Last week’s final table of the $109 Sunday Million (Nov 24) had everything we hope for: a couple of well-known online pros, some gripping action, and ultimately a worthy winner.
Brazil’s Eduardo “sl0tt” Cavalcante came out on top, outlasting more than 10,000 players to win $105,096, following a heads-up deal. “It feels amazing,” Cavalcante told PokerStars Blog after his victory had sunk in. “It’s the dream of all players to win the sexiest tournament on a Sunday.”
Here’s the story of how he did it, as told by the winner himself, as well as fourth-place finisher and fellow Brazilian, Rafael “RafaCorreaBR” Correa.
The Milly attracted 10,707 total entries last week, creating a $1,070,700 prize pool that was split between the top 1,934 players. Three PokerStars Ambassadors reached the money in this one, with Lex Veldhuis busting in 1,334th place ($204), Tom “MajinBoob” Hayward falling in 706th ($268), and Felix “xflixx” Schneiders going deepest (339th – $351).
When the large field was whittled down to nine, all eyes were some very familiar screennames: former world no.1 (according to Pocket Fives) Nicolas “PKaiser” Fierro, and former world no.2 Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford.
It was Cavalcante who entered the finale with the chip lead though. “The Sunday Million is a long grind, and I did well for most of the tournament,” he tells us. “I had some ups and downs on the final two tables when I lost some big pots with KK and AA, but thankfully things started to go well when there were 12 players left. I started to run well and my hands held up.”
Still, with those aforementioned crushers at the table, this was anyone’s game.
“Everybody knows what those guys can do, but there were also some good regs that I recognised, such as “Conglomo222”, “RafaCorreaBR” and “Leostar121”, who all have good results in the low/micro stakes,” Cavalcante says.
Rafael “RafaCorreaBR” Correa, a 24-year-old from Balneário Camboriú in the state of Santa Catarina, was second in chips coming in. “I got one of the best seats I could have at the final table,” he tells us. “The aggressive players were not on my left. Luckily the two very good ones “1_conor_b_1” and “PKaiser” got short stacks and were eliminated. They would certainly have been hard work if they had a big stack.”
Before that, Cavalcante made swift work of Malta’s “GaborMarton” when his pocket fours held up against K♠9♠. Cavalcante opened the button, “GaborMarton” jammed for 16 big blinds, and when the board brought no help he was out in ninth for $8,452.
Chile’s Nicolas “PKaiser” Fierro was the next to fall. When Russia’s “Kobablack77” opened with A♣K♣ and Fierro found A♥J♥ in the small blind, it was always going to mean trouble should an ace hit the flop. Sure enough, it came Q♣7♠A♦, and all the money would go in on the 8♦ turn. The 7♦ changed nothing, and the former world no.1 was out for $11,647.50. He now has more than $12.1 million in career winnings.
Correa played executioner next. “The important thing on final tables is to identify the players who will be pressured by the money and exploit them,” he tells us. Still, it always helps when an opponent shoves all-in for ten big blinds and you wake up with A♠A♣ in the big blind. The third Brazilian at the final table, “leostar121”, jammed with a pretty-looking 10♦9♦ from the hijack, but couldn’t suck out on the aces, leaving him to settle for $16,049.
While Cavalcante, Correa and “Kobablack77” continued to distance themselves from the other three, Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford hung around with 15-20 big blinds without finding much to work with. Eventually, he picked up Q♠J♠ under the gun and opened to 9.5 big blinds, leaving himself less than five bigs behind. Cavalcante called on the button with A♣J♥, and when the flop fell 6♠2♣4♠ Beresford jammed with his flush draw. Cavalcante called with ace-high, and the 7♥3♦ turn and river kept him in front. Beresford–who won the Sunday Million back in July 2019–banked $22,116 for sixth, taking his lifetime total up to $8.9 million.
An interesting hand played out which ended with Germany’s “Janetti111” falling in fifth for $30,475. “Janetti111” min-opened with J♠10♦ under the gun, and Cavalcante flatted with K♠10♠ on the button. “Kobablack77” then three-bet from the big blind to 7x with A♥Q♠, and only “Janetti111” called. The flop came J♥Q♦2♠ and “Kobablack77” overbet jammed, putting “Janetti111” to the test for his 18 big blind stack. Eventually, he’d call all-in with his second pair, and couldn’t improve on the 2♦ turn or 6♣ river.
Down to four, it was Cavalcante and “Kobablack77” who were in the top spots, by a comfortable margin. Correa would need some help to catch up, but the Poker Gods had other things in mind.
When Argentina’s “Conglomo222” opened the button with 10♦7♦, Correa defended his big blind with J♦3♦ and flopped bottom pair on a 2♥8♥9♠ board. Correa check-called a c-bet, only for the J♣ to hit the turn, giving him top two pair but also giving “Conglomo222” a straight. Needless to say, all the money went in, and Correa was left with just half a big blind. He’d bust in the next hand for $41,994.
“If I was to give advice to people playing the Sunday Million for the first time, I would tell them to play without fear,” Correa says. “Many feel pressured when playing a more expensive tournament and they end up not playing their A-game.”
The clock was paused with three players left so the players could look at chop numbers. However, no deal could be decided after three separate attempts, so play continued. Shortly after, Cavalcante extended his lead and “Conglomo222” saw his stack dwindle. He was out shortly after when his A♠4♠ couldn’t hold up against “Kobablack77”s J♣7♥, winning $57,867 for his efforts.
Cavalcante and “Kobablack77” battled for five minutes before deciding to do a chop, but they’d still battle for a further 30 minutes before the whole thing came to an end in a cooler.
With Cavalcante holding J♠J♥, “Kobablack77” holding 3♠4♠, and the board falling 2♦6♥J♣2♥5♥, there was only one way it was going to. All the money went in, and Cavalcante’s full house beat “Kobablack77”s straight, forcing him to settle for second and $84,537.
For his victory, Eduardo “sl0tt” Cavalcante won $105,096, a hefty sum considering he only plays tournaments up to a $109 buy-in.
“This win will impact my career for sure,” he tells us. “The first thing that comes to my mind is that now I’m financially stable I’ll play with less stress, but I’m confident that I’ll stick with the schedule I’m comfortable with.”
Now there’s nothing for him to do but celebrate.
“I’m going to throw a small party for my friends who were rooting for me, and maybe I’ll make some small and safe investments. Perhaps I’ll also buy a sweet ring and ask my girlfriend to marry me!”
If she’s reading, Eduardo, you might have blown the surprise.
1. sl0tt (Brazil) – $105,096.80*
2. Kobablack77 (Russia) – $84,537.17*
3. Conglomo222 (Argentina) – $57,867.69
4. RafaCorreaBR (Brazil) – $41,994.67
5. Janetti111 (Germany) – $30,475.65
6. Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford (Netherlands) – $22,116.27
7. leostar121 (Brazil) – $16,049.90
8. Nicolas “PKaiser” Fierro (Chile) – $11,647.50
9. GaborMarton (Malta) – $8,452.53
*Indicates a deal was made
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