This week’s Sunday Million — the weekly $215 no-limit hold’em tournament on PokerStars that is online poker’s most popular event — didn’t quite match last week’s in terms of turnout, but it was every bit as exciting. A field of 7,989 took part this time around, and after almost 12 hours of play it was D_DIGGLER99 of Canada outlasting everyone for a first-place finish and prize of $189,044.16. And thanks to a three-handed final table deal, Epiphany77 of the United Kingdom also earned a handsome payday of $201,711.71 for a runner-up finish.
It took about five hours for the money bubble to burst. With 1,170 players remaining, be lucky9 was leading with about 437,000, with peso7 (316,000) and dhutt (305,000) occupying the next two spots in the counts.
About three hours later the field had shrunk below 100 players with shaldyn, CHUBSTER, and Telefonkiosk topping the counts as the only players with more than 2 million chips, while both dhutt (543rd, $479.34) and peso7 (319th, $639.12) had fallen.
All of those other former leaders also would be eliminated once the tourney was approaching the 10-hour mark and field had shrunk to 18, with shaldyn going out in 81st ($1,997.25), be lucky9 in 56th ($2,476.59), CHUBSTER in 32nd ($3,195.60), and Telefonkiosk just missing the last two tables by finishing 19th ($3,516.16). Meanwhile Epiphany77 had moved well ahead of the pack with more than 10.6 million when no one else had 7 million.
It would take about an hour more for eight more to hit the rail, with Evan “SenorPokes” Jarvis (18th), WayneDaBang (17th), and Phil “bergeroo” Huxley (16th) each earning $4,234.17; ParisienO (15th), Spraggs (14th), and swimmer25 (13th) taking away $6,391.20 apiece; and Ravic85 (12th) and João “tchonchiti” Almeida (11th) cashing for $8,548.23 each.
Hand-for-hand play began with 10 players left, and before long two eliminations occurred on the same hand.
On one table it was domastah open-raising all in for 1,581,894 (a little over six big blinds) from the button with Q♠5♦ and getting called by Epiphany77 in the big blind holding K♠J♠. The board ran out 8♣K♥5♠8♥J♣, and domastah finished 10th for $8,548.23.
Meanwhile Sergio “trujustrus” Cabrera was open-pushing with a bigger stack of 4,375,522 from the small blind on the other table with J♠9♠ and got looked up by D_DIGGLER99 in the big blind who had been dealt A♠5♠. The community cards rolled out 5♦6♥10♠6♠3♦, giving D_DIGGLER99 sixes and fives and ending Cabrera’s run in ninth for a $12,382.95 payday.
With crazyalex696 having moved ahead of Epiphany77 in the counts and one seat already empty, the final table had begun.
Seat 1: pixigirl123 (Denmark) — 5,316,381
Seat 2: schmuggel15 (Germany) — 7,114,369
Seat 3: crazyalex696 (Latvia) — 25,109,905
Seat 4: rashevski2 (Belarus) — 4,479,528
Seat 5: Epiphany77 (United Kingdom) — 21,063,338
Seat 6: holy h3ll (Israel) — 3,385,394
Seat 7: empty
Seat 8: D_DIGGLER99 (Canada) — 8,879,166
Seat 9: MorrisB1 (Netherlands) — 4,541,919
It took less than an orbit for the next elimination to come.
The blinds were 150k/300k with a 30k ante when it folded around to Epiphany77 in the small blind who raised to 660,000. holy h3ll responded by pushing all in for 3,915,394 from the big blind and Epiphany77 made the call.
It was A♣Q♣ for Epiphany77 while holy h3ll needed help with K♣Q♠. The board ran out nine-high — 9♥8♥6♥4♠3♥ — and holy h3ll was out in eighth.
The blinds moved up to 200k/400k, and soon it was rashevski2 pushing for 2,499,528 from early position and getting a single caller in MorrisB1 from the button. rashevski2 showed A♠4♣ and was behind MorrisB1’s A♥Q♠. The board came K♠9♦7♥5♣Q♦, and rashevski2 was done in seventh.
About five minutes later, crazyalex696 open-raised all in for 5,958,722 from the button and Epiphany77 called from the small blind. Again it was a situation of both players having aces but the all-in player being outkicked as crazyalex696 had A♠2♦ and Epiphany77 A♣Q♠. The community cards rolled out J♣Q♥K♣K♦5♠ and crazyalex696 was eliminated in sixth.
Soon after that hand the blinds were still 200k/400k when D_DIGGLER99 opened for 880,000 from the small blind and MorrisB1 called from the big blind.
