Sometimes the avatars say it all. Thx4urm0n3y, sporting the angry orange visage of Donald Trump, crushed his heads-up opponent tomc1s, bearing an image of a tiny grey kitten peering at us from inside a container of Pringles. It was the second trip to the final table of the Million for the Canadian, who was runner-up in December 2014 for a $167k score and has since won a WCOOP title. Back then, he had to fight his way off the short stack, but this time, thx4urm0n3y came in to the final table with average chips and claimed the chip lead by the time play was five-handed. Thx4urm0n3y eliminated five of his eight final table opponents, including a double-KO four- handed that sent him into heads-up play against tomc1s with a 14.5 to 1 chip lead. Within moments, thx4urm0n3y put tomc1s away and at last could call himself a Sunday Million champion.
5,123 players bought in to this week’s Million, creating a $1,024,600.00 prize pool. 728 places were paid with $145,747.41 up top.
On the final table bubble, the blinds were up to 100,000/200,000 when tomc1s opened for 510,000 from the cutoff with 7♠10♥. Gardze_wami three-bet shoved for 1.33 million from the big blind holding A♣9♠ and tomc1s called the 821k balance. Although the J♥J♦5♦ flop was a safe one for gardze_wami, the 7♦ turn made tomc1s a pair of sevens. Gardze_wami needed a river ace or nine, but got the 10♠ instead, sending him home in tenth place.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: Poker_Zarby1 (4,547,494 in chips)
Seat 2: bigbluffzinc (6,310,621 in chips)
Seat 3: TheFjell (3,892,510 in chips)
Seat 4: TaxHere (9,959,745 in chips)
Seat 5: neoriel oliv (937,159 in chips)
Seat 6: tomc1s (15,579,581 in chips)
Seat 7: aaaaifadeev (3,367,737 in chips)
Seat 8: thx4urm0n3y (5,889,745 in chips)
Seat 9: Chamuri (745,408 in chips)
Neoriel oliv arrived at the final table with less than a million in chips, but put himself in a much better position after doubling twice in back-to-back hands. In the first, he was one card away from elimination, his A♦3♦ up against TaxHere’s A♠10♣ on a J♥5♠2♥9♥ board when the 3♣ spiked on the river to take his 877k stack up to 1.99 million. Then, on the very next deal, TaxHere made a small blind shove with 6♥8♠ and neoriel oliv called with K♣9♦ in the big blind. Neoriel oliv turned aces and nines on the A♥A♦5♦9♥10♠ board and doubled again, this time to 4.12 million. TaxHere was left with 6.42 million, having lost about a third of his stack.
Short stack Chamuri inched over the 1 million-chip mark before finding A♠8♦. He open-shoved for 1.06 million and bigbluffzinc called on the button with A♥9♥. Although Chamuri paired his kicker on the Q♣8♣7♣ flop, bigbluffzinc caught running straight cards, the 6♦ and the 10♦, to make a ten-high straight. Bigbluffzinc took down the pot and Chamuri was out in ninth place. Then, on the very next hand, thx4urm0n3y opened for 519,900 and TheFjell moved all-in for 2.43 million with A♣8♠. Thx4urm0n3y snap-called with Q♥Q♠ and rivered a set on the 10♠8♦6♥7♣Q♣ board, ending TheFjell’s run in eighth place.
Tomc1s still held the chip lead at this stage with nearly 14 million, but neoriel oliv snatched away a bit of it when he made a small blind shove for 3.28 million. Tomc1s called with K♥Q♣, but was up against a dominating A♥K♠. Neoriel oliv’s Big Slick held up and he doubled to 6.9 million, leaving tomc1s on 10.6 million. TaxHere was down to 7 million from the 10 million he started the final table with and lost even more when Poker_Zarby1 open-shoved with K♣J♥. TaxHere called with pocket nines, but a king hit the flop, doubling Poker_Zarby1 to 5.4 million. By the time the blinds rose to 175,000/350,000, TaxHere was down to 2.75 million and moved in with Q♦10♦. Poker_Zarby1 looked him up with A♠7♦ from the big blind. Poker_Zarby1 made aces up on the J♣8♠4♣A♣4♠ board and TaxHere bowed out in seventh place.
