Many people around the world celebrated Easter Sunday on April 4, whether as a holiday or simply a choice opportunity to get together with family and friends. And many tournaments on the list of "Sunday majors" saw registration numbers drop as a result of the off-the-felt activities of many players. But the Sunday Million was the exact opposite. Numbers were up from the week before. Perhaps a special bunny left some tournament buy-ins in the baskets of some poker players?
Whatever the reason, there were 378 more players this week than last. Total registration was 9,749 players for the $1.5 million guarantee, and the final tally of the numbers brought the actual prize pool up to $1,949,800 for the Sunday Million. Thank you, Easter Bunny!
As the tournament played on, the final table approached rather quickly, with just ten players left with the ten-hour mark on the horizon. Hand-for-hand action took more than a few minutes, but it was finally JackAdi who decided to push all-in with A♣Q♥ from the small blind. But original raiser Coyotee_gyn made the call with pocket queens. The board was an uneventful 2♣3♦T♥3♠7♥, and JackAdi was gone in tenth place with $9,749.00.
Beware of the Coyotee_gyn with a chip lead
It was toward the end of Level 36, with blinds at 200,000 and 400,000 with a 40,000 ante, that the final table was set as follows:
Seat 1: Nielsml (6,125,228 in chips)
Seat 2: DaGrin_Reapr (8,310,996 in chips)
Seat 3: echaos (7,110,935 in chips)
Seat 4: melikman (3,327,389 in chips)
Seat 5: acechipchase (10,147,016 in chips)
Seat 6: Coyotee_gyn (35,015,423 in chips)
Seat 7: LastChance11 (9,293,013 in chips)
Seat 8: RuberbandMan (13,400,000 in chips)
Seat 9: acecatcher26 (4,760,000 in chips)
Action got underway with Coyotee_gyn seemingly running away with the lead. But the dominating player at that point wasn't able to wield that big chip stack and intimidate opponents as one might have anticipated. But the shorter stacks were ready to play.
It took only 11 hands to find an all-in and a call that resulted in the first elimination of the table. It was Nielsml who pushed with pocket eights from the small blind and found himself up against the pocket nines of LastChance11. The virtual dealer gave them nothing but blanks on the 6♦Q♣J♦2♠5♣ board, and Nielsml became the first player to exit, taking $13,258.64 for the ninth place finish.
Only three hands later, it was acecatcher26 who hoped to catch some luck with a moniker-appropriate A♦5♠. But another fellow ace, acechipchase, made the call from the small blind with A♣6♠. The all-in player needed a five but couldn't find it on the 2♣Q♥J♣2♦6♣ board, and acecatcher26 was gone in eighth place with $19,498.00.
With things still full speed ahead, it was four hands later than yet another player pushed. Melikman moved all of his 1,987,389 chips into the pot with A♠J♥, and acechipchase made the call holding K♣Q♥. The flop of 4♣7♥3♠ was innocent, as was the 5♦ turn card. But the Q♠ hit hard on the river, giving acechipchase the pair of queens and eliminating melikman in seventh place with $38,996.00 in prize money.
Things slowed down a bit for the table, at least as far as the six-player table staying intact for a few rounds. Several double-ups made serious changes to the leaderboard, however, as evidenced by the rollercoaster ride of echaos, who doubled through acechipchase to climb into third place but then allowed DaGrin_Reapr to double through him. Some more lost pots pushed echaos into last place. But RuberbandMan doubled to save his own tournament life and jump into a solid second place on the board, moving ever closer to chip leader Coyotee_gyn.
LastChance11 got into a preflop battle with acechipchase, and the former pushed all-in for 10,069,016 chips holding A♠5♠. That hand was in the lead when acechipchase showed K♣Q♦, but the flop was ideal for that hand when it came Q♥J♣Q♠. An A♦ came on the turn and a 3♠ ended it on the river. LastChance11 was out of the tournament in sixth place with $58,494.00.
