Sunday Million: Dominant Kabotajoe cruises to $162K victory (7-23-17)

With a resume that includes past appearances at SCOOP and Sunday Warm-Up finals, plus three separate Super Tuesday finals in the first six months of this year alone, Germany's Kabotajoe knows what it's like to be within sight of big money here at PokerStars. All of those previous finishes ended further down the leaderboard but it was clear from the moment this week's Sunday Million final began that a big prize was in store for the German player. In less than an hour Kabotajoe arrived with the lead, cruised to four-handed play with half of the chips, leveraged that advantage for the largest share of a deal, and finished off the competition to earn a first career Sunday million title.

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Kabotajoe's 61-big-blind stack on the 125,000/250,000/25,000 level dwarfed that of all but two other players. The only thing that changed significantly for the next hour was the number of players remaining at the table.

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Seat 1: Caio "Pessagno" Pessagno (2,565,000 in chips)
Seat 2: 444446 (3,813,362 in chips)
Seat 3: TheUrsaraie (7,714,603 in chips)
Seat 4: IFIBETIMGOOD (2,244,358 in chips)
Seat 5: Kabotajoe (15,332,294 in chips)
Seat 6: GhostCapo (4,414,473 in chips)
Seat 7: triantafill (9,077,919 in chips)
Seat 8: CA3AH61RUS (6,727,192 in chips)
Seat 9: Adrovan "AadrovanRj21" Rodrigues (7,000,799 in chips)

One of the few players who wasn't starved for chips as the final table got going was past SCOOP and WCOOP finalist TheUrsaraie, but the Romanian player lost them all in two key pots before the final table's lone break.

TheUrsaraie jammed for 5.83 million chips in the first pot, coming in over the top of past SCOOP runner-up 444446's opening 532,500-chip raise. The player from Lebanon called with Q♣ Q♠, which held up against TheUrsaraie's A♠ K♠ as the board came 5♦ 9♣ 5♣ 9♦ 2♣.

Five minutes later TheUrsaraie committed all-in with 9♦ 9♣ for just under a million chips after past SCOOP-Medium champ and Sunday Million/Super Tuesday finalist Adrovan "AadrovanRj21" Rodrigues opened with A♣ Q♥. AadrovanRj21 called and made a pair of queens on the flop to end TheUrsaraie's tournament in ninth.

Kabotajoe had begun laying claim to orphaned pots early on. With the other seven remaining players clustered together under 30 big blinds apiece - three of them with less than 10 big blinds - the German player continued to attack with confidence. By the time the next elimination came around Kabotajoe's stack was over 80 big blinds and climbing. Then short-stacked IFIBETIMGOOD called all-in for less than two big blinds with A♦ 7♦ on the button. Under-the-gun raiser and SCOOP 2012 Turbo Super-KO champ triantafill's A♣ Q♦ made top two pair on the A♠ 8♦ 4♥ J♥ Q♣ board and IFIBETIMGOOD left in eighth.

The shorties had to fight for every chip. Past Super Tuesday finalist GhostCapo doubled with A♦ T♣ against triantafill's A♠ 8♥, but the others wouldn't be so lucky. Kabotajoe hit the gas and stole or won outright 15 of the next 18 pots, including two small ones that ended other players' runs in this Sunday Million.


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The first to go was former Team Online member and Super Tuesday runner-up Caio "Pessagno" Pessagno, who called all-in for a little more than one big blind with 6♦ 6♥. Kabotajoe called for 50,000 chips more in the big blind with K♣ J♣ and made three of a kind on the J♥ 2♠ J♠ 3♠ A♦ board to bust Pessagno in seventh.

Two hands later Russia's CA3AH61RUS opened all-in for less than two big blinds under the gun with Q♣ 2♣. Kabotajoe raised to isolate with A♠ 2♠ on the button and won with the best kicker after the board came 9♣ J♥ 5♦ 9♦ T♥, sending CA3AH61RUS to the rail in sixth.

GhostCapo avoided the same fate again a few hands later, doubling to 4.9 million chips with A♣ J♦ in the big blind against Kabotajoe's J♣ T♥ in the small. Three hands later GhostCapo ended up all-in with A♦ A♠, covered by less than one small blind's worth of chips by 444446, who had K♦ K♠. The 9♠ 9♥ A♥ flop was all GhostCapo needed to win that pot and leave 444446 in serious trouble. Tow hands later Kabotajoe delivered the knockout blow with 6♦ 6♥, flopping a set against to bust 444446 in fifth.

Discussion of a deal began almost immediately. The rest of the players wanted to split up the remaining prize pool according to ICM, but with more than half the chips in play, Kabotajoe leveraged the lead to extract another $8,000 before agreeing to the deal. In just 10 minutes the entire deal was concluded - and in less than 10 more, so was the tournament.

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The key pot came five minutes after the deal when triantafill picked up T♣ T♥ on the button and raised to 700,000 chips. AadrovanRj21 called in the small blind with A♣ 2♣, and Kabotajoe in the big blind with A♦ 6♥, to see a flop that had a little something for everybody: 6♣ 6♦ 7♣. The two blinds checked to triantafill, who bet 1.38 million with the overpair. AadrovanRj21 check-raised to 2.8 million with the ace-high club flush draw, and then both players called when Kabotajoe re-raised all-in with trip sixes. The 3♠ turn changed nothing and the 6♠ river made four of a kind for Kabotajoe, who scooped the 28-million-chip pot while triantafill (fourth) and AadrovanRj21 (third) were knocked out.

Kabotajoe had 55.5 million chips to GhostCapo's 3.3 million as heads-up play started. GhostCapo managed to double up once with A♠ 9♦ against K♥ T♥, but less than two minutes in the Romanian was dealt K♥ 5♥ on the button against Kabotajoe's K♣ T♠ in the big blind. The board came Q♥ K♦ 5♦ T♥ A♣ and Kabotajoe won with kings and tens to bring this final table to a quick close.

Including 10 minutes for dealmaking, it took just under 58 minutes for the incoming chip leader to close out the final table of this week's Sunday Million. Congratulations to Kabotajoe on the big score, and also to the other three players who shared in the deal!

7/23/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,889 (4,824 entries, 1,065 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $1,177,800
Places paid: 899

1. Kabotajoe (Germany) $162,148.39*
2. GhostCapo (Romania) $100,835.37*
3. Adrovan "AadrovanRj21" Rodrigues (Brazil) $95,605.86*
4. triantafill (Cyprus) $83,132.22*
5. 444446 (Lebanon) $40,493.35
6. CA3AH61RUS (Russia) $28,024.57
7. Caio "Pessagno" Pessagno (Brazil) $19,395.18
8. IFIBETIMGOOD (United Kingdom) $13,423.03
9. TheUrsaraie (Romania) $9,289.77
* - denotes results of a four-way 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