Half-Price Sunday Million: Tomati25 bests Duraircwb heads-up for $228K (8-13-17)

Two months after drawing a massive field and handing out six-figure prizes to four different players, the Half-Price Sunday Million returned to the lineup this week. More than 15 hours after it began, just two players remained: the late-surging leader, Tomati25, and the short-stacked past Sunday Warm-Up and TCOOP finalist, Duraircwb. A potential deal sank over a difference of $5,000, leading to an epic 121-hand duel. Both players caught breaks along the way but Tomati25 caught the biggest one last to walk away with this week's Sunday Million title.

The extra-large field enticed by this week's half-price entry took nearly 13 and a half hours to play down to the final table. When they got there, these nine players from eight countries were still in the hunt:


Seat 1: Tomati25 (28,733,041 in chips)
Seat 2: belosi (22,741,328 in chips)
Seat 3: Frivillig (16,321,145 in chips)
Seat 4: sirvim (10,990,148 in chips)
Seat 5: adm1ration (9,227,116 in chips)
Seat 6: bluntis77 (8,758,138 in chips)
Seat 7: Duraircwb (56,920,654 in chips)
Seat 8: Rass777 (40,506,556 in chips)
Seat 9: agnik80 (28,721,874 in chips)

The rest of the tournament would take another two hours to complete, but belosi's final table stay lasted all of three hands. The Estonian player had the misfortune of being dealt K♣ K♦ in middle position on the same hand that gave Rass777 A♦ A♥ in the big blind. belosi opened the action and then four-bet all-in for 24.4 million chips after Rass777 re-raised; Rass777 called and made aces full of sevens on the 4♦ Q♥ 7♠ A♠ 7♦ board, ending belosi's tournament in ninth.

adm1ration followed five minutes later after re-raising all-in for 6.7 million chips in the cutoff with A♣ K♠. Under-the-gun raiser and past Sunday Million runner-up agnik80 called with Q♠ Q♥ and made a set on the turn of the 2♦ 8♠ 6♣ Q♦ T♦ board to knock out adm1ration in eighth.

Rather than forecasting a quick march to the big money payouts, those early knockouts preceded a seven-handed standoff that would last for the rest of the first hour of play. bluntis77, who won the $11 Sunday Storm last month, was the first short-stacked player to double up. The Slovakian defended the big blind all-in with A♣ Q♠ against early-position attacker agnik80's K♣ 8♣ and doubled to 16 million when neither player improved.

That progress would be short-lived. Defending the blind with 3♣ 3♥ on the next orbit didn't turn out as well when small-blind raiser and TCOOP 2017 Zoom finalist sirvim's K♠ J♥ caught a king on the flop to double to 12 million. The blinds and antes were now at 500,000/1,000,000/100,000 and bluntis77's remaining chips only amounted to a few big blinds as the 3:00 a.m. ET hour came to a close.

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Within another 10 minutes bluntis77 had folded down to less than one big blind's worth of chips, finally calling all-in under the gun for 594,192. Three other players limped in and checked down to the river of the A♣ 8♣ K♠ 8♦ 9♦, when sirvim bet 2.4 million and Frivillig called. sirvim showed K♥ 8♠ for eights full of kings, earning the 9.8-million-chip pot and eliminating bluntis77 in seventh.

Norway's Frivillig looked almost sure to go next with just 4.8 million chips before moving in from the cutoff seat with A♣ Q♠ and getting Rass777 to call with Q♣ 5♦; both made queens and tens and Frivillig won on kickers. Three minutes later Rass777 re-raised all-in for 20.6 million with K♥ J♥ after Duraircwb opened with a small raise under the gun; Duraircwb called with Q♣ Q♠, the queens held on the 5♦ 5♠ 9♠ A♦ 8♥ board, and Rass777 was out in sixth.


Within one minute agnik80 opened all-in for 10.1 million chips under the gun with Q♣ T♣. Tomati25 called with A♠ A♥ and won the pot after the board came J♦ 2♦ 5♦ 5♣ 7♠, ending agnik80's second career Sunday Million final table appearance in fifth.

