Sunday Million: komarolo22 storms to title, collecting $158,485

With hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, the Sunday Million always promises compelling poker.

This week's final table lived up to the hype. Uruguayan crusher komarolo22 saw off accomplished Belgian mattidm_uk to take home the title. That came with a tidy $158,485.05 in winnings.

4,993 entries and 1,234 re-entries combined to create the $1,245,400 prize pool. The nine players who made the final fought like tigers for the honour and spoils of victory.

It was a frenetic opening to the final, with three eliminations and a double-up in the first four hands.

The blitz began with a double for short-stacked Slovakian 5agittariu5, whose K♠2♣ shove from the small blind met a snap-call from Finn gypsymagi820's A♣3♣ in the big. The flop was kind however - two kings bailing out 5agittariu5 to extend his final table run.

This was just the appetiser for the sizzling sequence of hands that was to follow.

The first saw Austrian 2pacnrw16 hunting an early double-up, shoving pocket fours only for komarolo22 to pick him off with jacks. Neither player improved post-flop and we were a man down with 2pacnrw16 wrapped up in ninth - $9,890.34 to show for his efforts.

The next hand proved equally dramatic as Czech player nice2meatya (K♣K♥) and mattidm_uk (A♠K♦) went to war pre-flop for their stacks. Meat got the chop as an ace arrived on the turn to seal his elimination in eighth spot for $14,093.44. No one could accuse him of butchering the hand.

There was more action to come.

A third strike in a row made 5agittariu5's reprieve temporary. His pocket nines lost out to Bulgarian zidix' big slick - a 8♥K♣8♣T♦7♠ board ousting him in seventh for $20,082.57.

After this explosive start, relative tranquillity followed. It was broken by steeple3000's elimination in sixth ($28,617.05). He flopped a pair of fives but ran into gypsymagi820's pair of jacks.

Brazilian Pseudo Fruto entered the final table as chip leader. His chips dwindled though as opportunities dried up.

Eventually blind pressure forced him to make a move with a small suited ace. zidix was lying in wait with the larger A♠J♣. His advantage held post-flop, with Fruto's challenge running out of juice in fifth place. The $40,778.50 was consolation for his barren run of cards.

zidix had spent the final quietly building his stack. His destiny though was to be fourth place and $58,108,12. A huge coinflip with A♣K♦ versus gypsymagi820's T♥T♦ landed sunny side up for the Finn to scupper zidix's title hopes.

This monster 30 million chip pot propelled gypsymagi820 into a dominant position three-handed. It looked as though his opponents would struggle to catch the runaway leader. But komarolo22 and mattidm_uk had other ideas.

They both chipped away at the Finn. Komarolo22 won a large pot with a turned set of queens. Mattidm_uk doubled up twice with kings and queens before the now-shortened gypsymagi820 found an attractive spot to re-assert himself.

By this point, komarolo22 had taken on the mantle of table captain. But when he jammed the button with 9♠T♦, gypsymagi820 was more than happy to call with A♠K♥.

Komarolo took a big step toward victory, however, as the board ran out T♠5♣ 6♥Q♣9♥ to end gypsymagi820's day in third spot for $82,802.41. Just a few more fortunate showdowns and the title could well have been his. But he could take pride in a polished performance.

That left komarolo22 with a huge 54,600,000 to 7,600,000 chip advantage. His path to victory wasn't without its pitfalls though. Mattidm_uk eked some back before his threes ran up against queens, spiking a set and taking a bite out of komarolo's stack.

With the stacks approaching parity, the final two did a deal to flatten the structure, playing on for the additional $24,908.

A cooler settled things in komarolo22's favour - turning the nut flush to mattidm_uk's second nuts to leave the Belgian crippled. A few hands later, it was all over. Mattidm_uk was unable to spin his microstack back up as he finished a creditable second place for $127,644.64.

It would be komarolo22's day - a Sunday Million now added to his poker C.V. along with $158,485.05.

The end of the tournament prompted congratulatory messages in the chat box. One message summed up the feelings of many onlookers.

N3GODR4M4 [observer]: big shark kamarolo

If komarolo22's run to victory and riches have whetted your appetite, there will be a chance to emulate him in next week's Sunday Million at the usual time of 19:00 WET.

Finally - don't forget the upcoming $10 million guaranteed Sunday Million Anniversary April 22nd. Mark your diaries - it's going to be a monster!

25th March Sunday Million ($215 NL Hold'em) results
Entries: 6,227 (4,993 entries, 1234 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,245,400
Places paid: 1,106

1. komarolo22(Uruguay) $158,485.05*
2. mattidm_uk (Belgium) $127,644.64*
3. gypsymagi820(Finland) $82,802.41
4. zidix (Bulgaria) $58,108.12
5. Pseudo Fruto (Brazil) $40,778.50
6. steeple3000 (Canada) $28,617.05
7. 5agittariu5 (Slovakia) $20,082.57
8. nice2meatya (Czech Republic) $14,093.44
9. 2pacnrw16 (Austria) $78,808
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal leaving $24,908 for the winner

Rod Stirzaker
@PokerStars in Sunday Million