For some people, the first Sunday in August means vacations, family barbecues, or outdoor activities. But for poker players, it means the same as any other Sunday - PokerStars tournaments. Sure, the spot in front of the laptop might be accompanied by a cool beverage or a fan to bring in the summer breeze, but poker players are committed to their poker. So, August begins like any other month, with the first Sunday consumed by online poker.
It began with 7,911 players, all of whom showed up for the $1.5 million guarantee and one of the most coveted titles in poker that comes with a Sunday Million victory. The number of players boosted the prize pool to $1,582,200, which was reserved for the last 1,170 players standing.
Play moved along rather quickly, as the final two tables were reached by just after 1:00am ET. With only three players above the million-chip mark - shack232, grebnrets86, and kenneeoin - there were several short stacks that took leave of the tables in a timely manner, though the last 11 players seemed to find themselves stuck, as numerous players doubled up or chopped pots to stay alive. Ultimately, 1montezuma left in 11th place, and hand-for-hand play began. After more than 10 minutes, it was LukeFromB13 who went up against BigRed0000 and lost the following hand to finish in tenth place, which was worth $8,464.78.
And the final table was set! With Sosnoviy holding down first place for Russia, the rest of the players started the last table's action with chip counts as follows:
Seat 1: almaty.kz (5,166,640 in chips)
Seat 2: Sosnoviy (19,240,360 in chips)
Seat 3: shack232 (11,815,085 in chips)
Seat 4: BigRed0000 (13,183,370 in chips)
Seat 5: Jakelamotta3 (4,230,595 in chips)
Seat 6: kenneeoin (9,795,296 in chips)
Seat 7: EAlriksson (4,751,982 in chips)
Seat 8: grebnrets86 (5,524,713 in chips)
Seat 9: getdaragzout (5,401,959 in chips)
Action began just a few hands in when grebnrets86 doubled through shack232 by cracking aces with eights, and grebnrets86 was just getting started, it seemed. Several minutes later, Jakelamotta3 decided to open with a preflop push for more than 5 million chips, and grebnrets86 decided to call from the small blind with A♠ T♣. Jakelamotta3 called with A♥ 8♥ and was in some trouble. The board came down in favor of the larger stack with 2♦ Q♦ T♠ 5♣ 6♥, and Jakelamotta3 was knocked out in ninth place with $12,262.06.
Then one of the biggest hands of the tournament began to unfold. grebnrets86 was clearly in a gambling mood and made an initial raise, but Sosnoviy decided to reraise from the small blind. grebnrets86 was not having it, and he reraised all-in for more than 16 million chips with pocket eights. Little did he know that Sosnoviy would call so quickly, since he was holding pocket aces. The board gave them each a full house when it produced J♠ J♥ 5♠ K♦ J♣, but grebnrets86 had the worst of it and lost the 33 million-chip pot to finish in eighth place with $18,195.31.
Before most players could get their bearings, another hand developed when EAIriksson made his all-in move preflop with K♥ J♥. That put almaty.kz to the test from the big blind with A♥ 6♥, and he finally made the call. The board hit A♦ 7♦ 7♠ K♠ Q♣, and EAIriksson left the tournament in seventh place with $31,644.01.
In another battle of the non-short stacks, BigRed0000 decided to make his move after Sosnoviy opened with a raise. Sosnoviy called with pocket sevens, and BigRed0000 was in on the race with Q♠ J♦. But the board blanked for the all-in with 3♦ 6♦ T♥ 6♥ 2♣, allowing Sosnoviy to take the 23.6 million-chip pot and eliminate BigRed0000 in sixth place, which was worth $47,466.01.
Sosnoviy took a massive chip lead over the pack at that point, as he neared 50 million chips and proceeded to bully the table with that stack.
