Sunday Million: Brazilian grinder can take it ezynow99 after $144K win (10-22-17)

Brazil's ezynow99 has been grinding PokerStars tournaments for a few years, piling up strong results in small- and mid-stakes tournaments like the Mini Sunday Million, MicroMillions series, and the Sunday Kickoff. Looking back now, all that dedication appears as the prelude to this week's Sunday Million. ezynow99 came into the final table with a significant chip lead and put it to work, grinding the rest of the table into submission in a little over an hour en route to a career-defining victory.

ezynow99 stepped into the leader's position almost 12 hours into the tournament, taking out the United Kingdom's freecips to reduce the field to 15. That moved ezynow99 about three big blinds ahead of two-time Super Tuesday champ and $11 million live tournament earner Ole "wizowizo" Schemion, who was running the show on the other table and had been in the top spot for most of the previous three hours. ezynow99 got a boost a little while later on the bubble, picking up pocket kings when short-stacked past Super Tuesday finalist Elf Kicker had A♦ 3♦ in the big blind. The kings held, Elf Kicker hit the rail in tenth, and ezynow99 entered the final table with a 28-big-blind lead over wizowizo.


Seat 1: PwpU1992 (9,347,840 in chips)
Seat 2: ezynow99 (17,224,008 in chips)
Seat 3: Johan "busto_soon" Van Til (4,603,416 in chips)
Seat 4: Speedyy1986 (5,142,542 in chips)
Seat 5: Virgil Hilts (1,566,532 in chips)
Seat 6: ferdi123zzz (3,942,450 in chips)
Seat 7: -t1me2sh1ne- (2,980,574 in chips)
Seat 8: RpokerJ (2,597,085 in chips)
Seat 9: Ole "wizowizo" Schemion (10,365,553 in chips)

The short stacks helped out the leader by cutting into wizowizo's stack. Canada's Virgil Hilts doubled with K♥ 5♥ against his A♦ 7♥ on the very first hand, and six hands later Schemion's A♥ Q♥ failed to beat ferdi123zzz's A♠ K♦ despite flopping two hearts for a flush draw. That took wizowizo's stack down to less than 20 big blinds, right into the middle of a very crowded field, and left ezynow99 the clear leader up top.

The Brazilian surveyed the situation and felt confident enough for some friendly ribbing. "fold for the money boys!" wrote ezynow99 in the chat box. "check those payjumps!"

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ezynow99's first significant win of the final came a few hands later when the action folded to the small blind and the Brazilian essentially shoved with Q♦ 5♦. The table's only past Sunday Million champ, Johan "busto_soon" Van Til, called for 2.7 million chips with A♣ K♥ in the big blind but fell in ninth when ezynow99 made a pair of queens on the flop. wizowizo survived all-in on the next hand, rivering the A♠ to make a pair of aces with A♣ T♦ and crack past Sunday Storm and Sunday Million finalist Speedyy1986's J♦ J♠. That kept him afloat while ezynow99 continued to cruise ahead.

The only player within striking distance of the lead at this point was PwpU1992, who was about 40 big blinds back when a pot with ezynow99 came up in the blinds. PwpU1992 min-raised to 600,000 chips from the small blind and ezynow99 appeared shocked, typing,

ezynow99: "wow really? look at the other stacks :D".

The Brazilian called there and for 720,000 on the K♣ 7♦ 9♠ flop, then bet 1.9 million when PwpU1992 checked the 7♥ turn. PwpU1992 called that bet and another 3.8 million on the 9♣ river but mucked when ezynow99 showed 7♥ 4♣ to take the pot with sevens full of nines.

"fold for the money boys! check those payjumps"

That 14.3-million-chip pot gave ezynow99 not just the biggest stack at the eight-handed table, but a stack worth 20 big blinds more than all the other players' stacks combined. And so the bustouts commenced. Speedyy1986 went first, calling all-in for less than two big blinds, in the big blind, after PwpU1992 min-raised on the button and ezynow99 called from the small blind. ezynow99 showed K♥ 5♠ for kings and sevens on the Q♦ 7♦ 7♠ J♦ K♠ board; PwpU1992 mucked, and Speedyy1986 did the same while leaving in eighth.

