Iron and sugar. Believe it or not, these two diametrically opposed elements are actually the traditional gifts for a sixth anniversary. Iron is supposed to signify strength and stability while sugar reflects the sweetness that (fingers crossed) still coats the relationship. Admittedly, PokerStars could have gone a lot of ways with this theme when it came to thanking the loyal players who have contributed so much to the Sunday Million’s growth over the last six years. So while we won’t all be receiving Godiva chocolate-stuffed iron spades on our doorsteps, PokerStars upped the ante big time on this week’s Million, guaranteeing a $6 million prize pool and a $1 million first place prize. Now that’s a sweet gift.
When registration finally closed, a total of 33,732 souls were in the mix, the prize pool topping out at a staggering $6,746,400. 4,392 players earned a share of it, with $1,064,737.08 set aside for first place. It was all hands on deck for the Red Spade Army today with more than 50 members of Team Pro, Team Online, and Team Sports Stars taking their shot at seven figures. Half a dozen of them came away with a cash finish including Randy “nanonoko” Lew (4,252nd), Fredy “sirfreddy83” Torres (3,997th), Martin Hruby (3,355th), Chad Brown (1,500th), Joao “jomane” Nunes (933rd), and Leo Fernandez (789th).
As its thirteenth hour ticked away, ten players jockeyed for the final table’s nine seats. Already guaranteed more than $40,000 (fifth or sixth place money in a typical Sunday Million), the $13,000 pay jump from tenth to ninth seemed to unfaze lalex-79, who open-shoved for 53.5 million with A♠Q♠ when the action was folded to him in the small blind. HesBluffingx called off his entire 34.5 million stack with 9♣9♦ in the big blind and won the 72 million-chip coinflip when the board ran out 10♣10♥5♦3♦2♣. Orange6 also found a double on the bubble, his A♦A♠ holding up to slyfox151’s 10♠10♥ in a 36.3 million pot.
Down to less than 5 million in chips with the blinds up to 850,000/1,700,000, mikel fis made his last stand from the small blind with A♣6♥. Chip leader blodders03 called with 5♥9♥ from the big and rivered a pair of nines, enough to take out mikel fis in tenth place and set the final table.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: orange6 (33,083,672 in chips)
Seat 2: toode (37,381,281 in chips)
Seat 3: baadger (15,373,034 in chips)
Seat 4: SASHA 2908 (15,441,476 in chips)
Seat 5: blodders03 (110,638,181 in chips)
Seat 6: lalex-79 (29,568,135 in chips)
Seat 7: HesBluffingx (76,348,428 in chips)
Seat 8: slyfox151 (8,687,084 in chips)
Seat 9: Paars_Wit (10,798,709 in chips)
Seconds after cards went back in the air, Paars_Wit proposed pausing the action to negotiate a deal. However, blodders03 and his nine-figure stack weren’t having any of that, and put the kibosh on any discussions before the others could respond. Although he didn’t get his wish in terms of a nine-way chop, Paars_Wit found an early double-up, his pocket deuces hitting a set against orange6’s A♣9♣. Unfortunately for him, most of those newfound chips ended up in slyfox151’s stack on the next hand when his A♣Q♠ fell to 8♣8♠.
Slyfox151’s stack was back in the middle only moments later. From UTG+1, slyfox151 found pocket sevens and open-shoved for 17.7 million, but orange6 was lying in wait with A♠A♥. Just as all looked lost for slyfox151, a seven hit the flop, leaving orange6 with only five big blinds. Orange6 hung on for a couple more orbits, the rest of his chips going in with Q♠4♠ from the big blind against slyfox151 and blodders03. Blodders03 bet 4.5 million on the 8♣3♠2♥ flop and slyfox151 called, but when the 2♣ fell on the turn, blodders03 check-folded to slyfox151’s 12 million-chip bet. Slyfox151 turned up 9♠9♣, orange6 needing a queen on the river to survive. Instead it was the K♥ and orange6 hit the rail in ninth place, collecting $53,296.56.
Pocket sevens fared well again, this time for Paars_Wit, who tossed in his last 6.5 big blinds with the walking sticks. Blodders03 called with A♦9♦ from the big blind, but once again a seven hit the flop, the board running out J♠10♦7♥K♠3♦ to double Paars_Wit to 29.3 million. Short-stacked SASHA 2908 also found a double-up, his A♠J♠ catching running jacks against toode’s K♠K♦ to take him up to 17.2 million.
As the hourly break hit, baadger proposed taking a look at numbers. This time blodders03 agreed, and the action was paused for the PokerStars support staff to do a little math. For the amount of money involved, the deal came together with astonishing speed, all eight players agreeing to a chip count chop that left $120,000 in play for first place. Toode emerged from the deal with the largest chunk of the prize pool at more than $590,000 while short stack SASHA 2908 was now guaranteed at least $187,000.
