MicroMillions: Silence says it all for almogávares in Event #15 $4.40 NLHE 6-Max

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngWe're only into the second day of the PokerStars MicroMillions and already the fifteenth event of the schedule was upon us as a massive field arrived on the virtual felt for Event #15: $4.40 No Limit Holdem 6-Max.

This event offered a lucrative guarantee of $20,000, but by the time registration had closed, the field had swelled to a staggering 19,126 runners. The final prize pool of $76,504 was almost four times the guarantee in a strong showing of support for the popular six-handed format.

Of course it's one of the purest forms of poker with many of today's finest young pros cutting their teeth in the short-handed game. Would we see a new star emerge today? The six-handed game rewards the players who are active and aggressive, and makes for some entertaining poker as evident by the fact that the massive field was reduced down to a sole survivor in a little over eight hours of play.

Poland's Marcin "Goral" Horecki was the only member of Team PokerStars that we spotted mixing it up in the micro-stakes today, but he was unfortunately a rather early elimination.

The top 2,400 players would receive a $7.65 reward for their efforts, with avanerven taking only a hard luck story back to the Netherlands after finishing on the money bubble.

As the final table formed it was Russian MistaZef who held the chip lead, but with the blinds at 200k/400k/50k, there was plenty of play still to be had. The short stack of the six was 23Fantik23, but with over 18 big blinds, there was no need for desperation just yet.


Final Table Lineup
Seat 1: almogávares (14,496,764 in chips)
Seat 2: QQuartzz (19,221,640 in chips)
Seat 3: MistaZef (21,394,350 in chips)
Seat 4: zandermak (17,167,102 in chips)
Seat 5: 23Fantik23 (7,501,028 in chips)
Seat 6: Robotos75 (15,849,116 in chips)

The action was pretty tight-aggressive in the early stages, with not a lot of pots getting to a showdown with QQuartzz and MistaZef the most active players. Of course the very top-heavy payout structure meant that no one wanted to be first out and the players were likely to engage in some form of deal discussion. However with a very international lineup for this final table, it was always going to be tough to get any table chat going. Fortunately zandermak was quick to try and ensure that we could all understand any table banter that might go on.

23Fantik23 said, "robotos co stim budem dlat?"
Robotos75 said, "vsechnyje sejmem"
zandermak said, "english pls"
MistaZef said, "i dont talk english"
MistaZef said, "only translator"

As the requests for English fell through, much to our dismay, the foreign banter was broken by our PokerStars Host Silvia who gave us a clue as to what might be going on.

HostSilviaF said, "I will explain you shortly in Russian how to pause the tournament for a deal. Please keep the chat in English for the moment"

But before we had a chance to get our Russian translator out, we had our first big pot of the final table. 23Fantik23 was still on the short stack with 16 big blinds which went into the middle with T♣T♥. QQuartzz made the easy call with K♥K♣ but 23Fantik23 hit a perfect ten on the 8♣T♦6♠5♠A♥ board.

QQuartzz's stack was halved and things didn't get any better as almogávares found a much needed double up:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Next hand, a frustrated QQuartzz stuck 4.5 big blinds into the middle with K♦3♦ as MistaZef found A♣Q♦ to be well in front. That didn't change on the board of 7♠Q♣J♠T♠J♦ as QQuartzz became our first final table casualty, picking up $905.04 for a 6th place finish.

Robotos75 was quick to follow as almogávares started to surge into contention. After a raise and a call, the two took a flop of T♠A♥J♠. It was magic for almogávares holding K♦Q♠ for a flopped Broadway straight! Almogávares laid the trap and checked it over to Robotos75 who bet 3,000,000. Almogávares made the call but then decided to move all in when a scary 9♠ hit the turn. Robotos75 didn't waste too much time in making the call with tournament life on the line, but without a spade, Robotos75's A♦K♥ top pair was drawing to just a queen to chop. The river K♣ was a little salt into the wound, but $1,428.32 for 5th place should heal that pain.

Almogávares was now into the chip lead as the idea of a deal continued to be toyed with in the chat box in a mix of (presumably) Russian with a little broken English.

Once again PokerStars Host Silvia was on the ball...

