Sunday Million: TheFan83 rides final table wave to $122K victory

The last time TheFan83 was within close reach of a major title on PokerStars was in 2011. The Austrian player was heads-up for a WCOOP title against fellow countryman Schildy1984 and flopped two pair just 10 hands into their match, only to be taken down when the turn card gave Schildy1984 a set. Tonight, after knocking out half of the other players at the Sunday Million final table, TheFan83 once again advanced to heads-up play with a major title on the line. Brazil's digopapel hung tough in a match full of swings, but TheFan83 made good in the end and walked away from this final a champion.


This week's Sunday Million drew a field of 5,218 players, enogu hto build a prize pool worth $1,043,600. The top 728 players shared in that cash after about four and a half hours of play when Mexico's pureonyx busted to pop the bubble. Another five and a half hours of play took the tournament down to its final two tables, and old_col's 7♣ 7♠ fell to 4rebmun's J♦ J♠ another hour after that to pop the final table bubble and give these nine players a shot at this week's Sunday Million title:

Seat 1: tha_winnah (5,274,914 in chips)
Seat 2: djmib2 (2,459,141 in chips)
Seat 3: KasparovAKs (6,094,284 in chips)
Seat 4: #Naktro91 (2,524,529 in chips)
Seat 5: TheFan83 (9,309,138 in chips)
Seat 6: J.C. "PrtyPsux" Alvarado (3,830,087 in chips)
Seat 7: digopapel (11,105,991 in chips)
Seat 8: 4rebmun (7,220,298 in chips)
Seat 9: FeaNoR4eG (4,361,618 in chips)

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The final table kicked off just over 15 minutes past the hour, and by the time the first break arrived 40 minutes later, four seats at the table would be empty.

TheFan83 set the tone for the table early, taking down a 4.7M-chip pot without a showdown. Past SCOOP winner and runner-up 4rebmun defended the big blind and check-called bets on the 6♣ Jh] 3♣ flop and T♥ turn, but TheFan83's all-in bet on the Q♦ river was too much and 4rebmun folded. TheFan83 dragged the pot and moved into the lead with 11.7M.

J.C. "PrtyPsux" Alvarado was in the big blind seven hands later with A♣ 6♥ in the hole and 3.8M chips left behind. The action folded around to the small blind and TheFan83 opened the betting all-in. Alvarado called and had the edge over TheFan83's J♦ 9♥, but the latter made a pair of jacks on the 2♠ 7♥ J♠ K♥ 5♠ board to knock out Alvarado in ninth.

JC Alvarado

J.C. "PrtyPsux" Alvarado, out in ninth

Minutes later #Naktro91 opened the action all-in for 1.5M in middle position, holding A♥ 7♥. digopapel successfully isolated on the button with Q♣ Q♦, the queens held as the board came 9♥ 6♠ 9♣ 7♣ K♠, and #Naktro91 left in eighth.

TheFan83 opened the betting on the next hand with a min-raise to 400K, and then became the only caller when FeaNoR4eG shoved for 3.7M in the small blind. TheFan83's J♦ J♣ became a set on the 4♥ J♥ 5♥ flop, but it still had to dodge hearts to avoid losing to FeaNoR4eG's A♥ K♣. The 4♦ made that dodge unnecessary, though, giving TheFan83 jacks full of fours. The 9♠ river was a formality, and FeaNoR4eG's third career Sunday Million final table appearance ended in seventh.

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Germany's djmib2 was on the button with A♣ T♣ and just 1M chips when tha_winnah opened the betting a few minutes later with an all-in shove for 3.2M. djmib2 was the only caller, but tha_winnah's 8♥ 8♠ dodged bullets the whole way as the board came Q♦ J♥ Q♣ 7♣ 5♠. Queens and eights took the pot, and djmib2, whose previous Sunday Million final table appearance came way back in 2008, finished in sixth.

The hour finished with TheFan83 ahead of the pack at 21.7M chips, good for 72 big blinds on the new 150K/300K/30K level. KasparovAKs had 12M chips, and the other three were holding on with 7.7M or less. TheFan83 took aim at one of them on the first hand back from the break, calling in the big blind with 6♣ 6♦ after 4rebmun opened the action all-in for 2.3M. 4rebmun had moved in with J♥ 9♥, which missed the K♠ K♦ 4♠ 8♥ A♦ board entirely to knock the Canadian player out in fifth.

