Sunday Million: geob000 steamrolls final table for $149K win

Sometimes the Sunday Million final table takes a few hours to play out, with short stacks surviving seemingly every all-in confrontation and unlikely cards finding their way from the deck to the board with regularity. Other times, you get a table like tonight's, where the journey from nine to one takes less than an hour to complete. With the exception of a few minutes three-handed where one opponent led by a few big blinds, Greece's geob000 led this week's final the whole way. It took just 58 minutes from start to finish for geob000 to knock out half the lineup and lay claim to a first career Sunday Million title.

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The festivities began as usual at 2:00 p.m. ET, with $215 getting everyone a stack of 10,000 chips. The total field after a few hours of late registration came to 5,249, good for a $1,049,800 prize pool split among the top 728 finishers. Germany's cro-POSKOK popped the money bubble four hours in, finishing in 729th and setting up paydays of at least $457.92 for everyone else still in the tournament.

Another 25 blind levels of poker passed before the final table bubble approached. geob000 had taken over the lead just as the field consolidated to its last two tables, and the Greek player managed to withstand the swings of the next hour to go into the last bubble with the lead. Then, with blinds and antes at 125K/250K/25K, For sjovt shoved on the button with A♥ Q♦ and geob000 called with 9♣ 9♥. The nines dodged every jack, queen, and ace in the deck as the board came T♣ K♦ T♦ 3♠ 6♠, eliminating For sjovt in 10th and setting up this week's final table lineup:

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Seat 1: ruthless848 (6,322,374 in chips)
Seat 2: geob000 (16,189,494 in chips)
Seat 3: kiely13 (3,797,637 in chips)
Seat 4: flipmm (5,578,488 in chips)
Seat 5: mentor1904 (2,551,107 in chips)
Seat 6: lilachaa (3,940,258 in chips)
Seat 7: fergiecfc (4,224,554 in chips)
Seat 8: BARBARVSSA2 (3,359,472 in chips)
Seat 9: tonyfellone (6,526,616 in chips)

The first big clash of the final table came just six hands in, between two players who both had big starting hands. ruthless848, holding Q♣ Q♦, opened the action with a small raise to 555K in middle position and then moved all-in after fergiecfc re-raised to 2M in the big blind. fergiecfc called for 1M more and showed K♣ K♠, but the Q♠ 6♦ A♠ flop left fergiecfc looking for a king or two running spades. The 8♦ turn took the latter option away, and the T♣ river sent fergiecfc to the rail in ninth.

Having the better hand in a pair-over-pair matchup worked out better for TCOOP 2016 runner-up and past Super Tuesday finalist BARBARVSSA2 a few minutes later. The Russian player called all-in for 3.2M from the big blind with A♦ A♠ after TCOOP 2015 champion lilachaa re-raised all-in for 4.9M over geob000's opening min-raise. geob000 folded, the aces made an unnecessary set on the river of the 3♠ 3♣ Q♥ 2♦ A♣ board to top lilachaa's J♥ J♠, and BARBARVSSA2 chipped up to 7.1M.

That left lilachaa with 1.7M, all but half of which went on the line in the big blind next orbit with Q♦ 7♥ after short-stacked past Sunday Warm-Up finalist mentor1904 jammed from the small blind with 6♣ 5♦. The board ran out T♣ 6♠ 8♥ Q♣ J♦, lilachaa's queens won the 1.8M-chip pot, and mentor1904 departed in eighth.

kiely13 (with A♦ K♦) and lilachaa (with A♣ K♥) split a pot at BARBARVSSA2's expense a few hands later when the Russian's A♥ 9♥ couldn't catch a nine or any hearts for a flush. An orbit later BARBARVSSA2 got those chips back in a race, making aces and queens with A♣ Q♠ to beat flipmm's J♦ J♠ and leave the Brazilian player with just under seven big blinds' worth of chips. Two hands later it was flipmm holding A♠ Q♦, all-in before the flop against chip leader and pre-flop raiser geob000's J♥ 4♦. geob000 caught bottom pair on the 6♦ T♦ 4♣ flop and then dodged a quarter of the deck after the K♦ turn, winning with a pair of fours after the 5♥ river to bust flipmm in seventh.

