This week's Sunday Million saw a big leap in entrants with 6,703 taking part, bettering last week's field by more than a thousand. That group built a total prize pool of $1,340,600 -- well over the $1 million guarantee for the $215 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament -- and after more than 11 hours it looked like Team Online member Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara might be on the verge of securing a much coveted Sunday Million win.
Alas for Kihara, DeLLiNhoIB of Greece would stage a late comeback to win this week's title and $203,909.40 first prize, with Kihara earning a nice consolation reward of more than $150K for his runner-up finish.
The money bubble burst once the field was carved down to 990 players, and some time later just 200 were left with no less than four red spades still in the counts. Team PokerStars Pro Andre "aakkari" Akkari would soon bow out in 187th place ($683.70), leaving three members of Team Online among the remaining combatants.
Marc-Andre "FrenchDawg" Ladouceur was one of them, and he'd last a while longer before committing a stack of about 12 big blinds with A♥J♣, getting called by mattwut1 who held A♣K♠, and with no improvement from the board going out in 143rd ($898.20).
Some time later it was Alex "Kanu7" Millar -- featured in the new short film The Mountain -- who would get knocked out in 87th ($1,528.28).
In Millar's last hand he'd three-bet his last 10 bigs with A♥9♠, get called by nherrego who had A♠J♥, and watch the board come T♥5♥Q♠4♥K♠ to end his Sunday Million run and award the $215 bounty on him to nherrego.
That would leave but one red spade in the counts, the one next to Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara's name. After battling with a short stack for a decent stretch, Kihara began to move up the counts as they played down to the last two tables, and with 18 left was sitting in second position behind DeLLiNhoIB before soon moving out in front.
PIPON777 (18th), o777oo39rus (17th), and eijseijs (16th) each earned $3,753.68 for their finishes. AlwaysGoBig9 (15th), Kiwstraude (14th), and Heald007 (13th) next followed, taking away $5,630.52. As Kihara gathered more chips and created distance between himself and the pack, Bizzle's up (12th), Lena900 (11th), and pantri (10th) were knocked out, each cashing for $7,507.36.
The final table was set, with Kihara sitting on a leading stack of more than 18 million.
Seat 1: Shippotamus (Netherlands) -- 9,197,043
Seat 2: DJ Ingvar (Norway) -- 6,759,324
Seat 3: DeLLiNhoIB (Greece) -- 9,620,843
Seat 4: likely2cash (New Zealand) -- 4,723,333
Seat 5: hartwood777 (Russia) -- 10,367,549
Seat 6: Hetflush (Switzerland) -- 3,231,179
Seat 7: Team Online member Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (Japan) -- 18,164,159
Seat 8: Buffett1986 (Australia) -- 1,990,816
Seat 9: vladxxxro (Romania) -- 2,975,754
Kihara typed "hi gl all!" as the final table began, and the table's short stack, Buffett1986, responded "be nice to me nkeyno." But alas for the latter it would take but four hands at the final table for Buffett1986 to become the final table's first elimination.
WIth the blinds 100k/200k, Buffett1986 open-raised all in for 1,930,816 from middle position, then vladxxxro reraise-shoved for nearly twice that from a seat over, causing folds all around. Buffett1986 had J♠J♥ and vladxxxro A♦K♦, and after the 3♣A♣6♠8♥Q♣ board vladxxxro's pair of aces were best and Buffett1986 was out in ninth.
A little over an orbit later the blinds were up to 125k/250k when Shippotamus opened for 500,000 from early position, then hartwood777 reraised to 1.25 million from the button. The blinds folded, Shippotamus shipped it for 7,677,043 total, and hartwood777 called.
Shippotamus had picked up A♥K♣, but had unfortunately run into the A♣A♦ of hartwood777. The community cards came J♠3♦K♥5♣2♦ and hartwood777's aces held, sending Shippotamus to the rail in eighth.
Not long after that hand Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara opened with a raise to 625,000 from early position, then vladxxxro reraised all in fro 4,141,570 from a seat over. The others all folded and Kihara called, showing A♦Q♥ to vladxxxro's T♦T♠.
The J♥Q♠8♦ flop paired Kihara's queen, and after the 6♦ turn and 2♦ river vladxxxro was done in seventh.
