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MicroMillions III: nico11111111 nabs top honors in Event 31 ($3.30 Stud H/L)

One of the greatest things about the MicroMillions series is that it lets all kinds of poker players get involved in major tournament action for a fraction of the normal cost. Great on its own, this fact is made even better when you realize that it allows players to try something new, to compete in a game that's not their best without fear of hurting their bankroll in the process. More often than not these players are in it simply for the experience, but every now and then will make a run at the title and keep things interesting.

The latter proved to be the case tonight for one player from Poland. After winning a hand at the next-to-last table and being chastised by an upset opponent, Kasiiik took to the chat box with the kind of reply that only comes from somebody playing for enjoyment: "whatever, I play for fun, my first stud tourney;)". After taking another insult from the same opponent, the Polish player played along self-deprecatingly:

"I know I'm not a good player:)"
"I'm having a lot of fun right now:D"

Tonight, Kasiiik's fun-loving attitude overcame inexperience and was good enough to get to a four-handed deal and, later, heads-up play. The Polish player fell short there against the eventual winner, Germany's nico11111111, who claimed $2,033.06 for the win. But Kasiiik's run in unfamiliar territory was a great reminder of how much fun poker can be when you decide to kick back and enjoy the ride.

When the final table began Kasiiik and nico11111111 were joined by these six other players:

Seat 1: Kasiiik (4,344,380 in chips)
Seat 2: Vieroog111 (1,358,338 in chips)
Seat 3: Dieterw32 (12,924,111 in chips)
Seat 4: nico11111111 (5,942,626 in chips)
Seat 5: The Soze (802,628 in chips)
Seat 6: rikk1988 (531,452 in chips)
Seat 7: aDrENalin710 (2,927,168 in chips)
Seat 8: kummherdo (3,449,297 in chips)

MM III Event 31 final table.jpg

With the stakes at 200K/400K even the chip leader, Dieterw32 of Germany, held a stack worth just 32 big bets, but nobody else was particularly comfortable; even the second-place player, Dieterw32's fellow German nico11111111, held only about 16 big bets. And since the stakes would rise to 250K/500K on the third hand of the final table, cutting everyone's effective stack, there was no time for anybody else to wait around or get comfortable. All signs seemed to point to a very quick finale.

Two birds - aDrENalin710 and The Soze - with one stone

After four pots of not much significance, the bustouts got going with a bang when Canada's The Soze had the bring-in with (7♣ 9♣) / 5♣ and opted to come in for the full bet of 250K. aDrENalin710 of Russia called with (4♦ 5♦) / 8♦ before Poland's Kasiiik, who started with (7♦ 7♠) / 7♥, raised the action to 500K on third street. The Soze raised all-in for 712K, and after Kasiiik raised to the full bet of 750K aDrENalin710 made the call. aDrENalin710 led out for 250K after catching the A♦ on fourth street for four cards to both a flush a low, and Kasiiik, still holding trip sevens, just called. Then aDRENalin710 caught the A♥ on fifth street and the fireworks began; the two ended up putting four bets in for 2M chips apiece, committing aDrENalin710 to the pot. After seventh street, Kasiiik's rolled-up sevens had held up to take out two players:

The Soze: (7♣ 9♣) / 5♣ 3♥ Q♦ 3♦ / (6♥)
aDrENalin710: (4♦ 5♦) / 8♦ A♦ A♥ T♥ / (K♣)
Kasiiik: (7♦ 7♠) / 7♥ 3♣ Q♠ 9♦ / (T♠)

The Soze, who started the hand with the shortest stack, finished in 8th place ($121.05), while aDrENalin710 took 7th place ($232.41).

Another (short stack) bites the dust

Five hands after Kasiiik's double-knockout, nico11111111 was in position to deliver a similar blow when both Belgium's Vieroog111 and Slovakia's rikk1988 ended up all-in on third street for less than one big bet. With all the action concluded there, the cards ran out:

rikk1988: (9♠ 4♣) / 3♦ 3♠ K♥ 7♣ / (3♣)
Vieroog111: (2♣ A♥) / 6♣ 4♥ 7♥ 5♠ / (8♠)
nico11111111: (6♦ K♣) / A♦ T♣ J♥ 2♦ / (Q♠)

With trip treys, rikk1988 would have been good for half the pot in a lot of spots, but nico11111111 grabbed the high half of the pot with a Broadway straight. And with no low to beat Vieroog111 7-6, it was the end of the road for rikk1988 in 6th place ($505.69).

Varewell to Vieroog111

Even with half of that previous pot, Vieroog111 was still in trouble with a stack worth less than one big bet. But the Belgian refused to roll over. The next 15 hands saw Vieroog111 survive all-in situations twice, once with a bare pair of tens to scoop the high when Austria's kummherdo missed draws to both a straight and a low, and once with two pair for the high when Dieterw32 took the low with a 7-5. But after skirting the edge of elimination for so long, the 16th hand saw the Belgian come up short.

Starting the hand with just over 300K - one small bet on the new 300K/600K/60K level - Vieroog111 was all-in on third street against Dieterw32:

Vieroog111: (8♣ J♠) / Q♠ 4♦ 7♦ K♦ / (K♥)
Dieterw32: (Q♣ 6♥) / 6♣ 2♣ 9♠ 9♣ / (K♣)

Vieroog111 had improved to a pair of kings after catching them on sixth and seventh streets, but by that point Dieterw32 had hit a club flush. With no low in either player's hand, Dieterw32 scooped the pot and Vieroog111 finished in 5th place ($871.56).

