Things have been a little busy around these parts. Last weekend, the Sunday Million celebrated its sixth anniversary with a monstrous special tournament that paid out more than $6.7 million. It took a few days to recover from that one.
And starting this past Thursday, the MicroMillions kicked off a series of 100 events that has captured the attention of online poker players throughout the world. No matter one's bankroll, entry to the tournaments requires only a few dollars, and satellites are offering seats for much less than that. It's been a rather exciting time for PokerStars.
Today, amidst the MicroMillions madness, we also have the traditional Sunday majors, led by the biggest tournament on the Internet - the Sunday Million. Its $1 million guarantee never gets old, and players swarmed to register for the event and created a prize pool that exceeded $1.5 million. So, let's take a look at the final numbers:
Prize pool: $1,549,600.00
Paid players: 1,170
The number of PokerStars pros in the field after the money bubble burst was greater than usual, and the red spades could be seen interspersed throughout the payouts. Team Online's Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome was the first to cash in 732nd place, and she was followed by Team Pro Arnaud "frenchkiss" Mattern in 652nd, Christophe "chrisdm" de Meulder in 518th, Nuno Coelho in 477th, and Matthias "mattidm" de Meulder in 449th. Team Online's Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman exited in 433rd, and Team Pro Lex Veldhuis made it all the way to 199th place. The last Team Pro standing was Martin Staszko (pictured here), who finally hit the rail in a respectable 136th place.
The tournament was reduced to only two tables, which played on into the 11th hour. The 12th place elimination of vecchio cane took them into the 10.5-hour break, and the 11th place exit of Volchara21 put hand-for-hand play into motion. Soon after, sabbsezero pushed with K♣Q♠ against the A♥T♥ of niku1971 and couldn't improve enough on the 4♣2♣J♥A♠K♠ board. Sabbsezero left in tenth place with $8,246.49.
TONI-BG takes charge
In the last few minutes of Level 38, with blinds at 150,000/300,000 and a 30,000 ante, players took their seats with these stacks:
Seat 1: fullmagro_ps (16,836,552 in chips)
Seat 2: brauniTR (5,395,536 in chips)
Seat 3: Valdem2010 (5,646,232 in chips)
Seat 4: Faxe07 (8,813,942 in chips)
Seat 5: niku1971 (8,199,629 in chips)
Seat 6: SpeckBasu (4,480,739 in chips)
Seat 7: TONI-BG (19,199,532 in chips)
Seat 8: cime173 (3,939,688 in chips)
Seat 9: davebond2 (4,558,150 in chips)
A few minutes into play, the shortest stack moved all-in. The hand started with a raise from TONI-BG, which prompted cime173 to push all-in with 8♠8♦. TONI-BG called with J♠T♦ and hit the flop of 4♥A♦J♦ to take the lead with jacks. Nothing about the 7♦ turn of 9♠ river changed that, and cime173 had to leave in ninth place with $11,945.85.
Niku1971 had a tough time at the table and eventually got involved from the big blind in a raised pot with UTG SpeckBasu. The Q♦2♣5♣ flop brought a bet from SpeckBasu and check-call from niku1971. The K♠ on the turn brought another bet from SpeckBasu, and niku1971 check-called all-in with K♣9♣ for top pair. SpeckBasu, however, showed K♦Q♥ for top two pair, which held up as the 3♠ appeared on the river. Niku1971 departed in eighth place with $17,726.10.
Davebond2 was short but doubled through SpeckBasu to stay in the game, and two hands later, he doubled through Faxe07 to climb to the middle of the pack.
Valdem2010 attempted the same and moved all-in for 846,232 chips from the button with T♦9♦. SpeckBasu called from the big blind with 9♠4♠. While it looked like a double-up for Valdem2010 as the 6♠A♥K♥ came on the flop and the A♣ showed up on the turn, the 4♣ on the river gave SpeckBasu two pair and eliminated Valdem2010 in seventh place with $30,828.00.
On the very next hand, brauniTR made the all-in push with 6♣6♠, and TONI-BG called from the big blind with A♠J♣. The very first card of the J♥5♣Q♥4♣7♣ board was all it took to beat those sixes, and brauniTR was out in sixth place with $46,242.00.
Faxe07 doubled through fullmagro_ps, and davebond2 went for it again, moving all-in preflop with A♥A♠. TONI-BG was the original raiser in the hand and called with 9♦6♦, but the flop came 8♣9♠A♣ to give davebond2 the set of aces. However, the T♦ and 7♥ completed the board as well as a straight for TONI-BG, and that sent davebond2 out in fifth place with $61,656.00.
Faxe07 wanted another double and took the chance with 7♦6♥ from the big blind after an initial raise from TONI-BG. But TONI-BG called with A♥8♥ and made trips on the 7♣A♣A♦T♥5♠ board. That left Faxe07 out in fourth place with $77,686.56.
On the first hand back from the 11.5-hour break, SpeckBasu took a chance that paid off, at the expense of fullmagro_ps:
Fullmagro_ps pushed all-in with A♠7♠ against the J♦J♠ of SpeckBasu, and the board came J♣Q♦8♣2♥4♣ to give SpeckBasu the set of jacks. Fullmagro_ps was eliminated in third place with $115,605.00.
A speck of a comeback
The final two players began their battle with these counts:
Seat 6: SpeckBasu (31,135,810 in chips)
Seat 7: TONI-BG (45,934,190 in chips)
It was a tough match, as the chips changed hands several times. TONI-BG did manage to hold the lead, though, until SpeckBasu doubled up with pocket eights versus the A-4 of TONI-BG on a board of 8-3-5-6-6.
That left TONI-BG with little more than 16 million chips, and they went all-in on the very next hand with A♣6♥. SpeckBasu sought the title with K♣T♣ and hit it on the river of the 5♣7♣7♥J♥T♦ board. TONI-BG took second place and $169,554.00.
SpeckBasu of Germany won the Sunday Million and $231,214.05 in cash. Congrats!
Sunday Million Results for 03/18/12:
1st place: SpeckBasu ($231,214.05)
2nd place: TONI-BG ($169,554.00)
3rd place: fullmagro_ps ($115,605.00)
4th place: Faxe07 ($77,686.56)
5th place: davebond2 ($61,656.00)
6th place: brauniTR ($46,242.00)
7th place: Valdem2010 ($30,828.00)
8th place: niku1971 ($17,726.10)
9th place: cime173 ($11,945.85)
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.