Two weeks from tonight, the wait will be over. Poker players from around the world will be playing or watching (or working on their satellites for other tournaments) the World Championship of Online Poker.
WCOOP is scheduled to begin on September 4, and the first day alone will provide three tournament options - $215 NLHE 6-max, $215 NLHE, or $10,300 NLHE High Roller. Instead of playing in the Sunday Warm-Up or Sunday Million as usual, players will be competing for hefty guarantees and playing for online poker fame in the annual WCOOP.
That's not to say the Sunday Million doesn't offer its own excitement each weekend, with its substantial $1 million guarantee and elite list of players. It's something special every week, but when WCOOP only comes around once per year and offers one-of-a-kind gold bracelets to winners, it takes over the usual weekly goodness of the regular Sunday majors.
While you take a break from your WCOOP preparations, take a look at this week's Sunday Million numbers:
Prize pool: $1,305,000
Paid players: 990
The odd thing about the registration number this week is that it's EXACTLY the same as the number of players who entered last week. That's a little freaky, no?
Different from last week, however, was the list of players who made it into the money. The players with PokerStars logos who moved past that cash bubble started with Celina Lin, who finished in 876th place. Liv Boeree, who won the Women's Sunday event earlier today, finished 845th, followed by George "gkap13" Kapalas in 773rd, Jorge "twin-caracas" Arias in 741st, and Nuno Coelho in 541st. Ultimately, Fatima de Melo made it all the way to 257th, but it was Richard Toth of Hungary who was the last Team PokerStars Pro standing, until he exited in 127th place.
By the 9.5-hour mark of the tournament, only two tables remained, and action was moving along rather quickly. Hand-for-hand started a few minutes before the 10-hour bong of the clock, and it lasted nearly ten minutes.
It was Cejakas14 who moved all-in preflop with Q♣Q♠, and dan82mur was along with A♥4♦. The board came 3♦8♠9♦5♦K♦ to crack the queens with a flush for dan82mur, and Cejakas14 was out in tenth place with $7,308.00.
Dan82mur dominates at the start of action
In Level 36, with blinds of 100,000/200,000 and a 25,000 ante, the final table began with these player chip counts:
Seat 1: Runninggreat (5,044,233 in chips)
Seat 2: DaGoddfather (5,711,716 in chips)
Seat 3: ziNgZang10 (3,370,514 in chips)
Seat 4: miguel18 (5,229,483 in chips)
Seat 5: Robban_F (2,161,536 in chips)
Seat 6: dan82mur (33,844,412 in chips)
Seat 7: DonPiPo88 (2,985,833 in chips)
Seat 8: ilbewaiting (4,028,486 in chips)
Seat 9: mezzajm123 (2,873,787 in chips)
After about ten minutes, the first all-in and call led to ilbewaiting doubling through DaGoddfather, but play was very slow and calculated for the beginning half hour. Runninggreat found an opportunity for a huge double-up through dan82mur, and ziNgZang10 also doubled through dan82mur to stay alive. Awhile later, Robban_F doubled through DaGoddfather.
Nearly 45 minutes into the action, the first elimination occurred. Ilbewaiting moved all-in with Q♠Q♣. Original raiser dan82mur called with 3♦3♣, and the board of 4♦8♣T♦8♥3♥ gave him the full house. Ilbewaiting took the bad beat and left with $10,113.75 for ninth place.
A short while later, mezzajm123 moved all-in with 9♠5♣, and Robban_F called from the big blind with 4♦4♠. The pocket pair held up to the A♠7♥8♠2♠A♥ board to make two pair, and mezzajm123 was gone in eighth place with $15,660.00.
In a surprising change of pace, the very next hand held more action. Miguel18 pushed all-in preflop with K♠Q♥, and dan82mur called from the big blind with A♥4♥. The flop of 4♦3♣8♣ immediately gave dan82mur the advantage, and it stayed that way as the T♣ and 9♣ completed the board. Miguel18 departed in seventh place with $28,710.00.
