Sunday Million: Late surge earns dlanger610 $165K (7-30-17)
Timing is everything in tournament poker. Just ask dlanger610.
A two-outer at the start of this week's Sunday Million final against two different players holding overpairs kept the desperately short-stacked past Sunday Warm-Up champ in the hunt. Two hours later things the Dutch player was one "I agree" in the chat box away from an $89,000+ share of a four-way deal. After the other short stack asked for a little extra above ICM and got it, though, dlanger610 asked for the same.
A chorus of "no" responses from the other three sent the table back into action with the next player out set to earn $62,207.70. Then dlanger610 caught a break at just the right moment, doubling twice in seven hands - through the player who only moments before had held the chip lead, no less, shifting the balance of power at the table completely. The three remaining competitors quickly struck a deal and 20 minutes later dlanger610 closed out the tournament to add a Sunday Million title to that previous Sunday Warm-Up win.
It took just under 12 hours to whittle this week's field down to a final table. Team Pro's Chris "Money800" Moneymaker came close to joining the party but eventually bowed out in 64th place, almost two hours before these nine players faced off for the title with blinds and antes at 125,000/250,000/25,000:
Seat 1: Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger (4,167,506 in chips)
Seat 2: nana9192 (6,578,845 in chips)
Seat 3: King_geoden (3,901,230 in chips)
Seat 4: dlanger610 (4,926,912 in chips)
Seat 5: elcoysa (9,120,082 in chips)
Seat 6: Pavlov101 (8,427,905 in chips)
Seat 7: j3h3k3 (6,502,384 in chips)
Seat 8: Lorenzo "Charlie580" Bazei (3,300,748 in chips)
Seat 9: marcelo v121 (15,694,388 in chips)
EPT9 Berlin High Roller champ and three-time Super Tuesday finalist Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger last made the final table of this tournament in 2011, taking seventh place for almost $37K. His chance to top that result tonight ran into a buzzsaw early on, though.
Benger's all-in bet of 4.01 million chips in the big blind with Q♣ Q♥ was the third raise of the hand, following TCOOP 2017 3-max event runner-up nana9192's under-the-gun raise and dlanger610's all-in bet of 3.74 million in middle position. nana9192 called with K♣ K♠ for the advantage over Benger and dlanger610's J♦ J♠ but the 3♠ 2♠ J♣ 4♥ 4♠ made jacks full of fours to give dlanger610 the 12.1-million-chip pot. Benger's queens and fours couldn't top that and he left in ninth.
nana9192 was left with about 12 big blinds after that loss. The player from Vietnam held on for another 10 minutes to get to the break that closed out the 1:00 a.m. ET hour before doubling through SCOOP 2011 runner-up King_geoden with A♦ 6♠ against K♥ J♣. That kept nana9192 ahead of the advancing blinds and antes for another 15 minutes until marcelo v121 min-raised to 700,000 chips on the button. nana9192 re-raised all-in for 2.59 million with K♠ 7♠; marcelo v121, getting 2-to-1 from the pot, called with J♦ 7♦ and made a pair of jacks on the Q♦ 4♦ 6♣ J♠ T♠ board to eliminate nana9192 in eighth.
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Minutes later the blinds and antes were up to 200,000/400,000/40,000 and Lorenzo "Charlie580" Bazei opened all-in for 5.6 million chips under the gun with A♣ K♥. King_geoden re-raised to 6.7 million to isolate with A♥ Q♥, which was dominated before catching an open-ended straight draw on the 9♠ T♥ J♣ flop. That draw came home on the  turn but charlie580 made Broadway with the Q♦ river, winning the 12.1-million-chip pot to leave King_geoden with just under three big blinds' worth of chips. King_geoden jammed on the next hand with J♣ T♥ and lost to dlanger610's A♣ Q♠ to leave in seventh.
