Philipp Salewski Wins Inaugural PokerStars Sunday Million Live Event
More than a decade ago, PokerStars championed a new tournament with a novel, exciting concept – giving out $1 million in prize money in a single-day online event. It was an instant success – the inaugural event drew 5,893 entries and Canadian pro Daryl “aaaaaa” Jace made history as the first-ever Sunday Million winner for a payday of $173,843.50.
Since March of 2006, PokerStars Sunday Million has awarded nearly $800 million over the course of hundreds of iterations of the one-day online event. One of those was the 10th Anniversary Special Sunday Million, which drew 62,116 runners and awarded $1.15 million to the winner, Canadian Kyle “First-Eagle” Weir.
Sunday Million Goes Live
Last Sunday, PokerStars reached another milestone when they took the online event and brought it to the live felt. In what was the largest poker tournament in continental Europe to date, the first Sunday Million Live took place at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
In a hybrid online-live format, 5,045 players registered in the inaugural Sunday Million Live event with some playing in online qualifiers and others playing live Day 1s. A total of 512 players survived their respective Day 1 events and came together at King’s Casino to play it out in the live arena.
Day 2 saw 512 players dwindle to 27 and Andrei Kurdyukov held a sizeable chip lead heading into the final day of play. Kurdyukov held the chip lead to the final table, but ultimately fell in 5th place for €39,680.
First Sunday Million Live Winner
Philipp Salewski took over the chip lead during the final table when he won a flip against then-chip leader Kurdyukov for most of Kurdyukov’s stack, then eliminated him in the next hand. The final four players came to a chop agreement with Salewski getting the largest payout of €101,674, and they left €10,000 up top for the eventual winner.
"I always dreamed of winning the Sunday Million. Why not the Sunday Million Live?"
Dominik Alexander Kabas eliminated the next two players, Karel Kovarik and Jozef Komorny, in fourth and third place, respectively, and Kabas and Salewski were heads-up for the title.
At the start of heads-up play, Kabas held a marginal chip lead with 29 big blinds to Salewski’s 22 big blinds. With the blinds so large, the match was quite shallow.
Salewski took over the chip lead winning a few pots early in the match, and then he closed it out. In the final hand, Salewski limped on the button with , Kabas moved all in with , and Salewski snap-called.
The board ran out , and Salewski won the hand, and the tournament. Kabas took second place and Salewski added the €10,000 to his earnings for a total of €111,674.
Salewski on the Win
The German poker player was able to drive to the event at King’s Casino. And it was worth the trip. According to Salewski, "I always dreamed of winning the Sunday Million. Why not the Sunday Million Live?”
Salewski ran quite good, but also was able to maintain focus in a fast-paced structure as blinds got very big compared to the stacks late in the tournament.
“I ran really hot. I won almost every all in except for some small ones on the way here.” He also said he sucked out twice, and was able to fade suckouts as well in his journey to victory.
“I was just trying to stay as concentrated and stay as zen as possible and be confident in my decisions.”
Salewski did just that, and as a result, became part of the rich PokerStars Sunday Million history by winning the inaugural Sunday Million Live event.
Images courtesy of the PokerStars Blog.
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