Once again, eliminations came in back-to-back hands as thx4urm0n3y opened for 729,900 on the next deal. Poker_Zamby1 flat-called from the small blind and bigbluffzinc put the squeeze on and moved in for 6.27 million from the big. Thx4urm0n3y reshoved and Poker_Zamby1 got out of the way. Bigbluffzinc turned over A♦6♠, but once again, thx4urm0n3y had Q♠Q♦. The queens prevailed on the 9♥8♦6♣10♣10♦ board and bigbluffzinc was suddenly on the rail in sixth place, as thx4urm0n3y assumed the chip lead with 18.84 million.
Less than five minutes passed before Poker_Zarby1 and aaaaifadeev both limped in for 350,000 apiece. From the big blind, thx4urm0n3y moved in for 19.6 million, Poker_Zarby1 called, and aaaifadeev folded. It was a race between thx4urm0n3y’s Q♦J♦ and Poker_Zarby1’s 6♦6♠, and the K♦6♥2♦ flop was a juicy one, giving Poker_Zarby1 a set of sixes and thx4urm0n3y a flush draw. The 9♣ turn gave thx4urm0n3y even more outs with a gutshot straight draw and the river 10♥ filled it. Thx4usm0n3y took down the 11.7 million pot with a king-high straight, ending Poker_Zarby1’s run in fifth place.
Moments later, the final four agreed to pause the action and discuss a potential deal. Here’s how they stacked up at the time:
neoriel oliv 7,944,472
Thx4urm0n3y had a huge advantage going into these negotiations. Not only did he have a massive chip lead, but he had been in this situation before. When thx4urm0n3y made the final table of the Million in December 2014, he was the short stack as the remaining players made two separate attempts at a deal. On both occasions, he was looking for more than his ICM or chip chop share and both times, his opponents would not accept his demands. This time, thx4urm0n3y was willing to accept his $117,836.15 chip chop share, but neoriel oliv and aaaaifadeev would only agree to an ICM chop. Tomc1s wanted a raise to $110k, over $20k more than his ICM share, and after that declaration, negotiations went nowhere.
Cards went back in the air and only a few hands later, neoriel oliv got the rest of his chips in preflop vs. tomc1s. Neoriel oliv was in trouble, his 8♣9♠ up against A♣Q♥, and the Q♦J♠5♥ flop made tomc1s top pair. However, the turn was the 10♥ making neoriel oliv a queen-high straight. The meaningless 5♦ peeled off on the river and neoriel oliv doubled to 15.3 million, leaving tomc1s on 3.5 million.
However, on the next hand all hell broke loose. Thx4urm0n3y opened for a min-raise to 800,000, neoriel oliv flat-called on the button, tomc1s folded the small blind, and aaaaifadeev three-bet shoved for 7.05 million. Thx4urm0n3y reshoved, having both players covered, and neoriel oliv called all-in.
neoriel oliv A♥K♥
Thx4urm0n3y hit a set of nines on the 9♠3♥2♦10♥8♣ board and scored a double KO, eliminating aaaaifadeev in fourth place and neoriel oliv in third. The biggest beneficiary of this development? Tomc1s, who jumped two spots on the money ladder and moved on to heads-up play… albeit at a 14.5 to 1 chip defecit.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 6: tomc1s (3,289,297 in chips)
Seat 8: thx4urm0n3y (47,940,703 in chips)
A few swaps of the blinds later, thx4urm0n3y moved in on the button and tomc1s called from the big blind.
Tomc1s had thx4urm0n3y dominated and things stayed that way on the Q♦6♣3♦ flop, but thx4urm0n3y turned the K♦ to grab the lead. The river was the 7♠ and that was all she wrote for tomc1s, as thx4urm0n3y at last had all the chips in front of him.
Congratulations to Canada’s thx4urm0n3y on capturing his first Sunday Million title! He banked $145,747.41, while runner-up tomc1s earned $102,279.05.
PokerStars Sunday Million results for 2-19-2017
Prize pool: $1,024,600.00
Places paid: 728
1. thx4urm0n3y (Canada) $145,747.41
2. tomc1s (Sweden) $102,279.05
3. neoriel oliv (Brazil) $71,776.30
4. aaaaifadeev (Russia) $50,370.36
5. Poker_Zarby1 (Australia) $35,348.39
6. bigbluffzinc (Canada) $24,806.48
7. TaxHere (Netherlands) $17,408.36
8. TheFjell (Norway) $12,216.61
9. Chamuri (Bulgaria) $8,573.34