Quick deal, quick exit

With Vieroog111's departure, the other four players paused play to hash out a deal. After seeing the numbers for a chip chop and making a few small adjustments, all four gave their approval to a deal that gave Dieterw32 $2,400.87, nico11111111 $1,833.06, kummherdo $1,729.22, and Kasiiik$1,685.30. The last $200 was set aside for the eventual champion, and play resumed on the 300K/600K/60K level with the players stacked like so:

Seat 1: Kasiiik (4,958,943 in chips)
Seat 3: Dieterw32 (14,417,239 in chips)
Seat 4: nico11111111 (7,093,352 in chips)
Seat 8: kummherdo (5,810,466 in chips)

Kasiiik, who had the least to lose sitting last in chips, hit the gas once the deal was done and quickly scooped a 5.64M-chip pot against fellow short stack kummherdo - once again with trip sevens and no low. After four orbits without any big pickups, kummherdo was in desperate straits with a stack worth less than four big bets. All four of them went in the middle in this hand against nico11111111:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

An 8-7 low was no good for kummherdo against nico11111111's 8-6, and the German's pair of nines held up from fourth street through the end of the hand to scoop the 4.72M-chip pot. With that, kummherdo's run came to an end in 4th place ($1,729.22).

Not a timid trio

If any of the final three players were nervous about the outcome of the tournament, they hid it well behind masks of relentless aggression. Dieterw32 and nico11111111 tangled almost immediately, with nico11111111 scooping a 4.98M-chip pot with a pair of tens and a 7-4 low to best a pair of deuces with a busted low draw. Two hands later Kasiiiik replaced Dieterw32 but nico11111111 again scooped the pot, this one worth 6.18M, with a nine-high straight and a 7-6 low. Slowly but surely nico11111111 sneaked into the chip lead, but the German's two opponents never backed down.

The pots at this point were consistently worth at least 10 big bets, sometimes even moving up as high as 20 big bets before the stakes went up to 500K/1M/100K. All that aggression seemed sure to lead to a big shift on the leaderboard, and it looked for a moment as if the entire tournament might end on a single hand. All three players picked up strong Stud/8 starting hands and almost every single chip in play went in the middle during this hand:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

For the next 23 hands the pattern of all-out aggression held up. The only player not to benefit was Dieterw32, who through a combination of missed draws and losing hands at showdown was whittled down to 3.63M chips. Those chips would all go in the middle by fourth street after both Dieterw32 and nico11111111 started with pairs, nico11111111 with buried jacks and Dieterw32 with split sevens. By sixth street nico11111111 held trip jacks with (J♠ J♦) / 9♣ 4♦ 5♠ J♥, while Dieterw32 was still drawing live to a straight and an 8-7 low. But seventh street was unkind; nico11111111 caught the 5♥ for a full house, and Dieterw32 missed the low to finish in 3rd place ($2,400.87).

A dynamic duo

As they faced off to see who would pick up the last $200 on the table, the last two players were stacked like so on the 600K/1.2M/120K level:

Seat 1: Kasiiik (7,683,414 in chips)
Seat 4: nico11111111 (24,596,586 in chips)

Heads-up matches in split-pot games can go long or end quickly, but when one player starts with a significant advantage they tend to favor that player. Such was the case in tonight's event, though Kasiiik didn't go down without a fight. In fact the Polish player scooped the first pot of heads-up play for 8.64M and proved completely fearless when it came to putting chips in action. But as it turned out 13.44M chips would be the high-water mark for Kasiiik, whose only other scoop came up against the wall on the 12th hand of heads-up action. On Hand #13 nico11111111 scooped to cut Kasiiik's stack in half, and all the rest of the chips would go in on the next hand when both players started with pairs on this hand:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

After several big hands where trips had gone Kasiiik's way, the Polish player was finally done in by them. Despite falling one spot short of a title, Kasiiik still made an impressive run for a first-time Stud tournament player, taking home $1,685.30 on a $3.30 entry. As for nico11111111, the extra $200 on the table made for a $2,033.06 prize - surely a sweet reward after more than eight hours of tough work against a huge field of players.

MicroMillions III Event #31: $3.30 Limit Stud Hi-Lo
$10,000 guaranteed prize pool
6,456 entrants, 880 places paid
$19,368 total prize pool

1st place: nico11111111 (Germany) $2,033.06*
2nd place: KasiiiK (Poland) $1,685.30*
3rd place: Dieterw32 (Germany) $2,400.87*
4th place: kummherdo (Austria) $1,729.22*
5th place: Vieroog111 (Belgium) $871.56
6th place: rikk1988 (Slovakia) $505.69
7th place: aDrENalin710 (Russia) $232.41
8th place: The Soze (Canada) $121.05
* - denotes result of a four-way deal

If you're a big fan of Stud games, there's one more event remaining on schedule that's right up your alley - Event #69, $3.30 Triple Stud, on November 22nd. That's just one of the 65 events left to be played before this latest MicroMillions series concludes next weekend, so even if Stud isn't your thing you have a lot of chances to make a small buy-in work big-money magic for you.

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

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