MicroMillions: olmiilloos understands how to win Event 5, $10.50 NLHE

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngThe "big" buy-in event on the first day of the first-ever Micro Millions series on PokerStars sported a price tag of a whopping $10.50. That's the point of the series, of course; the ability to play in large-field, big-prizepool tournament series shouldn't be reserved for people who can afford three-figure, four-figure or five-figure buy-ins. Nope, you could buy into 2012 MicroMillions Event 5, $10.50 No-Limit Hold'em (SuperKnockout, Turbo), for less than the price of a movie. For about the price of a bowl of curry. For a couple of cups of coffee. A few gallons of gasoline (in America).

You get the idea. It's an amount of money that people can relate to. Can pull out of their wallets and understand.

Unsure, perhaps, of exactly how many people would forego their weekly curry to play in MicroMillions Event 5, PokerStars spotted a modest $20,000 guarantee on the tournament. Bear in mind, as the tournament was a SuperKnockout tournament, only half of the buy-in would go to the prizepool; the other half would represent each player's bounty. So the effective buy-in was $5, with another $5 going to the bounty pool. That meant PokerStars needed at least 4,000 players to meet the guarantee.

Almost 20,000 signed up for the tournament. 19,752 if you want to be precise, of which 2,475 would share a portion of the prizepool. Guarantee: met! In fact the first place prize of $10,665.21 represented more than half of the guarantee.

Among the 19,752 players were PokerStars Team Online player George Lind and five Team PokerStars Pros: Nuno Coelho, Marcin "Goral" Horecki, Martin Hruby, Bryan Huang and Maxim Lykov. I don't know how many bounties (if any) they collected during their Event 5 journeys, but none of them reached the money.

2,475 players did reach the money, including these nine, who made the final table:

2012 MM Event 5 Final-Table.jpg

Seat 1: BRMK1ng (7951378 in chips)
Seat 2: PaulSnowDown (7394528 in chips)
Seat 3: bran9k (2667827 in chips)
Seat 4: olmiilloos (26324934 in chips)
Seat 5: VRC99 (23211057 in chips)
Seat 6: gast117 (14163574 in chips)
Seat 7: nebojsa62 (3639548 in chips)
Seat 8: Liska01 (12052478 in chips)
Seat 9: pokermydrug (1354676 in chips)

Three easy outs

With blinds at 500k-1MM, no player had a commanding lead, though VRC99 could have been excused for feeling more comfortable than most with a table-leading 23 big blinds.

On the first two hands of the final table, short stacks moved all in and survived. The third hand was not as kind to bran9k, whose all-in bet of 2.2 million was called by small blind BRMK1ng with Q♥T♥. The A♥J♦ of bran9k was in the lead but fell to 2nd place after BRMK1ng flopped a matching ten. bran9k never improved from there, finishing in 9th place.

pokermydrug was one of the aforementioned short stacks that shoved in the early going. But the blinds and antes were relentless, forcing pokermydrug to shove a second time, with A♦7♠. This time olmiilloos had a better ace, A♣J♣, that held through the river as both players failed to connect with the board. pokermydrug was left high and dry and looking to get a fix elsewhere, though 8th place was good for $888.84.

As the remaining seven players came to the 9pm break, BRMK1ng suggested considering a chop. PaulSnowDown agreed, saying an average stack of 10 BBs made the final table a lottery for everyone. Four players copped to having checked off the appropriate box to consider a deal; the other three remained silent, and thus play resumed out of the break.

The first hand produced another elimination, as nebojsa62 shoved A♠Q♥ right into bid blind gast117's A♦K♥. Ace-king held on a jack-hair, paired board. nebojsa62 was eliminated in 7th place.

With those newfound chips, gast117 finally responded to the deal talk with a simple, "Nope. Just play." But the others continued to press for a deal, especially after gast117 lost a small double-up to PaulSnowDown.

VRC99: What's the point man. Blinds are too high. You can't play poker.
PaulSnowDown: The best way is to maximize profit for everybody.

gast117 relented and agreed to check the "discuss deal" box. At that point the players realized that olmiilloos couldn't speak English (Spanish only) and hadn't checked the box. I can only imagine that a flurry of queries to Google Translate followed as they tried to figure out how to communicate to olmiilloos in Spanish to check the box.

