As the backbone of the PokerStars Sunday major tournaments, the Sunday Million always draws a sizable crowd. But when SCOOP rolls around and the guaranteed prize pool jumps to one million dollars, calling the tournament popular would be an understatement along the lines of “American Idol was on the air for a few seasons before it got canceled,” or “sometimes Grateful Dead songs could go on for a while.”
This week’s Sunday Million was officially Event #3-M of SCOOP 2015, a special edition of everyone’s favorite $215 tournament with that million-dollar guarantee that attracted an enormous cross-section of the PokerStars player pool. A field of 7,580 came together to boost the total prize pool to $1,516,000 and set payouts for the top 990 players, with $230,583.60 scheduled for the winner.
Just 77 of them survived the first 31 levels of play to make it to the overnight break. They came back to their seats and stacks at 2:30 p.m. ET and played for just over four more hours, watching the blinds and antes go from 12.5K/25K/3125 to 125K/250K/31.25K in that time. By 6:54 p.m. ET Flush098765’s Q♦ Q♥ had beaten KKadez’s 6♥ 6♣ to knock the Austrian player out in 10th place and leave just these nine players at the table:
Seat 1: Foldiara 07 (9,858,358 in chips)
Seat 2: sergiomf1 (5,549,870 in chips)
Seat 3: Kurtkaare (13,143,603 in chips)
Seat 4: forcadellmg (7,418,806 in chips)
Seat 5: caIcuIer_ (7,023,759 in chips)
Seat 6: Taffarel1988 (4,649,965 in chips)
Seat 7: TransSib (6,751,454 in chips)
Seat 8: Flush098765 (18,193,757 in chips)
Seat 9: Chance “Chancew” Wagstaff (3,210,428 in chips)
Past Sunday Million champ Flush098765 and Kurtkaare led the table and won the first sizable early pots, too. But it was Foldiara 07 who got the first crack at knocking out a short stack. The Russian player was on the button with A♥ Q♣ on Hand #10 when Chance “Chancew” Wagstaff opened all-in for 2.52M in the cutoff with K♥ 9♣. Foldiara 07 re-shoved to isolate, building a 5.7M-chip pot. The 3♥ 6♦ Q♦ 9♠ 6♠ board made both players pairs, but the queens won the pot and Chancew, fresh off a final table in Event #2-M, was out in 9th place ($11,749).
Within a few more hands the blinds and antes went up to 150K/300K/30K, prompting short-stacked TransSib to re-raise all-in two hands later with A♣ Q♥ after Taffarel1988 opened for 600K in early position. Taffarel1988 called with K♣ K♥, which held up on the 4♣ 3♣ 4♦ 10♣ 3♦ board to knock out TransSib in 8th place ($18,192).
The next three orbits were mostly quiet, with the exception of Kurtkaare winning a 6.4M-chip pot after flopping top pair with K♦ 10♥ and coaxing value out of Flush098765 on the river of a K♥ 2♠ 2♥ 4♠ 9♣ board. Hand #38 looked like it would be as quiet as the rest of them when Taffarel1988 raised to 600K in the cutoff, until Flush098765 re-raised to 1.42 on the button and Foldiara 07 followed that by jamming for 7.87M in the small blind with A♠ Q♥. Taffarel1988 had K♣ K♦ and re-raised all-in to isolate, getting Flush098765 out of the now 17.7M-chip pot. The 7♠ 6♠ 3♥ Q♣ 2♣ board didn’t bring enough help and Foldiara 07 left the tournament in 7th place ($33,352).
sergiomf1 hadn’t been able to make much happen through the first 42 hands, winding down to 2.78M over that stretch. The Brazilian made up for that on Hand #43 when Taffarel1988 opened for 600K on the button, re-raises all-in with A♠ 9♠. Taffarel1988 called with J♦ 8♦ and the 8♣ 9♣ 3♦ 5♦ Q♥ board boosted sergiomf1 back to 5.94M. The only major action on the 200K/400K/40K level was also a double-up, this one to 10.4M for short stack forcadellmg with 8♦ 8♥ against Flush098765’s 7♠ 7♣.
By Hand #73 the blinds and antes had gone up again, this time to 250K/500K/50K, and caIcuIer_ was holding on to just 3.13M. Picking up A♣ 10♣ in the cutoff and having the action fold around was all the prompting he needed to move all in, and it paid off for 7.26M chips when Taffarel1988 called with 7♠ 7♣ and the board fell 2♦ 9♥ J♣ 10♥ 5♣.
Five hands later sergiomf1 tried to pull off the same feat, re-raising all-in for 2.07M in the big blind with K♦ 9♥ when Kurtkaare opened for 1M under the gun. But Kurtkaare had K♠ K♥, and the 7♥ Q♥ 5♥ 10♣ 5♠ board did nothing to crack them. Kurtkaare took the 4.76M-chip pot and sergiomf1 was gone in 6th place ($48,512).
