Sunday Million: bargeeeld goes worst-to-first for $120K win

Coming to a final table short-stacked usually means being one of the first players to collect a payout. But the beauty of no-limit hold'em is that you're never out of the game as long as you have a chip and a chair. Germany's bargeeeld got to experience the upside of one of tournament poker's oldest truisms today, and, better yet, did so on one of online poker's grandest stages. bargeeeld went from an all-in underdog in the first major confrontation of this week's Sunday Million final table to the victor after its last, walking with the extra cash on the table for six-figure score at the end of it all.

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The 5,340 entrants in this week's Sunday Million built a $1,068,000 total prize pool, which was split up among the top 764 finishers. It took just over four hours of play to reach the payouts, and another six hours from there to reach the final two tables. By 1:33 a.m. ET there were just 10 players left, fighting it out with the blinds and antes at 100K/200K/20K.

bigbeef89 was in desperate straits and opened the action all-in under the gun with J♠ 8♦. Jozinho6 called in the big blind with A♣ 9♥ and made trip aces on the A♥ 2♣ [7] 3♠ A♦ board, busting bigbeef89 in 10th place and setting up this final table lineup:

Seat 1: bargeeeld (2,609,773 in chips)
Seat 2: RightDurrSir (11,503,659 in chips)
Seat 3: Jozinho6 (9,604,878 in chips)
Seat 4: Muntjesvader (4,933,889 in chips)
Seat 5: john4kos8 (7,048,982 in chips)
Seat 6: EvertonBezer (3,423,942 in chips)
Seat 7: worldsbestpo (4,578,842 in chips)
Seat 8: andredos (4,990,752 in chips)
Seat 9: jm1306 (4,705,283 in chips)

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worldsbestpro started this final table in the middle of the pack, with plenty of chips to make something happen as long as the worst-case scenario didn't come into play. Then, about 15 minutes into the final, the worst-case scenario came into play. worldsbestpro opened the action with a min-raise to 500K, holding A♠ K♠, and called when bargeeeld shoved for 2.6M in the small blind. bargeeeld's J♥ T♣ made running jacks and tens on the turn and river of the 6♠ 3♣ 2♦ T♦ J♣ board, winning the 5.74M-chip pot and trumming worldsbestpro's stack to 1.34M.

Two hands later, worldsbestpro opened all-in from early position with A♣ Q♦ and Muntjesvader called in the small blind with T♣ T♦. The tens held on the K♣ 2♦ 9♣ 5♠ 7♣ board, and worldsbestpro left the tournament in ninth.

That took the remaining eight players to the 1:55 a.m. ET break, and they played out a full blind level's worth of poker after coming back before Muntjesvader opened the action all-in for 4.19M in early position with A♦ J♦. EvertonBezer raised for two big blinds more with A♥ Q♥ to chase off the competition and made a pair of queens on the 2♦ 6♠ Q♠ K♠ 4♥ board, knocking out Muntjesvader in eighth.

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Three hands later EvertonBezer picked up A♦ Q♥ in a dominating position once again. The Brazilian player called in the big blind after the action folded to the small blind and john4kos8, a past Sunday Warm-Up finalist who once finished on the Sunday Million final table bubble, moved all-in for 5.6M with Q♦ T♣. john4kos8 picked up gutshot straight draw on the 8♦ 5♠ 9♦ flop, but it remained unfulfilled after the 8♣ turn and 2♥ river, busting john4kos8 in seventh.

With the boost from those two wins, EvertonBezer had taken over the lead with 16.2M chips, about 12 big blinds ahead of past Sunday Warm-Up finalist Jozinho6, who was ahead of the rest of the table by at least the same margin. Brazil's andredos, a past SCOOP and Super Tuesday finalist, was at the other end of the leaderboard and only slipped further back as the next 15 minutes passed without a win.

andredos managed one desperation double-up to 2.4M after getting in with K♦ 2♦ from the small blind against jm1306's K♣ 5♠ and hitting a diamond flush on the river. The Brazilian tried to make it two in a row on the next hand, moving all-in with A♣ K♣ over the top of EvertonBezer's K♥ 5♠. EvertonBezer called and made a pair of fives on the 6♠ T♥ 5♣ 3♠ 6♦ board, good enough to take the pot and bust andredos in sixth.

