"Left the belt there last time. Went back and got it. Won the Sunday Million!!!!!"
So tweeted @icekevin, better known around these parts as Kevin "iacog4" Iacofano, a formerly Las Vegas-based pro who now calls London home. The "last time" he alluded to was back on April 29, when he made a remarkable run at the top spot, going from 10 big blinds with five tables remaining to heads-up for the title. Iacofano wasn't able to close it out then, but shook that monkey off his back tonight, winning a Sunday Million title and over $197,000.
7,184 players bought into this week's Million, creating a $1,436,800 prize pool. 1,080 places were paid with first place set to earn $215,524.92. The Red Spade Army was out in force today with Liv Boeree, Martin Hruby, Ana Marquez, George "Jorj95" Lind III, Andre Akkari, Jonathan Duhamel, ElkY, Shane "shaniac" Schleger, Nacho Barbero, Ike Haxton and Angel Guillen in the field. Of the two dozen Red Spades who played, four finished in the money: Team Online's Tyler "frosty012" Frost (490th), and Team Pros Maxim Lykov (358th), Matthias De Meulder (357th), and Johnny Lodden, who went out in 68th place when his A♦Q♥ didn't improve against pocket fives.
With ten players remaining and the blinds up to 150,000/300,000, Garegin777 pulled the trigger with A♥Q♥, three-bet shoving for 1.74 million from the small blind. 19VICTOR89 called with 8♣8♦. The pocket pair held on the 9♣5♣2♠T♦7♦ board and Garegin777 went out in tenth place, setting the final table.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: austin.xd (6,401,631 in chips)
Seat 2: iacog4 (8,828,109 in chips)
Seat 3: tomc1s (11,739,987 in chips)
Seat 4: 19VICTOR89 (7,956,645 in chips)
Seat 5: dulek_jason (15,729,200 in chips)
Seat 6: Mellow-Peach (4,946,264 in chips)
Seat 7: WATnlos (11,454,356 in chips)
Seat 8: Franzimoore (3,048,518 in chips)
Seat 9: Taffyfella (1,735,290 in chips)
Taffyfella stretches to ninth place
After playing chicken with the blinds since the field was down to 12, Taffyfella was relieved to even make the final table. He survived a couple of orbits before open-shoving for 955,290 from UTG with K♠Q♥, but unfortunately, Franzimoore woke up with A♥K♥ in the big blind. Franzimoore's dominating hand held up and Taffyfella was eliminated in ninth place, earning $11,135.20.
Austin.xd, Mellow-Peach eliminated on back-to-back hands
Franzimoore didn't pick up too many chips for his KO, but his opponents fared a bit better. After dulek_jason opened for a min-raise to 800,000, austin.xd moved all-in for 2.7 million on the button. Dulek_jason called with 8♦T♦, austin.xd holding the lead with A♥J♠. The advantage quickly flipped to dulek_jason, however, as the 8♣4♦2♣ flop made him top pair. Austin.xd didn't catch up and exited in eighth place, earning $17,241.60.
The next deal saw Mellow-Peach open-shove for 3.62 million from UTG+1 and WATnlos reshove for 14.5 million right behind him. Mellow-Peach turned over A♣J♥ and was in a race situation with T♣T♠. The 7♠6♦8♥3♥K♦ board didn't help Mellow-Peach and he departed in seventh place with a $30,891.20 score.
tomc1s gets in kicker trouble
19VICTOR89 got off the short stack at tomc1s' expense, their chips going in on a T♣9♥3♥ flop. Tomc1s had top pair with Q♣T♦ but was in kicker trouble against 19VICTOR89's A♥T♠. 19VICTOR89's dominating hand held up and he doubled to 11.9 million while tomc1s fell to 3.6 million. With the blinds up to 200,000/400,000, tomc1s three-bet shoved for 3.16 million from the big blind and initial min-raiser dulek_jason called. Tomc1s turned over A♣J♥, but it was no match for dulek_jason's K♦K♥ Dulek_jason improved to a king-high straight by the river and tomc1s went out in sixth place, earning $44,540.80.
iacog4 doubles, dulek_jason busts Franzimoore
Thus far, dulek_jason had pretty much cruised with the chip lead, increasing his stack to nearly 30 million. But on this hand, a light three-bet and a pretty scary flop resulted in a double-up for iacog4 at his expense. WATnlos led off the action with a UTG min-raise to 800,000. Iacog4 three-bet to 1.76 million and dulek_jason four-bet to 2.73 million. WATnlos folded and iacog4 called. Dulek_jason snap-shoved on the K♦T♠K♣ flop and iacog4 called, revealing 9♦T♦ for two pair. Dulek_jason tabled A♣Q♥. Iacog4 filled up on the turn when the T♣ fell and raked in the 16.7 million pot.