HostSilviaF said, "I would like to remind you that you have to speak in English. Thank you for your cooperation."
HostSilviaF said, "MistaZef, I need to ask you please to stop this chat in Russian"

Almogávares and MistaZef tangled in a couple of interesting blind battles with almogávares getting picked off with a busted straight draw when MistaZef held two pair, before MistaZef tried a little triple-barrel bluff, only for almogávares to call it down with just ace-high.

With the players starting to get a little frisky, something had to give. After raising preflop, 23Fantik23 raised all in following a lead bet from almogávares on a flop of 4♥J♣K♣. Almogávares only held J♦T♠ for middle pair but committed to the call. 23Fantik23 showed A♣Q♦ and couldn't improve on the 3♥ turn or 6♣ river. 23Fantik23 took home $2,486.38 for 4th place.

With such a top-heavy payout structure, it seemed that every second hand, someone was suggesting some deal discussion but it was the Spaniard almogávares who remained silent as play continued on.

There were plenty of "raise and take it" hands during three-handed play, with MistaZef fortunate to survive after spiking a two-outer in the following hand:

RSS readers click through to see replay

With the double up MistaZef was back into contention but was still adamant about talking a deal. MistaZef had no success, no matter what language used and PokerStars Host Tanner took over to calm the situation.

HostTannerS said, "Hello MistaZef, all players are aware of how to make a deal if they would like to do so"

Soon zandermak joined in to apply even more pressure to the still-silent almogávares.

zandermak said, "spain?"
zandermak said, "you are able to write?"

The frustrations of the lack of deal discussion soon followed onto the felt as MistaZef fired off another three-barrel bluff into almogávares who was able to pick it off with top pair. MistaZef was resigned to the short stack, but it was zandermak who was next to go.

Zandermak shoved the small blind for around 15 big blinds with 4♥4♣ and almogávares made the call with Q♠J♣. It took until the river, but almogávares eventually got there on the 3♣6♦A♠5♠Q♦ board to collect the pot. Zandermak should be thrilled to have turned $4.40 into a massive $4,781.50 for 3rd place.

Almogávares held a near 8-to-1 chip advantage, but two quick double ups put MistaZef back into contention. MistaZef sneakily limped the button with A♥K♠ as almogávares shoved 8♣7♣ from the big blind. MistaZef called and spiked an ace on the flop to double through. Moments later MistaZef moved all in preflop with K♥Q♥ as almogávares called and eyed off the title with A♦4♣, but the Q♦9♥3♥5♥3♣ board was all MistaZef as a king-high flush brought the contest virtually back to even.

MistaZef tried valiantly one last time to strike up a deal conversation.

MistaZef said, "????"
MistaZef said, "DEAL????"
MistaZef said, "DEAAAALLLLL?"

But it was all in vain.

Moments later MistaZef took the lead when his dominant K♥9♠ held against almogávares' Q♦9♣ and suddenly it appeared that MistaZef would collect the lion's share. But that all changed when a cruel river blow put almogávares back in the driver's seat:

RSS readers click through to see replay

MistaZef was one card away from victory, but it was a case of so close, yet so far as his pair was counterfeited. MistaZef couldn't recover from that blow and, moments later, shoved around 12 big blinds with 4♥K♥. Almogávares made the call and tabled a dominant K♦6♠. The final board was spread J♦Q♦9♦7♠3♦ to give almogávares a flush for a memorable victory. MistaZef pockets $7,076.62 for finishing runner-up, while almogávares takes $9,850.67 and the MicroMillions title back to Spain.

Final Table Results
1st almogávares (Spain) - $9,850.67
2nd MistaZef (Russia) - $7,076.62
3rd zandermak (Russia) - $4,781.50
4th 23Fantik23 (Czech Republic) - $2,486.38
5th Robotos75 (Czech Republic) - $1,428.32
6th QQuartzz (Ireland) - $905.04

There are over 80 more opportunities to become the next MicroMillions champion and turn just a little pocket change into significant prize money just like almogávares did this evening. For a complete rundown of the schedule, as well as results, statistics and more, head over to the MicroMillions Main Page.