Sunday Million: Dominant daskalos20 cruises to career-best $165K win (6-25-17)

Flashbacks to last December might have entered Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou's mind toward the end of this week's Sunday Million. Holding the chip lead at the start of heads-up play hadn't prevented his opponent from mounting a big comeback mind at the end of the Super Tuesday, and his lead then had been more secure at nearly 3-to-1 than the 3-to-2 advantage he enjoyed tonight over Slovakia's cxde. But when he entered the final table of this week's Sunday Million as the chip leader it was a familiar position not just from his past performances but from most of today's action, too.

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Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou cruised to this week's Sunday Million title

daskalos20's chip graph in this week's Sunday Million was as close to the Platonic ideal as you're ever likely to see. For more than eight of the nearly 13 hours it took to complete this tournament, the green line of his stack coincided more often than not with the lavender line of the chip leader. Crucially, those were the final hours of the tournament, from the pop of the money bubble until daskalos20 claimed the largest prize of his career here at PokerStars.

daskalos20's chip graph from the 6-25-17 Sunday Million

daskalos20's chip graph from the 6-25-17 Sunday Million

It took four hours and 20 minutes to hit this week's money bubble, only one more minute to pop it when Jacob151623 from Lithuania went out in 954th place, and seven more hours to reach the final table, which featured one Brazilian and players from seven European countries chasing a scheduled top prize worth more than $172,000:

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Seat 1: GNP666 (1,374,876 in chips)
Seat 2: minicooler (3,433,446 in chips)
Seat 3: Rimach (11,249,542 in chips)
Seat 4: Grub "D" 23 (11,078,880 in chips)
Seat 5: DSmunichlife (9,097,675 in chips)
Seat 6: reno8 (1,019,403 in chips)
Seat 7: Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (12,517,911 in chips)
Seat 8: cxde (4,197,400 in chips)
Seat 9: Cashcid Linc (3,670,867 in chips)

Sweden's GNP666 was the second player to act on the first hand and wasted no time moving all-in with K♦ Q♦. The table folded around to cxde, who called for another 1.2 million chips with 8♣ 8♦ in the big blind. GNP666 moved ahead with a pair of queens on the 4♥ Q♥ J♥ flop, but cxde turned a set with the 8♥. Another heart would have split the pot but the 6♠ hit the river instead, bouncing GNP666 in ninth.

reno8, who shared in a three-way deal atop a WCOOP 2016 Super Tuesday Special Edition, avoided the same fate a few hands later after shoving with A♠ K♥ and doubling through Grub "D" 23, a 2015 SCOOP-Low finalist from Brazil. Grub "D" 23 had opened the action with A♦ 4♦ and lost out when a king hit the flop. Things didn't go as well for reno8 20 minutes later after open-shoving for 2.57 million chips with 3♠ 3♥. daskalos20 successfully isolated with A♠ K♥ in the cutoff seat, made top pair on the Q♣ K♣ 5♣ flop, and held on to make three of a kind as the board ran out 2♦-K♠, knocking reno8 out in eighth.

Grub "D" 23 defended the big blind a few hands later with K♦ 6♦, leaving the Brazilian heads-up with under-the-gun raiser DSmunichlife. Grub "D" 23 checked the 7♥ 5♦ 8♣ flop and then shoved for 3.7 million after DSmunichlife, a TCOOP 2014 High Roller runner-up with two Super Tuesday final tables and two SCOOP finals in 2017, bet 423,455 chips. DSmunichlife called with 9♦ 9♠, which had a quarter of Grub "D" 23's outs blocked, and watched the turn and river come 3♣-J♥. The nines earned DSmunichlife the 8.5-million-chip pot and Grub "D" 23 bowed out in seventh.


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Estonia's minicooler was the short stack now with 3.4 million chips and blinds and antes at 100,00/200,000/20,000. But after nine more minutes, it was Russia's Rimach who hit the rail next. The bulk of the damage came in a pot against cxde, who had re-raised to 1.2 million chips in the cutoff seat after DSmunichlife opened for 434,000 under the gun. Holding A♦ Q♦ in the big blind, Rimach re-raised to 2.16 million; DSmunichlife folded, cxde called, and the flop came 6♠ T♠ A♠. Rimach led for 2.6 million and quickly called with top pair, queen kicker when cxde shoved for another 2 million. But it was cxde who earned the 14.1-million-chip pot, outkicking Rimach with A♥ K♦ after the 4♥ turn and 6♥ river gave both players aces and sixes.

