Half Price Sunday Million: SitPro2011 stands tall in crowded field

This Sunday Million this week was the stuff holiday dreams are made of. A half-price buy-in attracted a massive field and set up six-figure scores for three players up top, including nearly $200,000 for the winner. There was a bit of a throwback feel to the proceedings as well, with a former champion in the field after five years away, and another former finalist returning after a seven-year break. But in the end, it was first-timer SitPro2011 from Brazil who breezed past the competition, taking just an hour and a half to earn the title, and some big money.

A field more than three times its usual size set up massive return-on-investment numbers for the final nine players. It took them a lot of hard work to get there, though. After nearly 13 hours of poker there were several short-stacked players hanging on for the $4,000 final table pay jump. One of them, Switzerland's longbreath, survived by sitting out. Denmark's youknowiknow wasn't as fortunate after calling for two big blinds with J♠ 9♣. Kelevrafckj's K♣ 5♠ held up unimproved to pop the bubble, setting up our final table.

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Seat 1: SitPro2011 (38,088,898 in chips) deep run in a WCOOP 2017 3-max Zoom tourney
Seat 2: longbreath (4,029,912 in chips)
Seat 3: rodddc (12,602,482 in chips)
Seat 4: jagdtreiba (5,489,182 in chips)
Seat 5: mamamamama70 (34,209,285 in chips) Super Tuesday finalist in October
Seat 6: just_two_ace (17,478,118 in chips) finished seventh in the Million seven years ago
Seat 7: Killuckkk (23,935,912 in chips)
Seat 8: Ticiz (19,073,723 in chips) past Sunday Million & TCOOP champion
Seat 9: Kelevrafckj (34,822,488 in chips)

SitPro2011 was the big stack. Two opponents trailed close behind but a big win on the third hand helped the Brazilian to establish a solid lead.

SitPro2011 opened with a min-raise to 1.2 million in early position, holding K♣ J♦, and flopped top pair after just_two_ace called on the button. The Russian's J♠ T♠ had connected for jacks and tens. just_two_ace raised SitPro2011's initial bet and then called all-in with the best of it after SitPro2011 shoved for the third bet. just_two_ace was one card away from taking the chip lead after the turn but the river on the J♣ 8♥ T♣ Q♥ K♠ board gave SitPro2011 a better two pair. just_two_ace's second Sunday Million final in seven years was over almost as soon as it had begun.

longbreath had been sitting out since arriving at the final table and the other short stacks, their yes on a pay jump, sat back while the Swiss player's stack blinded off. SitPro2011 picked up plenty of orphaned pots, as did Kelevrafckj, who eventually got A♥ 3♦ to hold up on the button against longbreath's T♣ 7♣ in the big blind, busting longbreath in eighth.

jagdtrieba had less than two big blinds and called them off on the next hand from the small blind with T♣ 4♣. SitPro2011 had opened in the cutoff with A♦ 6♦ and took the pot with a flopped pair of sixes, eliminating jagdtrieba in seventh.

SitPro2011 (78.3 million chips) and Kelevrafckj (40.6 million) were already well ahead of the pack.

The blinds exerted significant pressure on the others, waiting for hands strong enough to risk their stacks on, creating a delicate situation which the leaders deftly exploited. The question of which of them would pull away first was answered when SitPro2011 first min-raised in middle position with A♦ A♥, then called when Ticiz moved in for 22.1 million with A♣ K♣. The aces held up on the J♠ K♦ 4♦ T♠ 4♣ board and Ticiz's return to the Sunday Million final ended in sixth.


With half the lineup already gone, Kelevrafckj was the only player in position to challenge SitPro2011.


Kelevrafckj, the only player in position to challenge SitPro2011, was up for it. The player from Malta became the first opponent to win a pot heads-up with SitPro2011 a few minutes later after three-betting all-in and then winning a race with J♦ J♠ against SitPro2011's A♣ K♦. That set the stage for Kelevrafckj to claim the chip lead a few minutes later after min-raising under the gun with A♥ Q♠. Killuckkk called in the big blind with K♠ J♠ and made two pair on the Q♣ Q♥ K♥ flop, good enough to check-raise all-in for 13.5 million. Kelevrafckj called with trip queens and stayed ahead through the 6♠ turn and 5♣ river, sending Killuckkk to the rail in fifth.

Sweden's mamamamama70 and Brazil's rodddc were hanging on for their tournament lives, and met in the blinds a few hands later. rodddc jammed for ten big blinds from the small with J♠ 9♦, missed the board completely, and left the tournament in fourth when mamamamama70 called in the big with A♥ K♠,

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mamamamama70 was still the short stack, but with close to 30 big blinds and a $40,000+ difference between third place and second, was in no hurry to go anywhere. And, after laying low for the next two hands, there wasn't even that much room left to make up.

SitPro2011 won 29.2 million chips on the next hand without showdown, then flopped bottom set with 2♦ 2♥ in the small blind on the following hand after Kelevrafckj raised the button. SitPro2011 led out on every street. Kelevrafckj called each time and then mucked after the river, yielding as SitPro2011 scooped the massive 76-million-chip pot and took what would prove to be an insurmountable lead.

After the break SitPro2011 raised in the small blind with pocket sixes. The Brazilian player called when mamamamama70 three-bet all-in with A♦ 2♦ and then won the pot with a seven-high straight to end mamamamama70's run in third.

SitPro2011 had Kelevrafckj out-chipped, 152 million to 37.6 million, and remained active throughout heads-up play. Kelevrafckj survived the first all-in with K♥ 9♥, flopping kings and sevens and turning a full house to beat SitPro2011's A♠ T♥, but was still 15 million chips in the hole from previous losses. Doubling up with pocket queens a few hands later got Kelevrafckj into the black, but that was as good as things would get.

What Kelevrafckj really needed was to string a few double-ups together. Unfortunately, SitPro2011 had an answer every time that seemed to be possible. Kelevrafckj eventually got in for about 15 big blinds with A♥ 2♣; SitPro2011 called with T♣ 7♣ and won with a flopped pair of tens to close out a very brisk final table.

SitPro2011 made the most of a few key wins and used the big stack that came from them well, earning this week's Sunday Million title and a career-defining prize with it. Congratulations on making it through a massive field to take down the big money.

Half Price Sunday Million ($107.50 NL Hold'em) results
Entries: 18,973 (15,813 entries, 3,160 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,897,300
Places paid: 3,140

1. SitPro2011 (Brazil) $197,162.72
2. Kelevrafckj (Malta) $140,529.97
3. mamamamama70 (Sweden) $100,174.78
4. rodddc (Brazil) $71,408.11
5. Killuckkk (Malta) $50,902.28
6. Ticiz (Netherlands) $36,284.91
7. jagdtreiba (Germany) $25,865.32
8. longbreath (Switzerland) $18,437.58
9. just_two_ace (Russia) $13,142.97


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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million