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Micro Millions II: cittadipace sets the pace for Event 1

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngPoker players love to moan about the bad beats they take, even though nobody wants to hear about them. Bad-beat stories are as much a part of the game as posting the big blind. It's like poker isn't "just" enough for the player telling the tale.

How much justice is there in a turbo tournament with more than 50,000 players participating? How many bad-beat stories? The 2012 MicroMillions II Event 1, $0.11+R NLHE (3x-Turbo, 100 Places Paid) aimed to find out today.

An individual PokerStars tournament lobby can only display 20,000 names at a time. For Event 1, the tournament lobby needed three pages to list all 56,870 players that joined in the madness. They collectively executed 328,190 rebuys(!), an average of almost six each, and an additional 19,569 add-ons.

By the time the triple-length rebuy period was over, the prize pool had swelled to more than $40,000, with $7,332.37 up to for the winner. At an average buy-in of about $0.75 per player, the winner share represented a massive ROI.

A standard PokerStars payout schedule would have seen between 6,500 and 7,000 players paid. To sweeten the pot for those who made the deepest runs, PokerStars scheduled Event 1 to pay out only the top 100 players. That's the top 1/6 of 1%. 0.17%, if you prefer. The minimum payout was a shade north of $93, a just reward for a turbo tournament that required an extra large serving of run-good.

Although Team PokerStars was represented in the field, none of the players wearing the Red Spade made even the top 1,000 places in Event 1. No cash for them to start the MicroMillions II.

Six hours and forty minutes after play began, these nine players were the fortunate ones who found themselves still in contention for the top prize:

MM2 event 1 final table.jpg

Seat 1: Franky Perez (330827423 in chips)
Seat 2: NEoZloY (164257296 in chips)
Seat 3: Cajamar SP (327050392 in chips)
Seat 4: YaiDum999 (41205317 in chips)
Seat 5: fanjeera69 (222055333 in chips)
Seat 6: Horys (159253294 in chips)
Seat 7: cittadipace (89885692 in chips)
Seat 8: ramzes1975 (302009808 in chips) out of hand (moved from another table into small blind)
Seat 9: Patayanhday (105705445 in chips)

Level 45: Blinds 5MM-10MM, ante 1MM
Average: 193.5MM (19.3 BBs)

Sometimes, poker is "just". In this case, the player that started the final table as the short stack finished in 9th place, would some would call a just result. YaiDum999 shoved from under the gun for about 38 million and was called by button player Franky Perez. YaiDum999 was in a race, needing Q♠9♠ to improve against pocket 6s. The race was over by the turn of a 5♥6♦3♣5♠9♥ board, with Franky Perez taking the pot and notching the elimination by making a full house.

One double-up for Patayanhday (with the best hand) left cittadipace as the new short stack. Again the best hand held, as cittadipace's pocket queens flopped a set and easily dispatched the pocket tens of fanjeera69. The double-up pushed cittadipace comfortably into the middle of the remaining eight stacks.

NEoZloY caught some bad luck two hands in a row to make a rapid exit in 8th place. First, NEoZloY was dealt ace-queen in the blinds against a late-position raise from Patayanhday - who held ace-king. Ace-king won that particular battle. The next hand, NEoZloY was all in pre-flop for about 45 million with A♦T♥, but ramzes1975's K♣Q♣ flushed on the river, A♣3♣Q♥4♦Q♣. There was nothing "just" about the result for NEoZloY, but 8th place was worth $890.18 all the same.

The blinds, over several rounds, had increased to 9 million and 18 million by the time fanjeera69 was eliminated in 7th place. It was, to that point, the biggest pot of the final table, with fanjeera69 and Cajamar SP each putting 134 million into the middle. Cajamar SP open-shoved from the small blind with pocket 9s; fanjeera69 put it all on the line with K♥Q♥ but missed the board, 5♠7♠T♦8♠4♣. 7th place earned fanjeera69 $1,294.81.

The table played six-handed for a while. Each time a short stack was all in, the chips came back out into that player's stack. Cajamar SP enjoyed one such pot with the very definition of "hitting the flop hard":

RSS readers - click through to see replay

But of course, someone had to bust out in 6th place. Horys tried running a bluff that Franky Perez picked off on the river with top pair. The next hand, Horys called all in for about 30 million from the big blind after cittadipace open-shoved first to act. J♣5♠ was no good for Horys, as cittadipace's pocket 8s stood tall on an all-small board, 4♥5♦4♣3♠4♠. Horys, the only player who suggested that a deal should be considered at the final table to that point, bowed out in 6th place.

Queens were good to cittadipace at this final table. Dealt the queens for the second time, cittadipace used them to great effect, knocking out Cajamar SP in 5th place. With blinds at 16 million and 32 million, Cajamar SP open-shoved the button for 367 million with A♣8♥. It never improved on a board of 9♥K♣3♠4♦K♦.

ramzes1975 followed Cajamar SP to the rail just a few hands later. Faced with the daunting prospect of being the new short stack, ramzes1975 shoved for 121 million (about 4 big blinds) from the small blind with K♠8♥. Big blind Patayahday was waiting with Big Slick and took down the pot when neither player improved.

For long stretches of the final table, Franky Perez looked like the player to beat. But by the end, with blinds at 18 million and 36 million, it was truly anyone's game to win - except, as it turned out, Franky Perez. Franky Perez shoved the small blind for 331 million with A♥9♠. cittadipace made a call from behind with K♥3♠ but hit two treys on board, 5♠3♥2♥Q♣3♦ to drag the pot and climb to more than 1 billion in chips.

Event 1 one-billion.jpg

One billion!

Those last 500 million (and change) in chips wound up in cittadipace's stack with an unusual finishing hand. With blinds at 20 million and 40 million, cittadipace open-shoved the button with T♦9♠. Patayanhday held pocket 4s and went with them, calling all in. cittadipace didn't hit the board, but K♣K♠7♥7♠2♣ over-coated Patayanhday's fours. Each player had kings and sevens, and cittadipace's ten-kicker played and gave cittadipace the Event 1 title.

Was it a "just" outcome, as far as poker players tend to think? Probably not. But nobody ever said poker was a just game. Players just want it to be. Today, poker's "justice" favored cittadipace, and for that reason cittadipace is the first champion of the MicroMillions II.

2012 MicroMillions II Event 1 $0.11+R NLHE (Turbo, 100 Places Paid) results:

1st: cittadipace ($7,332.37)
2nd: Patanhday ($5,300.63)
3rd: Franky Perez ($4,005.82)
4th: ramzes1975 ($3,014.48)
5th: Cajamar SP ($2,104.07)
6th: Horys ($1,699.44)
7th: fanjeera69 ($1,294.81)
8th: NEoZloY ($890.18)
9th: YaiDum999 ($526.01)

Just like happened in March, there are 100 events spread across the 11 days of the 2012 Micro Millions II. If you missed Event 1, you still have 99 other chances to join in the fun. For a complete schedule of events and their satellites, check out the Micro Millions Main Page.

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