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lilachaa was still trying to make up ground and opened all-in for 3.9M from the cutoff on the following orbit, holding J♥ 9♥. ruthless848, with T♣ T♦ in the big blind, was the only caller. The tens held up on the 2♠ 2♦ 8♣ 6♠ 9♦ board, and lilachaa left in sixth.

With three players down and blinds and antes up to 150K/300K/30K, geob000 was still leading the pack at 24.3M. ruthless848 had 11.1M in second place, and the other three players were all hanging on with between 4.3M and 6.5M. BARBARVSSA2 managed to peel some chips away from the leader, taking down a 10.8M chip pot uncontested with a re-raise on the turn of an A♥ 5♥ 8♥ 8♦ after calling re-raises before and after the flop. But geob000 got those chips back two hands later after raising the button with J♥ J♠. geob000 was the only caller after kiely13 shoved for 5.5M in the big blind with A♦ J♣, winning with jacks and tens after the board fell 3♣ 9♦ T♦ 9♠ T♣ to bust kiely13 in fifth.


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BARBARVSSA2 did the lifting five hands later, calling tonyfellone's 2.4M-chip re-raise after opening on the button with Q♥ 9♠. tonyfellone had the edge with 8♥ 8♠ through the K♠ T♥ T♠ flop and 3♠ turn. But the 6♠ made spade flushes for both players, sending the 5.4M-chip pot to BARBARVSSA2 and knocking out tonyfellone in fourth.

geob000 still had the lead as three-handed play commenced, though by only about 12 big blinds against the resurgent BARBARVVSA2. Along for the ride was ruthless848, who had half as many chips as BARBARVSSA2 and was searching for an opening. After a span of 20 hands that saw BARBARVSSA2 briefly take over the chip lead, ruthless848 found that opening, re-raising all-in for 8.5M with 9♦ 9♥ in the big blind after geob000 opened for a small raise on the button. geob000 called with A♦ J♥, made sixes full of aces by the turn of the 6♣ A♠ 6♦ 6♥ T♠ board, and sent ruthless848 packing in third.

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geob000 was the leader as heads-up play began, holding 36.4M chips to BARBARVSSA2's 16M. BARBARVSSA2 went on the attack immediately and took down nine of the first 13 pots to trim that deficit to about 14 big blinds. Then geob000 erased all that progress in one move. After raising the button and calling BARBARVSSA2's 2.7M-chip big blind re-raise, geob000 called another 2.7M on the T♦ 8♦ 3♣ flop, bringing the 5♣ on the turn. BARBARVSSA2 led for 3.2M this time but quickly folded when geob000 re-raised to 20.8M. That earned the 17.4M-chip pot and put geob000 about three big blinds ahead of where the heads-up match had begun.

That five-minute span covered the first half of the final duel. BARBARVSSA2 doubled with A♣ A♠ against geob000's A♥ 2♥ to stay in the game a few minutes later, but the pot was only big enough to get the Russian player back to just below where heads-up play had begun. Within another five minutes BARBARVSSA2 would have the entire tournament on the line for a final time.

BARBARVSSA2 limped on the button with Q♥ 6♥ and geob000 checked the big blind, bringing a 9♦ Q♣ 7♦ flop. geob000 check-called a 2.8M-chip bet there and both players checked the A♠ turn, bringing the 7♥ on the river. geob000 bet 8.6M, enough to put BARBARVSSA2 all-in, and the Russian called, showing down two pair, queens and sevens. But geob000 turned over A♣ 9♣ for aces and nines, good enough to win the pot and bring the tournament to its close less than an hour after the final table had kicked off.

For 58 minutes of final table play without the win, BARBARVSSA2 earned a healthy $104,794.60 payday. Taking the lead from beginning to end of the final table, meanwhile, resulted in a Sunday Million title and $149,332.51 for geob000. Congratulations to geob000 for making the most of a big opportunity!

3/5/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,249
Total prize pool: $1,049,800
Places paid: 728

1. geob000 (Greece) $149,332.51
2. BARBARVSSA2 (Russia) $104,794.60
3. ruthless848 (Canada) $73,541.63
4. tonyfellone (United Kingdom) $51,609.21
5. kiely13 (United Kingdom) $36,217.78
6. lilachaa (Bosnia and Herzegovina) $25,416.60
7. flipmm (Brazil) $17,836.52
8. mentor1904 (Austria) $12,517.08
9. fergiecfc (United Kingdom) $8,784.20


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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million