Sunday Million: For MedStudent91, $152k is just what the doctor ordered

With five players still remaining, MedStudent91 could already see his endgame. All four of his opponents were below 7 million in chips as he approached 27 million. He was willing to negotiate a deal-- so long as he made first-place money-- allowing the other four to hammer out a scenario where none of them would have to walk away with fourth or fifth-place cash. A five-handed deal didn't happen though, and neither did a four-handed deal, despite an actual pause in the action to look at ICM numbers. It was only when the field was down to three that the short stacks realized what they were really up against. Rhyadder and kofi89, no stranger to a big-money situation at a final table having won PokerStars' One Billionth Tournament back in 2014, ended up playing a game of chicken with one another, waiting to see who would move all-in and potentially lose out on the $32k money jump from third place to second. Ultimately it was Rhyadder who blinked first and went out third, leaving kofi89 heads-up with MedStudent91. It only took one hand for MedStudent91 to finish him off, and he came away with the $152k first-place prize.

5,082 players gathered for this week's Sunday Million, taking the prize pool up to $1,016,400.00. 845 places were paid with $152,484.53 up top.

As the tournament approached the 11 1/2 hour mark, ten players remained and the blinds were up to 80,000/160,000. The action folded around to short stack Nick "FU_15" Maimone, who picked up 7♥7♣ and moved all-in for 2.3 million on the button. Kheragon called from the small blind with A♦J♦ and they were off to the races. Unfortunately for Maimone, an ace hit the flop and he bowed out in tenth place, one spot short of the final table.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: jf slim777 (1,840,858 in chips)
Seat 2: bubbleboybr (5,554,268 in chips)
Seat 3: guiq (6,210,863 in chips)
Seat 4: Rhayadder (9,130,648 in chips)
Seat 5: rounder3989 (3,892,047 in chips)
Seat 6: kofi89 (1,660,593 in chips)
Seat 7: Kheragon (10,415,717 in chips)
Seat 8: CHRISCCC (1,218,360 in chips)
Seat 9: MedStudent91 (10,416,646 in chips)

Right off the bat, the two shortest stacks got into it when kofi89 made a button shove for 1.3 million and CHRISCCC called from the big blind with A♣3♥, having him only slightly covered. Kofi89's pocket sixes flopped a set and rivered a full house on the J♦6♣5♣A♠5♠ board, giving him a double-up to 2.88 million, while CHRISCCC was left with only 338,000. Five hands later, he was eliminated in 9th place when his J♠T♥ fell to bubbleboybr's A♥T♦.

On the very next deal, kofi89 opened for a min-raise to 400,000 from UTG and jf slim777 moved in for 1.36 million from middle position. Kofi89 called, his K♠J♠ dominated by jf slim777's A♣K♥. However, the J♥7♦4c] flop changed everything, as kofi89 paired his kicker and took the lead. Jf slim777 didn't catch up on the turn or river and departed in eighth place.

Three hands later, the exodus continued as rounder3989 open-shoved for 2.84 million from the cutoff and kofi89 reshoved on the button. Rounder3989's Q♠J♣ was up against pocket sevens, and although the flop brought a jack, there was a seven right behind it to make kofi89 a set. The board finished out J♦7♦6♦2♦4♠ and rounder3989 was out in seventh place.

When the final table began, Kheragon and MedStudent91 were jockeying for the chip lead. However, by the time they were down to six, MedStudent91 had chipped up to 13.1 million while Kheragon was down to 8.9 million. The two tangled when Kheragon opened K♠Q♠ for 750,000 and MedStudent91 three-bet to 1.75 million with A♦K♦. Kheragon called and they saw a 6♠6♦3♦ flop. Both players checked. The turn came the J♣ and Kheragon led out for 2,012,500. MedStudent91 called and they went to the river, which fell the 5♠. Kheragon checked and MedStudent91 checked behind. MedStudent91's ace-high was good along with the pair of sixes on the board and he raked in the 8.05 million pot, moving up to 17.4 million and reducing Kheragon's stack by nearly half.

With the blinds up to 150,000/300,000, MedStudent91 opened for 750,000, bubbleboybr three-bet to 1,950,225, and guiq four-bet shoved for 2.65 million on the button. MedStudent91 got out of the way, but bubbleboybr called, his J♥J♠ up against Q♣Q♠. The queens held on the A♣T♣6♣ flop and guiq picked up a flush draw to go with them. The A♦ turn made guiq queens up, but disaster struck on the river. The J♣ fell, making bubbleboybr jacks full of aces and the two-outer sent guiq to the rail in sixth place. Bubbleboybr moved up to 12.6 million, good for second in chips.