Seat 1: almaty.kz (11,248,622 in chips)
Seat 2: Sosnoviy (47,828,751 in chips)
Seat 3: shack232 (5,915,372 in chips)
Seat 6: kenneeoin (8,875,296 in chips)
Seat 9: getdaragzout (5,241,959 in chips)
getdaragzout and shack232 were able to produce double-ups through the chip leader, though Sosnoviy didn't even dip below the 50M-mark and continued to dominate.
The next to attempt a double-up was kenneeoin, who found Q♣ T♣ to be quite attractive preflop, but Sosnoviy was the caller with K♥ 9♥, and the two watched the board run out 3♣ J♣ 5♥ A♥ A♦. That put an end to kenneeoin's run in the tournament, and he finished in fifth place with $63,288.01.
Again, getdaragzout and shack232 doubled through the chip leader, but hardly a dent was made in Sosnoviy's stack. When shack232 did it again, it put him in second position on the leaderboard and went down like this:
The new short stack was getdaragzout, and it was time to make another move, this time with with J♠ 4♠ from the small blind. But almaty.kz decided to call from the big blind with A♥ 2♥, and the board came in support of that with 3♦ 9♦ J♦ Q♣ A♦ to end getdaragzout's tournament in fourth place, for which the player received $79,742.89.
Sosnoviy had such a grasp on the majority of the chips during the final three action that both players doubling through still left the leader with more than 50 million. Even so, the almaty.kz and shack232 let him know that they were not going down without an aggressive fight. almaty.kz made a significant leap, though, when he doubled through the leader with pocket eights over A-Q and climbed to 27,445,832 chips.
Three-handed play lasted for quite awhile, with Team PokerStars Pro Tom McEvoy chimed in with some comments about shack232's "impressive" play and hosting duties. When shack232 pushed into a solid second place and Sosnoviy seemed to be losing momentum, the three players finally agreed to look at chip-chop numbers after about 30 minutes. McEvoy took the reigns, letting the players know the numbers and that $30,000 must be left over for the eventual winner. Sosnoviy took control of the talks, maneuvered into a bit more money, and the final amounts agreed upon were as follows:
Seat 1: almaty.kz (12,789,880 in chips) = $133,937.05
Seat 2: Sosnoviy (41,096,312 in chips) = $206,610.23
Seat 3: shack232 (25,223,808 in chips) = $159,489.76
Play continued for some time before Sosnoviy and shack232 got involved to see a K♥ J♠ 7♠ flop. A bet and a call led them to the 6♠ on the turn, at which point Sosnoviy bet out again. shack232 raised all-in for his last 14 million and some change, and Sosnoviy called with J♣ 7♥ and the flopped two pair. shack232 showed K♦ 5♦ for top pair, and the A♦ on the river sent shack232 out the door with $159,489.76 for the third place finish.
Heads-up play commenced with the following counts:
Seat 1: almaty.kz (17,109,880 in chips)
Seat 2: Sosnoviy (62,000,120 in chips)
There was a double-up to start things off, when the pocket sixes of almaty.kz turned into a set on the flop, though Sosnoviy still held a 2-to-1 chip lead over his opponent. But after the players took a short break, the two were quick to act upon their return. Sosnoviy was the one to move all-in after the initial raise by almaty.kz. The all-in call came from almaty.kz with A♠ 4♠, and Sosnoviy showed K♦ J♥. The board ran out J♣ 7♠ J♦ Q♠ 5♦, and almaty.kz was forced to accept second place and the $133,937.05 from the previous deal.
Sosnoviy won the tournament for his hometown of Moscow, Russia, and won $236,610.23 for the feat. Congratulations!
Sunday Million Results for 08/02/09:
1st place: Sosnoviy ($236,610.23)*
2nd place: almaty.kz ($133,937.05)*
3rd place: shack232 ($159,489.76)*
4th place: getdaragzout ($79,742.89)
5th place: kenneeoin ($63,288.01)
6th place: BigRed0000 ($47,466.01)
7th place: EAIriksson ($31,644.01)
8th place: grebnrets86 ($18,195.31)
9th place: Jakelamotta3 ($12,262.06)
*results of a three-way agreement
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.