Canadian poker player Vanessa Kade capped off a roller coaster few weeks with a victory in the 15th anniversary of the PokerStars Sunday Million.
Over the course of three days of play, the recent addition to the Americas Cardroom team of pros bested a field of 67,876 entries to win more than $1.5 million, by far the largest score her career. There were 45,765 unique entries in the $215 buy-in no-limit hold’em event.
Kade defeated Pawel “Talibenes” Ladniak heads-up to secure the title and earn $1,514,920. The Polish player earned $1,035,358 for his runner-up finish.
We just beat a field of 69,876 to win $1.5 Million.
It feels impossible.
This is the best day of my life.
It’s not close.
All the pain was worth it, the dream is real. pic.twitter.com/D0GKZSRhNl
— Vanessa Kade (@VanessaKade) March 23, 2021
Kade said the win was the best day of her life, and comes after a tumultuous few months following GGPoker’s addition of Dan Bilzerian to their roster of sponsored pros last December. Kade has been outspoken in her displeasure of the signing, citing his questionable and sometimes criminal history with women. The criticism prompted Bilzerian to respond to one of her tweets with, “Quiet hoe [sic], nobody knows who you are.”
Bilzerian’s comment drew ire from many in the poker community, but the situation eventually died down until earlier this month when Kade revealed on social media that GGPoker had discontinued her affiliate account with the site. Previously, Kade had been able to earn a percentage of the rake generated by players she referred to the site.
The cancellation of her affiliate account was considered by some in the poker community to be retaliation against Kade for her comments, and reignited discussions about whether Bilzerian is the right person to be the face of a poker site.
A little more than a week after losing her deal with GGPoker, however, Americas Cardroom announced that the site would be signing Kade to a sponsorship deal of their own. The company already beefed up its roster of pros with the signing of 2003 World Series of Poker main event champion Chris Moneymaker in February.
— Americas Cardroom (@ACR_POKER) March 18, 2021
With a new online site in her corner, Kade entered the Sunday Million. She survived the first two days and finished day 2 near the top of the chip counts. With 65 players heading into Tuesday’s third and final day, Kade was 13th in chips.
She chipped up throughout the first several levels and started the final table seventh in chips. After “Vvlankov” busted in ninth place and “kefirchik106” fell right behind him, Kade was officially the short stack at the table.
She got a much-needed double up seven-handed when she shoved her last six big blinds from the hijack with J8 spiked an eight on the flop against her opponent’s A9. After winning a few more pots without showdown, she quickly found herself back near the top of the leaderboard.
She eliminated “malinga” in sixth place when her AQ held up against his A7, moving her closer to “Talibenes” who held an overwhelming chip lead. “peu3ep” was eliminated in fifth, and then Kade scored a massive double up four-handed through the chip leader that changed the course of the tournament.
Kade got all in preflop with pocket kings against “Talibenes’” A10 and ended up making a set. She took over the chip lead for good a short while later when she picked off a river bluff with two pair against a busted flush and straight draw.
“Panchovetin” hit the rail in third for $707,640, which gave her a more than 6:1 chip lead at the outset of heads-up play, which lasted just a few hands. On the final hand, she won a race with pocket eights against K9 to finish off the tournament and secure her victory.
Final Table Results:
|1||Vanessa ‘Niffller’ Kade||$1,514,920|
|2||Pawel ‘Talibenes’ Ladniak||$1,035,358|