Sunday Million: stardust167 has the luck of the Irish, defeats Nicolau "nicofellow" Villa-Lobos for $179k score

This week, the Sunday Million produced yet another final table that was a virtual murderer's row of online poker success stories. Among them was 2014 ANZPT Perth champion Patrick "pmahoney22" Mahoney, who only last month captured a TCOOP title and over $144k. Russia's KumariOy is a 2013 SCOOP champion and that same year, finished third in the SCOOP "high" Main Event for a monstrous $700k score, while Brazil's Nicolau "nicofellow" Villa-Lobos took down the 2013 SCOOP "medium" Main Event for $472k. Nicofellow started out on the short stack and miraculously survived to heads-up play, but ran out of gas as Ireland's stardust167 swooped in and went on a perfectly timed heater. One of three Brazilians at this final table, nicofellow had to settle for second place while stardust167 rose to the top and claimed his first major online title.

This week's Million drew 5,778 players with the prize pool topping out at $1,155,600.00. 855 places were paid with first place set to earn $179,120.79.

The blinds were up to 65,000/130,000 with ten players remaining. The action folded to short stack Bigdaft in the small blind, and he moved in for his last 687,951 with J♥T♦. Pmahoney22 called with 7♥8♥ from the big blind. The K♥9♦8♣ flop hit both players-- pmahoney22 made middle pair while Bigdaft picked up an open-ended straight draw. The 7♠ turn made pmahoney22 sevens and eights, but gave Bigdaft the lead with a jack-high straight. However, the river fell the 7♣ and pmahoney22 improved to sevens full of eights, ending Bigdaft's run on the final table bubble.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: capodelon (5,788,056 in chips)
Seat 2: Gordinho90 (4,586,037 in chips)
Seat 3: KumariOy (12,526,049 in chips)
Seat 4: nicofellow (2,020,821 in chips)
Seat 5: stardust167 (12,912,097 in chips)
Seat 6: pmahoney22 (8,098,470 in chips)
Seat 7: IMDaBuster (4,748,602 in chips)
Seat 8: feldegani.ps (5,282,710 in chips)
Seat 9: DEdgge (1,817,158 in chips)

Both short stacks got new life in the early going at this final table. Nicofellow doubled to 4 million when his A♥K♠ flopped aces and kings vs. pmhaoney22's pocket fives. Moments later, DEdgge three-bet shoved preflop with 6♣6♥ and Gordinho90 called with A♦Q♠. Although Gordinho90 made trip queens on the Q♦5♣Q♥ flop, DEdgge turned the 6♠ to make sixes full and doubled to 2.7 million.

Pmahoney22 fell to 3.74 million in chips and with the blinds up to 100,000/200,000, he three-bet shoved preflop from the small blind. Button raiser stardust167 called, his K♠J♦ dominating pmahoney22's Q♥J♥. Stardust167's king kicker played on the J♣6♣2♠8♥6♠ board and pmahoney22 hit the rail in ninth place.

Gordinho90 suffered another hit when he again doubled up DEgdde, whose pocket aces prevailed over Gordinho90's A♣K♦. Soon thereafter, chip leader stardust167 further solidified his position by winning a 14.8 million pot off KumariOy. Stardust167 opened for 400,000 with 9♥9♠ and both DEdgge and KumariOy called. The flop fell a boffo 9♣3♦3♥ and KumariOy led out for 671,600. Stardust167 called and DEdgge got out of the way. KumariOy bet 3 million when the K♠ turned but checked the A♥ river, leaving the door open for stardust167 to bet 3 million, KumariOy looked him up, only to muck in the face of his nines full of threes. Stardust167 rocketed to 24 million and became the dominant chip leader, leaving KumariOy on 10.8 million.

Meanwhile, nicofellow was down to only 1.75 million and open-shoved with K♦9♠ only to run into IMDaBuster's J♥J♦. However, nicofellow got a reprieve when the flop came down K♣9♣2♠, making him two pair. The 6♠ turn was a blank, but the 9♥ river improved nicofellow to nines full and he doubled to 3.86 million.

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Short-stack ninja Nicolau "nicofellow" Villa-Lobos, pictured in victory at the 2013 UKIPT Edinburgh

Gordinho90 was down to only 620,000 by this point and open-shoved from UTG+1 he got two callers, stardust167 and DEdgge, who checked down the flop and turn on the K♦T♣K♣Q♦ board. The 2♦ came on the river and DEdgge checked to stardust167, who bet 1,000,000. DEdgge made the call, but could not beat stardust167's A♦7♦ for the nut flush. Gordinho90 mucked and was eliminated in eighth place.