Still holding 23 big blinds after that loss, Rimach called all-in on the button two hands later with A♠ K♠ after cxde raised to 499,111 under the gun and Cashcid Linc shoved in the hijack seat for 6.6 million chips. Cashcid Linc's 7♣ 7♥ won the pot unimproved after the board fell 8♠ 6♣ T♣ 3♥ 5♦, and Rimach finished in sixth.

minicooler staved off short-stacked elimination again on the next hand, turning a pair of eights and then rivering a flush with A♦ 8♦ to top DSmunichlife's A♠ K♦ and pull into a tie for fourth place with the German player. They were separated by less than three antes' worth of chips when they clashed again seven minutes later; minicooler's T♣ T♥ earned the check-mark and the 13.1-million-chip pot when DSmunichlife's 8♣ 8♥ couldn't catch a set on the Q♦ 4♥ A♠ 6♦ 2♥. Left with just 67,284 chips, DSmunichlife was forced all-in a few hands later and eliminated in fifth.

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The 1:00 a.m. ET hour closed out a few minutes later and the new 150,000/300,000/30,000 level kicked off with daskalos20 in the lead holding 19.3 million chips. minicooler and cxde were one big blind apart and over 13 million apiece. The short stack, Cashcid Linc, still had 10.6 million chips to work with and used it as leverage to claim three significant pots in the next four minutes before picking up A♦ Q♥ in the small blind. The German player re-raised to 2.54 million chips after daskalos20 opened for 672,000 under the gun and cxde called on the button; daskalos20 called but then folded after cxde re-shoved, setting the Slovakian player all-in with A♠ A♥ and 92.3-percent equity. The bullets hit their target, putting cxde into the lead with 19.4 million chips.

Cashcid Linc was again the short stack but didn't have time to get too involved before the field shrank again. daskalos20 opened the hand for 672,000 chips under the gun with T♣ T♠ and called when minicooler shoved for 9.29 million in the big blind. The tens held up against minicooler's 7♠ 7♦ and the Estonian player bowed out in fourth.

That 18.8-million-chip pot put daskalos20 back into the lead with 28.6 million chips total, nearly 10 million ahead of cxde and 18.6 million ahead of Cashcid Linc. The three players agreed to pause and talk over a potential deal, but Cashcid Linc didn't like the numbers so the game quickly got back underway. Cashcid Linc managed to double up once after turning down the deal, rivering a pair of kings against cxde after moving in on a flush draw. But passing up the guaranteed money of a deal to chase the bigger payday wouldn't pay off for the German player in the long run.

cxde, who was ahead of Cashcid Linc by less than one small blind's worth of chips, struck back three hands later. After opening for 700,000 chips in the small blind and getting Cashcid Linc to call with K♦ T♠ in the big blind, cxde check-called 496,650 chips on the 4♠ 8♣ K♠ flop to bring the A♣ on the turn. Both players checked there, and cxde checked again after the 9♥ came on the river. Cashcid Linc bet 1.37 million and then called when cxde check-raised all-in for 10.2 million chips total. Cashcid Linc called with a pair of kings but lost out to cxde's turned (and well-disguised) pair of aces and finished in third place.

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That left just two players at the table, daskalos20 with 34.8 million chips and cxde with 22.8 million. They talked over a deal and, after adjusting the ICM numbers a bit in daskalos20's favor, found an agreement that left $20,000 on the table. Three minutes after resuming play, daskalos20 was dealt K♦ K♥ on the button and cxde got A♣ T♠ in the big blind. All of cxde's chips went in the middle on the fifth bet before the flop, the board came 2♣ Q♦ 4♠ 5♣ 8♦, and daskalos20's breezy ride through this week's Sunday Million ended with the title.

Congratulations to both players for snagging six-figure prizes in the deal, especially to daskalos20, who improved on his already impressive recent form by earning the largest prize of his 11-year PokerStars career in thoroughly convincing fashion.

6/25/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,764 (4,771 entries, 993 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $1,152,800
Places paid: 953

1. Andreas "daskalos20" Christoforou (Cyprus) $165,000*
2. cxde (Slovakia) $127,329*
3. Cashcid Linc (Germany) $82,747.63
4. minicooler (Estonia) $57,267.87
5. DSmunichlife (Germany) $39,633.84
6. Rimach (Russia) $27,429.72
7. Grub "D" 23 (Brazil) $18,983.50
8. reno8 (United Kingdom) $13,138.11
9. GNP666 (Sweden) $9,092.59
* - denotes results of a heads-up 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