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TheFan83 struck again two hands later, this time after opening on the button for the minimum and getting tha_winnah to call in the big blind. tha_winnah check-raised to 1.1M on the 4♦ T♣ 8♥ flop, and TheFan83 called to bring the 7♠ flop. TheFan83 called another 1.6M there, and then 3.5M more when tha_winnah shoved on the 7♦ river. tha_winnah showed 6♦ 5♣ for a turned eight-high straight, but TheFan83's 9♥ 6♥ had made a ten-high straight on the same turn card. That gave TheFan83 the 7M-chip pot and eliminated tha_winnah in fourth.

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Talk of a deal came up with the table three-handed, but TheFan83 was unwilling to talk about an ICM deal with more chips than both opponents combined. Then past SCOOP-Medium runner-up digopapel got in for 13.1M before the flop and won a race with 9♣ 9♦ against TheFan83's A♥ Q♥, swapping places with TheFan83 to take over the lead at 26.2M chips. Within moments they had paused and the deal emerged shortly afterward, giving digopapel the largest share as the leader and leaving an extra $20,000 on the table for the winner.

TheFan83 reclaimed the lead just a few minutes after play resumed. After limping from the small blind, TheFan83 called digopapel's raise to 1.2M to bring the A♦ 8♣ 3♠ flop, then check-called 882K more to bring the 5♠ turn. TheFan83 check-raised to 5.2M this time, and then shoved on the 9♥ river after digopapel called the turn bet. digopapel called and showed A♣ K♥ for a pair of aces, but TheFan83's 4♥ 2♥ had made a wheel straight on the turn, good for the 35.3M-chip pot.

digopapel turned things around a few hands later, doubling to 10.3M through KasparovAKs with A♣ K♣ against A♥ 7♣ to leave KasparovAKs with just 16 big blinds. All those chips went in the middle two orbits later as a three-bet from the small blind with K♦ J♦, and digopapel, the original raiser on the button, called to set up a showdown with A♥ 7♥. KasparovAKs had plenty of outs after the 9♣ 6♦ T♦ flop, but the 2♣ turn and 4♣ river were no help, sending the Polish player to the rail in third.

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TheFan83 had the lead with 35.5M chips to digopapel's 16.5M, but digopapel turned that around quickly. The Brazilian player defended the big blind for 940K with A♦ 2♥ and then check-called bets of 1.2M on the Q♥ J♠ A♥ flop, 4.3M on the 6♣ turn, and all-in for 11.5M on the 8♠ river. TheFan83 had been bluffing with 3♣ 2♣ the whole way, giving digopapel the 36.1M-chip pot.

Seven hands later TheFan83 flipped the script again. After defending the big blind for 1.2M and making top pair with K♦ 6♠ on the K♣ 8♦ T♦ flop, TheFan83 check-raised and then called all-in. digopapel held 9♣ 7♠ for an open-ended straight draw, one that was completed with the 6♣ on the turn. But the same card gave TheFan83 kings and sixes, which led to a full house when the 6♦ hit the river. Just like that, TheFan83 was back in the game and trailing by less than one big blind.

digopapel edged back ahead over the next 10 minutes until another pre-flop raising war ended with the Brazilian's A♠ 9♦ up against the all-in TheFan83's K♦ Q♣. The turn of the 3♥ 4♥ 3♣ K♠ 8♠ board gave TheFan83 a pair of kings and the pot.

The decisive pot came five hands later. After a raise and call, the 7♦ 5♥ J♥ flop gave TheFan83's K♠ 7♥ top pair and digopapel's 8♣ 6♠ an open-ended straight draw. digopapel got in on the draw, but this time the J♦ turn and A♣ river had nothing to offer. TheFan83 claimed the pot and the victory.

For holding the lead when the deal was made, digopapel walked away with $112,734.23, the largest share before the extra cash on the table. TheFan83 claimed that $20K for a total prize of $122,000, plus a first major PokerStars title. Congratulations to them both for outlasting thousands in this week's Sunday Million!

Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results (Feb 26, 2017)
Entries: 5,218
Prize pool: $1,043,600
Places paid: 728

1. TheFan83 (Austria) $122,000*
2. digopapel (Brazil) $112,734.23*
3. KasparovAKs (Poland) $91,000*
4. tha_winnah (Norway) $51,304.41
5. 4rebmun (Canada) $36,003.88
6. djmib2 (Germany) $25,266.49
7. FeaNoR4eG (Ukraine) $17,731.18
8. #Naktro91 (United Kingdom) $12,443.15
9. J.C. "PrtyPsux" Alvarado (Mexico) $8,732.32
* - 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.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in Sunday Million