There was never any question that Luke “Bdbeatslayer” Vrabel was going to play the biggest-ever PokerStars Sunday Million. The only question was whether his poker career was going to continue on the same road it had been for some time. It’s not an easy thing for any poker player to admit, but Vrabel is honest. “I had been struggling a lot lately,” he said.
Struggle or not, Vrabel wasn’t going to miss the Sunday Million that guaranteed a $5 million prize pool and ended up with nearly $12 million in the pile. The guy has millions in online winnings already, but no live cash bigger than a $25,000 509th place cash in the WSOP Main Event. What’s more, to say someone has won millions online doesn’t really tell the whole story. In other words, online tourney volume can go both ways. Nonetheless, Vrabel set an appointent for March 6.
“I knew I was going to play right when they announced it,” he said. “I always play the milly!”
Married, 25 years old, and a sports lover from West Hartford, CT, Vrabel is a poker pro with a collection of rebuy wins and a $1k Super Tuesday victory on PokerStars. They are proud moments, but in all the money Vrabel has made online, he’s never had a victory worth six figures. The Sunday Million 5th anniversary gave him a chance to change that.
By now, you should know the story. It took nearly 15 hours, but, Vrabel topped all 59,000 of the players, won more than $600,000, and picked up a Lamborghini Gallardo for the effort (he wants a black one, and plans to sell it if you’re in the buying mood).
If you’re just catching up, you might wonder how Vrabel ended up with only $671,093 and the car when the posted first prize was more than $1.6 million. Well, in a move that surprised more than a few people, the entire final table cut a deal. It’s not the type of thing you see every day.
Vrabel is fine with it–unapologetic, even.
“A lot of people felt since I was the most experienced player I should not make a deal,” he said, “but it was far more important to me to secure myself financially for the future than to try and be a hero and gamble in such a fast structure for millions of dollars.”
Simply put, in a new era of poker where millions are discussed like thousands, Vrabel is pragmatic, honest, and more than half a million dollars richer.
“It changes my life drastically,” Vrabel said. “This increases my bankroll a lot.”
To see it all play out, check out the highlight video below, hosted by the venerable Nick Wealthall.