A Spanish-speaking host eventually made his way to the table. Federico explained to olmiilloos, in Spanish, the necessary steps for discussing a deal. olmiilloos, however, still didn't check the box, instead taking a big pot of VRC99 in a blind battle. olmiilloos min-raised pre-flop to 3.2 million, then bet 3.2 million more on a K♠2♠2♦ flop. VRC99 tried a min-raise to 6.4 million, leaving 3.0 million behind, then folded to a shove.

olmiilloos checked the box and the tournament was paused.

A tough deal

The negotiations began as soon as the host provided the chip-chop numbers. gast117, 2nd in chips, stood to receive $6,655.91 and immediately asked for $7,500. The negotiations were drawn out, with VRC99 refusing to contribute and gast117 continually claiming to be "up $45,000 in 2012". The other players pointed out that gast117's stats were blocked on all stat-tracking sites, calling into question gast117's claim, and also that skill would not play a large role in the outcome with the blinds so high.

gast117 refused to budge, finally coercing $450 from BRMK1ng, $150 from PaulSnowDown and $150 from Liska01. Just when it seemed like a deal was reached, olmiilloos - who had agreed to the original unmodified chip-chop deal -- decided it was unfair that gast117 should receive the most money in the deal despite a 2nd-place chip stack. olmiilloos requested $7,437, an increase of $600 above the chip-chip amount that olmiilloos would receive.

More negotiations commenced. BRMK1ng appeared more and more desperate to do the deal, and just when it seemed like things had completely collapsed - 30 minutes after deal talk began - and play would resume, BRMK1ng offered up $317 to olmiilloos, in tandem with $150 from PaulSnowDown and $100 from Liska01, to satisfy olmiilloos.

It took another five or ten minutes from there to secure the final numbers and agreement from all the players. The recipient of the $400 champion's set-aside was all that was left to be determined.

In search of a champion

The rest of the tournament played out as quickly as you would think, given the relatively small size of the $400 left in contention. BRMK1ng doubled up Liska01, then was bounced out in 6th place after shoving K♠7♣ and being called by olmiilloos with Q♥6♠. A queen flopped and that was it for BRMK1ng.

olmiillos took over the chip lead a few hands later by taking out gast117:

RSS readers click through to see replay

After another scheduled break, PaulSnowDown's stack dwindled precariously. Down to 1.5 big blinds, PaulSnowDown shoved queen-four offsuit right into Liska01's pocket kings. There was no miracle escape for PaulSnowDown.

Liska01 didn't hold this chips long. An unfortunately timed shove from the small blind with king-nine doubled up olmiilloos in the big blind, whose ace-king made the nut flush and crippled Liska01. Liska01 was eliminated one hand later when queen-five couldn't overtake the pocket 7s of olmiilloos, which made a set of 7s on the turn.

Heads-up play between olmiilloos and VRC99 lasted three hands, all of them won by olmiilloos. On the final hand, with blinds at 1.5MM and 3MM, VRC99 limped the small blind, then shoved for 42.8MM after olmiilloos raised to 9MM. olmiilloos' weak ace, A♦3♦, stood tall against VRC99's K♠Q♥ as both players missed the board, J♥6♥J♦5♣T♠.

olmiilloos may not have understood all the English that was spoken during the deal negotiations, but definitely understood how to put the tournament away coming down the stretch. Those extra $5 bounties couldn't have hurt either.

2012 Micro Millions Event 5 $10.50 No-Limit Hold'em (SuperKnockout, Turbo) results (modified by 6-way deal):

1st: olmiilloos ($7,837.00)*
2nd: VRC99 ($4,318.17)*
3rd: Liska01 ($4,884.03)*
4th: PaulSnowDown ($5,680.51)*
5th: gast117 ($7,405.91)*
6th: BRMK1ng ($5,723.39)*
7th: nebojsa62 ($1,481.40)
8th: pokermydrug ($888.84)
9th: bran9k ($592.56)

There are 100 events spread across the 11 days of the 2012 Micro Millions. Today was only Day 1, giving you 10 more days to play any of the 90+ events of micro madness still to come. For a complete schedule of events, check out the Micro Millions Main Page.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in MicroMillions