Dulek_jason fell to 22 million but rebounded quickly, hitting a set of sevens against Franzimoore's top pair on a T♠7♦4♣ flop. Both players coyly checked, but Franzimoore led out for 900,000 on the 2♠ turn. Dulek_jason smooth-called. The river was the Q♦, making Franzimoore two pair. He led out for 1.9 million, dulek_jason shoved with sevens full, and Franzimoore called all-in, only to find his top two no good. For fifth place, Franzimoore took home $58,908.80.
One good rush deserves another
Dulek_jason's rush continued as WATnlos open-shoved for 5.6 million with A♥8♦ from UTG. Dulek_jason called with K♣Q♥ in the big blind and binked an ace-high straight on the river, the board running out T♣2♥A♠Q♠J♠ to eliminate WATnlos in fourth. Dulek_jason moved up to 38.4 million, more than twice second-place 19VICTOR89's 18.2 million, while iacog4 was the short stack with 16 million.
Now it was iacog4's turn to run good. Iacog4 claimed nearly half of 19VICTOR89's stack on this hand, moving him off his hand with a three-bet on the turn:
19VICTOR89 never quite found his footing again after that hand, his chip stack falling to 8.44 million. After making a 3x button raise to 1.8 million that iacog4 called from the big blind, both players checked the Q♦J♥8♥ flop. The turn came the 5♠ and iacog4 led out for 1.8 million. 19VICTOR89 called and they went to the river, which fell the A♥. Iacog4 shoved for 21.4 million and 19VICTOR89 called all-in for 4.78 million more, turning over A♠K♥ for top pair. It was no good, though, against iacog4's nut flush with Q♥T♥. 19VICTOR89 was out in third place, a very handsome $114,944.00 his reward.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 2: iacog4 (33,889,530 in chips)
Seat 5: dulek_jason (37,950,470 in chips)
Sporting nearly equal chip counts, iacog4 and dulek_jason agreed to pause the action to discuss a potential deal. Iacog4 suggested making an even chop of the prize money, leaving the required $20,000 in play for the winner. Dulek_jason quickly agreed to the idea and with $177,052 apiece locked up, cards went back in the air.
The two played mostly small pots before iacog4 took control of the match. After dulek_jason opened for a min-raise to 1.2 million, iacog4 check-called another 1.2 million on the T♣8♥3♦ flop. The turn brought the 2♥ and iacog4 checked again. Dulek_jason made it 2.4 million to go and again iacog4 called. The river was the T♥. Iacog4 checked a third time, dulek_jason bet 5.125 million, and iacog4 raised to 14.4 million. It was enough to chase dulek_jason away, and iacog4 won the 20 million pot without a showdown.
Iacog4 was up to 52 million when a perfect turn card got dulek_jason to commit the rest of his chips. Holding A♦J♠ on a T♠3♥Q♣J♣ board, dulek_jason led out for 3.6 million, then called iacog4's shove, only to discover that the jack that made him second pair made iacog4 two pair:
Congratulations to Kevin "iacog4" Iacofano on his Sunday Million title! He picked up $197,052.26 for the win while runner-up dulek_jason earned $177,052.27.
PokerStars Sunday Million results for 12-2-2012
Places paid: 1,080
1. Kevin "iacog4" Iacofano (United Kingdom) $197,052.26*
2. dulek_jason (Poland) $177,052.27*
3. 19VICTOR89 (Sweden) $114,944.00
4. WATnlos (Germany) $76,150.40
5. Franzimoore (Czech Republic) $58,908.80
6. tomc1s (Sweden) $44,540.80
7. Mellow-Peach (Lithuania) $30,891.20
8. austin.xd (Peru) $17,241.60
9. Taffyfella (United Kingdom) $11,135.20
*= reflects the result of a heads-up deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner.
Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.