Sure, it's the last weekend in August. And there are only four months remaining in 2011. One could look at the glass half empty, or one could look at the fact that only one week remains until WCOOP!
That's right; next Sunday will be filled with WCOOP goodness, starting with three tournaments on September 4 alone. Satellites are running wild on PokerStars these days, so there is plenty of time to secure seats, build on that bankroll, and prepare for the World Championship of Online Poker.
But for this week, we have the ever-popular Sunday Million. That weekly $1 million guarantee is nothing to sneeze at. And this week, as usual, the prize pool soared even higher, pushing the first place prize above $200K. Take a look at the tournament numbers:
Prize pool: $1,324,800
Paid players: 990
Of the Team PokerStars Pros in the field today, only a few made it into the money. The first to do so was Toni Judet of Romania, who finished in 692nd place. Christophe de Meulder was next in 618th place, followed by Marcel Luske in 279th. Team Online's Diego "vgreen22" Brunelli then exited in 249th. But it was Jude "j.thaddeus" Ainsworth of Ireland who soared into the top 100. He ended up finishing in 61st place but made a solid showing.
The field dwindled until only two tables remained, at approximately the 9.5-hour mark of the tournament, but it was then that the action tightened up greatly. It took nearly 30 minutes to thin the field further, and hand-for-hand action didn't begin for more than an hour.
But then it only took a few hands to burst that bubble. Ankan48 pushed all-in with A♥5♣, and gazbeek reraised all-in to isolate with A♦K♥, which worked. The board came 6♦3♣K♣8♠9♣, and ankan48 left in tenth place with $7,418.88.
LEXER1986 and Bostero10 battle for the lead
It was in the middle of Level 38 that the final table was set, with blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000 ante. Players' chip counts were as follows:
Seat 1: 19Boris73 (3,005,264 in chips)
Seat 2: ProdigyXII (4,039,996 in chips)
Seat 3: Bostero10 (14,350,405 in chips)
Seat 4: pldd1126 (8,557,900 in chips)
Seat 5: ZISIMO7 (6,625,940 in chips)
Seat 6: NhPokah (6,257,983 in chips)
Seat 7: LEXER1986 (16,129,777 in chips)
Seat 8: maikalllll73 (3,559,389 in chips)
Seat 9: gazbeek (3,713,346 in chips)
The first big hand came several rounds into action when Bostero10 took a pot worth more than 7.1 million chips from ZISIMO7.
About 15 minutes later, another all-in and call was heard in cyberspace. ProdigyXII moved all-in with A♣6♣, and pldd1126 called from the small blind with A♥J♣. That hand only improved to trip jacks on the J♥2♣J♦7♥K♥ board, and ProdigyXII was the first to leave the table, taking home $10,267.20 for ninth place.
Gazbeek moved all-in shortly after for less than 1 million chips from the small blind. 19Boris73 called from the big blind with 6♥5♥, but gazbeek dominated with K♦Q♣. But the flop of T♠5♦9♠ gave 19Boris73 the pair of fives, and nothing about the 2♣ turn or 4♣ river could save gazbeek. The eighth place finish was worth $15,897.60.
Maikalllll73 was on a relatively short stack and took a risk from the big blind with Q♥J♠. Original all-in raiser NhPokah was along with K♠Q♦. The board produced 9♣6♣5♦5♥6♠ and changed nothing, allowing the king kicker to play. Maikalllll73 exited in seventh place with $29,145.60.
19Boris73 doubled through ZISIMO7 to reach a safer chip count zone, and NhPokah doubled through Bostero10 to stay in the game. ZISIMO7 then doubled through LEXER1986 but remained on the short stack, even after doing it again through pldd1126.
ZISIMO7 finally moved again, this time with A♥Q♣. But original raiser Bostero10 called with 5♥5♠. Not only did the 6♥3♠5♦ flop give Bostero10 the set of fives, but the 6♦ on the turn made it into a full house. The 4♥ on the river was a formality, as ZISIMO7 left in sixth place with $42,393.60.
As some of the players began discussing possible deal talks, 19Boris73 doubled through NhPokah. Without all players in agreement to pause the tournament, everyone played on.
Pldd1126 was the next to move all-in, and it was done with K♠6♣ from the big blind. Original raiser Bostero10 showed Q♠T♠, and that only improved to two pair on the 4♥T♦8♥Q♥A♦ board. Pldd1126 was ousted from the tournament in fifth place with $55,641.60.
NhPokah doubled through 19Boris73, and two hands later, the latter risked it all with A♠7♠. LEXER1986 turned over 3♣3♦, and the dealer distributed 4♠9♥T♣3♠4♦ to give LEXER1986 the full house. 19Boris73 was bounced in fourth place, which was worth a $72,864.00 payout.
Final three agree
The last three players did decide to pause the tournament for chip-chop numbers, which were quickly revealed. All three players agreed to the numbers, with the consideration that $20,000 would be set aside for the eventual winner. The figures looked like this:
Seat 3: Bostero10 (31,459,479 in chips) = $162,300.39
Seat 6: NhPokah (8,835,048 in chips) = $121,799.84
Seat 7: LEXER1986 (25,945,473 in chips) = $152,429.63
This double-up by NhPokah through Bostero10 gave the former some momentum:
And Bostero10 soon became the short stack. Bostero10 moved all-in with A♣4♥, and NhPokah covered and called with 8♥8♣. The board brought A♦5♣8♦K♠9♥ to give NhPokah the set of eights, and Bostero10 was eliminated in third place with $162,300.39.
The final two players then started their battle:
Seat 6: NhPokah (30,189,527 in chips)
Seat 7: LEXER1986 (36,050,473 in chips)
The sixth hand saw NhPokah make another big move:
With that double-up by NhPokah, LEXER1986 was reduced to little more than 1.1 million, which went all-in with A♦5♣. NhPokah called with J♣8♣, and though the Q♦5♥9♠ flop gave LEXER1985 the pair of fives, the 8♠ on the turn gave NhPokah the pair of eights. A K♥ came on the river to end the tournament, leaving LEXER1986 with $152,429.63 for second place.
NhPokah of Ghana came back from the short stack three-handed and won the Sunday Million, along with $141,799.84 in prize money. Congrats!
Sunday Million Results for 08/28/11 (reflecting deal):
1st place: NhPokah ($141,799.84)*
2nd place: LEXER1986 ($152,429.63)*
3rd place: Bostero10 ($162,300.39)*
4th place: 19Boris73 ($72,864.00)
5th place: pldd1126 ($55,641.60)
6th place: ZISIMO7 ($42,393.60)
7th place: maikalllll73 ($29,145.60)
8th place: gazbeek ($15,897.60)
9th place: ProdigyXII ($10,267.20)
*based on three-way deal
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.