MedStudent91 continued his steady ascent and was up to 23.8 million when bubbleboybr opened for 600,225 with pocket nines. Kofi89 three-bet to 3 million, bubbleboybr moved all-in for 5.4 million and kofi89 called with K♣Q♠. Kofi89 hit a king on the flop and improved to trips on the turn, taking his stack up to 7.24 million, while bubbleboybr fell to 8.1 million.

As five-handed play drew on, MedStudent91 was up to 26.9 million while all four of his opponents were below 7 million in chips. He offered up a deal with one giant caveat-- as long as he got first-place money, the other four could negotiate whatever they wanted.

MedStudent91: I you guys give me first place money I will let you have a deal for the rest
MedStudent91: Variance plus big money.
MedStudent91: You guys are all essentially 2nd. Might as well get an even amount
MedStudent91: Up to you though. I'm happy.

No one was willing to take him up on that offer quite yet. Bubbleboybr, however, found a hand to go with when MedStudent91 open-shoved on the button. Bubbleboybr called with A♥J♠ and was up against K♣8♥. Bubbleboybr made top pair on the J♦6♠5♥ flop and turned a safe card, the T♠, but the K♠ spiked on the river to end his run in fifth place.

Now the other three were willing to discuss a deal, and the action was paused for negotiations. Here's how they stacked up at the time:

MedStudent91 27,839,536
Kheragon 9,931,984
kofi89 6,721,832
Rhyadder 6,326,648

MedStudent91 was up front with the fact that he was looking for at least $135k from the deal. However, when the ICM numbers rolled in, Rhyadder declared that he would take nothing less than his $79k share-- it would be up to kofi89 and Kheragon to make up the difference with MedStudent91. Neither of them were willing to do so, and cards went back in the air.

Feeling a little salty, Rhyadder wrote, "You were getting a ton of money anyway, medstudent. No need to be so greedy."

The action folded around to Kheragon, who opened for 1.05 million. MedStudent91 called from the big blind and responded, "Yea, I only made 10k more than 2nd for what."

The flop fell A♥K♣3♥ and Kheragon led out for 1.12 million. MedStudent91 called. The turn came the J♥ and Kheragon fired another 2.24 million.

Rhyadder wrote, "Suit yourself, you might regret it later."

MedStudent91 moved all-in and Kheragon folded. "No I don't think so," MedStudent91 responded, as he raked in the 9 million pot.

Kheragon hung on for another fifteen minutes, but with the blinds up to 200,000/400,000, he moved in for 3.13 million with J♥9♥ and MedStudent91 called with pocket eights. The eights held up on the 7♣6♣2♥2♠A♣ board and Kheragon exited in fourth place.

With the field down to three, MedStudent91 was controlling the action with over 40 million in chips while his two opponents were down to less than 5 million apiece. Unable to make a deal, three-handed play turned into a game of chicken as kofi89 and Rhyadder competed to make the nearly $32,000 pay jump from third place to second. Who would bust out (or blind out) first? In one spot, it looked like kofi89 would go out in third when he moved in with K♠T♠ and MedStudent91 called with 6♣8♥. MedStudent91 made eights and deuces on the 8♦2♦2♠ flop, but the two remaining deuces appeared on the turn and river, allowing kofi89's king kicker to play with the quads.

Ultimately, the two short stacks went in against each other. Rhyadder open-shoved for 4.9 million on the button and kofi89 reshoved from the small blind, having Rhyadder slightly covered. Kofi89's A♣T♠ had Rhyadder's A♥5♥ dominated, and things stayed that way on the Q♣9♣7♠6♥7♥ board. Rhyadder went out in third place, and kofi89 took a giant leap up the pay ladder.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 6: kofi89 (10,534,656 in chips)
Seat 9: MedStudent91 (40,285,344 in chips)

Heads-up play lasted only one hand. With the blinds at 250,000/500,000, kofi89 opened for 1,000,000, MedStudent91 moved all-in and kofi89 called.

kofi89 8♣8♦
MedStudent91 A♥5♦

Kofi89 was looking good through the turn on the K♦9♥4♦T♣ board, but MedStudent91's knack with river cards continued as the A♣ hit and gave him the win.

Congratulations to MedStudent91, our newest Sunday Million champion! He banked $152,454.83 for first place, while runner-up kofi89 earned $106,984.63.

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PokerStars Sunday Million results for 3-26-2017

Players: 5,082
Prize pool: $1,016,400.00
Places paid: 845

1. MedStudent91 (New Zealand) $152,454.83
2. kofi89 (Uruguay) $106,984.63
3. Rhyadder (Romania) $75,078.41
4. Kheragon (Germany) $52,687.63
5. bubbleboybr (Brazil) $36,974.39
6. guiq (Netherlands) $25,947.47
7. rounder3989 (Germany) $18,209.00
8. jf slim777 (Canada) $12,778.58
9. CHRISCCC (United Kingdom) $8,967.59

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million