8 million on the button, viirusss shoved for 13.8 million from the big blind and snapcall419 called.

snapcall419 Q♦Q♥
viirusss 5♣5♦

Snapcall419's queens reigned on the 8♠4♦2♠K♣J♥ board, and he locked up his first Sunday Million title.

Congratulations to Canada's snapcall419 on joining the ranks of Sunday Million champions! He banked $137,089.51 for the win, while runner-up Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard earned $117,375.84.

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PokerStars Sunday Million results for 8-14-2016
Players: 5,256
Prize pool: $1,051,200.00
Places paid: 728

1. snapcall419 (Canada) $137,089.51*
2. Yorane "viirusss" Kerignard (Malta) $117,375.84*
3. $trateGema (Germany) $73,639.71
4. lipeabruzzi (Brazil) $51,678.04
5. DrAnubis (Germany) $36,266.08
6. LukeN73 (Czech Republic) $25,450.49
7. Thiago "xTheDecanox" Nishijima (Brazil) $17,860.30
8. Sexy Bieber (Canada) $12,533.77
9. JGagMan (Canada) $8,795.91

*= denotes a heads-up deal

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Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million