Action resumed with lalex-79 on the short stack with 18.5 million, toode the chip leader with 71.5 million, and blinds of 1.25M/2.5M. On one of the first hands after the break, the action folded to lalex-79 in the small blind and he moved all-in for 18.2 million with 6♦8♦. With 69 million behind in the big blind, HesBluffingx decided to call with 4♣7♣. Neither hand improved on the Q♥9♥9♦Q♦5♣ board, lalex-79’s eight kicker playing to take down the 38.5 million pot. HesBluffingx, however, quickly recovered his chips. Holding K♣K♠, he three-bet shoved preflop and toode called with 9♣9♦. HesBluffingx flopped a set of kings and doubled to 113.2 million while toode was left on five big blinds.
Baadger was the next to fall, however. He open-shoved 31.1 million from the hijack with K♥Q♣ and Jalex-79 snap-reshoved with A♦K♦ in the small blind. The dominating hand held on the J♥6♠2♣J♣J♠ board and baadger departed in eighth place, his share of the deal totaling $239,269.62.
The last of toode’s chips were in the middle two hands later, his pocket sixes up against blodders03’s K♠Q♦. It was all but over for when a king hit the flop, the board running out K♦8♦3♦10♠10♣ to bring toode’s run to an end. Although he finished in seventh place, toode took home the largest share of the prize pool at $590,482.92.
Toode’s elimination left SASHA 2908 as the table short stack. Dealt A♣Q♠ under-the-gun, SASHA 2908 decided to limp in for 2.5 million. Slyfox151 raised to 7.5 million from the small blind and SASHA 2908 shoved for 15.6 million. Slyfox151 called with a dominated A♠9♥, but hit his kicker when the flop landed Q♣9♣4♠. The 9♠ on the turn made him trips and sealed SASHA 2908’s sixth-place elimination, the Russian earning $187,355.63 for his finish.
Four hands later, a squeeze play gone awry resulted in a 185 million-chip pot and a double KO. Holding pocket sixes, Paars_Wit opened for a min-raise to 6 million from UTG. Seated directly to his left, blodders03 looked down at A♥A♦ and decided to flat-call, hoping to induce a reraise. Obviously not knowing how bad his timing was, Jalex-79 decided to go for a squeeze raise, three-bet shoving for 43.3 million with the lowly 5♥9♥. In a dream-come-true scenario for blodders03, Paars_Wit reshoved for 68 million and blodders03 happily called. The aces held up on the 7♠4♠3♦J♦K♥ board and blodders03 raked in the 185.6 million pot. Lalex-79 was eliminated in fifth place, collecting $225,028.27 while Paars_Wit took fourth, banking $254,827.49.
Slyfox151 picked up serious momentum during three-handed play, doubling to 102 million through HesBluffingx when his K♥J♠ held up against J♦6♦. A few hands later, slyfox151 pilfered blodders03’s monster stack, picking up this 140 million pot with top two pair:
Three hands later, it was all over for HesBluffingx. Slyfox151 opened for 7.5 million on the button with 6♥6♠, HesBluffingx shoved for 74.1 million with J♥10♥ in the big blind and slyfox151 called. The pocket pair held up on the K♣8♠2♠Q♣5♦ board and HesBluffingx departed in third place with the second-largest share of the prize pool at $552,972.89.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 5: blodders03 (101,378,828 in chips)
Seat 8: slyfox151 (235,941,172 in chips)
Although slyfox151 took a 2.3 to 1 chip lead into heads-up play, blodders03 quickly closed the gap. Holding A♥9♦, blodders03 check-called 9 million on an 8♦6♦6♠ flop, then check-called another 24 million when the A♣ hit the turn. Blodders checked a third time when the 9♥ made him a better two pair, but this time slyfox151 thought better of it and checked behind. Blodders03 ground his stack up to 156 million before slyfox151 picked off this river bluff and eroded all his progress:
Slyfox151 continued chipping away at blodders03, moving up to 299 million in chips. Down to 37.4 million with the blinds up to 2M/4M, blodders03 picked up A♣Q♠ and open-shoved. Slyfox151 called with 4♥4♦ in the big blind. The J♣8♦5♦ flop missed blodders03 and although he picked up a gutshot straight draw on the turn with the 10♥, the river blanked out with the 6♦ to seal the win for slyfox151.
Congratulations to slyfox151 on defeating over 33,000 players to take down one of the largest Sunday Millions in history. He took home $480,761.38 for the win. Don’t feel too bad for runner-up blodders03, though. Thanks to the deal, his take was actually $963.18 larger than the winner’s share at $481,724.56
PokerStars Sunday Million 6th Anniversary Special results (3-11-2012):
1. slyfox151 (Netherlands) $480,761.38*
2. blodders03 (United Kingdom) $481,724.56*
3. HesBluffingx (New Zealand) $552,972.89*
4. Paars_Wit (Netherlands) $254,827.49*
5. lalex-79 (Russia) $225,028.27*
6. SASHA 2908 (Russia) $187,355.63*
7. toode (Finland) $590,482.92*
8. baadger (Finland) $239,269.62*
9. orange6 (Israel) $53,296.56
*= reflects the results of an eight-way deal that left $120,000 in play for first place
The Sunday Million is back to its regularly scheduled $1 million guarantee next week. Check out the Sunday Million page for more information on how you can win your seat for pennies on the dollar.