Online poker saw the crowning of the biggest PokerStars Sunday Million winner in history on Tuesday. Canada’s Vanessa “Niffler” Kade took the title for more than $1.5 million on the 15th anniversary of the event.
The event generated 69,876 entries for almost a $14 million prize pool, easily topping the $12.5 million guarantee. After three two days of play, the action reached the final table on Sunday. After some ups and downs, Kade eventually took the top spot after a nice run at the final table
Unlike many previous anniversary editions of the series, this event didn’t end with a deal. Kade had 100% of her action, meaning she’ll be pocketing the entire total.
A life-changing tournament win
Kade is a popular poker streamer with $143,000 in live tournament winnings. Her online winnings greatly eclipse that – and now that expands even more with the Sunday Million title.
Along with the championship score, an offshore poker site also signed Kade as an ambassador only days ago. It’s been quite a few weeks.
“I just stopped crying,” Kade said to start her Twitch stream after the win. “I was literally just crying for 20 minutes.
“This is the best month of my life and it’s not even close. This is the best day of my life.”
The road to the title certainly wasn’t easy. Day 3 saw 65 players return to the action with Kade sitting in 12th. When play reached the final nine players, she sat in seventh with 20 big blinds.
The $1.5M moment. 👇
— PokerStars (@PokerStars) March 23, 2021
At four players, a deal was discussed but one player didn’t agree. Kade proceeded to dispatch two players to get heads-up, where she held a massive chip advantage.
After just two hands the match was over. Kade’s pocket Eights topped her opponent’s Ace-King. Poland’s “Talibenes” took runner-up for just over $1 million.
On her stream afterward, Kade called and spoke with her mother about the win. Initially, her mom wasn’t crazy about her daughter becoming a poker pro.
Hearing the news, she asked if Kade was really serious about the win. Kade’s mother then jokingly asked if they could meet tomorrow in Barcelona for lunch. The call made for quite a touching moment. Those Barcelona plans may eventually come true.
Interesting timing for big PokerStars win
The timing of the win of the massive score came only weeks after some headlines involving Kade, Dan Bilzerian, and GGPoker. After GG signed Bilzerian as an ambassador last December, Kade and others criticized the move.
Many charged Bilzerian with misogyny for his various social media escapades. That included Kade and other who believe his antics aren’t good for the game.
Bilzerian proceeded to call her a “hoe” in a Twitter response. Only days ago, GGPoker terminated an affiliate agreement with Kade citing her criticism of the site.
In a statement on March 12, GG voiced objection to Bilzerian’s comment toward Kade. However, the site noted that contractual agreements prevented the company from controlling ambassadors’ social media posts.
“We cannot control everything our ambassadors say on their personal social media,” the statement noted.
In the end, it looks like Kade may have had the last laugh in the matter.
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
Afterward, Kade said she had no real plan for her winnings. Some new luggage might be in the works, but just not having any financial worries was also welcome news.
Looking back, Kade was just amazed at her odds of finishing on top of such a huge field.
“To get there is not even a once in a lifetime thing,” she said. “The chances of that happen even if you’re a really good player is like nil. So it’s amazing.”