Cool million

The PokerStars 18th Anniversary Sunday Million concluded Tuesday evening and it was Brazil’s “CrossBreed17” who was the last player standing to win the $1 million first prize. He defeated “Sunday Melon” in a 90-minute heads-up match, livestreamed on PokerStars’ Twitch channel.

The tournament had an $8 million guaranteed prize pool, which is where the number ultimately settled, as the 39,226 total entries fell just shy of what was required to meet the guarantee. Players certainly weren’t about to complain about overlay, though. Of that total, 25,566 entries were unique, while 13,770 were re-entries.

The $200 + $15 Sunday Million paid down to 5,927 places, with a min-cash of $378.70. The top eight players made at least $100,000.

On the final hand of the lengthy heads-up contest, CrossBreed17 had Sunday Melon out-chipped by more than 4-to-1; Sunday Melon was down to only about 12 big blinds. Holding 9-7 of diamonds on the button, CrossBreed17 moved all-in pre-flop and Sunday Melon quickly called for his tournament life with pocket Fives. The race was on.

The flop was safe for Sunday Melon (I keep wanted to call him Blind Melon, after the band, so apologies if that slips through at some point) – A-2-K with no diamonds. But the turn brought a 9 to give CrossBreed17 a better pair. The river was of no help to Blind Melon, so he had to be content with second place and $733,959.80.

Good luck, bad luck

While that was exciting for all involved, that’s a pretty standard final hand. Big stack shoves with something decent, smaller stack goes for it with a strong heads-up hand. Big stack hits, game over.

What was probably the craziest hand of the tournament, though, happened when the tournament was down to 28 players, four tables of seven. A player named “godluck1994” put in a big re-raise pre-flop with A-K of spades. After a bit of thought, the short stack “yenodnis” called all-in with a similar hand, A-K of diamonds. The lone remaining player in the hand folded.

Odds were that the hand would end in a chop. The flop, though, dramatically increased godluck1994’s chances of winning, as it was Js-7c-Qs, giving them a flush draw. And then, to the amazement of livestream announcers James Hartigan, Joe Stapleton, and Nick Walsh, the Ts fell on the turn to give truth to godluck1994’s name…a Royal Flush. And there was yenodnis, shocked that it was over.

The only problem with the hand was that since this is online poker, there wasn’t time to really revel in the moment during the broadcast. The cards were whisked away in a blink and it was on to the next hand while the announcers were still processing what happened.

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