MicroMillions: stmetal forges a victory in Event 55, $5.50 NLHE [Knockout, Turbo]

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngUnless you're a fruit fly or some other tiny organism, five hours isn't a terribly long time. It's less than a full day at work for most people. In terms of poker it's certainly less than the time it takes to play out a full tournament - unless, of course, that tournament has a turbo structure. Then the laws of space and time get warped in all sorts of interesting ways, vastly increasing the amount of poker you can pack into a relatively short time.

This turbo MicroMillions event had a $10,000 guaranteed prize pool, but the turnout increased that number substantially. With 7,425 players in before registration closed the total money up for grabs swelled to $30,442.50, with another $7,425 set aside for bounties on every player knocked out. For just five dollars and five hours of time, any one of them could take home more than 927 times what they bought in for.

Blink and you'll miss it

From the very beginning of the tournament the players kept up a torrid pace. The money bubble popped at 8:10am ET, just two hours and 10 minutes after the tournament began, when Nietzsche9 of Canada was left outside the money. Within five minutes more than 200 players had made their exit from the tournament, and another 160 or so would exit in the five minutes after that. By the time the three-hour mark had arrived only 169 players remained in contention. Leading the way were Russia's IlyaTorikov (1,350,630 chips), the Netherlands' criminaltom (771,931 chips), the United Kingdom's bust1975 (645,951 chips), Spain's oleeee!!!488 (639,647 chips), and Germany's Ruda SL (596,401 chips).

The next hour saw the field reduced to just 27 players, led by New Zealand's zkchch (3,198,328 chips), Russia's titov di (2,891,519 chips), bust1975 (2,776,834 chips), the Netherlands' benmaassen (2,596,072 chips), and Russia's KOKOS 220 (2,260,091 chips). As they resumed play on Level 44 (70K/140K/17.5K), the average stack was less than 10 big blinds and even the largest stack only had 22 big blinds.

Unsurprisingly, the action moved quickly. Within 10 minutes three tables had turned to two as oleeee!!!488 busted in 19th place ($71.23) after shoving with Q♦ J♥ and running into atorglobal's A♦ K♥. From there, however, the pace of knockouts slowed considerably. Despite several all-in-and-a-call situations, three full levels would pass before PAULOSOUSA09 broke the ice, falling in 18th place ($85.23) after running A♦ 8♥ into zkchch's pocket aces.

By the time the final table bubble had arrived the blinds and antes were up to 250K/500K/62.5K. All eyes were on the Czech Republic's Jajounek, whose stack was worth a little more than one big blind, but a quadruple-up with A♠ 5♣ in the big blind kept things going. Instead of Jajounek hitting the rail, this hand came along on the other table to set up an eight-handed finale:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

That eliminated both MagicSilent and benmaassen. Both players missed out on the final table, but benmaassen earned 9th-place money ($235.92) for having the larger stack when the hand began.

7,417 down, eight to go

The eight players who survived to the final table were seated like this:

MicroMillions Event 55 final table.jpg

Seat 1: SurenSA (12,207,104 in chips)
Seat 2: nsw48 (1,883,031 in chips)
Seat 3: kerpke11 (3,751,307 in chips)
Seat 4: viny_oyanco (1,986,988 in chips)
Seat 5: Jajounek (2,104,388 in chips)
Seat 6: stmetal (7,428,909 in chips)
Seat 7: atorglobal (1,874,759 in chips)
Seat 9: zkchch (5,888,514 in chips)

The third, fourth, and fifth hands of the final table saw all-in-and-a-call situations, but only the last one resulted in an elimination. Australia's nsw08 moved all in for 1.52M chips, or about two and a half big blinds, holding Q♣ 8♣. Jajounek made the call with 6♦ 6♣, hit a set on the J♠ 6♠ 2♠ flop, and won the 4.54M-chip pot when the board ran out Q♥-A♦. That made nsw08 the 8th-place finisher ($365.31).

Three hands later, with the blinds and antes up to 400K/800K/100K, came the next elimination. Both atorglobal (A♠ A♦) and kerpke11 (J♠ J♣) ended up all-in for their tournament lives before the flop, while stmetal (7♦ 7♣) called with another 3.65M chips behind. The Q♥ T♥ 5♣ T♣ 2♦ board did nothing to crack aces, shipping the 9.73M-chip pot to atorglobal and eliminating kerpke11 in 7th place ($669.73).