The flop came 3♥A♦9♦ and D_DIGGLER99 fired 666,500 into the middle with MorrisB1 again calling. The turn brought the 3♠ and a check from D_DIGGLER99, and MorrisB1 took the opening to bet 2.4 million. D_DIGGLER99 called.
The river was the 10♠. This time D_DIGGLER99 pushed all in for more than 7.7 million and MorrisB1 called with the 3,666,866 left behind. MorrisB1 had 6♣3♣ for trip treys, but D_DIGGLER99 had a full house with A♥A♣ and MorrisB1 was sent railward in fifth.
The final four paused the tourney briefly to discuss a possible deal with Epiphany77 way out in front with over 43 million, D_DIGGLER99 next with a little under 19.5 million, and schmuggel15 and pixigirl123 both around 8.7 million. But an agreement couldn’t be reached and play soon resumed.
A few more minutes passed, then with the blinds up to 250k/500k it was chip leader Epiphany77 raising to 1 million from under the gun and pixigirl123 reraising all in for 6,086,762 from the small blind. It folded back to Epiphany77 who called, turning over A♠10♥ to pixigirl123’s A♥3♣, and five cards later — 7♦6♦J♦7♥4♥ — they were down to three.
The tourney was paused again and numbers were once more produced for a possible chop. Epiphany77 still led and was up to 53,213,402, D_DIGGLER99 was next with 18,017,860, and schmuggel15 was third with 8,658,738. This time all ended up agreeing to the ICM figures and a deal was struck leaving $20,000 on the table for which to play.
schmuggel15 hung on for a while, but with the blinds up to 300k/600k pushed all in for 7,068,538 from the button and got a caller in D_DIGGLER99 from the big blind. schmuggel15 had A♦K♣ and the preflop edge versus D_DIGGLER99’s K♥Q♠, but the flop came K♦5♠Q♣ to pair the latter twice, and after the 4♠ turn and 8♣ river schmuggel15 was out in third.
Epiphany77 began heads-up play with close to a 2-to-1 chip advantage with 52,170,142 to D_DIGGLER99’s 27,719,858. However on the eighth hand between the pair the stacks were essentially switched in a hand that saw D_DIGGLER99 earn a big double-up.
After D_DIGGLER99 called a preflop three-bet from Epiphany77, then Epiphany77 check-called a bet on the flop from D_DIGGLER99, Epiphany77 check-raised all in on the turn with the board showing 9♠10♦Q♣2♦ and D_DIGGLER99 called.
D_DIGGLER99 had J♦9♣ for nines and an open-ended straight draw while Epiphany77 had 8♣7♥ for a lesser open-ender, and when the river brought the 9♥ D_DIGGLER99 had seized the lead.
They battled onward, then with the blinds still 300k/600k it was D_DIGGLER99 raising to 1.2 million, Epiphany77 making it 3 million to go, and D_DIGGLER99 calling. The flop came all clubs — K♣4♣3♣ — and Epiphany77 checked. D_DIGGLER99 bet 2.3 million, Epiphany77 check-raised to 5.4 million, and D_DIGGLER99 called.
The turn was the 8♠, and Epiphany77 checked again. This time D_DIGGLER99 bet 4.2 million, and when Epiphany77 check-raised again — moving all in for 18,580,284 — D_DIGGLER99 was there with the call.
Epiphany77 had top pair of kings but no club while D_DIGGLER99 had the overpair with a flush draw as well. The river was the Q♠, and it was all over… using pocket aces a second time to knock out a final table opponent, D_DIGGLER99 had won!
Congratulations to D_DIGGLER99 for topping another huge Sunday Million field to earn a $189K-plus payday. And kudos as well to Epiphany77 who thanks to the three-handed deal took away the biggest cut of this week’s Sunday Million prize pool with more than $201K.
1/12/14 Sunday Million ($215 No-Limit Hold’em) results
Prize pool: $1,597,800.00
Places paid: 1,170
1. D_DIGGLER99 (Canada) — $189,044.16*
2. Epiphany77 (United Kingdom) — $201,711.71*
3. schmuggel15 (Germany) — $144,511.45*
4. pixigirl123 (Denmark) — $80,529.12
5. MorrisB1 (Netherlands) — $63,912.00
6. crazyalex696 (Latvia) — $47,934.00
7. rashevski2 (Belarus) — $31,956.00
8. holy h3ll (Israel) — $18,374.70
9. Sergio “trujustrus” Cabrera (Portugal) — $12,382.95
*= reflects the results of a three-way deal that left $20,000 in play for the winner
The 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is reaching its climax with the conclusions of both the Main Event and High Roller happening tomorrow. Click over to the PokerStars blog’s start-to-finish coverage of the PCA to find out who tomorrow’s winners will be.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.