Sunday Million: toddxxx weathers the storm, wins $161K (7-16-17)

A lot can happen in two hours - even it doesn't look like much has happened at all. toddxxx and stormi22 sat 1-2 atop the chip counts at the start of this week's Sunday Million final table. They were both still there 100 minutes later, separated by one good pot's worth of chips after the other seven players had already collected their pay. They traded the chip lead seven times in just under 15 minutes before a pocket pair locked up a Sunday Million title and more than $161,000 for toddxxx.

Thousands of dreams of Sunday Million glory had been reduced to faint memories after 11 and a half hours of play and just these nine players from around the globe still had a chance to win big:

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Seat 1: Gustavo "22ehnutzz" Mastelotto (4,956,934 in chips)
Seat 2: Maden2k (2,974,765 in chips)
Seat 3: pilemon (5,347,451 in chips)
Seat 4: beldarion (7,716,991 in chips)
Seat 5: Olda71 (3,329,547 in chips)
Seat 6: stormi22 (10,638,779 in chips)
Seat 7: toddxxx (10,116,371 in chips)
Seat 8: Fish2077 (4,528,272 in chips)
Seat 9: Sanjay_45 (6,340,890 in chips)

The first half-hour of play passed without any short stacks finding their way to the rail despite the 80,000/160,000/16,000 blinds and antes rising to 150,000/300,000/30,000. Past Sunday Warm-Up and TCOOP 2017 finalist Gustavo "22ehnutzz" Mastelotto was down to just five big blinds' worth of chips after returning from the 10:55 p.m. ET break and opened all-in for 1.1 million in the hijack seat with A♦ 5♣. The only action came from past Sunday Warm-Up runner-up and Sunday Million finalist beldarion, who held 7♣ 7♥ in the small blind. The pair held up on the 8♠ Q♣ J♣ 5♥ 2♥ board and 22ehnutzz left in ninth.

Russia's Olda71 had one of the shorter stacks at 4.3 million but things seemed to be looking up after stacking up to 9.1 million through Fish2077 with A♣ K♥ against A♦ Q♦. But the very next hand, Olda71 lost almost all of it back with 5♦ 5♣ against toddxxx's A♥ Q♥ after the Canadian re-raised in position with A♥ Q♥, checked behind on a Q♣ K♦ 4♦ flop, and then called bets on both the 9♠ turn and 7♣ river. Olda71 held on for another 10 minutes before opening the aciton all-in with 4♣ 4♥; toddxxx called with J♦ J♠ and won unimproved to bust Olda71 in eighth.

The undisputed driver of the action from that point was Fish2077, who was being pushed to desperation by the blinds and antes. The Austrian player managed to double up to 6.4 million chips with T♠ 8♣ after defending the big blind against a button min-raise from stormi22 and then moving in on a stop-and-go with a gutshot draw on the 7♥ 6♥ 3♦ flop. stormi22, a past Sunday Warm-Up finalist, called with a better draw but a worse hand - 9♣ 8♦ - and lost when neither player improved on the K♠ turn or A♥ river. Minutes later Fish2077 was dropping out of second place after jamming from the big blind with 4♠ 2♠ and having original raiser stormi22 call - and hit a pair of queens - with K♣ Q♣.


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Fish2077 kept the action going and doubled back to 7.5 million a few minutes later with A♠ J♥ against toddxxx's 7♣ 7♠. Then Sanjay_45 opened all-in from the small blind with A♠ K♥ and TCOOP 2015 Limit Hold'em winner Maden2k called for five big blinds with Q♠ J♠. Big Slick stayed ahead on the T♦ 5♦ 3♣ 7♥ 3♠ board and Maden2k was gone in seventh.

pilemon followed three hands later after opening the action all-in for 6 million chips in the cutoff seat with K♦ Q♥. toddxxx called with A♥ Q♠ in the big blind and fell behind on the flop before winning with a Broadway straight on the river of the J♥ 4♥ K♠ 4♠ T♠ and busting pilemon in sixth.

beldarion and Sanjay_45 were both able to stave off short-stacked elimination in the next few minutes, but Fish2077 wasn't as fortunate. The Austrian defended the big blind all-in with A♦ K♣ against a button raise from stormi22 but the German had opened with K♠ K♥. The board fell 3♠ Q♦ 6♦ 7♣ 3♦ and one the table's most active players was gone in fifth.

beldarion's balancing act only lasted two more minutes before the German tried to steal with J♥ 9♠ in the small blind. stormi22 called with A♥ 2♣ in the big and won with aces and kings on the 4♦ K♠ K♦ A♦ 3♦ board to knock beldarion out in fourth.

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toddxxx and stormi22 were now separated by less than three big blinds and Sanjay_45 held less than half of what those two were working with. Then toddxxx flopped a wheel straight with 3♣ 2♣ in the big blind and turned a flush to win 20 million chips on a 4♥ A♣ 5♣ Q♣ 9♦ board against bluffing stormi22's 9♠ 6♠. That took the tournament to what would be its final break of the night and the three remaining players quickly struck a deal that left $20,000 for the winner.

Two hands later Sanjay_45 limped from the small blind with A♣ 7♠ and then moved all-in for 11.7 million chips after stormi22 raised to 1.65 million in the big blind. Covered by a little more than one big blind, stormi22 called with 9♣ 9♠ and won unimproved on the 3♦ K♦ 8♥ T♣ 7♦ board. Sanjay_45 was forced in on the next hand with K♠ 3♣ and lost out to toddxxx's 7♠ 5♠, which made a pair of sevens to oust Sanjay_45 in third.

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toddxxx had 34 million chips to stormi22's 21.8 million as what would turn out to be a 13-minute heads-up match began. The lead changed hands seven times over that stretch, twice when toddxxx had a pair of jacks in the hole. The first of those made a set on the flop and four of a kind on the river to beat stormi22's flopped pair of queens with Q♥ 5♥.

toddxxx still had the lead when the second pair of jacks came around. The Canadian re-raised to 3 million in the big blind after stormi22 opened for 1.2 million on the button. stormi22 called and then bet 2.4 million when checked to on the 9♥ 3♣ A♥ flop. toddxxx called that bet and then check-called 5.4 million on the 7♠ turn and 9.5 million on the 7♣ river. The latter was stormi22's last-ditch effort with 6♠ 5♣, which lost to the jacks to end the tournament.

Congratulations to all three players who shared in the deal at the end of this week's Sunday Million, especially to toddxxx for taking down the largest share along with the title!

7/16/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,595 (4,645 entries, 950 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $1,119,000
Places paid: 899

1. toddxxx (Canada) $161,777.22*
2. stormi22 (Germany) $98,481.14*
3. Sanjay_45 (Finland) $103,948.54*
4. beldarion (Germany) $55,608.48
5. Fish2077 (Austria) $38,485.54
6. pilemon (Canada) $26,635.10
7. Maden2k (United Kingdom) $18,433.62
8. Olda71 (Russia) $12,757.60
9. 22ehnutzz (Brazil) $8,829.35
* - reflects a three-way deal that left $20,000 for the winner


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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.

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