Tens of thousands of poker players from all around the world competed for life changing sums in the Sunday Million 15th Anniversary, each battling for the $1.5 million top prize. Here’s how it went down:
Entries and prize pool
The Sunday Million 15th Anniversary reached a total of 69,876 entries, including 24,111 re-entries. This brought the prize pool well over its guarantee to an incredible $13,975,200.
Prizes for first and second place were set at $1,514,920 and $1,035,358, respectively, meaning two players would become millionaires from the tourney, unless of course a deal was made to smooth out the final table.
The top eight players would also walk away with over $100k, and ninth place was set for $72k, so any final table finish here was likely to top most player’s list of poker achievements.
9,971 players made at least the min-cash.
Day 1: standings and chip leaders
12,750+ players remained at the end of Day 1 (with more late regging during the break), so the majority who returned with a decent stack on Day 2 made the money. Once the bubble burst, it was a slow and steady climb up the pay jumps towards the final table.
Stacks were fairly deep, with the average standing at 50bb and some players holding over 300bb. “z4muz” from Sweden looked hopeful with 640k chips, and the top ten players all had over 500k.
With more than 12,000 players remaining, the picture was always going to look different by the time Day 2 concluded.
Day 2: standings and chip leaders
The Team PS Pros were out in force for the Sunday Million 15th Anniversary, but of those remaining all fell on Day 2. Spraggy narrowly missed the money, while Tom Hayward, Felix Schneiders, Fintan Hand, Lex Veldhuis, and Ramon Colillas all made small cashes.
WCOOP winner and prolific live player Gary “quiditbear” Hasson was doing well for himself, sitting in 20th place with a little under 300bb at the start of Day 2, but couldn’t maintain that position when play resumed and busted in 765th.
Many of online poker’s top ranked players, including Niklas “Lena900” Astedt, Joao “Naza114” Vieira, Mike “SirWatts” Watson, Bruno “botteonpoker” Botteon, and Conor “1_conor_b_1” Beresford, also crashed out on Day 2 after making the money.
By the time Day 2 came to an end, the tourney had played down to just 65 players, all of who were guaranteed at least $10k. “Transylvania” from Romania held the lead with 66M chips, “peu3ep” from Russia sat in second, and “PanchoVetin” from Bulgaria third.
Several of the Day 2 chip leaders went on to make the final table.
Day 3 and final table results:
Stacks were quite shallow at 20bb average when play resumed for Day 3, and with 65 players remaining it didn’t take long for the Sunday Million 15th Anniversary to play down to the final table. Just three hours, in fact.
“Ikkedus” from the Netherlands started the final table as chip lead before losing a huge pot to give Talibenes a commanding stack. Talibenes would later use this advantage to apply unrelenting pressure.
“Vvlankov” from Russia was first to bust after losing a standard coin flip, and “kefirchik106”, also from Russia, was eliminated soon after in eighth. Ikkedus finished in seventh place. “malinga” from Norway was next to go, followed by Russian “peu3ep” out in fifth.
With four left, three players discussed the possibility of a deal but, despite being one of the short stacks, “PanchoVetin” from Bulgaria wasn’t in the mood for chatting.
Canadian pro and streamer Vanessa “Niffller” Kade, who had been in survival mode for much of the final table, started to make significant moves, doubling up against Talibenes to close the gap and then picking off a shove from “Transylvanian” to end the Romanian player’s run. Transylvanian earned $483,652 for fourth place.
Short stacked PanchoVetin stepped up a gear with multiple double-ups and aggressive pre-flop plays and, in a game-changing moment, doubled up to take the lead and reduce Talibenes to a 10bb stack.
Then it was Vanessa Kade’s turn once again. She called off PanchoVetin’s three-barrel bluff to take the chip lead and, soon after, made a huge re-shove from the big blinds. PanchoVetin called with AK, and Kade’s pocket fives held. It’s all over for PanchoVetin, who takes third place for a mighty $707,639.
Kade and Talibenes are the two players to go heads-up.Talibenes has played an excellent game, but now has a very short stack. Sure enough, the final hand comes moments later – a simple shove and call. Kade’s pocket eights hold up, and she is crowned champion of the Sunday Million 15th Anniversary.
Talibenes earned $1,035,358 for second (not bad for a player who’s previous biggest win online is $8.5k), and Vanessa Kade earns an incredible $1,514,920 for first place.
We just beat a field of 69,876 to win $1.5 Million.
It feels impossible.
This is the best day of my life.
It’s not close.
All the pain was worth it, the dream is real. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/D0GKZSRhNl
— Vanessa Kade (@VanessaKade) March 23, 2021
Sunday Million 15th Anniversary final table results:
|Vanessa “Niffller” Kade||Canada||$1,514,920|