Sunday Million: Unstoppable pokerjeff370 banks $142K after heads-up deal (12-17-17)
Before tonight, the biggest PokerStars tournament cash on record for Canada's pokerjeff370 came this past October with a 236th-place finish in the Sunday Million. Winning three times your initial buy-in is nothing to scoff at, but outlasting thousands of players before earning a cash like that can get a player dreaming big. pokerjeff370 returned to the scene tonight and converted October dreams into December reality, arriving at the final table toward the back of the pack before taking out seven of the other eight players en route to the title.
The journey to the final table wasn't fraught with danger for pokerjeff370, but it wasn't particularly easy, either. The Canadian player worked with a below-average stack until Level 32, when a big win bumped him toward the top of the leaderboard. A brief stint as the chip leader shortly after that provided pokerjeff370 with a buffer against the rising blinds and antes, one that proved useful over the next 10 levels as the field dropped to its final two tables.
Eventually the United Kingdom's Rimlog fell in 10th place, losing with K-J to scrubbyz's K-Q to give these players a shot at a scheduled first-place prize of nearly $150,000:
Seat 1: scrubbyz (8,954,522 in chips) past Sunday Warm-Up/SCOOP/WCOOP finalist
Seat 2: matyguillon (6,281,588 in chips) placed third in the Mini Sunday Supersonic last weekend
Seat 3: Noobladonk (10,118,275 in chips) took fourth in 4/28/13 Sunday Million, SCOOP-Low champ this spring
Seat 4: nuenen1 (6,407,204 in chips)
Seat 5: pokerjeff370 (4,532,916 in chips)
Seat 6: dimiangelako (1,490,226 in chips) past Sunday Warm-Up finalist
Seat 7: justsoluck (8,851,209 in chips)
Seat 8: ilicin (2,869,186 in chips)
Seat 9: tobtheking1 (5,954,874 in chips) won $109 Saturday KO two weeks ago
pokerjeff370 took advantage of several big opportunities in the early going to spring ahead of the competition. First he picked up A♦ A♠ in the big blind and called after illicin jammed for 2.7 million chips with pocket eights in middle position and cleared out the field. Neither of the other two eights in the deck came and illicin bounced in ninth.
On the following hand, pokerjeff370 called in the small blind with A♦ 9♥ after Noobladonk raised to 348,800 in the cutoff and caught a pair of nines on the J♥ 9♠ 3♠ flop. pokerjeff370 check-called bets there and after the A♠ turn and 7♣ river, winning 10.1 million chips total with that pair of nines when Noobladonk showed down Q♣ T♦ for queen-high with a busted straight draw.
After about another 15 minutes pokerjeff370 picked up K♦ K♠ on the button and raised, then four-bet-shoved when justsoluck re-raised with J♦ J♠ in the big blind. justsoluck called but missed the board completely, leaving in eighth as pokerjeff370 dragged the 19-million-chip pot.
Dominating the first half-hour of play had taken pokerjeff370 from short stack to chip leader with more than twice the chips of anybody else at the six-handed table. He continued to lean on the other players as the first hour of play came to a close. scrubbyz broke pokerjeff370's run of claiming all the knockouts, calling with A♦ J♣ to bust short-stacked dimiangelako, who had open-shoved for six big blinds with K♥ J♥, in seventh. But then pokerjeff370 got right back on the horse, calling with K♦ 2♦ in the big blind after Noobladonk jammed for 10 big blinds on the button and winning with a flopped pair of kings to end Noobladonk's second career Sunday Million final table appearance in sixth.
scrubbyz broke pokerjeff370's knockout streak. Then pokerjeff370 knocked out scrubbyz.
pokerjeff370 looked to take out scrubbyz a few minutes later with A♦ K♦ but scrubbyz's A♣ A♥ held up for a double to 13.2 million chips. Three hands later scrubbyz picked up another pocket pair and jammed for 8.5 million on the button after pokerjeff370 raised to 900,000 under the gun; pokerjeff370 called the raise with K♦ K♠, which held up on a jack-high board to knock out scrubbyz in fifth.
The leader took a stab at another knockout on the following hand but lost with 3♠ 3♥ against tobtheking1's A♥ Q♥ thanks to a queen on the flop. That set the stage for negotiations over a four-handed deal but after 15 minutes they still hadn't reached an agreement and the game got back underway. Three minutes after that nuenen1 opened on the button with A♦ Q♦ and then jammed for 9.2 million chips when pokerjeff370 re-raised in the small blind. pokerjeff370 called with 8♣ 8♠ and took down another big pot, winning unimproved to send nuenen1 to the rail in fourth.
About five minutes passed before matyguillon, holding A♦ T♥ opened the betting all-in for 13.1 million chips in the small blind. pokerjeff370 called with K♠ Q♦ and another 31.4 million chips behind and then promptly made a pair of kings on the flop. matyguillon missed the 4♥ 3♦ K♥ 8♦ 9♥ altogether and left the tournament in third.
The heads-up match almost ended as soon as it began. tobtheking1 got caught with 7♣ 7♥ against pokerjeff370's 8♣ 8♦ on the fifth hand of heads-up play but made a set on with the 7♦ on the flop to double to 19.6 million chips. It was still only half of pokerjeff370's stack, but more than enough to mount a real defense. Two minutes later they agreed to talk over a deal and five minutes after at that they were back in action with $20,000 and the title left for the winner.
tobtheking1 caught a big break a few minutes later, picking up T♦ T♣ in the big blind when pokerjeff370 had A♠ 2♦ on the button. pokerjeff370 put in a fourth bet all-in before the flop and then missed the board, giving tobtheking1 the 40-million-chip pot and the lead. Five hands later tobtheking1 nearly locked up the win after min-raising on the button with A♦ Q♥ and then calling when pokerjeff370 shoved in the big blind with A♥ 6♦. But the 6♥ on the flop was enough not only to keep pokerjeff370 in the game but to return him to the lead.
The duo took the hourly break a few minutes later and returned for one more coin flip. tobtheking1's A♥ T♦ had a gutshot draw by the turn but pokerjeff370's 7♣ 7♥ made a full house on the river of the Q♠ 6♠ 6♦ K♣ 7♦ board, earning the pot and closing out a storybook win.
It was a fitting end to the final regular Sunday Million of 2017. tobtheking1 narrowly missed out on a come-from-behind win at the end but still earned a new career-best cash by nearly a hundred grand. And pokerjeff370, who took out seven of the eight opponents at the final table, found a way to win despite falling behind after the heads-up deal and locked up a six-figure cash and the title. Congratulations to both players on closing out the year in style!
12/17/17 Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entrants: 5,546 (4,515 entries, 1,031 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $1,109,200
Places paid: 998
1. pokerjeff370 (Canada) $142,465.78*
2. tobtheking1 (Germany) $112,465.78*
3. matyguillon (Argentina) $73,773.89
4. nuenen1 (Netherlands) $51,772.35
5. scrubbyz (Canada) $36,332.28
6. Noobladonk (United Kingdom) $25,496.84
7. dimiangelako (Greece) $17,892.94
8. justsoluck (China) $12,556.80
9. ilicin (Romania) $8,812.03
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal
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Jason Kirk is a Freelance Contributor to PokerStars Blog.