Dan82mur began to apply pressure to opponents, putting them to decisions and increasing his stack at the same time. He climbed over the 30 million chip threshold an hour into the action.
Meanwhile, DonPiPo88 doubled through Robban_F to stay in the game. But DonPiPo88 continued to struggle and moved all-in again with K♠Q♦. Dan82mur called with A♠5♣ and improved to a straight on the 2♦3♠4♥8♥7♦ board. DonPiPo88 ended his run in sixth place with $41,760.00.
On the very next hand, ziNgZang10 pushed with 6♥6♠ in the small blind, and Robban_F reraised all-in with A♥K♠ from the big blind. Original raiser Runninggreat folded, and the battle of the blinds took a turn when the A♣2♦T♣ flop gave Robban_F the pair of aces. The 9♥ turn card and 5♣ river ended it for ziNgZang10, who exited in fifth place with $54,810.00.
Runninggreat again led out in a hand with a bet, and DaGoddfather reraised all-in. Runninggreat called all-in with A♦T♦, and DaGoddfather turned over A♣7♠. It looked like a double-up opportunity for Runninggreat as the 6♣6♠8♠J♣ were dealt, but the 7♥ on the river gave DaGoddfather the pot. Runninggreat left in fourth place with $71,775.00.
Final three strike a deal
The last three players paused the tournament to take a look at chip-chop numbers. One of the players protested the numbers at first, but they finally all agreed to chop in the following fashion, with $20,000 set aside to add to the winner's take:
Seat 2: DaGoddfather (22,110,384 in chips) = $143,877.79
Seat 5: Robban_F (13,999,829 in chips) = $129,396.51
Seat 6: dan82mur (29,139,787 in chips) = $156,428.70
Play resumed, and DaGoddfather proceeded to take a pot worth more than 15 million chips from dan82mur and climbed into the top spot on the leaderboard for the first time at the final table.
Robban_F remained the shortest stack of the three and went into battle with DaGoddfather. A raise and call led to the 2♥A♦9♠ flop, at which point a series of raises took place. The 6♣ on the turn prompted an all-in move from Robban_F for nearly 8 million chips, and DaGoddfather check-called with A♠K♣ for top pair. Robban_F showed T♠9♥ for middle pair and couldn't improve with the 7♣ river. Robban_F exited in third place with $129,396.51.
DaGoddfather leads going into heads-up play
The duo's starting chip counts were:
Seat 2: DaGoddfather (43,710,213 in chips)
Seat 6: dan82mur (21,539,787 in chips)
Dan82mur came back from his starting deficit and evened the stacks about 10 minutes into the match, DaGoddfather responded with some aggressive moves to regain a 2-to-1 lead.
The following double-up for dan82mur seemed to give him momentum:
But the two battled again, and DaGoddfather's A-K was better than the A-Q of dan82mur, giving DaGoddfather the double-up.
The last 8 million chips of dan82mur went all-in on the next hand with Q♠J♥, and DaGoddfather was there with Q♥8♦. The 8♠6♦7♠ gave DaGoddfather the pair of eights immediately, and the K♠ turn and A♣ river allowed that to hold. Dan82mur had to settle for second place and $156,428.70.
DaGoddfather of Canada won this week's Sunday Million and took home $163,877.79 for it. Congrats!
Sunday Million Results for 08/21/11 (reflecting deal):
1st place: DaGoddfather ($163,877.79)*
2nd place: dan82mur ($156,428.70)*
3rd place: Robban_F ($129,396.51)*
4th place: Runninggreat ($71,775.00)
5th place: ziNgZang10 ($54,810.00)
6th place: DonPiPo88 ($41,760.00)
7th place: miguel18 ($28,710.00)
8th place: mezzajm123 ($15,660.00)
9th place: ilbewaiting ($10,113.75)
*based on three-way deal
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.