The next three hands in a row were won by stmetal, including one in the blinds to stave off elimination with A♣ 7♣ against Jajounek's K♥ 3♣. That left Jajounek with a stack worth 2M chips just as the blinds went up to 500K/1M. The Czech player got what was left of that in the middle with the best of it an orbit later, holding A♥ 3♦ against viny_oyanco's T♥ 9♥, but the J♥ 4♥ 8♠ K♦ 7♦ board brought a straight and Jajounek was out in 6th place ($974.16).

stmetal pressed the lead and grabbed the next two pots uncontested to stack up to 17.63M chips before another blind-versus-blind situation resulted in the next elimination. atorglobal raised the minimum with K♥ Q♥ when the action folded around to the small blind, and zkchch opted to call off the last 776K to go all-in with J♥ 9♦. The J♦ 3♥ 6♠ flop was good news for zkchch, but the K♣ turn changed that. With the 8♥ river, zkchch became the 5th-place finisher ($1,278.58) and the other players went on their last five-minute break of the tournament.

Just a few more minutes...

With blinds and antes now at 600K/1.2M/150K, the remaining players were in action mode:

Seat 1: SurenSA (4,994,604 in chips)
Seat 4: viny_oyanco (2,731,251 in chips)
Seat 6: stmetal (23,210,288 in chips)
Seat 7: atorglobal (6,188,857 in chips)

The first hand back saw viny_oyanco grab a quick double-up from stmetal's stack with pocket eights against pocket sixes. Two hands later SurenSA would also double up, picking up pocket tens in the small blind and calling after atorglobal raised enough to put the Ukrainian player all-in. Just five hands after that it looked like viny_oyanco would double through stmetal once again, this time with Q♠ Q♦ against K♠ J♦, but the board fell 5♠ 3♦ 3♣ K♥ 5♦ and viny_oyanco was eliminated in 4th place ($1,674.33).

On the very next hand saw atorglobal was all-in for 219K on the small blind with 8♥ 7♠ and up against the 7♥ 7♣ of stmetal. The sevens were never in trouble as the board came 4♠ 3♥ A♦ 9♥ 4♥, atorglobal exited in 3rd place ($2,435.40), and the heads-up match was set.

SurenSA faced an uphill battle with 7.01M chips against the 30.11M of stmetal, but two double-ups - the first with A♣ 4♦ against K♠ J♦ and the second with A♦ T♣ against A♠ K♦ - turned everything around. SurenSA now had a 24.55M-to-12.56M lead, but it was short-lived thanks to this hand:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

Any other spade would have won the hand for SurenSA's A♠ 5♠, but the 9♠ made a full house for stmetal. On the next hand, another ace-five combination would prove to be SurenSA's undoing. This time it was an unsuited A♠ 5♥ in the hands of stmetal, good enough for a call in the big blind after SurenSA had moved all-in for 11.83M from the button with T♥ 9♦. A 6♦ Q♦ 2♣ flop, 5♦ turn, and 6♠ river later and the tournament was complete, just five hours and eight minutes after it had begun.

Coming into the final table as chip leader wasn't enough to get SurenSA a win, but $3,424.78 is definitely a solid runner-up prize. Meanwhile all that aggressive play in the final stages helped stmetal outlast the field to score $4,635.09 - a thoroughly impressive take.

MicroMillions Event 55, $5.50 No-Limit Hold'em [Knockout, Turbo]
7,425 entrants, $30,442.50 prize pool
$7,425 bounty pool
990 places paid

1st place - stmetal (Russia) - $4,635.09
2nd place - SurenSA (Ukraine) - $3,424.78
3rd place - atorglobal (Brazil) - $2,435.40
4th place - viny_oyanco (Spain) - $1,674.33
5th place - zkchch (New Zealand) - $1,278.58
6th place - Jajounek (Czech Republic) - $974.16
7th place - kerpke11 (Netherlands) - $669.73
8th place - nsw48 (Australia) - $365.31
9th place - benmaassen (Netherlands) - $235.92

Here's another measure of how short five hours is: within five hours of this posting, another three MicroMillions events with $125,000 guaranteed between them will have begun. That's a lot of money waiting to be won. Why not get in on the action yourself?

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions