The last Sunday Million of 2012 brought quite a few players to the virtual tables. The final chance to score the most coveted weekly tournament title in poker attracted the masses for a larger-than-usual number in the $1 million guaranteed event. Satellites were full of players trying to win their seats, and the final numbers reflected the desire for the title.
While many players remained on holiday and away from computers, the Sunday Million benefited from its name and prestige. More players entered the $215 tournament than in many weeks past. When registration closed, the final numbers were:
Prize pool: $1,658,400
Paid players: 1,260
The money bubble burst midway through the tournament, allowing Thabiso2 to be the first player to cash in this tournament, taking home $298.51 for the 1260th place finish. A short time later, Team PokerStars Pro Christophe de Meulder exited in 1054th place for $331.68. That left Team Online's Naoya "nkeyno" Kihara as the last member of a PokerStars team standing. He pushed through until finally exiting in 423rd place, which was worth $547.27.
Only two tables were in play throughout the 11th hour of the Sunday Million, and the 11th place elimination of 42ayay put hand-for-hand play into action. It didn't take long for the shorter stacks to move, and Table 627 saw TorgeirF reraised all-in after an initial raies from obina9. Aakiss1990 responded by moving all-in over the top, and obina9 folded. TorgeirF was at risk with A♠K♦ against the J♥J♦ of aakiss1990, and the board of 7♣5♦T♠9♥6♥ changed nothing. That left TorgeirF out in tenth place with $8,789.52.
Ante_geia_AA and flavioreis88 battle for the lead
The final table was set in Level 39, with blinds of 200,000/400,000 and a 40,000 ante, along with these players and their starting stacks:
Seat 1: ante_geia_AA (18,433,570 in chips)
Seat 2: flavioreis88 (18,031,971 in chips)
Seat 3: Yukon2000 (7,684,348 in chips)
Seat 4: Rumtschech (9,735,061 in chips)
Seat 5: 22tinga (5,310,634 in chips)
Seat 6: Afterpub (7,320,097 in chips)
Seat 7: Mr_Bean122 (2,880,108 in chips)
Seat 8: aakiss1990 (10,032,547 in chips)
Seat 9: obina9 (3,491,664 in chips)
Play was quite cautious as the table began to play, and it took 25 minutes for an all-in and call, which resulted in a double-up for Afterpub through flavioreis88. That put Afterpub in second place on the leaderboard. A few minutes later, obina9 doubled through Rumtschech, and the latter then doubled through 22tinga.
Short-stacked 22tinga then risked less than 200K chips all-in with K♥Q♦, and original raiser Yukon2000 showed 3♣3♥. The board brought 4♥4♦7♠J♣6♥ to give Yukon2000 two pair and the pot, while 22tinga had to leave in ninth place with $12,852.60.
A bit later, obina9 got involved again, that time with chip leader ante_geia_AA from the blinds. The raised flop came 5♦7♠T♥, and obina9 bet. Ante_geia_AA called, and the turn came 6♠. Obina9 then bet all-in for more than 4.6 million chips with K♥K♦, but ante_geia_AA called with A♦A♥. The A♠ on the river only made that winning hand a better one, and obina9 left in eighth place with $18,242.40.
Rumtschech's luck was running out as well. Rumtschech pushed all-in with A♥Q♣, and aakiss1990 reraised all-in from the button, which prompted the blinds to fold. Aakiss1990 showed K♣K♥, and the flop of K♠3♣2♥ turned that hand into a set. The A♣ on the turn brought hope for the double-up, but the 4♠ on the river eliminated Rumtschech in seventh place with $33,168.00.
No stopping ante_geia_AA
Mr_Bean122 was the next player at risk. Mr_Bean122 started the hand with a button raise, and when ante_geia_AA reraised all-in from the big blind, Mr_Bean122 called all-in with A♥Q♣. Ante_geia_AA had K♥K♣, and as in the last all-in hand, the kings turned into a set on the 7♣8♠2♦T♠K♦ board. Mr_Bean122 exited in sixth place with $49,752.00.
The action began to speed up, and two hands later, Afterpub moved a short stack all-in with Q♥2♠ UTG. Flavioreis88 went along from the small blind with K♥J♠ and improved to a pair of kings on the A♣6♣K♦ flop. The 3♦ and 7♣ finished the hand and left Afterpub with $66,336.00 for the fifth place finish.
The very next hand was another big one, as ante_geia_AA raised all-in UTG preflop, and aakiss1990 called all-in for more than 9.5 million from the big blind with A♥T♦. Ante_geia_AA showed 2♠2♥, and the deuces held up to the 7♦8♠9♦3♠K♥ to fade the straight draw. Aakiss1990 departed in fourth place with $82,920.00.
Two hands after that, flavioreis88 risked it all with A♣A♦ against the J♠8♦ of ante_geia_AA, and the flop was innocent enough with 4♦6♥T♥. The J♥ on the turn was dangerous, and the J♦ hit hard on the river to give ante_geia_AA trip jacks to crack aces. Flavioreis88 was out in third place with $124,380.00.
Four hands of heads-up
The starting stacks for the heads-up match looked grim for Yukon2000:
Seat 1: ante_geia_AA (77,420,519 in chips)
Seat 3: Yukon2000 (5,499,481 in chips)
And the fourth hand finished it. Ante_geia_AA moved all-in, and Yukon2000 called with K♠5♦, which was ahead of the J♥4♦ of ante_geia_AA. Again, the flop of T♥7♠8♦ changed, nothing, and the 8♠ on the turn gave both players a pair. But the 4♣ came on the river to give ante_geia_AA two pair. Yukon2000 finished the tournament in second place with $178,278.00.
Ante_geia_AA of Cyprus won the Sunday Million for $243,954.96. Congrats!
Sunday Million Results for 12/30/12:
Paid players: 1,260
1st place: ante_geia_AA (Cyprus) - $243,954.96
2nd place: Yukon2000 (Switzerland) - $178,278.00
3rd place: flavioreis88 (Brazil) - $124,380.00
4th place: aakiss1990 (Latvia) - $82,920.00
5th place: Afterpub (Germany) - $66,336.00
6th place: Mr_Bean122 (Austria) - $49,752.00
7th place: Rumtschech (Germany) - $33,168.00
8th place: obina9 (Brazil) - $18,242.40
9th place: 22tinga (Germany) - $12,852.60
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.