The blinds moved up again to 150k/300k, then likely2cash raised to 600,000 from early position and hartwood777 called from a seat over. The flop came 8♣7♣5♦. likely2cash checked, hartwood777 bet 900,000, likely2cash reraised to 4,728,333, and hartwood777 called.
likely2cash had 5♣2♣ for a pair of fives and a flush draw, while hartwood777 had A♥7♥ for a better pair of sevens. The next two streets came T♥ then 6♥, and likely2cash did cash, collecting sixth-place prize money.
The remaining five battled onward, then a big hand occurred between Kihara and hartwood777. It began with hartwood777 making a 3x raise to 900,000 from the button, then Kihara reraised all in from the big blind and hartwood called all in with the 11,815,348 left behind, thus creating a pot worth more than 25.7 million.
hartwood777 had the better of it before the flop with A♠Q♣ to Kihara's A♣6♣, and was still ahead through the 9♣T♥5♥ flop and 3♥ turn. But the river brought the 6♥, pairing Kihara's six and ending hartwood777's Sunday Million in fifth place.
The Kihara express continued to roll after that, and soon the Team Online member would be involved in another hand that saw DeLLiNhoIB open for 2x to 600,000 from under the gun, Kihara reraise to 1.65 million from the small blind, DJ Ingvar call from the big blind, and DeLLiNhoIB fold.
The flop came J♠A♣K♣, and nkeyno led for 1.5 million with DJ Ingvar calling. The turn brought the T♠ and a bet of 2.7 million from Kihara, again called by DJ Ingvar.
The river was the 4♣. This time Kihara shoved all in, and DJ Ingvar called with the 4,912,148 left behind, turning over K♠K♦ for a set of kings. Kihara had Q♦J♣ for a Broadway straight, however, and they were down to three.
After that hand, Kihara had more than 43.6 million to the 18.3 million of DeLLiNhoIB and just over 5 million of Hetflush.
However, on the next two consecutive hands each of Kihara's opponents would double through him, with DeLLiNhoIB taking over the lead.
First Hetflush's A♣K♦ outran Kihara's 5♥5♦ when an ace came, then DeLLiNhoIB used A♠7♠ to double-up against Kihara's 8♦8♠ when the board came 4♠T♠7♥8♣2♠ to give DeLLiNhoIB a flush and a pot of more than 36 million.
The trio battled on past the 11-hour mark of the tournament with DeLLiNhoIB remaining in front, then edging out further to build a stack up over 40 million as the other two players became short.
Then with the blinds at 250k/500k, Hetflush open-raised all in for 6,129,502 from the button and DeLLiNhoIB called. It was A♦4♠ for Hetflush and K♦J♥ for DeLLiNhoIB, and the 9♣8♠K♥ flop quickly swung the advantage to DeLLiNhoIB. The turn was the T♣ and river the 3♦, and they were down to just two.
DeLLiNhoIB enjoyed a big lead to start heads-up play with 58,739,004 to Kihara's 8,290,996. After five hands their stacks were essentially the same, then the end swiftly arrived.
DeLLiNhoIB opened with a min-raise to 1 million, and when Kihara pushed all in for 8,903,996, DeLLiNhoIB called.
Kihara needed a king or some other friendly combination of cards to come, and the 3♣4♠8♣ flop provided a start by pairing his eight. But the turn was the 2♥ and river the A♦, and Kihara had come one spot shy of the win.
Congratulations to DeLLiNhoIB for topping just over 6,700 players to take this week's Sunday Million title and a big first prize of more than $200K. And kudos as well to Team Online member Kihara for earning more than $150K himself for his runner-up finish, the news of which he shared with his Twitter followers shortly after the tournament finished.
thanks all for support! lost HU, finished in 2nd. I really wanted the sunday million title, but still huuuuge result!— 'nkeyno' 木原 直哉 (@key_poker) July 21, 2014
7/20/14 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold'em) results
Prize pool: $1,340,600.00
Places paid: 990
1. DeLLiNhoIB (Greece) $203,909.40
2. Team Online member Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara (Japan) $150,807.50
3. Hetflush (Switzerland) $107,248.00
4. DJ Ingvar (Norway) $73,733.00
5. hartwood777 (Russia) $56,305.20
6. likely2csh (New Zealand) $42,899.20
7. vladxxxro (Romania) $29,493.20
8. Shippotamus (Netherlands) $16,087.20
9. Buffett1986 (Australia) $10,389.65
The buy-ins are considerably less than that needed to play the Sunday Million, but the rewards are plenty big in MicroMillions 8, the 100-tournament series that still has another week's worth of events to go. Check out the remaining MicroMillions 8 schedule by clicking here.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.