MicroMillions: waterbee174 winner of Event #2 ($1+R NLHE 3x-Turbo); Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert 2nd after EPT8 Madrid cash
With all due respect to the college hoops version of March Madness, PokerStars is staging a pretty wacky week-and-a-half of its own with the 100-event MicroMillions series. Indeed, for the next 11 days we're basically looking at a nonstop fast break of poker. Like those with multiple screens to follow the hoops action, there should be lots of multi-tabling happening as players join the many tourneys well-suited for even the smallest bankrolls.
MicroMillions Event #2 featured an inviting $1 buy-in ($0.91+$0.09) for some no-holds-barred no-limit hold'em. After starting with 3,000 chips, players were able to rebuy as many times as they wished for 91 cents (with 3,000 or less) during the first 90 minutes of play. Then came the add-on period and a chance to make a hefty 30,000-chip addition to one's stack, again for just $0.91.
Five-minute levels meant action from the start, with the ability to rebuy further encouraging players to slam dunk chips into the middle over and again. By the one-hour break players were still joining in via late registration, with the overall field size crossing 40,000 during that five-minute interim. At that point nearly 40 players had already built stacks exceeding 100,000, with Skiff77 atop them all with 162,796.
A half-hour later a rush of players had pushed past Skiff77 and over 200,000, with MBuch10 claiming the lead by the add-on period with 327,617.
With registration closed, the final tally was 44,741 entrants, with 175,277 rebuys having been purchased during the first hour-and-a-half. Of those 20,375 remained alive, and 18,945 of them took the big-bargain add-on. All of that added up to a prize pool of $217,456.33 -- nearly three times the event's $75K guarantee -- to be divided up among the top 5,625 finishers. And $17,421.76 awaited the winner barring any final table deals.
Busting Brackets, Opponents
As the afternoon's early games finished and the first NCAA brackets started to go bust, so, too, did players in swift fashion. After just two-and-a-half hours the field had shrunk down to close to 6,000, with FoodyJoe having become the first to 1 million chips and Ramonis and GuesWho'sBac soon joining him in the millionaires club.
The money bubble burst shortly thereafter, with the first cashers earning $10.87 for their finishes. Soon after that bodhissatvaa became the first to 2 million, then struppi40 beat everyone to 3 million as they crossed the three-hour mark. Along the way, Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov grabbed a $23.92 cash for finishing 1,681st, the lone member of the home team to profit in this one.
Over the next hour, Ljgcgc would be first to build a stack of 5 million chips, spartakole soonest to crack 10 million, then totya0611 quickly leaped over everyone to more than 20 million.
The Road to the Final Table
Of course, by then all of the stacks were tall. But then again, they weren't... not really.
With just 200 players left, the chip average was more than 6.14 million. But the blinds had already reached 225,000/450,000, meaning that relatively speaking even the biggest stacks were shallow.
By the four-and-a-half-hour mark the field was halved to 100 (and the chip average doubled), with waterbee174, dabest2009, and frankthe 75 having rushed to the top three spots, all closing in fast on 50 million.
waterbee174 would still be on top about 45 minutes later once the field had shrunk to 50, scoring a double-knockout of MaxXukr (48th, $254.42) and 84BUKTOP84 (47th, $230.50) to push over 100 million chips and position himself as a one-seed for the final push. Check out the instant replay:
waterbee174 would be the first to 200 million as well as the group dwindled to the final 18 players. As the six-hour mark approached, nine more would fall: Vladimir8z (18th, $376.19), NIKOLAY763 (17th, $376.19), frankthe 75 (16th, $376.19), CriminalII05 (15th, $528.41), dalgoy7ko (14th, $528.41), COBpoker (13th, $528.41), 008slevin008 (12th, $628.81), Kam1kazemaus (11th, $628.81), and Diman_star (10th, $628.81).
From that starting field of 44,741, just nine remained.
Seat 1: gigibaston -- 71,309,136
Seat 2: katalanon -- 83,338,288
Seat 3: RuslanWoker -- 114,497,619
Seat 4: SpaceyFCB -- 133,288,712
Seat 5: arsenbasom2 -- 38,945,286
Seat 6: sorge18 -- 85,158,966
Seat 7: leyod2 -- 135,011,547
Seat 8: waterbee174 -- 443,193,798
Seat 9: NEE_JIJ -- 123,660,648
waterbee174 continued to lead the way as the final table began with a whopping edge over the rest of the pack.
Also among the final group was one Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert who earlier on Thursday landed a 49th-place finish in at EPT Madrid. There Hallaert turned a €5,300 buy-in into a €9,000 prize, but here he was looking to earn even more than that. And all for just $1 buy-in plus a few rebuys and another buck for the add-on (we assume)!
One-Buck Ballers Making a Lot from a Little
With the blinds a monstrous 4m/8m, it would take just a few hands for arsenbasom2 to open-push all in for 17,045,286 from middle position and get one caller in leader waterbee174 from the button. arsenbasom2 had K♦J♣ and waterbee174 T♦7♣, and after the community cards came T♥4♦7♠3♦5♠, waterbee174 had two pair and arsenbasom2 was out in ninth.