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EvertonBezer looked to put that big chip lead to work by taking out some of the shorter-stacked opponents at the table, but the deck worked against the Brazilian player. First RightDurrSir's K♦ J♦ hit running jacks for three of a kind to beat EvertonBezer's A♥ 8♠ in a 10M-chip pot. Five hands after that, bargeeeld's K♥ K♠ held up against EvertonBezer's 6♦ 6♥. And three hands later, jm1306's 6♣ 6♠ flopped a set to beat Evertonbezer's J♦ J♣.

After 19 consecutive hands without seeing a flop, jm1306 then doubled through EvertonBezer one more time, with 6♦ 6♠ making sixes full of tens by the turn to beat A♦ 2♣. That 20.3M-chip win moved jm1306 into the lead and dropped EvertonBezer to just a few big blinds more than short-stacked Jozinho6. The Brazilian was able to maintain that position for the next 10 hands until RightDurrSir jammed for 6.7M in the cutoff with 6♣ 6♦. EvertonBezer called with A♠ T♠ and went runner-runner for a Broadway straight on the 2♦ K♦ 8♦ Q♥ J♣ board, moving up to 15.9M chips as RightDurrSir left in fifth.

The two shortest-stacked players left clashed in the blinds two hands later. bargeeeld shoved with 7♥ 7♠ in the small blind and Jozinho6 called for less than 10 big blinds with K♦ 5♦. Jozinho6 improved to a pair of fives on the river of the 4♦ T♥ 6♣ J♠ 5♣ board, but it wasn't enough and the Austrian player left in fourth.

With the blinds and antes at 300K/600K/60K and big pots coming around with more regularity, the remaining competitors decided to look over a potential deal. They got the ICM numbers, briefly argued a potential boost in pay for EvertonBezer, and eventually settled on the ICM deal, leaving an extra $20,000 on the table for the winner.

Just six hands after locking in the terms, EvertonBezer min-raised on the button with A♠ Q♣ and re-raised all-in after bargeeeld re-raised to 3M in the big blind. bargeeeld called with A♥ K♠ and both players made aces and fives on the 5♠ 5♦ 4♦ 9♠ A♣ board. That put the kickers in play, giving bargeeeld the 21M-chip win and eliminating EvertonBezer in third.

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That win gave bargeeeld a 10-big-blind edge going into heads-up play against jm1306. Both players focused on keeping the pots small over the 13 minutes they faced each other. jm1306 was able to take a slim lead a few minutes in, but bargeeld turned that back around immediately with a win in the first pot worth more than 10 big blinds. jm1306 pulled one back on the next hand, but then the next two significant pots went to bargeeeld as well, putting the German player ahead with a 2-to-1 chip lead.

The two players chopped on pot when both held A-5, the first that had seen either of them all-in. Three hands later, jm1306 picked up A♦ 5♦ again and called all-in for 17.7M when bargeeeld open-shoved on the button with A♣ 2♦. A 58-percent favorite before the flop, jm1306 fell behind once it came 4♦ 2♠ K♥. The 2♣ turn made trip deuces for bargeeeld, but a gutshot draw kept jm1306's hopes alive. The K♠ river killed them off for good, though, bringing this week's Sunday Million to its end.

jm1306 finished runner-up but took the largest original share from the three-handed deal, walking with $110,524.85. The extra $20K on the table, meanwhile, gave bargeeeld a total prize of $120,108.34 - quite the reward for a player who looked dead to rights on the flop of the final table's first all-in confrontation. Congratulations to both players, and to EvertonBezer as well, for making the deal at the end of the day!

2/12/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,340
Total prize pool: $1,068,000
Places paid: 764

1. bargeeeld (Germany) $120,108.34*
2. jm1306 (Brazil) $110,524.85*
3. EvertonBezer (Brazil) $100,769.10*
4. Jozinho6 (Austria) $51,370.80
5. RightDurrSir (Netherlands) $35,793.80
6. andredos (Brazil) $24,940.14
7. john4kos8 (Cyprus) $17,377.74
8. Muntjesvader (Netherlands) $12,108.34
9. worldsbestpro (Germany) $8,436.87
* - denotes results of a three-way deal that left $20,000 for the winner

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million