Micro Millions II: Event 16 victory is sweet as sugar for smak9

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngIf you made it to the end of a major, high-stakes MTT, chances are you'd be willing to make a deal to smooth out the payouts a little. Not everyone would be so willing, to be sure, but if experience is a guide more players would do a deal than wouldn't.

The sums at issue weren't as large as a high-stakes MTT in 2012 MicroMillions II Event 16, $2.20 NLHE, but the smoothing of the payouts was just as important for the final three players, including the champion smak9.

11,562 players held back their $2 (and twenty cents) from the paperboy and instead put it into Event 16. That's what makes the MicroMillions great - for even a $2.20 tournament, the numbers ensured that the top four players would all receive four-figure payouts. The top dog of the 1,530 players that cashed in Event 16 stood to collect $3,224.67.

Team Online player Andre "acoimbra" Coimbra continued his quest to play all 100 MicroMillions II events in Event 16. He made a fairly deep run, bowing out in 203rd place, good for a payout of $11.09. For Coimbra, of course, this isn't about the money (although a little extra scratch never hurts). He was the only member of the Red Spade Brigade in the payouts today.

Quite a bit of extra scratch is what all the last nine players were looking for when they assembled at the final table just before 11am.

MM2 Event 16 final table.jpg

Seat 1: AntiZOG84 (1899006 in chips)
Seat 2: Fimon7 (1312698 in chips)
Seat 3: cardbluff (8186804 in chips)
Seat 4: genrih87 (9830574 in chips)
Seat 5: JackMads (15069293 in chips)
Seat 6: smak9 (8666028 in chips)
Seat 7: adi_toni (5781090 in chips)
Seat 8: Mcpeacer (4397824 in chips)
Seat 9: crazyron19 (2666683 in chips)

Level 48: Blinds 150k-300k, ante 37.5k
Average stack: 6.4 million (21 BBs)

Fimon7 drew the short straw at the final table, brining just more than four big blinds to the party. Blinds and antes quickly whittled Fimon7's stack to less than 400,000.

There were other short stacks at the table as well, however, and it was one of them who busted first. After JackMads opened to 800,000 and adi_toni called on the button, crazyron19 three-bet shoved from the big blind for 1.7 million. Both other players called and checked the flop. On the turn 2♣4♥3♣2♥, a bet from adi_toni folded JackMads. adi_toni showed down A♦2♦, trip deuces, leaving crazyron19's A♣K♠ drawing at a chop that didn't materialize.

crazyron19's 9th-place elimination allowed Fimon7 to climb up one spot to finish in 8th place, all in from the big blind the very next hand. Although Fimon7's J♣4♦ flopped best against the A♠6♦ of AntiZOG84 and 2♠9♠ of adi_toni, AntiZOG84 runnered a Broadway straight, J♦K♣Q♥8♦T♠, to drag the pot and send Fimon7 to the virtual rail.

JackMads seemed in control to start the final table, but one bluff that smak9 picked off left JackMads in trouble. Down to 10 big blinds, JackMads was the next player eliminated, on a hand in which three players put 5 million chips each into the pot pre-flop. Those three players were JackMads, smak9 and adi_toni. There was no action after the flop, with smak9 and adi_toni checking all the way on a board of 8♥5♥5♣2♦Q♣. smak9 showed up with a busted flush draw, A♥7♥, but adi_toni notched another elimination by tabling A♣Q♥ for a pair of queens, better than whatever JackMads had.

Stack consolidation

Down to 6 players, there were two dominant chip leaders: adi_toni (20.7 million) and smak9 (19.8 million). The other players were all fighting amongst themselves as short stacks. Two of those short stacks quickly went to war, with AntiZOG84's K♥Q♦ failing to improve against cardbluff's A♦J♥, all-in pre-flop. Each player started the hand with about 3.5 million chips, although cardbluff just barely had enough chips to knock out AntiZOG84.

Blinds increased to 300k-600k with a 75k ante, putting increased pressure on the short-stacked cardbluff, genrih87 and Mcpeacer. In a battle of the blinds, Mcpeacer open-shoved for about 2.4. million. cardbluff called with a bare ace, A♣6♠, a hand in the lead against Mcpeacer's Q♦3♠. Both an ace and a queen flopped, but neither player improved after that, Q♣A♠4♠7♣2♦. cardbluff's pair of aces ended Mcpeacer's tournament in 5th place.

Two hands later cardbluff took care of the other short stack, genrih87. Again the action was all pre-flop, with cardbluff opening to 1.5 million and then calling genrih87's 5.3 million-chip shove. In a battle of aces, cardbluff's A♥K♣ stayed true against genrih87's A♠J♥ as both players missed the board.

Deal mechanics

Down to three players, smak9 suggested a deal. Both other players clicked the "Discuss deal" checkbox, pausing play. adi_toni asked smak9, "What deal u want?" Before smak9 could answer, cardbluff asked for an equity calculation. The chip chop offered $2,534.85 to adi_toni, $2,396.53 for smak9 and $2,224.37 for cardbluff, leaving $400 as the champion's set-aside.

That arrangement didn't suit cardbluff, who asked for more money to be set aside for each of the remaining 1st, 2nd and 3rd-place prizes. In the end, however, cardbluff agreed to the porposed chop as did the other two players. Effectively, each player was guaranted 2nd-place money, with a slight bonus of $400 to the winner.

adi_toni was the first player out after play resumed. Top pair of 7s was no good against smak9's pocket pair of tens, giving smak9 a full double-up that left adi_toni with about 8 million chips at the 400k-800k level. adi_toni opened a pot shortly thereafter to 1.6 million, then faced an all-in shove from cardbluff. adi_toni made a curious call with 8♦3♦, a hand that had one overcard to cardbluff's pocket 6s. 6s were best on a 3♠7♠J♣A♥T♠, sending adi_toni crashing out of the tournament in 3rd place.

smak9 entered heads-up play with a slight 3-to-2 chip lead over cardbluff. A succession of small pots quickly increased that lead to about 7-to-2. smak9 didn't relent, grinding cardbluff all the way down to about 6 million in chips. That's when cardbluff shoved A♣4♦ right into smak9's A♦Q♠. A queen on the flop and a blank on the turn ensured that cardbluff would not lay a bad beat. cardbluff was eliminated in 2nd place, leaving smak9 with all the chips.

It's not every day you see players strike a deal when the sums involved are less than $3,000 each. But whether you're playing for $3,000 or $300,000, smoothing out your variance at the end of a long MTT usually is the right thing to do. It worked out well for adi_toni and cardbluff today, and worked out especially well for smak9, the champion of Event 16.

2012 MicroMillions II Event 16 $2.20 NLHE results (reflects three-way deal):

1st: smak9 ($2,661.23)*
2nd: cardbluff ($2,119.02)*
3rd: adi_toni ($2,375.50)*
4th: genrih87 ($1,156.20)
5th: Mcpeacer ($924.96)
6th: AntiZOG84 ($693.72)
7th: JackMads ($462.48)
8th: Fimon7 ($231.24)
9th: crazyron19 ($145.68)

We're now 16 events into the second installment of the 2012 PokerStars MicroMillions. Check out the leaderboard and the schedule of remaining events at the Micro Millions home page.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in MicroMillions