It wasn't long before the blinds had risen to 5m/10m and Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert was min-raising to 20 million from early position. It folded to gigibaston in the small blind who pushed for 79,918,272, and Hallaert made the call. gigibaston had A♥K♦, well ahead of SpaceyFCB's A♦8♥. But the flop came 7♠Q♦8♣ to pair Hallaert, and after the 9♥ turn and J♦ river, gigibaston was gone in eighth.
On the very next hand, sorge18 open-shoved from UTG for 90,658,966 and it folded to NEE_JIJ who reraised over the top for about twice that. The others folded, sorge18 showed A♦K♣, and NEE_JIJ turned over the top-seed-of-top-seed hands, A♥A♠. No upsets here, as the board came T♣9♠8♥5♠8♠, and they were down to six.
"Best hand in poker, or so I've read," typed NEE_JIJ afterwards. But just two hands later all were distracted again by yet another all-in push when RuslanWoker put his last 5,988,254 -- less than a big blind -- in the middle with Q♦T♠ and it folded to waterbee174 in the big blind who had 7♦7♣. The board ran out 2♦J♠K♦7♠T♥, and waterbee174's set of sevens sent RuslanWoker railward in sixth.
There'd be a relative lull -- about three minutes or so -- before the next elimination. By then the blinds had moved up again to 6m/12m, which meant katalanon in the big blind was all in before the deal for his last 4,926,741. A button raise from waterbee174 left the two alone to see the flop, with katalanon sitting with Q♣2♦ and waterbee174 Q♠7♥. The board came 5♦4♦J♠Q♥K♥, and katalanon was gone in fifth.
The Final Four
With four left waterbee174 was still leader with better than 448 million, with Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert next with over 354 million, NEE_JIJ third with almost 250 million, and leyod2 last with a little more than 175 million.
Those four would battle for several minutes before reaching the seven-hour break, with waterbee174 still out in front, NEE_JIJ having moved into second ahead of Hallaert, and leyod2 slipped to just under 60 million.
Soon after play resumed, leyod2 open-shoved from the cutoff for 71,569,504 -- a little under three big blinds -- and waterbee174 reraised over the top all in from the button to knock out the blinds. leyod2 had K♥8♥ and was hoping to catch something versus waterbee174's 5♦5♠. But the board came 4♣A♥2♣T♠Q♣ and they were down to three.
Just a couple of minutes later NEE_JIJ opened with an all-in raise to 256,353,848 from the small blind and Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert called from the BB. NEE_JIJ had J♠4♦ and Hallaert A♠K♣, and after the board came 6♠8♣2♥2♣3♦ NEE_JIJ was out in third.
Two Left... One Shining Moment to Come
As heads-up play began, Hallaert had the advantage with 773,806,676 while waterbee174 had 454,597,324.
waterbee174 immediately proposed a chop, but Hallaert said no thanks and the pair proceeded to battle back and forth for another ten hands. Hallaert had already guaranteed himself a bigger payday here in MicroMillions Event #2 than he'd had earlier in the day in Madrid where his €9,000 prize equated to a little less than $11,800 or so.
What a day for SpaceyFCB!
Hallaert still led when the pair were both dealt aces and thus got all of waterbee174's chips in the middle. waterbee174's A♠8♥ meant his kicker beat SpaceyFCB's A♣5♥, and when the board came 6♦T♠9♣2♥A♥ waterbee174 had grabbed about a 2-to-1 chip lead.
On the very next hand, waterbee174 opened with an all-in push from the button, and Hallaert quickly called, tabling A♦J♣ to waterbee174's K♥4♦. The flop came single-suited -- A♥T♥4♥ -- troubling for Hallaert who paired his ace but had to sweat both hearts and a king or four. The 3♦ was okay for SpaceyFCB, but the J♥ fell on the river to complete waterbee174's flush and put every last of the tourney's 1,228,404,000 chips in his stack.
Congratulations to waterbee174 for a great tourney in which he led much of the way down the stretch, including most of the final table, then triumphed over the field of 44,791. And kudos as well to Kenny "SpaceyFCB" Hallaert for an incredible run following his cash at the EPT Madrid Main Event!
MicroMillions Event #2 ($1+R No-Limit Hold'em, 3x-Turbo) Results:
1st: waterbee174 ($17,421.76)
2nd: SpaceyFCB ($12,562.45)
3rd: NEE_JIJ ($8,213.32)
4th: leyod2 ($6,558.48)
5th: katalanon ($4,918.86)
6th: RuslanWoker ($3,281.41)
7th: sorge18 ($2,278.94)
8th: gigibaston ($1,550.46)
9th: arsenbasom2 ($911.14)
When it comes to the PokerStars MicroMillions, we've basically only just seen the opening tip. Check the MicroMillions page for the full schedule of remaining events.