PwpU1992 caught a two-outer with pocket sixes to crack ezynow99's Q♦ Q♠ a few hands later, but ezynow99 got all the lost chips back in two pots. First the Brazilian raised under the gun and bet every street when PwpU1992 checked from the small blind; PwpU1992 came along the whole way with A♣ T♣ for a flush draw but folded face-up on the river after missing the draw. One orbit later PwpU1992 re-raised all-in from the big blind with A♦ Q♣ after ezynow99 had min-raised under the gun with A♠ 4♦. With the pot laying almost 2-to-1, ezynow99 called - and promptly made a pair of fours on the 9♠ 2♦ 4♥ flop. PwpU1992 missed on the turn and river and departed in seventh.

Desperation in the blinds caused both the raise and the call on the next knockout hand. Virgil Hilts opened the action all-in for 1.3 million chips from the small blind with T♥ 8♥, and ferdi123zzz called with J♥ T♠ in the big. ferdi123zzz paired on the flop and dodged a gutshot draw as the board came 7♠ J♣ 5♠ K♥ 3♠, ending Virgil Hilts's run in sixth.

-t1me2sh1ne- doubled through ezynow99 twice in the next orbit, first with Q♥ Q♣ against A♠ K♠ and then again with J♠ J♦ against A♦ T♦, but ezynow99's lead over the closest players was still more than 60 big blinds. Then wizowizo shortened the table by one more player, winning a flip with A♦ T♥ against 4♥ 4♠ to bust fellow short stack RpokerJ in fifth.

Sleepy time

The number of confrontations dropped with the table four-handed, but the pace of play remained snappy for the next 10 minutes. ezynow99 was trying to chat up the rest of the table but not getting much response at this point.

"u guys don't talk? he asked. "too early in europe huh?"

"would talk more from ur stack :D," said ferdi123zzz.

"i think u just jinxed ursself and yes tired over here," replied wizowizo.

"u can go to sleep if u want ole," said ezynow99.

"soon," said wizowizo with a smiley of his own - and then he jammed from the small blind for 8.9 million chips with K♣ Q♠ before the flop. ezynow99 called in the big with A♠ T♣, the board came 9♣ 6♠ 9♠ 2♠ 4♠ to give ezynow99 an ace-high flush, and sleepy Ole Schemion bowed out in fourth.

Ole Schemion

Ole "wizowizo" Schemion, out in fourth

A quick cruise to the win looked possible for ezynow99 as the first hour of play was drawing to a close, especially when the Brazilian opened on the button with A♠ J♣ and ferdi123zzz re-raised all-in with A♥ 9♦ in the small blind. But ferdi123zzz stayed alive when one nine hit the flop and another hit the turn, grabbing the 18.3-million-chip pot and moving ahead of -t1me2sh1ne- into second place. Those two picked up strong starters about five minutes later and ferdi123zzz's K♠ K♦ made a full house on the 7♠ J♦ K♥ 8♥ 8♣ board, topping -t1me2sh1ne-'s pair of jacks with A♦ J♣ to end the Finnish player's tournament in third.


That win gave ferdi123zzz 24.1 million chips to begin heads-up play and for the first time since the final table began an hour earlier, ezynow99 had competition. The two players quickly talked over a deal and agreed to a chip chop, putting $20,000 in play for the winner and getting the game back underway in less than five minutes. After one split pot when both players made the same straight, and the lone five-minute break of the final table, they played out the pot that ended the tournament.

ferdi123zzz opened for 1.1 million chips on the button with J♦ 5♦ and ezynow99 called in the big blind with 8♦ 6♦, bringing a 9♦ 6♣ 7♥ flop. ferdi123zzz check-called 1.5 million there and 3.4 million on the T♣ turn with just a draw, then check-called 11.8 million more with a pair of fives after the 5♥ came on the river. That couldn't top ezynow99's turned ten-high straight, which claimed the pot and brought the tournament to its conclusion.

Including one five-minute break and time for deal negotiations in the accounting, ezynow99 took just 81 minutes to make winning the Sunday Million look very easy indeed. This cash marks a new personal best for the Brazilian here at PokerStars by more than $130,000. Congratulations to ezynow99 on the big breakthrough!

10/22/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,777 (4,670 entries, 1,107 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $1,155,400
Places paid: 1,052

1. ezynow99 (Brazil) $144,913.55*
2. ferdi123zzz (Romania) $120,559.97*
3. -t1me2sh1ne- (Finland) $76,824.39
4. Ole "wizowizo" Schemion (Austria) $53,913.04
5. RpokerJ (United Kingdom) $37,834.61
6. Virgil Hilts (Canada) $26,551.20
7. PwpU1992 (Romania) $18,632.90
8. Speedyy1986 (Romania) $13,076.12
9. Johan "busto_soon" Van Til (Netherlands) $9,176.53
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal leaving $20,000 for the winner

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million