Micro Millions II: Alvagaard is strongest at the finish of Event 63

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngThey say that poker isn't necessarily about how many pots you win. It's about how many chips you win. The idea of the game, of course, is to win all the chips. Winning lots of pots can help in that endeavor, but there are no bonus points for the player who wins the most pots.

At the final table of 2012 MicroMillions II Event 63, $5.50 NLHE, two players notched seven of the eight eliminations. RafaT_BR got four; Alvagaard got three. But Alvagaard got the one that mattered most, busting RafaT_BR to claim all the chips and the title of Event 63 champion.

Yesterday's Event 54 was also a $5.50 NLHE event. Event 63 drew slightly better numbers than Event 54. 5,524 players played Event 63 (about 400 more than Event 54) and created a prize pool of more than $27,000 to be split by 720 players. Making the final table assured each player $220; coming out as the last player standing was worth $4,324.

The early morning tournaments have not treated PokerStars Team Online player Andre "acoimbra" Coimbra very well. Coimbra, you may have heard, is attempting an ironman challenge of playing all 100 events of the MicroMillions II. He's cashing at a 25% rate but none of those cashes have come in early morning tournaments. That didn't change in Event 63, as Coimbra busted in the early-going.

The late-going bustouts featured nine talented players who juked their way through this 5,500-player field.

MM2 Event 63 final table.jpg

Seat 1: cristi2211 (2273309 in chips)
Seat 2: StoyanB (1278704 in chips)
Seat 3: registr24 (2212148 in chips)
Seat 4: geduzask (5933538 in chips)
Seat 5: rafa_sb11 (4762691 in chips)
Seat 6: BartolaStars (1773039 in chips)
Seat 7: Giakoum30 (1932500 in chips)
Seat 8: Alvagaard (3865828 in chips)
Seat 9: RafaT_BR (3588243 in chips)

Level 43: Blinds 60k-120k, ante 15k
Average stack: about 3.0 million (about 25 BBs)

StoyanB started the final table as the short stack and was the first player to be eliminated. Sitting in the small blind, StoyanB three-bet shoved all in for 1.06 million after RafaT_BR opened the cutoff to 280k and cristi2211 called from the button. When the action came back around, RafaT_BR four-bet shoved J♠J♦ to force cristi2211 out of the pot. StoyanB showed A♠T♠ and didn't make anything better than a pair of 10s on a J♣Q♠5♦7♥T♣ board. RafaT_BR dragged the pot and sent StoyanB to the rail in 9th place.

RafaT_BR was at it again four hands later, knocking Giakoum30 out in 8th place by winning a race. From first position, RafaT_BR opened to 280k. Action passed all the way to Giakoum30 in the small blind. Giakoum30 shoved for 2.14 million total with A♣Q♦. RafaT_BR called with pocket 9s and looked certain to lose the race, as an ace flopped Q♠8♥5♦. But RafaT_BR spiked the 9♦ on the turn to improve to a set and to leave Giakoum30 drawing dead. That pot gave RafaT_BR the chip lead.

The other "rafa" at the table, rafa_sb11, got in on the action by sending cristi2211 to the rail in 7th place. Pre-flop, cristi2211 opened with a 3x raise to 420k. rafa_sb11 had the button and called to a 6♠9♣J♦ flop. cristi2211 bet another 420k, about two-thirds of cristi2211's remaining stack. rafa_sb11 obligingly shoved and cristi2211 called with A♠6♣, a pair of 6s. rafa_sb11 showed a pair of 9s, 9♥T♥. Neither player improved on the turn or river.

