Only a few more opportunities to claim a Sunday Million victory in the 2008 calendar year brought another stellar field to the PokerStars tables on December 14th. No amount of holiday shopping or family obligations could keep poker players away from the most popular weekly tournament in online poker.
The total of 7,549 players brought the prize pool over the guarantee to $1,509,800, and the top 1,080 finishers would be awarded a piece of it.
Play moved right along until hand-for-hand kicked in at the money bubble little more than 3 hours and 45 minutes into the tournament. Several minutes later, it was 0120 who busted in 1081st place on the bubble to allow for Bradford_211 to cash in 1080th place for $301.96. Another 30 players left in the next two minutes, and play progressed toward the final table.
Among the Team PokerStars Pros in the field this Sunday were Barry Greenstein, Greg Raymer, Luca Pagano, Chad Brown, Vanessa Rousso, and John Duthie. But it was Steve Paul-Ambrose who finished in the money at 459th place.
From the 8 ½ hour mark at which the final two tables were reached, it took approximately 30 minutes to find the nine finalists. It happened when TommyE79 and Jarfish went to see the 9d-5h-Ac flop. Both checked, but when the Tc came on the turn, Jarfish pushed all-in with Jc-7c. TommyE79 called with As-Ad for trip aces, and when the 7h on the river didn’t complete Jarfish’s straight or flush, he was gone on the final table bubble. The tenth place finish was worth $7,549.00.
The final table was then set as follows:
Seat 1: opis/sp (12,767,804 in chips)
Seat 2: Mighty Horse (3,541,273 in chips)
Seat 3: CHI01 (10,390,449 in chips)
Seat 4: jdballer40 (8,197,282 in chips)
Seat 5: TommyE79 (14,622,073 in chips)
Seat 6: AvelonSalheb (5,001,841 in chips)
Seat 7: drpossjr25 (6,631,726 in chips)
Seat 8: Eeedz (10,212,455 in chips)
Seat 9: 5fish (4,125,097 in chips)
On the very first hand of nine-handed play, 5fish doubled up to be in a more comfortable position. After some time passed, drpossjr25 and Eeedz doubled as well. But when AvelonSalheb tried the same feat, it didn’t turn out as planned. He pushed from the big blind for 5,461,281 with Ad-Jd, and CHI01 called with Kh-Qd. The board came almost too perfectly for CHI01 with Td-Js-8c-9h-6d, and AvelonSalheb was gone in ninth place with $10,568.60.
Mighty Horse had been unable to get much going and finally pushed pre-flop for 1,841,273 with 9s-8c. TommyE79 called from the small blind with Ah-8h, and the short stack would need to improve dramatically. But the 6h-Kh-3c-2h-5s board didn’t cooperate, and Mighty Horse was eliminated in eighth place with a $17,362.70 prize.
Despite 5fish’s strong start, he found himself short again and moved his last 1,475,205 into the pot pre-flop with Ks-Qs from the small blind. opis/sp called from the big blind with Ts-2c, and the board came Jc-8s-Tc-6s-8h. The pair of tens for opis/sp, along with the eights on the board, was good enough to take it and send 5fish out in seventh place with $26,254.80.
Play then slowed tremendously. Many rounds passed before someone was willing to put all of their chips at risk, and it was TommyE79 who did it with his last 4,072,829 chips pre-flop. CHI01 called with Th-Qs, and TommyE79 showed As-2h. The board was a beautiful one for CHI01 when it came Ks-Kc-9c-8s-Jh to give him the straight, while TommyE79 wasn’t as thrilled but took $39,254.80 for the sixth place finish.
The very next hand saw Eeedz push all-in pre-flop with Ad-5h from the button, and drpossjr25 called from the big blind with pocket kings. The automated dealer gave them 9s-9c-Jc-7d-2h, and the kings held up for drpossjr25, while Eeedz was relegated to the rail in fifth place with $54,352.80 for the effort.
As the final table approached the hour and a half point, jdballer40 tried several times to instigate deal talks, but there were no responses in the chat box from any competitors. And with that, jdballer40 proceeded to chip up and double up to a very respectable stack. Finally, he got involved with drpossjr25 in a pre-flop raising war that ended with drpossjr25 all-in with pocket kings to the aces of jdballer40. The board brought another ace on the flop to solidify the deal, and after all of the Jh-Ad-6s-4s-3d cards were seen, drpossjr25 was gone in fourth place with $69,450.80.
With three left, all did choose to pause the action for talks, but without even seeing the chip count deal amounts, talks fell apart when the players were too far apart on their thoughts. With jdballer40 in the lead and opis/sp as the short stack, play resumed. But when opis/sp doubled through CHI01, the latter called for talks to resume. The result of the second deal-break was as follows:
$122,006.84 for each of the three remaining players
$30,000 extra for the ultimate winner
Play resumed with the deal in place and three players happy to know they were each getting a three-figure payout no matter the outcome. It took a few rounds to see the first elimination, but it happened after jdballer40 and opis/sp saw the 9c-4c-Ac flop. jdballer40 pushed all-in with Kc-Qd for the flush draw, but opis/sp called with Ah-8c and top pair. The turn and river were 5s and Qh, respectively, and jdballer40 was ousted in third place with the agreed-upon amount of $122,006.84.
Heads-up play began with the following counts:
Seat 1: opis/sp (57,879,650 in chips)
Seat 3: CHI01 (17,610,350 in chips)
And it only took two hands for the decision to be rendered. Both players raised it pre-flop but with no all-in, the two saw Jh-Kd-6s come on the board. opis/sp checked, but CHI01 pushed all-in with 5d-3d. opis/sp called with Qc-Jc and middle pair. The turn was a 6c that only gave opis/sp an even better hand, and the 7s on the river ended the tournament. CHI01 was eliminated in second place for $122,006.84.
opis/sp won the December 14th edition of the Sunday Million and collected $152,006.84 for the effort. Congratulations!
Sunday Million Results for 12/14/08:
1st place: opis/sp ($152,006.84)*
2nd place: CHI01 ($122,006.84)*
3rd place: jdballer40 ($122,006.84)*
4th place: drpossjr25 ($69,450.80)
5th place: Eeedz ($54,352.80)
6th place: TommyE79 ($39,254.80)
7th place: 5fish ($26,421.50)
8th place: Mighty Horse ($17,362.70)
9th place: AvelonSalheb ($10,568.60)
*amounts reflect three-way chop
For more information on ways to register and qualify for the next weekend’s festivities, visit the Sunday Million page.