MicroMillions: Horvat69 holds on to win Event 47, $5.50 NL Hold'em [2x Chance]

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngSecond chances in life come around rarely enough that they can fairly be called a precious commodity. In tournament poker they don't come around at all - at least, that's the way things used to be. One of the many wonders of modern online poker tournaments is the ability to work in all sorts of structural wrinkles that wouldn't have been so much as considered in the old days. Case in point: today's MicroMillions Event 47, a $5.50 No-Limit Hold'em affair with the option for players who bust out to opt for a second chance at the same price as their first.

In most ways this kind of event is not all that different than the original freezeouts that started tournament poker. But given the aggressive nature of today's online game and the increased variance that comes along with it, that opportunity to rebuy could make all the difference in the world to an unlucky player. It certainly made a difference to several thousand players during the first two hours of today's tournament. The 4,440 of them who opted to take their second chance increased the original prize pool, built by 9,234 initial entries, by nearly 50 percent. At a total of $68,730, the money up for grabs was close to three times the original $25K guarantee.

From two tables to one

After 8 hours and 11 minutes of play the field in Event 47 had been reduced to just two tables and the $10,261.45 top prize was within sight. Croatia's Horvat69 was ahead of the pack with a stack of 8.88M, partially thanks to winning this 5.96M-chip pot against the former chip leader, Venezuela's Lamantekilla, with 19 players left:

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Giving Horvat69 a run for the money by jumping over the 7M-chip mark were Russia's kostya47, who won a coin flip against Spain's panteramen with J♥ J♠ against A♣ K♠, and Latvia's ClearEX, who made a habit of winning pots of 1.7M+ and knocked out Slovakia's SUSEKO in 17th place ($181.18). Each one's stack would fluctuate - the 100K/200K blinds and 25K antes encouraged plenty of action - but ClearEX remained in the lead with 7.78M when the 14 remaining players took their five-minute break at 4:55pm ET.

The Latvian player became the first to cross the 10M-chip mark just after the break, having the good fortune to pick up Q♦ Q♣ in the big blind after Portugal's tcrespo87 had shoved all-in from the cutoff with 9♣ 8♣. The queens held and tcrespo87 left in 14th place ($273.48). Two hands later the good fortune continued when ClearEX picked up A♠ A♣ on the button after got the Dominican Republic's Quiñones21 (13th, $273.48), who had opened under the gun with T♠ T♦, to get all-in before the flop for 4.21M. The aces held and ClearEX vaulted up to 14.86M at a point when the next closest player had 7.88M. Now holding three times as many chips as anybody else at Table 182, ClearEX didn't shy away from applying pressure and moved north of 20M chips in short order.

Over on Table 611, Ukraine's S.FILTH led the way with 8.9M chips. But without as much of a cushion from the encroaching blinds and antes as his counterpart on the other table, S.FILTH wasn't able to lean quite on the rest of the table quite as heavily. Still, he did score the knockout blow that set up the final table, calling with A♠ Q♥ in the big blind after Denmark's Klonkefar moved all-in for 630K on the button holding 8♣ 4♦. The 5♦ 5♠ 2♥ K♠ 3♣ board left Klonkefar on the outside looking in from 10th place ($365.77)

The stretch run

With three hands remaining on the 150K/300K/37.5K level, the final table began with this lineup:

Seat 1: ClearEX (19,695,672 in chips)
Seat 2: S.FILTH (10,463,922 in chips)
Seat 3: Lamantekilla (8,695,735 in chips)
Seat 4: StrafffiJ (6,013,829 in chips)
Seat 5: Horvat69 (4,181,642 in chips)
Seat 6: mathewko (6,502,187 in chips)
Seat 7: duwinna1 (4,156,137 in chips)
Seat 8: adimare (3,756,072 in chips)
Seat 9: €urop€an (4,904,804 in chips)

MicroMillions Event 47 final table.jpg

There were plenty of all-in moves and preflop three-bets in the early going, but no big showdowns until the second orbit when the action folded to the United Kingdom's duwinna1 in the small blind. A shove for 3.24M chips with J♣ 8♦ was snap-called by Romania's adimare with J♥ J♦, which only had to dodge a turned gutshot draw on the Q♥ 4♦ 7♥ T♦ 3♣ board to win the hand. It was a 9th-place finish ($529.86) for duwinna1 and a move up to 7.23M chips for adimare.

The rest of Level 47 was mostly unremarkable as the short stacks stole pots to stay ahead of the blinds and antes. Just a few hands after Level 48 (250K/500K/62.5K) began, Germany's StrafffiJ made waves after moving all-in for 4.85M chips from middle position with A♣ Q♠. That got a call from adimare, who held A♥ K♥ but was left with the 1.13M chips he had behind when the board came Q♣ 8♣ J♦ 4♥ 6♠. Two hands later StrafffiJ struck again, knocking out adimare in 8th place ($786.25) with A♥ K♣ against A♠ 3♣ in another preflop confrontation after the board came K♠ 5♠ T♣ A♣ 8♠.

Six hands later the former chip leader, Lamantekilla, would become the next casualty (7th, $1,367.40) in a cruel cooler of a hand for the biggest pot of the tournament so far:

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Now up in second place with 17.04M chips, S.FILTH would take over the lead two hands later when Finland's €urop€an shoved all-in for 4.89M from middle position with A♣ 8♥. S.FILTH made an isolation raise and won the hand with J♦ J♣ after the board came Q♦ Q♣ 2♥ 2♦ 7♣, moving up to 23M chips. €Urop€an, meanwhile, left in 6th place ($2,051.10).