RafaT_BR didn't hold the chip lead for long. The player to RafaT_BR's right, Alvagaard, won sizable pots from RafaT_BR and geduzask, the two biggest stacks, and became the first player to reach eight figures in chips. Check out this hand in which Alvagaard gets three streets of value from geduzask:

RSS readers - click through to see replay

RafaT_BR kept right at it, however, and soon notched another elimination to climb back into contention for the chip lead. At the 80k-160k level, RafaT_BR opened to 374k from the button. registr24 made a large three-bet to 2.4 million, with only an additional 409k behind. RafaT_BR called the raise, then called off the extra 409k when registr24 shoved the all-diamond flop, 3♦K♦8♦. registr24 had only ace-high with A♠J♥ and was drawing stone dead against RafaT_BR's nut flush, A♦5♦. After the perfunctory turn and river, registr24 exited in 6th place.

The largest pot of the final table - worth 9 million chips - took place between two players who got all the chips in on the turn with one pair each. The "other" rafa - rafa_sb11 - opened pre-flop to 600k. Alvagaard called from the small blind, then check-called another 800k on an ace-high flop, 6♦2♥A♥. The turn fell the 7♠. Again Alvagaard check-called, this time an all-in shove from rafa_sb11 for 2.98 million. rafa_sb11 showed top pair with A♠3♣ but was out-kicked by Alvagaard's A♦9♣. The river J♥ changed nothing; rafa_sb11 bowed out in 5th place.

Alvagaard added to the chip lead 10 hands later by knocking geduzask out in 4th place. Alvagaard was behind when the chips went in pre-flop, drawing with K♦Q♦ against A♠T♠. Neither player paired on the flop or on the turn, but Alvagaard made a pair of queens with a river Q♠ to claim the 4.4 million-chip pot and notch the elimination.

Only three players remained: Alvagaard (15.4 million), RafaT_BR (8.6 million) and BartolaStars (3.6 million). Blinds rolled up again, to 100k-200k with a 25k ante. That's when Doyle Brunson made an appearance at the Event 63 final table. BartolaStars opened the button to 600k, a raise that was met with a three-bet to 1.93 million from big blind RafaT_BR. BartolaStars shoved in for 3.2 million total, putting the decision back to RafaT_BR. RafaT_BR decided to take a flyer with T♥2♣ - the "Doyle Brunson" - and binked two pair on a 4♠2♠T♣ flop against BartolaStars' A♣7♣. A repeating T♠ on the turn left no doubt as to the outcome of the hand. BartolaStars would finish in 3rd place.

Heads-up play lasted exactly five hands. Alvagaard won the first two without a flop. RafaT_BR won the second two on the flop. And then came the fifth hand, a hand in which Alvagaard raised the button to 1.25 million, a 5x raise. RafaT_BR called, then checked a 6♠3♥Q♠ flop. Alvagaard continued for 2.25 million. RafaT_BR went for a check-raise to 4.5 million but RafaT_BR was undeterred and responded with an all-in shove for 14.2 million. RafaT_BR snap-called off an additional 6.34 million all in with Q♥J♥, top pair. Alvagaard showed A♦6♥ and immediately improved to trip 6s with the 6♣ that fell on the turn. When the 5♠ landed on the river, RafaT_BR was eliminated in 2nd place and Alvagaard had all the chips.

RafaT_BR played a great final table, tallying four eliminations. But those eliminations weren't enough to overcome the larger pots and more important eliminations that Alvagaard rustled up. When it comes down to it, the most important elimination is the last one, the one for all the chips. Alvagaard got that elimination and deservedly became the Event 63 champion.

2012 MicroMillions II Event 63 $5.50 NLHE results:

1st: Alvagaard ($4,324.13)
2nd: RafaT_BR ($3,217.73)
3rd: BartolaStars ($2,278.65)
4th: geduzask ($1,560.53)
5th: rafa_sb11 ($1,173.85)
6th: registr24 ($897.65)
7th: cristi2211 ($621.45)
8th: Giakoum30 ($345.25)
9th: StoyanB ($220.96)

The 2012 MicroMillions II marches on. Today is Day 8. Including today, there are only four days left to join in the fun. Check out the MicroMillions home page to find out everything you need to know about this fantastic tournament series.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in MicroMillions