Taffarel1988’s early clean sheet had been dirtied up over the previous few levels, dropping the Austrian to last place after 85 hands, while Kurtkaare had enjoyed a resurgence that claimed the chip lead:
Seat 3: Kurtkaare (32,026,531 in chips)
Seat 4: forcadellmg (5,504,112 in chips)
Seat 5: caIcuIer_ (7,200,804 in chips)
Seat 6: Taffarel1988 (8,585,722 in chips)
Seat 8: Flush098765 (22,482,831 in chips)
Two hands later the slide would get even worse for Taffarel1988, who re-raised all-in for 8.46M with A♥ K♣ after Kurtkaare opened for 1M in the cutoff and caIcuIer_ raised all-in for 6.57M. That got Kurtkaare out of the pot, but Big Slick was dominated by caIcuIer_’s A♦ A♣. The aces held on the 5♠ 8♦ 7♣ 5♥ Q♣ board, caIcuIer_ won the 14.4M chips in the middle, and Taffarel1988 was left with 1.88M.
The Austrian raised all-in on the next hand with J♦ 9♦ in the small blind, and Flush098765 called in the big blind with the lowly 5♣ 2♥. It hit, though, winning the 3.95M-chip pot with two pair when the board came 6♠ K♦ 5♠ 2♣ 4♥. With that, Taffarel1988 exited in 5th place ($63,672).
The field shrank again only 10 hands later. Kurtkaare opened Hand #97 with an all-in raise in the small blind with A♠ 3♥, and forcadellmg called all-in for 4.56M in the big blind with A♥ Q♥. The short stack was the favorite to win the 10.38M in pot, but then the 3♦ 6♣ J♣ flop put the chip leader ahead. The J♥ turn and 4♣ river offered no help, and forcadellmg was eliminated in 4th place ($83,380).
Three-handed play began with nobody in desperate trouble, and after a win by caIcuIer_ at Kurtkaare’s expense, they were all close enough to talk about chopping. After some brief haggling they settled on ICM numbers, leaving $20,000 and the champion’s watch on the table for the winner.
Kurtkaare was the most active of the three, with caIcuIer_ taking up some slack as well and Flush098765 falling back as the two of them chipped up and the blinds moved from 300K/600K/75K and up through 400K/800K/100K on Hand #123. Four hands later, Flush098765 opened on the button with an all-in raise to 14.5M, holding K♣ 2♣, and Kurtkaare called in the small blind with A♥ 10♠. The board came J♥ 9♠ 7♣ A♦ 6♦, and Flush098765 left in 3rd place ($169,755.22).
Kurtkaare held a 60.1M-to-15.6M lead as heads-up play began, but caIcuIer_ kept the pots small over the first 12 hands and won a few to begin chipping up. Then came Hand #136, when a pre-flop raising war ended with 41.7M chips in the pot and caIcuIer_ all-in with A♠ K♣ against Kurtkaare’s 8♥ 8♦. The 4♥ 2♠ 10♠ flop was no help on its own, but the 3♠ turn and 5♦ river made a wheel straight to win caIcuIer_ the pot.
That gave caIcuIer_ a lead of a little under 10 big blinds, one which expanded four hands later when caIcuIer_ re-raised out of position with 4♠ 3♠, flopped a straight flush, and checked the flop and river before getting a little bit of value on the river to win an 18.6M-chip pot. Kurtkaare got some of that back two hands later with an uncalled all-in bet on the river of a 5♦ 6♣ 5♠ K♣ 2♠ board, but it all bled away on the next hand via two barrels on the flop and turn of a J♣ 9♥ 2♦ 3♦ when caIcuIer_ called both bets with Q♣ J♠ for top pair.
caIcuIer_ held a 57.8M-to-17.9M edge at that point. After 17 hands later the situation was roughly the same when caIcuIer_ was dealt 10♦ 10♥ in the big blind. Kurtkaare limped on the button with A♠ 4♥ and then re-raised all-in when caIcuIer_ raised to 3M. The board fell K♥ 5♥ 4♣ K♦ J♦ and the tens held up to bring two long days of poker to an end.
The deck worked against Kurtkaare at the end, but the $174,289.74 share from the deal as runner-up still marks the Norwegian player’s single largest PokerStars cash by well over $160K. Meanwhile caIcuIer_ earned the extra $20K on the table for a total prize of $178,368.64, not to mention the Movado champion’s watch. That’s a fine take for a Sunday’s work, even if it bled over into most of Monday before it was done.
SCOOP 03-M: $215 No-Limit Hold’em (Sunday Million Special Edition)
Prize pool: $1,516,000
Places paid: 990
1. caIcuIer_ (United Kingdom) $178,368.64*
2. Kurtkaare (Norway) $174,289.74*
3. Flush098765 (Germany) $169,755.22*
4. forcadellmg $83,380
5. Taffarel1988 (Austria) $63,672
6. sergiomf1 (Brazil) $48,512
7. Foldiara 07 (Russia) $33,352
8. TransSib (Russia) $18,192
9. Chance “Chancew” Wagstaff (Mexico) $11,749
* – denotes results of a three-way deal
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.