They didn't exactly have a chip and a chair, but with the field down to six players, foldbudiao and robinsex were left with seven and three big blinds respectively. Sitting in the shadow of a dominating chip leader that held twice as much as second place, the task in front of them seemed insurmountable. But thanks to a couple of flopped sets, a few lucky catches, and a game-changing double-up three handed, foldbudiao and robinsex went one-two in this week's Sunday Million, each of them earning a six-figure score.
5,388 players jumped into the Million this weekend, creating a $1,077,60 prize pool. 810 places were paid with first place set to earn $168,539.34. Flying the flag for Team Pro and Team Online were Stavros "IDOLLS" Kalfas, Jan Heitmann, Matthias De Muelder, Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome, Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman, Martin Hruby, Johnny Lodden, and Shane "shaniac" Schleger. Two Team Pros cashed, Maxim Lykov (708th) and newly crowned Red Dragon champion Celina Lin, who finished in 204th place.
A little over ten hours after cards went in the air, the Million was down to ten players. With the blinds at 125,000/250,000, ShanZ made a button shove for 3.1 million and jfl1234 looked him up from the big blind. Although ShanZ's A♥T♠ had jfl1234's A♠8♣ dominated, the Brit hit running cards to make a straight, the board falling an excruciating J♥9♠4♦7♣T♦. ShanZ exited in tenth place, the remaining nine advancing to the final table.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: jfl1234 (11,186,686 in chips)
Seat 2: davjon (4,832,741 in chips)
Seat 3: pistache8888 (2,446,361 in chips)
Seat 4: roo_400 (5,583,222 in chips)
Seat 5: foldbudiao (5,779,892 in chips)
Seat 6: ministerborg (4,929,679 in chips)
Seat 7: Andrzejeczek (5,034,961 in chips)
Seat 8: robinsex (5,951,986 in chips)
Seat 9: Shalchinov A (8,134,472 in chips)
Andrzejeczek moved to the front of the pack courtesy of a miracle river card. All-in against jfl1234 with Q♠Q♣ vs. A♣A♥, Andrzejeczek saw his opponent hit top set when the flop fell A♦J♣T♠, but caught the K♦ on the river to fill his gutshot straight draw. The pot moved Andrzejeczek into the chip lead with 10.3 million, while former top gun jfl1234 fell to 6.1 million.
And that was just the first hand. Roo_400 opened the second hand with a min-raise to 500,000, ministerborg three-bet shoved for 4.75 million on the button and roo_400 called, revealing A♦K♦. Ministerborg turned over 5♠8♠. The gutsy bluff did not pay off, roo_400 turning an ace to make top pair. Ministerborg was out in ninth place, earning $8,620.80.
Jfl1234 mashes pistache8888
Short stack pistache8888 was down to 7 BB, up a spot on the pay ladder, facing an early position min-raise, and looking at A♦K♥. It was a no-brainer shove and jfl1234 looked him up with 7♠8♠. Although jfl1234 paired his eight on the flop and picked up a straight draw on the turn, a river ace saved pistache8888 and doubled his stack to 4.16 milliion. However, two hands later, those chips were back in the middle against the same opponent. This time jfl1234 had the A♥K♥ and turned a king to win the race against pistache8888's pocket nines. Down to a mere 612,000, pistache8888 open-shoved with 6♦7♦ a few hands later and his nemesis called, jfl1234 revealing 7♠8♠. Miraculously, the eight played for jfl1234 on the Q♥J♦4♣K♦9♥ board and pistache8888 was out in eighth place, earning $13,470.00.
Jfl1234's run turned out to be short-lived. With the blinds up to 150,000/300,000, jfl1234 opened for a min-raise holding A♦T♠, then called davjon's 5.1 million shove. Davjon's 6♠6♥ held, doubling him to 10.4 million while jfl1234 fell to 4.2 million. Jfl1234 stole enough blinds to survive the next few orbits, but ended up shoving the river straight into Andrzejeczek's trip aces to bust out in seventh place:
Shorties stack up
With six players remaining, foldbudiao was down to only 2.2 million, less than half the stack he had to start the final table. With the action folded to him in the small blind, foldbudiao shoved with 2♥2♣ and Andrzejeczek called with A♠9♥. Although Andrzejeczek hit an ace on the flop, a deuce came with it to make foldbudiao a set. Although it made barely a dent in Andrzejeczek's tournament-leading 20 million stack, foldbudiao gained new life as he doubled to 4.6 million.