The rest of the level played out without an elimination - dlanger610 doubled on the last hand with A♠ 5♣ against Pavlov101's K♦ T♣ - but the next level made up for it with three knockouts. elcoysa, a Sunday Million runner-up last December, was the first after opening all-in for 3.9 million chips with A♥ K♦. charlie580 called with A♦ 8♣ in the big blind and made a pair of eights on the 8♦ 6♠ 2♥ 9♠ J♥ board, ending elcoysa's run in sixth.
j3h3k3, who had been hoping to strike a deal before heading off to work, went next. The Dutch player, a Sunday Supersonic finalist earlier this year, opened all-in for 7.4 million in the cutoff with A♠ 9♠ and got action in the small blind from marcelo v121. The Brazilian had A♣ K♣ and made a pair of kings on the 4♣ Q♣ 8♦ 3♦ K♦, earning the 15.6-million-chip pot and busting j3h3k3 in fifth.
The turning point
dlanger610, who had 7.1 million chips for a touch over 14 big blinds, looked very likely to be the next player out. After derailing a potential four-way deal by asking for a bit more than ICM when Pavlov101 had already extracted a concession from the two bigger stacks, dlanger610 re-raised all-in with K♣ J♣ over the top of charlie580's 1.27-million-chip opener. charlie580 called with A♦ T♥ but lost out on the pot when the K♥ on the flop spared dlanger610 with a pair of kings.
Separated by just two and a half big blinds' worth of chips, the same two players clashed six hands later. dlanger610 raised the minimum under the gun with A♣ K♣ and then called when charlie580 defended the small blind all-in for 19 million chips with 5♦ 5♠. dlanger610 jumped into the equity lead 15 outs on the 2♣ 3♣ Q♦ flop, then locked up the pot on the J♣ turn. The 2♥ river ended the hand and sent charlie580 packing in fourth.
Pavlov101 began having connection issues, which ate away at the Bulgarian player's stack while marcelo v121 and dlanger610 danced around the chance of a misstep. marcelo v121 avoided the knockout by doubling with Q♦ Q♥ after making top set on an action flop of J♣ 9♠ Q♠ against dlanger610's button-raising J♥ 9♦. Pavlov101 returned and soon doubled with A♦ T♦ against dlanger610's A♣ 5♦, which set the stage for a three-way deal.
Pavlov101 once again drove a hard bargain, squeezing an extra $3,800 out of the negotiations despite holding only one-sixth of the chips in play compared to marcelov121's one-third and dlanger610's one-half. The Bulgarian had a slight edge and the chance to take the lead a few minutes later after calling all-in with 8♦ 8♠ in the big blind. dlanger610 had raised all-in from the small blind with Q♣ J♥, which made a pair of queens on the flop and three of a kind on the river of the 5♣ Q♥ 7♠ T♠ Q♦ board to bust Pavlov101 in third.
The heads-up duel almost ended as soon as it began when dlanger610, holding five out of every six chips in play, was dealt Q♦ Q♠ on the first hand. But marcelo v121's A♦ 2♣ picked up three clubs on the flop and a fourth on the river to make a flush, setting up a 20-minute fight for the extra $20,000 and the title.
The Brazilian was able to win plenty of pots but dlanger610 kept up the pressure the whole time and prevented marcelo v121 from making up any ground. Finally dlanger610 jammed with Q♥ 9♥ on the button and marcelo v121 called for 10 million chips with A♦ 9♠, making a pair of aces but falling to a heart flush on the J♥ 2♣ A♥ T♥ 5♥ board to end the tournament.
After facing elimination and the prospect of earning only $62K just a half-hour earlier, dlanger610 ended up walking with $103,000+ more than that. Congratulations to the Brazilian player for enduring and earning a second career Sunday Major title, and to the other two players who shared in the deal at the end!
7/30/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 6,262 (5,086 entries, 1,176 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $1,252,400
Places paid: 1,007
1. dlanger610 (Canada) $165,343.65*
2. marcelo v121 (Brazil) $117,044.35*
3. Pavlov101 (Bulgaria) $125,042.17*
4. Lorenzo "Charlie580" Bazei (Brazil) $62,207.70
5. j3h3k3 (Netherlands) $43,052.75
6. elcoysa (Argentina) $29,795.97
7. King_geoden (Greece) $20,621.26
8. nana9192 (Vietnam) $14,271.47
9. Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger (Canada) $9,877.05
* - denotes results of a three-way deal that left $20,000 for the winner
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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.