DEdgge soon followed Gordinho90 to the rail. He open-shoved for 3.35 million with 8♠T♠ and KumariOy called with pocket sevens in the small blind. The sevens held up and DEdgge went out in seventh place. Then, with the blinds up to 125,000/250,000, IMDaBuster moved in for 1.4 million from the cutoff with A♠2♦ and both capodelon and KumariOy called from the blinds. Capodelon check-folded to KumariOy's 1,000,000 bet on the 9♠8♠6♦ flop and KumariOy turned up Q♦8♣ for middle pair. KumariOy's pair of eights turned into trips on the river and IMDaBuster exited in sixth place.

Capodelon picked up Q♠9♣ and with the action folded to him in the small blind, he open-shoved. KumariOy called with K♥J♥ in the big blind and turned Broadway on the A♠T♥5♠Q♥6♠ board, ending capodelon's run in fifth place. A few orbits later, feldegani.ps took a significant hit when stardust167 flopped top pair nines, turned nines and deuces, and rivered nines full. Stardust167 check-called the flop and bet 2.4 million on the river, feldegani.ps looking him up and losing over half his stack on the hand. Meanwhile, short stack nicofellow continued hanging on when he doubled through KumariOy, his pocket nines flopping a set against KumariOy's pair of kings.

Feldegani.ps was down to 7.3 million with the blinds up to 200,000/400,000 when he limped in from the small blind with A♥Q♠ and KumariOy shoved for 19.3 million from the big. Feldegani.ps snap-called and KumariOy turned up 5♦9♦. However, KumariOy flopped a nine and his pair held up on the 9♠6♦2♠8♠T♦ board, ending feldegani.ps's run in fourth place.

When three-handed play commenced, KumariOy held the chip lead with 26.7 million, stardust167 was second with 16.5 million and nicofellow was the short stack with 14.5 million.

KumariOy, nicofellow, and stardust167 battled it out for nearly forty minutes three-handed. Nicofellow moved into the chip lead after going to the river without a showdown vs. stardust167. Both players limped in from the blinds and checked a K♦2♦4♥ fop. When the 2♠ turned, nicofellow made it 600,000 to go, stardust167 raised to 1.8 million and nicofellow called. When the 9♥ rivered, nicofellow checked, stardust167 bet 2.4 million and nicofellow moved all-in for over 18 million. Stardust167 gave up his hand and nicofellow raked in the 9.8 million pot, taking his stack up to 25.4 million. Shortly thereafter, stardust167 was down to 5.9 million, but doubled through KumariOy to survive, his J♥4♥ flopping trip fours and rivering fours full vs. KumariOy's K♥J♦. KumariOy fell to 12 million and a few hands later, he three-bet shoved with 8♠8♦. Stardust167 trailed preflop with Q♥8♥, but rivered a king-high flush on the K♥6♣4♥9♠6♥ board to win the 22.1 million pot. KumariOy was left with only 1.43 million and was eliminated in third place on the next hand.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 4: nicofellow (32,812,300 in chips)
Seat 5: stardust167 (24,967,700 in chips)

Nicofellow and stardust167 traded the lead several times before stardust167 hit a hot streak and started pulling away. Stardust167 won 13 out of 14 pots and moved up to 43.6 million, while nicofellow fell to 14.1 million.

Then, with the blinds up to 400,000/800,000, stardust167 opened for 3.2 million and nicofellow moved in for 9.6 million from the big blind. Stardust167 called.

nicofellow A♥2♦
stardust167 J♣T♦

Stardust167 made two pair on the T♠9♥9♣ flop and made tens full of nines with the T♣ turned. The A♣ river was irrelevant and stardust167 locked up his first Sunday Million win.

Congratulations to stardust167 on joining the ranks of Sunday Million champions! He took home $179,120.79 for the win, while runner-up Nicolau "nicofellow" Villa-Lobos earned $132,894.00.

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PokerStars Sunday Million results for 2-21-2016

Players: 5,778
Prizepool: $1,155.600.00
Places paid: 855

1. stardust167 (Ireland) $179,120.79
2. Nicolau "nicofellow" Villa-Lobos (Brazil) $132,894.00
3. KumariOy (Russia) $93,603.60
4. feldegani.ps (Brazil) $64,886.94
5. capodelon (Switzerland) $48,535.20
6. IMDaBuster (Australia) $36,979.20
7. DEdgge (Israel) $25,423.20
8. Gordinho90 (Brazil) $14,445.00
9. Patrick "pmahoney22" Mahoney (Mexico) $9,013.68

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million