MicroMillions: Rafa_Nadal10 swings to victory in Event #29 ($5.50 NLHE Big Antes)

MicroMillions logo.pngThe best victories can be the ones in which a player starts as an underdog and overcomes the odds. Rafa_Nadal10 did just that, going into the final table as the second shortest stack of the nine players, but a slow and steady comeback plan allowed Rafa_Nadal10 to climb, get to heads-up, and make the right moves at the right time. After a tough battle, Rafa_Nadal10 sits in the winner's circle with more than $9K to show for the effort.

*****

A tournament series like MicroMillions likes to throw some interesting events into the mix. Event 29 was a prime example. On the surface, it looked like a regular $5.50 buy-in NLHE event, and the $50K guarantee was a very nice bonus. But the title of the event also boasted of "big antes," which translates into a fast structure. Different from a typical turbo in which the blinds increase at double the normal rate of speed, a big antes structure puts those antes into play in every level, and they increase exponentially as the tournament moves forward.

Level 1 starts with blinds of 10/20 with a 5-chip ante, and level 3 jumps up to 20/40 blinds with a 10-chip ante. With antes on every hand, required by every player, the range of hands widens. You get the picture.

With that in mind, players were excited for the action and the final numbers upon the close of registration were:

Players: 14,155
Guarantee: $50,000.00
Prize pool: $70,775.00
Paid players: 1,800

The money bubble burst after a few hours of play, leaving KingConners as the unfortunate bubble player and KongKat out in 1,800th place with $8.49. The payouts came at a rapid pace, and included in that group of players who were rewarded for their hours of play was Team PokerStars Pro Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby, who exited in 779th place.

It was after the seven-hour mark that the payouts went up to three figures, and chapstylez was the first to grab $102.62 for the 54th place finish. The next hour took the field down to four tables and then three, and finally two tables as action moved rather quickly.

With luixma and Mishoncho as the two players in the lead - both over 11 million - other players had the opposite results of their play, such as Gutschel who took 14th place and 1truegambler who left in 13th place. The eliminations of xxxaydepxxx in 12th and Scarer in 11th launched hand-for-hand play, and duxi88 and gr012 took that opportunity to double up.

Finally, abrixit moved all-in UTG for 2.6 million and luixma called with 9♠9♥. Abrixit was on the line with A♣6♥, but nothing on the 2♠T♠5♦K♦8♠ board could help. That left abrixit out in tenth place with $283.10.

Mishoncho is head honcho

The final table began in the first part of Level 48, with 150,000/300,000 blinds and a 60,000 ante. Players' starting stacks were listed as follows::

Seat 1: Mishoncho (19,054,918 in chips)
Seat 2: gr012 (6,077,928 in chips)
Seat 3: duxi88 (3,208,106 in chips)
Seat 4: uplnevymleto (11,479,751 in chips)
Seat 5: Freesty1e_44 (1,240,012 in chips)
Seat 6: Rafa_Nadal10 (2,678,327 in chips)
Seat 7: gugom (7,654,985 in chips)
Seat 8: Rokibaitis (4,615,220 in chips)
Seat 9: luixma (14,765,753 in chips)

MM FT - Event 29.JPG

It didn't take long to see action at this final table. The first to move was Freesty1e_44, who responded to a raise from Mishoncho by moving all-in from the big blind with Q♦3♦. Mishoncho called with 8♦5♣ and caught the first card on the 8♠3♣4♠T♠6♣ board. The pair of eights bested the threes and sent Freesty1e_44 out in ninth place with $424.65.

Duxi88 decided to risk everything for the first time at this last table with A♣J♣, but Rafa_Nadal10 reraised all-in with A♠A♦, and Mishoncho called both players with K♦K♠. The board of 5♠2♥K♣A♥Q♣ gave Rafa_Nadal10 all of the chips, while duxi88 had to depart in eighth place with $636.97.

Rokibaitis had some initial good fortune by doubling through Rafa_Nadal10, but rokibaitis tried it again a few hands later, moving all-in UTG with A♥7♠. UpInevymleto called from the button with 8♠8♣, and that developed into a better two pair on the 3♦3♣6♠7♣J♣ board. Rokibaitis had to leave in seventh place with $1,344.72.

Luixma back in the lead

Luixma seemed to pick spots carefully, and a 16.1 million-chip pot from Mishoncho put luixma in the number one spot on the leaderboard and nearing the 30 million mark. Michoncho then doubled through Rafa_Nadal10 to stay in action.

Meanwhile, the final six players paused the tournament in an attempt to discuss a deal, but that quickly fell through. Play resumed.

A big hand then developed as Mishoncho raised UTG on a subsequent hand. Rafa_Nadal10 reraised all-in, and gugom did the same. Mishoncho called both players.

Gugom: J♦J♣
Mishoncho: A♦K♥
Rafa_Nadal10: A♣A♠

The board came 8♥Q♠A♥Q♦6♥ to give Rafa_Nadal10 the big win with a full house, and Mishoncho collected the side pot with a better two pair. Gugom was eliminated in sixth place with $2,052.47.

Gr012 grows into chip leader

It happened rather quickly. First, Mishoncho moved all-in from the small blind with J♥7♦, and gr012 called from the big blind with A♥7♠. That ace-high hand maintained its status as the board came 9♠4♠K♠5♥8♥, and Mishoncho was out in fifth place with $2,760.22.

Soon after, when upInevymleto pushed all-in with A♠8♥, original raiser gr012 was there with Q♦J♦ and caught the flop on the 9♣J♣K♦2♠9♦ board. UpInevymleto's pair of nines on the board was only good enough to be eliminated in fourth place with $3,467.97.

The final three players then attempted another deal, but no agreement could be made, and they resumed action again.

A bit later, luixma got involved in a hand with gr012 which prompted the latter to move all-in with A♦K♦. Luixma called all-in with A♠Q♠ and never found improvement on the J♥4♥7♦5♥3♦ board. Luixma finished the tournament in third place with $4,883.47.

Heads-up on the green court

The final two players began their match with these counts:

Seat 2: gr012 (60,629,920 in chips)
Seat 6: Rafa_Nadal10 (10,145,080 in chips)

And things started to change on the second hand of the battle:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Three hands later, Rafa_Nadal10 did it again:

RSS readers click through to see replay

And if that wasn't enough, Rafa_Nadal10 was back in action, this time to take over the lead:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Three more hands found gr012 all-in and fighting for the tournament with 8♦6♠, while Rafa_Nadal10 called with Q♥7♥. The board of Q♦5♣T♠2♣4♥ only improved Rafa_Nadal10's hand and left gr012 out in second place with $6,472.37.

Rafa_Nadal10 won the tournament title and $9,386.14 in cash. Congrats!

MicroMillions Event #29 ($5.50 NLHE Big Antes) Results:

1st place: Rafa_Nadal10 ($9,386.14)
2nd place: gr012 ($6,472.37)
3rd place: luixma ($4,883.47)
4th place: upInevymleto ($3,467.97)
5th place: Mishoncho ($2,760.22)
6th place: gugom ($2,052.47)
7th place: Rokibaitis ($1,344.72)
8th place: duxi88 ($636.97)
9th place: Freesty1e_44 ($424.65)

The MicroMillions just began, but there are plenty more on the schedule with 100 tournaments in all. Check out the main page for all tournament and satellite information, as well as the Leaderboard and Statistics pages.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in MicroMillions