Frivillig doubled for the second time in five minutes after open-shoving with Q♠ 8♣ in the small blind, catching one queen on the flop and a second on the turn of a T♥ 2♦ Q♣ Q♦ T♣ board to double to 19 million with queens full of tens. But playing out two hands that ended in folds over the next few minutes drained those chips away again and put the Norwegian player back against the wall.

Frivillig ended up re-raising all-in for 4.7 million on the button a few hands later after Tomati25 opened for 2.4 million under the gun with K♥ T♣. Duraircwb called in the big blind with K♦ Q♣ and check-called bets on the flop and turn before checking down the river of the 7♦ K♣ 9♥ 5♠ T♦ board. Tomati25 won with kings and tens, while Frivillig mucked and departed in fourth.

Two hands later Tomati25 opened the action with 7♣ 7♦ in the small blind and called when sirvim jammed for 10.4 million with A♥ T♣ in the big. The Brazilian got no help from the 5♣ 4♣ K♦ 8♠ 2♥ board and left in third.

An epic duel

Tomati25 had a 2-to-1 advantage in chips as heads-up play began. The German player immediately expanded on it, five-betting before the flop to shut Duraircwb out of a 47.7-million-chip pot. Duraircwb suggested looking at numbers and endured for about 10 minutes without making up any more ground before Tomati25 agreed to talk over a potential deal.


Duraircwb - who had just 29 percent of the chips in play - wanted an even chop. Tomati25's reaction was swift: "o no thx. I am in front with double stack. makes no sense for me."

"U can get 190k and I take 180," Duraircwb said. "there is 20k for winner so if u win, u get 210k."

Tomati25 had the edge but was still willing to deal: "195k and I agree. otherwise we play." Duraircwb offered, "190K its very fair deal for you I am a profesisonal poker player," but to no avail - the game was back on.

Duraircwb quickly won 12 straight pots after play resumed, including two worth more than 25 million each, to finally make up some ground. And then the player from the U.K. made the most of backing into a wheel straight with Q♠ 4♣, betting for value on the river of a 8♦ 2♣ A♦ 5♦ 3♣ board to take down a 64.4-million-chip pot.

That win gave Duraircwb the chip lead for the first time heads-up. But Tomati25 struck back quickly, first by flopping top pair and turning kings and fives with K♣ 5♣, then by betting to force Duraircwb to fold without a showdown after the river of a 5♠ 4♦ 4♣ J♦ T♥ board. That left Tomati25 back in the lead, 164.2 million chips to Duraircwb's 58.6 million, as the 4:00 a.m. ET hour came to a close.

Tomati25 offered a deal at $195K one more time before the break ended but Duraircwb wouldn't bite. The U.K. player made a up a little bit of ground over the next few minutes before defending the big blind with 8♣ 6♦, making bottom two pair on the 9♣ 8♥ 6♠ flop, and turning a full house. Tomati25 mucked on the river after calling three streets' worth of bets and Duraircwb seized the lead with 143.4 million chips.

Tomati25's prospects didn't look too good for the next 10 minutes, but then the German player flopped the nuts after opening on the button with 9♦ 8♥. Duraircwb had check-called with an open-ended draw to a lower straight on the 6♦ 7♠ T♣ flop and, after getting there on the 4♠ turn, check-raised all-in. Tomati25 called, the 4♥ hit the river, and the German retook the lead with a massive 177.7-million-chip pot.

Minutes later Duraircwb took a stand and opened all-in for 20.4 million chips with 8♦ 7♦. Tomati25 made the call with A♣ A♦, which became a full house on the T♠ A♥ 5♥ T♣ 2♦ board to bring an epic heads-up duel to a close.

It was a fitting end to a bruising, hour-long battle. Congratulations to Tomati25 for enduring the swings to walk away as the champion of this extra-large Sunday Million.

8/13/17 Half-Price Sunday Million ($107.50 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 22,292 (18,747 entries, 3,545 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $2,229,200
Places paid: 3,716

1. Tomati25 (Germany) $228,754.61
2. Duraircwb (Untied Kingdom) $163,056.39
3. sirvim (Brazil) $116,232.04
4. Frivillig (Norway) $82,854.01
5. agnik80 (Russia) $59,061.09
6. Rass777 (Canada) $42,100.44
7. bluntis77 (Slovakia) $30,010.60
8. adm1ration (Russia) $21,392.29
9. belosi (Estonia) $15,249.06

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million