Sunday Million: Dominant 96-minute run worth $176K to kZhh (6-11-17)

Some Sunday Million final tables run long. Not this week's. TCOOP 2017 champion kZhh came to the final with a stack worth 45 big blinds more than anyone else's and immediately began attacking pots. Bad card luck prevented an outright runaway victory but the same consistent aggression that was on display during that TCOOP victory served kZhh well tonight. The cards finally swung back in kZhh's favor, and when they did, the knockouts came swiftly and without prejudice.

The eight trailing players' stacks were clustered between 15 and 35 big blinds as the final table kicked off:


Seat 1: Pokstarman (6,940,088 in chips)
Seat 2: OroJaNjivu (3,163,185 in chips)
Seat 3: chubbybeast (4,361,090 in chips)
Seat 4: DavidandIvy (6,179,162 in chips)
Seat 5: Keenyle (4,086,220 in chips)
Seat 6: frank29929 (6,007,256 in chips)
Seat 7: Swaggersorus (4,844,980 in chips)
Seat 8: nestoneto (7,109,772 in chips)
Seat 9: kZhh (16,098,247 in chips)

What turned out to be a relatively brief final didn't look that way in the early going. The first 45 minutes of play were dominated by two trends: kZhh winning pots without showdown, and short-stacked players doubling through kZhh. DavidAndIvy's K♦ K♠ topped kZhh's A♣ K♣ for 22 big blinds, Swaggersorus's 9♣ 9♦ won over 8♣ 8♠ for 30 big blinds, and chubbybeast's J♣ J♠ beat A♠ J♦ for 13 big blinds. But by the time short-stacked nestoneto's J♣ J♦ held up against even more short-stacked OroJaNjivu's A♠ T♠ to bust the Dutch player in ninth place 46 minutes later, kZhh had still picked up enough chips to be up 10 big blinds factoring in the 50-percent increase in the blinds and antes.

kZhh had more than 19.9 million chips on the 150,000/300,000/30,000 level, nearly twice that of second-place chubbybeast's stack, itself almost twice that of anyone else's. Despite that massive chip disparity with the rest of the table and kZhh's persistent aggression, the final table reached the one-hour mark without another knockout.

Then the cards began to break toward the big stack.

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Swaggersorus was the first to fall victim. The U.K. player re-raised all-in from the small blind for 2.4 million with A♠ J♣, a four-big-blind bump over kZhh's under-the-gun opener. kZhh called with 6♥ 5♥ and picked up a flush on the 8♦ Q♠ 7♥ 3♥ K♥ board to bust Swaggersorus in eighth.

Pokstarman went five minutes later. The German player called all-in for 3.6 million with K♠ Q♣ in the small blind, nearly a 2-to-1 favorite over kZhh's 9♣ 7♠, and expanded that edge after the 8♣ 3♣ 5♣ flop. But kZhh paired on the 7♥ turn, and the A♦ river bounced Pokstarman in seventh.

Already the leader with 82 big blinds when nobody else had more than 21, kZhh then went on a six-minute run that ended with a massive heads-up chip lead. The key pot came when kZhh min-raised to 800,000 chips with A♦ A♥. Second-place chubbybeast had T♣ T♥ on the button, moved in for 8.5 million total, and fell in sixth place when the board came 7♥ Q♠ K♥ 6♥ A♠.

That was the first of eight wins in the next 10 hands that would leave kZhh on the cusp of a massive six-figure victory.

DavidAndIvy's last two-and-a-half big blinds went in on a button call with A♠ 3♣. kZhh had raised with K♣ 4♦ and caught a king on the flop, busting the Aussie in fifth.

Two hands later frank29929 shoved on the button for another two-and-a-half big blinds with K♥ 2♥. kZhh called with 7♣ 3♠, paired a seven on the flop. and knocked out frank29929 in fourth.

The next saw nestoneto open-shove for 14 big blinds on the button, holding A♦ 4♥. This time kZhh woke up with J♦ J♥, which became deuces full of jacks on the Q♦ 6♥ 2♣ 2♠ 2♦ board to bust nestoneto in third.


The result of all that was kZhh sitting heads-up with 92 out of every 100 chips in play. The other eight out of 100 were in the hands of India's Keenyle, who was upbeat despite the odds. "shout out to my mom," Keenyle typed into the chat box. "i know you're watching me up there." And then: "u lose from here tho."

That looked like a slim possibility even after Keenyle managed two desperate double-ups, first with T♣ T♠ against T♦ 9♣ and then minutes later after making a runner-runner straight with K♣ T♣ to beat A♣ 3♣. But one minute after that Keenyle defended the big blind with K♣ 7♣, made top pair on the flop, and called down bets on every street before making two pair on the river of the 8♥ K♠ Q♥ 6♥ 7♦ board and cracking kZhh's A♦ A♠.

With a slim chip lead and a legitimate chance at a massive upset victory, Keenyle looked to lock in some value by making a deal. The tournament host gave them numbers for the chop and kZhh, who had just watched a chip lead evaporate thanks to cracked aces, agreed. Keenyle, though, wanted more money - an extra $7,000 on top of ICM before the extra $20,000 left for the winner. kZhh responded quickly:


Play resumed and four minutes later kZhh min-raised to 1 million chips on the button, holding 8♣ 8♥. Keenyle, who had A♠ K♦, re-raised to 3.5 million and then called all-in for 21.3 million more when kZhh shoved. The board came down 3♦ J♥ 3♣ 5♣ 6♣, the pocket pair held up, and Keenyle's last-ditch comeback came up one hand short of the title.

Congratulations are in order for kZhh, whose second major PokerStars title of 2017 is worth almost six times as much as that TCOOP victory back in January. With a flush bankroll and a supremely aggressive approach at the table, it won't be surprising at all to see kZhh competing for more titles before the year is done.

6/11/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,879 (4,822 entries, 1,057 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $1,273,600
Places paid: 953

1. kZhh (Hungary) $176,212.94
2. Keenyle (India) $121,949.27
3. nestoneto (Brazil) $84,398.57
4. frank29929 (Netherlands) $58,410.45
5. DavidAndIvy (Australia) $40,424.59
6. chubbybeast (United Kingdom) $27,976.98
7. Pokstarman (Germany) $19,362.25
8. Swaggersorus (United Kingdom) $13,400.23
9. OroJaNjivu (Netherlands) $9,274

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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million