MicroMillions: THE RIPPER V slashes to victory in Event 77, $11 NLHE

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngTournament poker is a funny thing. At times, you see the player with the dominant chip stack bully his or her way to victory, winning pot after pot and getting enough bounces of luck along the way to make it look easy. Other times, the best hand constantly gets beaten. double-ups abound and the chip lead is passed like a hot potato. The latter was definitely the case in 2012 MicroMillions Event 77, $11 No-Limit Hold'em. At the end of the merry-go-round, THE RIPPER V was the last player with the chip lead.

The $11 NLHE events throughout the MicroMillions have proven to be popular, and Event 77 was no exception. 14,621 people entered the tournament by the time late registration closed, creating five-figure paydays for the 1st and 2nd place finishers and close to five figures for 3rd. Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki continued his seemingly inexorable climb up the MicroMillions leaderboard. He's currently tied for 3rd place and picked up a few more points with a 772nd-place finish, good for $35.09. He and fellow Team Pro Jude Ainsworth were the only members of the Red Spade Brigade to crack into the 2,025 in-the-money spots in Event 77.

The most MicroMillions leaderboard points would go to one of these nine players:

2012-Micro-Millions-Event-77-Final-Table.jpg

Seat 1: berrymix (3648758 in chips)
Seat 2: cefrochka (3726437 in chips)
Seat 3: SaschaJoe (5889706 in chips)
Seat 4: blony_tair (11917816 in chips)
Seat 5: SINCHE (14521854 in chips)
Seat 6: THE RIPPER V (6458480 in chips)
Seat 7: Radiy X (2840674 in chips)
Seat 8: heyalisson (3170897 in chips)
Seat 9: Leanod (20930378 in chips)

Blinds 150k / 300k, ante 37,500, average 8,122,777

To start the final table, four stacks had 12 or fewer big blinds. Their plight deepened only moments later, when blinds rolled up to 200k / 400k with a 50k ante. The first fell in short order, as Radiy X shoved for 2.8 million with J♦T♦ and was called by Leanod's pocket 7s. Radiy X had plenty of outs against Leanod's set going into the river, 8♥7♦K♠Q♦. But the river was a blank 4♠, ending Radiy X's tournament in 9th place.

A three-way all in the next hand tripled up cefrochka and left heyalisson without any chips or a chair:

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Jack-ten didn't work any better for SaschaJoe than it did for Radiy X. Down to 3.2 million, SaschaJoe shoved J♥T♠ but couldn't get there against THE RIPPER V's A♠K♥. Ace-high was good enough to send SaschaJoe to the rail in 7th place.

The last of the short stacks was Denmark's berrymix. berrymix shoved the button for 2.4 million, six big blinds, putting a decision to big blind blony_tair. blony_tair dipped into the time bank before calling with Q♠T♥, a hand slightly behind berrymix's A♠7♣. The 8♣J♦J♥ flop was clean for berrymix, but a turned Q♥ left berrymix hoping for a river ace that never came.

With all of the short stacks out, the final five players rated to play poker for a while before determining amongst themselves who would be champion. Leonod had the chip lead, but the other four players were all relatively close to each other with 20-25 big blinds each.

SINCHE got the first double-up when presto held against Leanod's ace-ten. The two players become co-leaders with about 18 million (36 big blinds) each. It was blony_tair's turn next, laying a beat on Leanod when Q♥J♥ rivered an ace-high straight against Leanod's A♠J♦. blony_tair, the new chip leader, immediately suggested considering some sort of deal, but then doubled up Leanod before anyone else could respond. No deal discussions commenced.

As play continued, it was Leanod's stack that ground its way downwards. With 7.5 million left and blinds at 300k / 600k, Leanod three-bet shoved pocket 9s over SINCHE's open-raise. SINCE called with only one live card, A♣9♥, but flopped an ace and then held on against Leanod's flush draw, 7♠A♠6♠Q♣6♣. Leanod finished the tournament in 5th place and SINCHE became the chip leader. Soon cefrochka took over the lead.

THE RIPPER V fell into decided short-stack territory, but a fortune river ace allowed THE RIPPER V to double through SINCHE, all in pre-flop with ace-queen against SINCHE's pocket 9s. The chips kept flying around the table even as limits increased to 400k / 800k / 100k. Each player had a share of the chip lead at some point.

Eventually, as these things go, someone was going to lose a critical flip. That someone was blony_tair, whose A♦Q♣ flopped the nut flush draw against SINCHE's pocket 6s (all in pre-flop) but never got there. Losing that pot pushed blony_tair below 5 big blinds. A small blind shove with 9♠T♥ didn't work out, as SINCHE called with Q♥J♠ and made two pair, queens and jacks. blony_tair never improved, finishing in 4th place.

As play wore on, cefrochka became the new short stack. Down to 10 big blinds, cefrocha shoved the small blind against SINCHE's big blind. SINCHE called with pocket 9s, leaving cefrochka's K♦4♣ in bad shape. It didn't improve. A board of 2♦A♣A♦T♠9♥ sent cefrochka to the rail in 3rd place and left the tournament heads up.

THE RIPPER V started with the chip lead, 42.5 million to 30.5 million. THE RIPPER V had the upper hand in the early going, winning more than a majority of pots. Just as SINCHE asked "Deal!?!?! half and half?!?!?", the two players played their final pot. THE RIPPER V opened to 3 million; SINCE minimum-re-raised to 5 million. THE RIPPER V then shoved all in and SINCHE called. Neither player improved on an all-small board, 8♣5♥2♦5♦3♦. THE RIPPER V's A♠J♦ stayed best against SINCHE's K♠Q♣, eliminating SINCHE in 2nd place and crowning THE RIPPER V the champion of Event 77.

2012 Micro Millions Event 77 $11 No-Limit Hold'em results:

1st: THE RIPPER V ($18,286.35)
2nd: SINCHE ($12,764.13)
3rd: cefrochka ($9,796.07)
4th: blony_tair ($6,871.87)
5th: Leanod ($5,409.77)
6th: berrymix ($3,947.67)
7th: SaschaJoe ($2,558.67)
8th: heyalisson ($1,315.89)
9th: Radiy X ($877.26)

There are only two days left in the inaugural PokerStars MicroMillions tournament series. Get all the information you need about this fantastic slate of low-stakes poker tournaments at the MicroMillions home page.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in MicroMillions