The end of Level 48 saw Horvat69 double through StrafffiJ in a K♦ Q♠-v.-T♣ T♠ coin flip. One orbit later, after Level 49 (300K/600K/75K) had begun, Horvat69 was in the big blind with A♠ 7♥ and, after some thought, made the call after StrafffiJ shoved for 7.81M from the small blind with J♦ 9♦. The K♣ 7♠ 6♠ 3♠ Q♣ board never gave StrafffiJ a hint of help, sending the German player out in 5th place ($2,734.80).

Four players left

The remaining players were now stacked like so:

Seat 1: ClearEX (14,830,985 in chips)
Seat 2: S.FILTH (26,406,962 in chips)
Seat 5: Horvat69 (16,715,180 in chips)
Seat 6: mathewko (10,416,873 in chips)

Now in posession of the kind of solid lead that hadn't presented itself on the next to last table, and with Level 49 (400K/800K/100K) beginning, S.FILTH got to work leaning on his tablemates. ClearEX, on the other hand, was in a much worse position than he had been on the final table bubble. With S.FILTH's big stack on the left there was little chance to pick on pots on the cheap. Then came this hand, where the chance to pick up a lot of chips turned into a coin flip against Slovakia's mathewko for a 14.16M-chip pot:

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Things went from bad to worst for ClearEX three hands later. First to act, the Latvian player moved all-in for 5.82M chips holding A♠ J♦. The call from A♣ 5♠ made for an advantageous situation, but a 6♦ 3♥ 5♦ flop turned it upside down. The T♠ turn and 2♠ river were no help and ClearEX's run ended in 4th place ($3,445.94).

The three remaining players got a five-minute break in before returning to action. S.FILTH held the lead with 30.48M chips, with mathewko next at 20.49M and Horvat69 in third with 17.39M. S.FILTH won the first big confrontation, claiming the 16.84M-chip pot from mathewko uncontested on the river after firing a third barrel with the board reading J♠ 9♥ 2♠ 7c] 8♦.

Shortly afterward the blinds and antes went up again, this time to 500K/1M/125K, and mathewko was in a desperate position with a stack worth less than eight big blinds. So after seeing a cheap flop from the big blind with 6♦ 2♦ and hitting middle pair on the K♠ 6♠ 4♦ board, mathewko got the rest of those chips in the middle. S.FILTH had hit top pair with K♣ Q♦, though, and that hand held up as the turn and river came J♥-A♥. mathewko left in 3rd place ($5,127.75) and the final matchup was set.

One last chance

MicroMillions Event 47 heads up.jpg

Heads-up play began with 500K/1M blinds, 125K antes, and S.FILTH in the lead:

Seat 2: S.FILTH (46,754,265 in chips)
Seat 5: Horvat69 (21,615,735 in chips)

The duel between S.FILTH and Horvat69 would prove to be a lively one as both players were willing to mix it up for any chance to claim the top prize. S.FILTH took a stab on the fourth hand, calling Horvat69's all-in bet with J♥ T♠ for an open-ended straight draw on a K♥ Q♣ 2♠ flop. Horvat69 won the 47.48M-chip pot with K♠ 7♦, but returned the favor six hands later by calling S.FILTH's all-in with A♥ 4♥ for the nut flush draw on a flop of J♣ 9♥ 8♥. S.FILTH held J♠ 8♠ for two pair, which held up for a 34.02M-chip pot that had the two players within one small blind of each other's stack.

Horvat69 had opened up a 49.38M-to-18.53M lead when S.FILTH caught pocket queens before the flop and doubled through A♦ T♠. The chip lead continued to move back and forth as the two players traded preflop three-bets and post-flop raises. Horvat69 held a 40.31M-to-28.05M lead as the 700K/1.4M/175K level arrived and immediately went on a heater, taking eight pots in a row to reduce his opponent to a stack worth less than 10 big blinds.

Even then S.FILTH was able to fight back, doubling up with 9♥ 9♦ against K♣ Q♦ on a Q♥ 9♠ J♠ 5♥ 2♦ board to draw back to within five big blinds of Horvat69's stack. Two hands later the fiercely fought battle would come to an end after Horvat69 raised to 2.8M on the button and S.FILTH called in the big blind to see a flop of 9♠ 4♠ 2♦. S.FILTH checked, Horvat69 bet 3.85M, and S.FILTH then raised all-in for 20.17M. Horvat69 dipped into the time bank for a bit before emerging with a call - and it turned out to be the right one, as his T♣ 9♣ was ahead of S.FILTH's 9♦ 8♥. The board ran out K♣-7♣ and the tournament was complete.

S.FILTH finished in 2nd place for $7,520.70, while Horvat69, who held the lead with 18 players left and survived many swings of fortune on the way to the win, took the top spot and the attendant $10,261.45 prize.

MicroMillions Event 47, $5.50 No-Limit Hold'em [2x Chance]
9,234 entrants, $68,730 prize pool
1,170 places paid

1st place - Horvat69 (Croatia) - $10,261.45
2nd place - S.FILTH (Ukraine) - $7,520.70
3rd place - mathewko (Slovakia) - $5,127.75
4th place - ClearEX (Latvia) - $3,445.84
5th place - StrafffiJ (Germany) - $2,734.80
6th place - €urop€an (Finland) - $2,051.10
7th place - Lamantekilla (Venezuela) - $1,367.40
8th place - adimare (Romania) - $786.25
9th place - duwinna1 (United Kingdom) - $529.86

If you still haven't grabbed your share of the overall MicroMillions prize pool, don't panic. You still have a second chance - or 48 more of them, to be exact, as that's the number of events remaining on the schedule at post time. The MicroMillions page has complete details on how to make the most of your opportunity.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions