The inaugural Sunday Storm field could not fit into London’s Wembley Arena. It couldn’t fit into the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, or the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Even the largest football arena in the western world, Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium, would leave over 3,800 players in the parking lot. Nothing attracts a poker player quite like a massive prize pool and as we learned earlier this month with the Sunday Million 5th Anniversary tournament, if you build it, they will most certainly come. All 113,770 of them.
To celebrate the Sunday 1/4 Million’s metamorphosis into the $11 buy-in Sunday Storm, PokerStars guaranteed a $1 million prize pool, and only a few minutes into late registration, it surpassed the guarantee, topping out at $1,137,700. Miraculously, it only took a bit over ten hours to go from 12,641 tables to one. 14,634 players made the money, among them ten members of Team PokerStars Pro and Team Online: Mathew “chipstar1” Didlick (10,999th), Tyler “frosty012” Frost ( 9,010th), Shane “shaniac” Schleger (6,940th), Jude “j. thaddeus” Ainsworth (6,377th), Joep “Pappe_Ruk” Van Den Bijgaart (6,017th), Barry Greenstein (4,722nd), Nuno Coelho (4,574th), Liv Boeree (4,171st), JP Kelly (2,382nd) and Dennis Phillips (1,165th). Also making a deep run was PokerStars live circuit regular Alex “Assassinato” Fitzgerald, who ultimately bowed out in 27th place.
Tripleace112 bubbled the final table after three-bet shoving for 8.93 million over YouDisgustMe’s 2 million opening raise. Dj Andres moved all-in behind him for 24.23 million and YouDisgustMe folded, leaving them heads-up to the board. Dj Andres’ A♠K♠ held up against Tripleace112’s A♥J♥, and what was once the size of a small city was down to nine players.
Here’s how the final table stacked up as action commenced:
Seat 2: dray313 (30,000,947 in chips)
Seat 3: Uvelir888 (61,849,821 in chips)
Seat 4: YouDisgustMe (121,891,867 in chips)
Seat 5: Lucksshadow7 (13,149,570 in chips)
Seat 6: Dj Andrés (36,670,534 in chips)
Seat 7: Dubble Ace (21,147,284 in chips)
Seat 8: Samole9915 (31,459,043 in chips)
Seat 9: Vedic.Knight (6,878,196 in chips)
With the blinds up to 500,000/1,000,000, Lucksshadow7 wasted no time getting his chips in the middle, four-bet shoving for 12.44 million before the flop on the second hand of the final table. Although initial raiser dray313 folded, three-bettor Uvelir888 made the call, his J♦6♦ up against A♣K♦. Lucksshadow7 flopped top two pair, the board running out A♠5♦K♣J♥5♥ to double his stack to 29.52 million. Four hands later, Lucksshadow7 did it again, this time through chip leader YouDisgustMe. Holding K♥J♦ on a Q♠10♦2♥ flop, YouDisgustMe led out for 4.8 million, Lucksshadow7 raised to 13.2 million with A♣Q♣ and YouDisgustMe called. Despite missing his straight draw on the turn when the 2♦ fell, YouDisgustMe fired out 10.8 million and Lucksshadow7 moved all-in for 13.2 million. YouDisgustMe called the additional 2.64 million, Lucksshadow7’s queens and deuces holding up through the 7♠ on the river. After starting the final table second from the bottom in chips, Lucksshadow7 was now second from the top with 60.9 million while YouDisgustMe fell to 88.9 million.
The final table had its first casualty when dray313 got his last 21 big blinds in preflop with A♦Q♣ against Uvelir888’s A♥J♠, only to watch his opponent turn a Broadway straight on the 10♣K♠3♠Q♦4♥ board. Uvelir888 moved up to second position with nearly 81 million while dray313 departed in ninth place, collecting $8,418.98. Table short stack Vedic.Knight pulled the trigger a few minutes later, moving in for 9.44 million with J♣9♠, only to run into moreshipn1mb’s J♦J♥. Although Vedic.Knight picked up a flush draw against moreshipn1mb’s middle set when the flop came down A♠J♠4♠, Vedic.Knight couldn’t find another spade and exited in eighth place for a $13,652.40 score.
