Every now and then, the Sunday Million tops itself. Sure, it's already the biggest weekly online poker tournament with its $1 million guarantee, so no improvements are really needed. But as a bonus for PokerStars players, it occasionally does something that wows the poker world even more than usual.
December 18 will be that instance. In celebration of PokerStars' 10th Anniversary, that particular Sunday will host a $10 million Sunday Million. You read that correctly: the prize pool is guaranteed to be $10 million. What's more, the entry of $215 stays the same, but $2 million is guaranteed for the first place finisher. And players can qualify to play for as little as $1. Seriously! Check out the details here.
Tonight, we had the regular - if "regular" really applies to a $1 million guaranteed prize pool - Sunday Million. And the numbers were stellar, as always:
Prize pool: $1,379,800.00
Paid players: 990
The action played down for several hours before hitting the money bubble, at which point the last 990 players were guaranteed a minimum payout of $317.35. The first to cash was chekreis, and many followed rather quickly for a time.
As for the players with the red spade in front of their names, some of the members of Team PokerStars made it into the money as well. Team Online's Mickey "mement_mori" Petersen was the first of them to cash out in 841st place, and Team Pro Alex "J0hnny_Dr@m@" Zervos followed in 660th. Team PokerStars Pro Ana Marquez cashed in 628th, Johnny Lodden in 588th, Joao Nunes in 438th, Toni Judet in 343rd, and Angel Guillen in 130th.
Still standing after the hours of madness was Argentinean Team Pro Jose "nachobarbero" Barbero. After finishing in 14th place in the Sunday Warm-Up, he was still going strong as the field thinned in the Sunday Million until he finally exited in 23rd place for $3,228.73. Solid runs in both tournaments deserves a mention, Mr. Barbero.
Three tables were reduced to two just before the 10-hour mark, but it was about 45 minutes later that hand-for-hand play was to determine the final nine players. Five minutes later, short-stacked jk1234fj1234 moved all-in from the big blind with A♥2♦, and original raiser needcashquik called with A♠6♠. The better hand only improved on the 3♥Q♠9♣8♦6♦ board, and jk1234jk1234 was gone in tenth place with $7,726.88.
Traxxart makes tracks with final table lead
The final table was set in the last moments of Level 38, with blinds still at 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000 ante. The players' starting stacks were:
Seat 1: nomosoup4u (6,381,934 in chips)
Seat 2: Kihlström (9,020,949 in chips)
Seat 3: MARCIN123 (10,134,810 in chips)
Seat 4: hyroman (6,226,028 in chips)
Seat 5: traxxart (13,240,483 in chips)
Seat 6: Norrmaniano (6,320,564 in chips)
Seat 7: needcashquik (8,238,182 in chips)
Seat 8: gabriel171 (6,582,160 in chips)
Seat 9: djibh (2,844,890 in chips)
To say that play was slow to start at the final table would be somewhat of an understatement. There were several big pots, such as when djibh doubled through gabriel171 and when MARCIN123 took big pots from nomosoup4u and Kihlstrom. But it was another 30 minutes before the next double-up, when nomosoup4u doubled through Norrmaniano.
That put Norrmaniano on the short stack, and the all-in push came soon after with A♣K♣. Nomosoup4u called from the button with A♥9♥, and what looked like another double-up turned around when the flop and turn came 5♥T♥J♠2♥. That gave nomosoup4u the flush, and the J♣ on the river sealed the deal, eliminating Norrmaniano in ninth place with $10,693.45.
After the 11.5-hour break, gabriel171 doubled through needcashquik to stay in the game.
Kihlstrom looked to do the same a few hands later. After an initial raise from traxxart, Kihlstrom pushed all-in with 8♦8♣, and traxxart made the call with A♠K♦. The flop of 3♦K♠K♥ immediately gave traxxart the lead with trip kings, and the 6♥ turn and 9♣ river ended the hand with Kihlstrom out in eighth place, which was worth a $16,557.60 payday.
Djibh was the next short stack at risk, and the move came preflop with Q♥9♥. Traxxart called from the big blind with Q♣2♠, and the flop of 3♥4♠5♣ only provided more outs toward an elimination. The 2♥ on the turn gave traxxart a pair, and the T♠ officially sent djibh out in seventh place with $30,355.60.
Gabriel171 was on the wrong side of several hands, and that allowed double-ups for nomosoup4u and hyroman.
When needcashquik moved all-in, nomosoup4u wanted to challenge and called all-in with A♣Q♦ and needcashquik showed A♠9♣. The board came 6♦2♦7♦9♥7♣, and needcashquik made two pair to send nomosoup4u out in sixth place with $44,153.60.
A few hands later, hyroman made his push with 7♠7♦, and gabriel171 called from the big blind with A♦Q♦. The board of T♥A♣8♦Q♠3♠ gave gabriel171 top two pair, and hyroman had to accept fifth place and the $57,951.60 that went with it.
Fast deal for final four
The last four players decided to look at chip-chop numbers, so the tournament was paused to do so. While there was an issue with the original numbers, they all finally agreed to the following, as well as $20,000 set aside for the eventual winner:
Seat 3: MARCIN123 (15,904,255 in chips) = $128,407.36
Seat 5: traxxart (14,468,435 in chips) = $123,666.05
Seat 7: needcashquik (16,326,546 in chips) = $129,801.83
Seat 8: gabriel171 (22,290,764 in chips) = $149,496.62
Upon the return to play, traxxart made a big move that resulted in a double-up into the chip lead:
Two hands later, needcashquik tangled with gabriel171 to see a 8♦K♦K♥ flop, at which point a raising war led to needcashquik moving all-in. Gabriel171 called with T♥8♠ for two pair, and needcashquik showed A♥J♠ for the straight draw. The 6♦ and 9♦ completed the board and eliminated needcashquik in fourth place with $129,801.83.
On the very next hand, the crippled MARCIN123 moved all-in with 8♠4♣, and traxxart called with A♣K♠. The board blanked with T♣3♣6♠6♥J♥, and MARCIN123 exited in third place with $128,407.36.
Tough battle ahead
The final two players started their match with these counts:
Seat 5: traxxart (29,772,690 in chips)
Seat 8: gabriel171 (39,217,310 in chips)
But traxxart soon doubled up with T-9 over A-8 by making a straight, and gabriel171 was nearly crippled. Gabriel171 did double up with pocket sevens that held up to K-J, and the aggression continued in an attempt to regain some momentum.
Gabriel171 moved all-in with K♦9♦, and traxxart called with 7♥7♠. The flop of 7♦3♦5♠ immediately gave traxxart the set of sevens, and the 5♣ on the turn made that a full house. And the possibility of a chop was gone when the 9♥ hit on the river, eliminating gabriel171 in second place, after also finishing in second place in the Sunday 500 tonight.
Traxxart of Russia came from behind and took down the first Sunday Million tournament of December, along with $143,666.05 in cash. Congrats!
Sunday Million Results for 12/04/11 (reflects deal):
1st place: traxxart ($143,666.05)*
2nd place: gabriel171 ($149,496.62)*
3rd place: MARCIN123 ($128,407.36)*
4th place: needcashquik ($129,801.83)*
5th place: hyroman ($57,951.60)
6th place: nomosoup4u ($44,153.60)
7th place: djibh ($30,355.60)
8th place: Kihlstrom ($16,557.60)
9th place: Norrmaniano ($10,693.45)
*Numbers based on a four-way chop agreement
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.