Poker players had so many options on January 24, 2010. There was the European Poker Tour in Deauville, France, which attracted record numbers of players. There were live U.S. tournament series in Los Angeles, California; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. But most people can't afford to make those trips or choose not to leave other obligations at home to do so.
Enter the Sunday Million with its $1.5 million guarantee. It can be found in the same location and at the same time each week, and no travel is necessary. An internet connection and a desire to play online poker with some of the best players in the world is all a player needs. That explained why 8,700 players entered this week's event, which pushed the prize pool up to $1,740,000.
When only 1,260 players remained from the original starting field, the prize money began to be distributed. And as the tournament approached the ten-hour mark, ten players remained on the final table bubble...that was until short-stacked jjandjj decided to risk it all with A♥ 4♥. Benba called from the big blind with pocket sevens, and the board brought A♠ 6♠ 9♥ T♠ 8♥ to give jjandjj the top pair but Benba the straight. That left jjandjj out in tenth place on the final table bubble with $9,222 to show for it.
That final table was then set. With blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000 ante in Level 35, players were seated at one table as follows:
Seat 1: shumeilove (4,834,550 in chips)
Seat 2: gettn deep (22,264,499 in chips)
Seat 3: Benba (16,582,508 in chips)
Seat 4: vietcong01 (6,297,783 in chips)
Seat 5: LeftyStacks (3,570,076 in chips)
Seat 6: GodsTeacher (4,670,738 in chips)
Seat 7: ShiP ThA $$$ (12,071,556 in chips)
Seat 8: Luigi da BP (3,511,903 in chips)
Seat 9: EgorkaV (13,196,387 in chips)
On the first hand of the table, Luigi da BP doubled through LeftyStacks, leaving the latter with less than 60,000 in chips. That stack went in on the next hand with K♠ T♣, and Benba and Luigi da BP were along for the ride. But when the flop came 9♣ 8♥ 3♦, a bet from Benba prompted a fold from Luigi da BP, and Benba turned over pocket threes that just turned into a set. The Q♠ on the turn and 9♥ on the river gave Benba a full house, and LeftyStacks had to leave in ninth place with $13,485 for the effort.
Luigi da BP then doubled through gettn deep, but shumeilove quickly doubled through Luigi da BP. It was looking like the action would be fast and furious.
A serious hand soon developed that put another player at risk. EgorkaV started the action with a preflop raise, but when Benba reraised, GodsTeacher jumped in with an all-in reraise. EgorkaV decided to shove all-in as well, which prompted a fold from Benba. GodsTeacher's tournament life was on the line with pocket jacks, but those didn't look so great against the pocket aces of EgorkaV. The board brought nothing to help when it showed 8♣ 4♥ 6♥ 3♣ 3♦, and GodsTeacher was gone in eighth place, which was worth $19,140.
It was soon after that gettn deep began to soar. This is one of the hand that put him atop the leaderboard:
ShiP ThA $$$ began to lose ground, first through a double-up by Luigi da BP. With less than 4 million remaining in his stack, ShiP ThA $$$ pushed all-in preflop with K♦ 5♣, but EgorkaV was able to call with K♣ Q♦ from the small blind. The board produced 3♣ 2♣ 4♠ 7♠ J♦, which brought some straight opportunities on the flop but nothing after. That left ShiP ThA $$$ out of the tournament in seventh place with $34,800.
Benba suffered somewhat the same fate. After shumeilove doubled through Benba, it only took a few hands for the latter to push all-in preflop. It was gettn deep who called with 8♦ 4♦, but Benba had a solid A♥ Q♣ hand. But that changed when the flop brought J♥ 2♦ 3♦ and the turn the 5♦ for the flush. The 9♥ put Benba out of misery with $52,200 to ease the pain.
One player who seemed unable to keep up any momentum was shumeilove, who decided to risk everything with A♥ 8♠, only to be called by vietcong01 and A♣ 9♣ from the big blind. The virtual dealer gave them a 7♠ A♦ 9♠ Q♦ 4♠ board, which gave vietcong01 two pair and eliminated shumeilove in fifth place with $69,600 to show for it.
Then came the biggest hand of the table thus far and one that changed everything. It not gave the chip lead firmly to vietcong01, whose double-up attempt was successful, but changed the entire dynamic of the leaderboard:
But it was Luigi da BP remained the short stack at the table and decided to make the all-in move with Q♥ 8♠. It was gettn deep who called with A♦ 4♠, and the board hit neither player with 9♥ 6♣ K♦ 2♦ 9♦. The pair of nines played, as did gettn deep's ace kicker, which eliminated Luigi da BP in fourth place with $87,000.
Soon after, the downfall of the former chip leader was complete. gettn deep decided to push preflop from the small blind with 6♣ 4♦, presumably to take the pot right there, but vietcong01 called from the big blind with Q♥ 8♣. The flop only helped the latter when it came A♦ 2♠ Q♠, and the job was finished when the turn brought the 9♥ and the river the K♣. That left gettn deep eliminated in third place with $130,500.
The two remaining players started heads-up action with the following counts:
Seat 4: vietcong01 (74,497,381 in chips)
Seat 9: EgorkaV (12,502,619 in chips)
EgorkaV was able to double up on the first hand of the battle, and the second hand got complicated. As the two started to talk about pausing the tournament to see some chip-chop numbers, the hand played on with a preflop raise from vietcong01 and call from EgorkaV. When the flop showed T♠ 8♣ Q♦, vietcong01 bet out, and EgorkaV check-raised. vietcong01 came over the top with an all-in move holding T♥ 8♠ for the flopped two pair, and EgorkaV decided to call with 9♣ 6♣ for the straight draw. With the latter's tournament on the line, the two watched the turn produce 2♥ and the river 3♦ to end the night. EgorkaV was finished in second place with $187,050.
Juan Antonio Maceiras Barros, known online as vietcong01, won the second Sunday Million of his online poker career. In 2009, the pro player took sixth place in a Sunday Million, but the pursuit of a second win never stopped, and he took that second title tonight. Congratulations to vietcong01, who took home $255,954 for the win and a place in PokerStars history.
Sunday Million Results for 01/24/10:
1st place: vietcong01 ($255,954.00)
2nd place: EgorkaV ($187,050.00)
3rd place: gettn deep($130,500.00)
4th place: Luigi da BP ($87,000.00)
5th place: shumeilove ($69,600.00)
6th place: Benba ($52,200.00)
7th place: ShiP ThA $$$ ($34,800.00)
8th place: GodsTeacher ($19,140.00)
9th place: LeftyStacks ($13,485.00)
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.