Before the cards even went in the air, it was glaringly apparent that PokerStars underestimated the number of players for whom the words "6-max turbo" provoke a positively Pavlovian response. The $10,000 guarantee on MicroMillions Event #16 was doubled and then some by the close of late registration, the field topping out at 12,006 players and the prize pool at $24,012. It's really little wonder so many folks flocked to this one. The price tag was less than a ride on the New York City subway, the potential take-home the cost of a nice vacation, and the structure assured a brisk pace. As it turned out, "brisk" was putting it lightly as Event #16 found a winner in just over five hours, including a 27-minute final table.
A pair of Red Spades joined the madness; although Team Online's Adrienne "talonchick" Rowsome missed the money, Polish Team Pro Marcin Horecki was among the 1,650 players who cashed, ending his run in 872nd place. A mere hour and 47 minutes ticked off the clock before the money bubble burst and less than two hours later, seven lucky souls were vying for six final table seats. Second-in-chips ghoul_0 sent us there, when his Q♦Q♥ held up against 4.11.75's A♠T♦.
Final table chip counts
Seat 1: ghoul_0 (20,209,995 in chips)
Seat 2: UliMartinez (5,730,441 in chips)
Seat 3: SirSheldor (2,441,347 in chips)
Seat 4: GreenVolvo (22,591,160 in chips)
Seat 5: LTI1871 (6,125,021 in chips)
Seat 6: JOAO NOR (2,932,036 in chips)
With the blinds up to 300,000/600,000, four of the final six were sitting on ten big blinds or less. Even big stacks GreenVolvo and ghoul_0 were vulnerable, with around 35 big blinds apiece. Things could turn around in an instant for any of these players and ghoul_0 proved it in the first seven hands. After running pocket sevens into JOAO NOR's pocket kings on Hand #5, ghoul_0 doubled up SirSheldor, who flopped a set of nines against K♥T♥. Suddenly, ghoul_0 was left with about half the chips he brought to the final table.
While ghoul_0 went to work rebuilding his stack, UliMartinez scored a crucial double-up, his A♦A♥ blowing past SirSheldor's K♥T♥. UliMartinez moved up to 10 million in chips while all of SirSheldor's gains were erased, his stack falling back to 5.9 million. Three hands later, LTI1871 made his move, three-bet shoving for 4.55 million with A♦J♦. GreenVolvo called with K♥3♣ and hit a boffo A♥K♠K♣3♦2♠ board, flopping trips and turning kings full to eliminate LTI1871 in sixth place.
One orbit passed before the blinds rose to 400,000/800,000 and JOAO NOR found himself posting half of his remaining 1.63 million in the big blind. He elected to fold to ghoul_0's 2.4 million under-the-gun raise (ghoul_0 flashed Q♣Q♠), but committed his last 739,000 on the next deal. Ghoul_0's Q♠4♠ turned a pair of fours against JOAO NOR's J♦T♣, sending him to the rail in fifth place.
Hanging on for dear life with lfive big blinds, SirSheldor at last found a hand he could go with when he looked down at 6♥6♠. He shoved for 4.1 million and GreenVolvo called from the small blind with A♣5♣. Everything looked peachy for GreenVolvo until the river, when the A♦ spiked to give GreenVolvo the pot and end SirSheldor's run in fourth.
As play turned three-handed, GreenVolvo (30.6 million) had about a 2 to 1 chip lead over UliMartinez (15.4 million) and ghoul_0 (14 million). The trio kept the pots small at first, 15 of their first 16 hands ending before the flop. The chip counts had barely shifted when ghoul_0 crippled UliMartinez, his A♠Q♦ holding up against A♦7♦. Ghoul_0 doubled to 28.8 million while UliMartinez was left with little more than one big blind. Those last 1.65 million went in the middle two hands later, but UliMartinez's 3♠5♥ did not improve against GreenVolvo's A♣Q♠. UliMartinez bowed out in third place, setting our heads-up match.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 1: ghoul_0 (26,676,368 in chips)
Seat 4: GreenVolvo (33,353,632 in chips)
These two got only four hands before the hourly break paused the action. Ghoul_0 returned from the break firing on all cylinders, taking down 12 of the first 14 hands. Ghoul_0 moved in to the chip lead courtesy of a 20 million pot where GreenVolvo folded to his second bullet on a A♥4♣2♣6♦ board. The counts were essentially reversed from when they started heads-up play, ghoul_0 holding 35.75 million to GreenVolvo's 24.3 million.
GreenVolvo and ghoul_0 hit the ball back and forth only a few more times before this hand decided it all. GreenVolvo had the misfortune of flopping bottom pair in a limped pot, only to run into ghoul_0's pocket kings for all the marbles:
A hearty congratulations to ghoul_0 on scaring off more than 12,000 opponents to earn a MicroMillions title for Greece. He eared $3,366.83 for the win while runner-up GreenVolvo took home $2,341.17.
PokerStars MicroMillions Event #16 ($2.20 NLHE 6-max Turbo) results
1. ghoul_0 (Greece) $3,366.83
2. GreenVolvo (Australia) $2,341.17
3. UliMartinez (Portugal) $1,620.81
4. SirSheldor (Canada) $923.02
5. JOAO NOR (Portugal) $480.24
6. LTI1871 (United Kingdom) $300.15
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