Although moreshipn1mb received a nice chip infusion on that hand, it only buoyed him for another fifteen minutes. With the blinds up to 900,000/1,800,000, Dj Andres opened for 4.5 million from middle position and moreshipn1mb moved all-in for 29 million from the big blind. Holding A♣7♠, moreshipn1mb was probably hoping for a fold, but instead got a call, Dj Andres turning over a dominating A♥K♦. It held on the K♥7♦2♣8♦4♣ board and moreshipn1mb hit the rail in seventh, earning $19,909.75.
Although YouDisgustMe quickly lost the chip lead at this final table, he built it back up to 100 million before shedding it all in four hands. Lucksshadow7 was the first lucky recipient of a double-up, his A♠K♥ flopping a king against YouDisgustMe’s pocket tens. Half of the 80 million he was left with went to Uvelir888, who successfully value bet his queens and tens to win a 75 million pot and move into the chip lead with 148 million. Dubble Ace doubled up when his A♥9♦ held against YouDisgustMe’s K♠Q♠, and left with seven big blinds, YouDisgustMe shipped them in with pocket nines. Uvelir888 called with A♣5♥, but hit trips on the 5♠8♠5♦4♣7♣ board to KO YouDisgustMe in sixth place for a $26,735.95 payday.
With five players remaining, Uvelir888 was the runaway chip leader with 186.3 million while his four opponents all sported stacks between 16 and 65 million. Samole9915 was the first of the shorties to roll the dice. With the action folded to him in the small blind, Samole9915 moved his last 7 1/2 big blinds into the middle with A♠Q♥ and Uvelir888 looked him up with Q♣10♠. Samole9915 didn’t have his opponent dominated for long, as the flop came down 9♦K♥10♦ to pair Uvelir888’s kicker. The Q♠ on the turn made Uvelir888 two pair and left Samole9915 drawing only to a jack to win the pot. The river, however, was the 2♦ and Samole9915’s Sunday Storm ended with a fifth-place finish and a $35,268.70 score. As final table host Shane “shaniac” Schleger pointed out, that’s 3,205 times his buy-in and a stunning ROI.
At this point, Uvelir888 was firmly in the driver’s seat with 252 million of the 341 million chips in play while his three opponents were in a battle for second place. Dj Andres was the first one to budge, moving all-in for 18.2 million (6BB) with pocket nines. Uvelir888 called with A♣Q♣, but could not outrun the pocket pair as Dj Andres moved up to 40.7 million in chips.
In the final table’s most dramatic elimination, Lucksshadow7 hit the rail in fourth place in this three-way all-in. Although Lucksshadow7 turned a set with pocket fives, DjAndres hit a two-outer on the river to make a higher set:
Six hands later, Dj Andres met his own end. With the blinds up to 1.75M/3.5M, Uvelir888 opened for a min-raise, Dj Andres three-bet to 17.5 million, and Uvelir888 called. The flop came down J♦9♠2♥ and Dj Andres led out for a 19.25 million continuation bet. Uvelir888 called and they went to the turn, which fell the K♥. Dj Andres shoved for his remaining 38.3 million and Uvelir888 snap-called, turning up A♠A♣ to Dj Andres’ A♥J♠. The river was the 5♥ and Dj Andres met his tournament end. For his third-place finish, he collected $68,262.
The initial heads-up chip count (318.1 million to 23.2 million) was lopsided to say the least and eleven hands later, it was all over. Dubble Ace open-shoved for his last three big blinds with 10♠2♦ and Uvelir888 called from the big blind with the lowly 2♠3♣. Uvelir888 will probably never look at that hand the same way again, as he hit bottom pair on the K♥7♣3♦ flop to take the lead. The turn was the 7♥, the river was the 8♦, and after 113,769 eliminations, the Sunday Storm had its first champion. Uvelir888 took home $210,351.74 for the win while runner-up Dubble Ace earned $111,494.60.
How’s that for an $11 investment?
Sunday Storm Results for 3/27/11
1. Uvelir888 ($210,531.74)
2. Dubble Ace ($111,494.60)
3. DJ Andres ($68,262.00)
4. Lucksshadow7 ($45,508.00)
5. Samole9915 ($35,268.70)
6. YouDisgustMe ($26,735.95)
7. moreshipn1mb ($19,909.75)
8. Vedic.Knight ($13,652.40)
9. dray313 ($8,418.98)
Ready to take your shot at a huge payday? The Sunday Storm page has all the information you need.