The name is somewhat deceiving. The Sunday Million is actually the one tournament in the world of online poker that offers a whopping $1.5 million guarantee each week. But it’s still called the Million, harkening back to the days when the guarantee was two-thirds of its current offering. Why not change the name of the tournament? Well, nothing else has quite the ring to it as the Million.
It just is.
This week, there was another solid turnout for the Million, as registration showed 7,798 players took to the tables for their chance at the $1.5 million. But when the $200 + $15 buy-ins were calculated, the prize pool jumped to $1,559,600, which was enough to pay out the top 1,170 finishers and reserve six-figure sums for the top three players.
As play moved on into the ninth hour, the final table neared, and hand-for-hand play prompted MettHelm to move all-in for his last chips with Q♣10♣. It just so happened that RichGilliard called with a dominating A♥K♦, and the board of 10♠5♥9♣2♥A♣ rivered a win for RichGilliard and a tenth place finish for MettHelm. He walked away with $8,343.86 for bubbling the final table.
Pvas2 was number one, but eleach86 was in reach
Moments before the tournament hit its ten-hour mark, the final table was indeed set, and it was in the middle of Level 36, with blinds at 200,000/400,000 with a 40,000 ante. The starting chip counts for the nine players were as follows:
Seat 1: Dmitrych77 (5,027,866 in chips)
Seat 2: pvas2 (16,603,250 in chips)
Seat 3: RichGilliard (11,103,795 in chips)
Seat 4: joeywhatsup (1,863,863 in chips)
Seat 5: johnnylodden (10,063,412 in chips)
Seat 6: Chancew (4,908,115 in chips)
Seat 7: BWFCLEE (3,808,946 in chips)
Seat 8: eleach86 (11,213,654 in chips)
Seat 9: PremiumStud (13,387,099 in chips)
It was clear that this table was going to provide ample action for the railbirds who tuned in to see players compete for life-changing money. And with none other than Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden at the table, fans wanted to watch to see what he thought of it all.
The very first hand found joeywhatsup doubling through Lodden, though the latter still held on to a position within the top five on the leaderboard. Lodden experienced a true roller coaster ride to get to the final table, having been a short stack for awhile during two-table play and only recently having jumped back toward the top of the counts.
Three hands later, one of the shorter stacks made a move. Chancew took said chance by moving all-in for 4,148,115 chips with J♥8♥, and it was eleach86 who called from the big blind with K♦J♠. The flop of 4♠3♦K♣ only helped eleach86 with the pair of kings, and the 5♥ turn and 3♥ river ended it all for Chancew, who finished in ninth place with $12,086.90.
Another double-up then saved BWFCLEE, courtesy of some of RichGilliard’s chips.
Dmitrych77 was on quite the short stack in comparison to many others at the table, and his 2,228,866 chips went into the pot with A♦6♦. Pvas2 called from the small blind with A♣J♣, and that better starting hand held up through the dealing of the K♠7♥4♠7♠10♠ board. Dmitrych77 was sent away in eighth place with $17,935.40 for his troubles.
Eleach86 reaches for and finds the chip lead
With PremiumStud steadily moving toward the top of the leaderboard and holding a fairly comfortable second place spot there, things were about to take a turn. And that turn came from eleach86, who got involved in a monster pot that put PremiumStud in sudden jeopardy and changed the dynamic of the table:
PremiumStud saw his stack reduced even further, though he eventually doubled through eleach86 to stay in the game.
Joeywhatsup wasn’t so lucky. Taking a chance by moving all-in preflop with A♠A♣ seemed like the right move at the time, and when pvas2 called with Q♥J♦, it looked like a double-up was in the works. But the board had other ideas. Grand ideas, in fact, as the the K♦A♦10♦Q♦9♣ gave pvas2 the royal flush. Royal flush! That’s one way to beat pocket aces, and joeywhatsup exited in painful fasion with $31,192.00 to console him for the seventh place finish.
