Each week we’ll bring you the five most interesting takeaways from the previous week’s Sunday Million.
JUNE 15-16, 2020
- The Sunday ‘more than a’ Million
- SM14 finalist Paulius “D3cor” Vaitiekunas wins it for $142K
- Former champ finishes sixth
- How a final table deal gets made
- The bluff catch to win it
Scroll down to watch the Sunday Million final table replay with hole cards.
It’s not the Sunday Five-Hundred-Thousand.
It’s not the Sunday Eight-Hundred-Thousand.
It’s called the Sunday Million for a reason: there’s always at least a milly in the prize pool, guaranteed.
That doesn’t mean there can’t be more than a million on offer though. This week, as part of the PokerStars Summer Series, there was $1.5 million set to be shared.
When the $109 event attracted 16,052 total entries (11,442 unique, 4,610 re-entries), that massive amount was upped even further to $1,605,200. The top 2,681 finishers would all get a piece, with the lion’s share–$176,761–reserved for the winner.
Several notable names cashed this one, including PokerStars Ambassadors Felix “xflixx” Schneiders (1,529th – $254) and Tom “MajinBoob” Hayward (867th – $292), Jans “Graftekkel” Arends (who also had a deep run last week, 282nd – $445), online endboss Artem “veeea” Vezhenkov (272nd – $445), and Jack “JBHInifinity” Hardcastle (70th – $2,168), to name a few.
Back in March, Lithuania’s Paulius “D3cor” Vaitiekunas reached the final table of the Sunday Million 14th Anniversary edition, one of the biggest events of the year.
Brazil’s Alex “AAAArthur” Brito would make headlines around the world when he won it for $1.19 million, while on that occasion Vaitiekunas had to settle for ninth place and $71,869.
This week he’d go eight spots better as he outlasted more than 16,000 entries to claim his first Sunday Million title for $142,339, almost exactly double his previous biggest score.
Vaitiekunas cut a deal three-handed (keep reading to find out how that went down) which landed runner-up “Dr.aur” from Ukraine $134,271 and third-place finisher xMFPx of the UK $115,953.
Vaitiekunas wasn’t the only player at the final table who had been there once before.
Brazil’s “FKAXM” won a Progressive Knock-Out edition of the Sunday Million back in August 2019 for $106K, and they were back at the finale this week with a shot at joining the two-time champions club.
Unfortunately for “FKAXM” their tournament came to an end when they lost a flip with ace-king off against “xMFPx”’s pocket nines, with all the money going in preflop.
Still, the $32,530 they won for sixth in a nice consolation prize.
The big money in any tournament is reserved for the top three spots, so when players are left tensions can run high. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to see deals made.
When this week’s Sunday Million final table was down to four, it was “Dr.aur” who held a big lead with 85M, followed by “xMFPx” with 53M, Vaitiekunas with 13M, and “llsawell” in the danger zone with 9M.
This is when they started to discuss a potential chop.
Vaitiekunas ( “D3cor”): “Wanna see numbers?”
Vaitiekunas ( “D3cor”): “Depends on the big stacks haha”
“xMFPx”: “We can have a look”
“Dr.aur”: “Will you accept to see xMFPx?”
Vaitiekunas ( “D3cor”): “He said yes”
“Dr.aur”: “But he didn’t click”
Vaitiekunas ( “D3cor”): “Well let’s play then”
“xMFPx”: “Sorry guys clicked now”
The clock was paused so they could take a look at the ICM numbers (in private), but the amounts proposed were not to Vaitiekunas’ liking.
“Who declined?” Dr.aur asked.
“I did,” replied Vaitiekunas.
“Would rather gamble. I get 3rd place money. Maybe when three-handed we can look. Sorry guys, need my first $100K score haha.”
As you know, Vaitiekunas went on to win it for $142K, so his gamble paid off.
He doubled up in the very first hand after the failed deal negotiations when he shoved with king-queen offsuit and managed to hit a king to pip “Dr.aur”’s pocket queens.
After “llsawell” was eliminated in fourth place ($64,020), the three remaining players opted to look at a deal for a second time.
“Let’s look?” proposed Vaitiekunas, but before the clock was paused again, he managed to find another double up when his ace-ten off beat “xMFPx”’s ace-king off.
It was just meant to be.
“Lucky the hand before lol,” said “xMFPx” after the deal was done.
“Super lucky,” replied Vaitiekunas. “You’ve been raising a lot.”
Vaitiekunas wasn’t lucky in the final hand though. He sniffed out a bluff magnificently to end it all and lock up the victory.
With blinds at 600K/1.2M, Vaitiekunas had 128M to “Dr.aur”’s 30M.
Vaitiekunas limped the button with 9♦3♠ and “Dr.aur” checked with a dominating 8♠9♥. The flop fell K♦3♦6♥ to pair Vaitiekunas’ three, and both opted to check.
“Dr.aur” decided to fire 4.8M after the 10♠ turn was checked to him, and Vaitiekunas called to see the 10♣ river. Vaitiekunas checked a final time, and “Dr.aur” jammed for 20M into a 23M pot.
Vaitiekunas made the call with his three, and it was all over.
An exciting end to an excellent edition of the Sunday Million.
Courtesy of Kalipoker TV.