Then it was echaos' turn to make another all-or-nothing attempt. With less than 10 million in chips, echaos raised, but when acechipchase came over the top with an all-in reraise, echaos called all-in for his tournament life with A♦Q♦. When acechipchase showed pocket threes, the race was one. But the board produced a mere J♣8♦2♣5♥7♥, which send echaos packing in fourth place with some extra pocket change in the amount of $77,992.00.
DaGrin_Reapr was inching ever closer to tournament death, but he came back to double through acechipchase to stay alive. With a relatively healthy stack at that point, it seemed that DaGrin_Reapr and RuberbandMan wanted to tangle. The last time they did so would be fatal for one of the players. And it happened when a preflop raising war resulted in RuberbandMan pushing all-in and DaGrin_Reapr calling for his tournament life. DaGrin_Reapr showed pocket nines, but those were a bit overshadowed by the pocketaces of RuberbandMan. The board produced 8♣K♦4♠7♦T♠, and DaGrin_Reapr was slain in fourth place. The payout for that respectable finish was $97,490.00.
The final three players decided to take a gander at the chip-chop numbers in the hopes of reaching a deal, but when the figures were presented by Team PokerStars Pro William Thorson, chip leader RuberbandMan wanted a bigger cut of the action. Coyotee_gyn refused, and the table was restarted.
The silent acechipchase didn't say much during the deal discussion, and RuberbandMan wanted to know why. Addressing acechipchase, he wrote in the chat box, "do you have anything to say?"
Moments later, acechipchase doubled through RuberbandMan, and the pot worth nearly 44 million chips put acechipchase in the lead. And finally acechipchase responded with:
Play continued as RuberbandMan chipped up a bit. But it was Coyotee_gyn who was looking to make a move. The shorter of the three stacks pushed all-in preflop with pocket fives, and acechipchase called with K♦J♠. The J♦Q♥8♠ hit acechipchase with that pair of jacks, and the board finished up with 4♣ and K♥ to give acechipchase the two pair. Coyotee_gyn was gone in third place with $140,385.00.
Chasing the win
Heads-up play began with the following counts:
Seat 5: acechipchase (69,172,209 in chips)
Seat 8: RuberbandMan (28,317,791 in chips)
The first hand of action saw acechipchase take a 20,200,000-chip pot from RuberbandMan and relegate the latter to a somewhat serious position. Four hands later, RuberbandMan was able to double up to stay alive with J♠9♥ versus the 7♣3♠ of acechipchase. The chips went in on the 7♠9♦5♠ flop, and the nines took it. And several hands later, RuberbandMan won another double-up.
Acechipchase came back with victory in a 60 million-chip pot to retake the lead, but RuberbandMan kept the pressure on. By the time the first break of heads-up play came about, the two players were relatively even in chips. The all-ins were aplenty, and the chips changed hands numerous times over the course of the match.
For awhile, it looked as though RuberbandMan was going to take it down, but the following hand changed everything:
The next hand started with only 5,447,248 in RuberbandMan's stack, and it all went in preflop with K♦6♠. Acechipchase called with J♣T♣, and the flop of J♠A♠J♦ brought all kinds of good things for that hand. But the A♥ on the turn made the trips into a full house, and the 5♠ was dealt on the river to end the tournament. RuberbandMan couldn't bounce back and had to accept the $198,879.60 for second place.
Acechipchase never gave up and claimed a solid, no-deal victory, which was worth $272,977.58 and the treasured Sunday Million tournament title.
Sunday Million Results for 04/04/10:
1st place: acechipchase ($272,977.58)
2nd place: RuberbandMan ($198,879.60)
3rd place: Coyotee_gyn ($140,385.60)
4th place: DaGrin_Reapr ($97.490.00)
5th place: echaos ($77,992.00)
6th place: LastChance11 ($58,494.00)
7th place: melikman ($38,996.00)
8th place: acecatcher26 ($19,498.00)
9th place: Nielsml ($13,258.64)
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.