Lodden was soon able to double through RichGilliard to stay alive, and then a huge pot developed that had two players at risk. RichGilliard was all-in with K-Q, BWFCLEE was all-in with pocket tens, and eleach86 called with A-7. The board of 4-K-J-J-3 gave BWFCLEE the side pot and some relief, and RichGIlliard tripled up by grabbing the main pot. And eleach86 began to lose the massive lead that was comfortable for so short a time.
Pvas2 returns to the top
As eleach86 lost chips rather consistently over the course of several hands, it was pvas2 who capitalized on the trend and took some rather significant pots in order to jump into the lead. Pvas2 took a 12 million-chip pot from eleach86, followed by another worth 17.5 million chips, and suddenly pvas2 towered over his opponents with more than 40 million chips.
The very short-stacked RichGilliard pushed his last 1,095,565 chips all-in with K♦8♥, and Lodden was able to call with K♠10♠. The board brought nothing to change the standings when it came K♥7♠9♣2♦Q♦, and Lodden’s ten played to give him the pot. RichGilliard was out of the tournament in sixth place with $46,788.00.
The last Team PokerStars Pro standing was finally put to the test. When pvas2 came in for a preflop raise, Lodden reraised all-in for 8,615,118 chips from the small blind holding A♥9♣. But pvas2 called and showed the better A♦10♥. Though a series of bad beats at the final table made anything possible, the board of 5♦10♦4♠8♠5♥ disagreed and allowed the best hand to hold. That eliminated Johnny Lodden in fifth place with $62,384.00.
And yes, Lodden most likely thinks that a win would have been better.
After a successful double-up by eleach86 through pvas2, another player was bound to try it. BWFCLEE did just that with A♦2♠, but it was pvas2 who had K♥8♣ and found immediate help on the 8♥J♠7♦ flop. The 5♠ on the turn and J♥ on the river put an end to BWFCLEE’s tournament, and the payout was $78,603.84 for fourth place.
Let’s make this quick, shall we?
Three-handed play didn’t last long, only long enough to see PremiumStud chip up quite significantly to solidify his position just under chip leader pvas2.
Short-stacked eleach86 made the all-in move with A♦Q♣ for his last 17,915,942 chips, and original raiser pvas2 called with 7♣7♥. The flop was a double-edged sword, as the A♠2♦7♦ gave eleach86 the pair of aces but made a set of sevens for pvas2. The J♥ on the turn and Q♦ on the river ended the event for eleach86, who took home $116,970.00 for the third place finish.
Heads-up play then began with the following chip counts:
Seat 2: pvas2 (50,162,666 in chips)
Seat 9: PremiumStud (27,817,334 in chips)
Both players wished each other good luck in the chat box, and on the third hand, the chips were in. The hand started with a raise from PremiumStud, reraise from pvas2, and all-in move from PremiumStud. Pvas2 called with 7♣7♦, which clearly worked before, and PremiumStud showed A♣Q♠, which didn’t work so well for the third place finisher. And the board was willing to let the hands stand as it produced 8♥6♣6♥J♦10♥. PremiumStud did not have the premium hand but did receive $171,556.00 for second place.
Pvas2 won the Sunday Million with those pocket sevens, and the title was awarded with a solid $233,943.87 first place prize.
Sunday Million Results for 08/22/10:
1st place: pvas2 ($233,943.87)
2nd place: PremiumStud ($171,556.00)
3rd place: eleach86 ($116,970.00)
4th place: BWFCLEE ($78,603.84)
5th place: Team PokerStars Pro Johnny “johnnylodden” Lodden ($62,384.00)
6th place: RichGilliard ($46,788.00)
7th place: joeywhatsup ($31,192.00)
8th place: Dmitrych77 ($17,935.40)
9th place: Chancew ($12,086.90)
For more information on ways to register and qualify for upcoming Sunday Million tournaments, visit the Sunday Million page.