By this point, robinsex was in dire straits, his 1.16 million amounting to less than three big blinds. He decided to make a go of it with pocket fives, open-shoving from under-the-gun. Roo_400 looked him up with A♥K♠, but a ten-high board gave robinsex the win and a double-up to 3.09 million. A few minutes later, robinsex doubled again, this time in brutal fashion. All-in with T♣T♥ against davjon's Q♦Q♠, robinsex saw the board four-flush in hearts to snap off davjon's flopped set of queens.
Meanwhile, foldbudiao's 4 million chips had shriveled up to less than ten big blinds. In a hand reminiscent of his first double-up, he shoved pocket fours from the small blind and Andrzejeczek called with Q♦7♥. Andrzejeczek hit a seven but foldbudiao flopped a four, his set good for the 8.4 million pot.
Andrzejeczek KO's Shalchinov A, foldbudiao fells davjon
Andrzejeczek cemented his dominant chip lead even further when Shalchinov A finally made a move. Andrzejeczek shoved for 18.4 million from the cutoff with 2♦2♠ and Shalchinov A pulled the trigger for his remaining 3.5 million with A♥J♣. The coin landed on Andrzejeczek's side, his deuces holding to send Shalchinov A to the rail in sixth place with a $35,022.00 score.
The next deal saw the action fold to davjon on the button. He shoved for 6.17 million with A♣T♠, but foldbudiao woke up with A♠Q♦ in the big blind. Although davjon flopped a ten, foldbudiao rivered a queen to eliminate davjon in fifth. He earned $45,798.00 for his Sunday on the felt.
Deal me in
With four players remaining, the action was paused to discuss a potential deal. Although his opponents were pushing for an ICM chop, Andrzejeczek felt his share wasn't large enough and wanted to hold out for at least a $130,000 payday. The negotiations reached a standstill and cards went back in the air.
As soon as they did, robinsex quickly doubled through Andrzejeczek. After foldbudiao gave up his button, Andrzejeczek moved in for 24.1 million with 3♥4♥ and ran straight into robinsex's A♦A♣ in the big blind. Robinsex doubled to 11.8 million and Andrzejeczek fell back to 19 million. Two hands later, roo_400 open-shoved for his last 5.1 million with A♣3♥ and foldbudiao called with A♦9♠. Foldbudiao's dominating hand held up and roo_400 hit the rail in fourth place, earning $60,884.40.
Shortly thereafter, the action was paused again to run numbers. Although both the chip count and ICM chop figures left Andrzejeczek with less than his desired $130,000, foldbudiao and robinsex gave up $1,200 and $1,800 respectively from their shares in order to get their opponent to agree to the deal. Foldbudiao went into the negotiations with a slight lead on Andrzejeczek but settled for $6,000 less, content to make up the difference with the $20,000 still in play for the winner.
Minutes after action resumed, foldbudiao scored a massive double-up through Andrzejeczek. All-in with Q♠J♥ against A♣8♠, foldbudiao hit a jack on the flop and a queen on the turn to make two pair against Andrzejeczek's ace-high. Foldbudiao's stack rocketed up to 35.1 million and Andrzejeczek was left with less than 9 million. Those chips flew into the pot two hands later, Andrzejeczek open-shoving from the small blind with 5♥9♦. Robinsex called with A♣3♦ and rivered a seven-high straight to end Andrzejeczek's run. Although he finished in third place, Andrzejeczek took home the second-largest share of the prize pool at $130,000.00 even.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 5: foldbudiao (34,615,122 in chips)
Seat 8: robinsex (19,264,878 in chips)
Robinsex quickly wrested the chip lead away, doubling to 30.8 million with A♦7♠ against foldbudiao's K♥9♥, but gave it all back and then some on the next hand, his A♣J♥ falling to K♥T♥ when foldbudiao flopped two pair. The hand left robinsex with 7.8 million to foldbudiao's 46 million. Robinsex managed to double up to 15.6 million when his K♦9♥ held against 7♠T♠, but he could not regain control of the match. Although robinsex got his money in good with K♦7♣ against Q♥J♠, a jack on the flop made foldbudiao top pair:
Congratulations to foldbudiao on a come-from-behind victory in the Sunday Million. Foldbudiao scored $144,820.10 for the win while runner-up robinsex banked $108,000.00.
PokerStars Sunday Million results for 6/24/2012
Places paid: 810
Prize pool: $1,077,600.00
1. foldbudiao (China) $144,820.10*
2. robinsex (Bolivia) $108,000.00*
3. Andrzejeczek (Poland) $130,000.00*
4. roo_400 (Canada) $60,884.40
5. davjon (United Kingdom) $45,798.00
6. Shalchinov A (Russia) $35,022.00
7. jfl1234 (United Kingdom) $24,246.00
8. pistache8888 (Canada) $13,470.00
9. ministerborg (Danmark) $8,620.80
*= reflects the results of a three-way deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner