MicroMillionsIII: ThVioli.7 outlasts the lot to win Event #63 ($5.50 NL Hold'em)

When ThVioli.7looks back on his win in Event #63 of MicroMillionsIII, a feat worth $4,001.52 to the Czech, he'll look back on having won an event that at times seemed more about patience than poker.

The field of 5,100 players, which created a prize pool of $25,500 - far beyond the guarantee, was slowly whittled away for seven hours until just three tables remained. But watching the action from the rail there was the sense that things were progressing slowly. The absence of haste keeping everyone on edge before a final nine were in place.

E63 - final table.jpg
The final table gets underway

When the last nine did emerge it started the clock on a final that would stretch beyond one hour 25 minutes. In that time there were nine double-ups, 35 all-ins with no reply, and of course eight eliminations. The last of those was XxRedBeardxX, from Canada, who coming into the final table had seemed the most solid of an unpredictable bunch.

XxRedBeardxX, Canada, 7,011,993
nameLarsen, Russia, 1,900,000
Mahoni83, Germany, 1,720,220
Demo_ev, Ukraine, 2,233, 744
Jays94, Canada, 4,103, 776
ThVioli.7, Czech Republic, 2,338, 450
Sikapa, Russia, 1,523, 624
Aawera, Finland, 2,251, 336
RICH and BAD, Ukraine, 2,008,360

XxRedBeardxX would hover on or around 7 million chips for much of the first hour of play. "what a long tourney eh guys?" he said in the chat box. He'd got that right, certainly not expecting such a lengthy final.

First to depart...

The first double-up came in less than ten minutes, Demo_ev, with A♣K♥ doubling through Jays94, who held K♣K♠, catching an ace on the river. Then 20 minutes in came the first elimination, Aawera busting with J♥J♠ against the A♦K♥ of Demo_ev, who flopped a king, sending him up to 6.5 million and Aawera to the rail in ninth place, worth $204.

It would be close to 15 minute later before Jays94, a SuperNova from Canada, followed in eighth. RICH and BAD, Sikapa and Mahoni83 had doubled up by this stage leaving Jays94looking for respite. He found K♥J♣ but Sikapa had found A♣A♥ in the small blind. The ace on the flop sent Jays94home with $318.75.

Ten minutes later Mahoni83busted busted in seventh place, not before RICH and BAD and then ThVioli.7 (crippled by RICH and BAD) doubled up. Meanwhile XxRedBeardxX, winning more hands, grew even more dominant.

With blinds at 125,000-250,000, with a 31,250 ante, Mahoni83 shoved behind a bet of 500,000 from RICH and BAD, a total of 1,644,190. ThVioli.7was yet to act and, looking down at A♠A♦, also moved all-in for nearly 2.4 million, forcing RICH and BAD to fold. Mahoni83 turned over K♦Q♣. The flop brought a king but little else. Mahoni83 collected $573.75.

Double trouble...

By now after 45 minutes of play the final had taken on a distinctive shape. XxRedBeardxX had had a big stack and swung it like a large sock of horse manure, the only player with the chips to play a traditional hand through to the river. Others were forced to wait and quickly adopted all-in or fold strategies. It was not unusual to see four all-ins in the space of a minute, each going unchallenged as the blinds were passed around in a clockwise direction.

XxRedBeardxX played on, paying off Sikapa in one case, allowing the Russian to bounce back up to nearly 5 million after what seemed like a lifetime of white knuckle poker.

This made the others twitchy. nameLarsen shoved, then did so a second time. Then RICH and BAD, then nameLarsen, then RICH and BAD, then Demo_ev, then nameLarsen, then RICH and BAD again. It was as though everyone was a short stack and so naturally no one felt up to calling.

Know when to fold 'em...

It wasn't until after the second break that the deadlock was broken. With blinds at 200,000-400,000 with a 50,000 ante, RICH and BAD, Demo_ev and nameLarsen all, in turn, pushed, but again found no interest. Sikapa meanwhile was still folding, even when his stack measured just three big blinds. Ordinarily this might seem suicidal, but such was the relentless need to double up, coupled with the size of the blinds, hanging on to the bitter end represented at least some chance of laddering.

It proved a successful strategy.

Demo_ev would snap first, all in with A♣J♠, which must have looked like a godsend. But XxRedBeardxX found A♥K♣ and that was that. He moved up to 10.8 million while Demo_ev busted in sixth place for $828.75.

Then a minute later Sikapa would follow. His job of outlasting anyone else he could was now done, and he shoved with 794,000, less than two big blinds. RICH and BAD did the honours, calling Sikapa's 8♥5♥ with A♠3♥. Sikapa's adventure was over in fifth place, good for $1,083.75.

Following their example, nameLarsen would make it three eliminations in three minutes, moving all-in with A♥9♦ only for ThVioli.7to find A♣K♣. The board ran 3♠2♠9♥K♠3♦ to bust name in fourth, worth $1,440.75.

XxRedBeardxX still held the lead but ThVioli.7had worked his stack up to within striking distance. But XxRedBeardxX made it look even safer after this hand:

RSS readers click through to see replay

With the big blind now 500,000 it looked like the title would be XxRedBeardxX's:

XxRedBeardxX: 15 million
ThVioli.7: 6 million
RICH and BAD: 3 million

After more unanswered shoves, RICH and BAD finally got an answer for his attempt with 8♣6♦, flopping a full house to snaffle some of XxRedBeardxX's advantage. But that was nothing compared to what ThVioli.7 did to it:

RSS readers click through to see replay

Then this hand to swing everything away from XxRedBeardxX into the lap of ThVioli.7:

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It had proved a manic two minutes, which ended with RICH and BAD's elimination in third place. He shoved with A♠5♥ but ThVioli.7would be the next to find a pair of pocket aces. The case ace hit the flop, and a five arrived on the river, to no avail. Third place for RICH and BAD and $2,103.75


That left XxRedBeardxX with 5.6 million and ThVioli.7with close to 19 million. XxRedBeardxX through a couple of jabs but ThVioli.7would soon deliver the killer blow, getting a little luck with some jacks to rough up a pair of queens:

RSS readers click through to see replay

A long final but a well-deserved victory for ThVioli.7, who endured long enough to take $4,001.52 for first place, and the title.

MicroMillionsIII Event #63 $5.50 NL Hold'em [$15 Gtd]

ThVioli.7, Czech Republic, $4,001.52
XxRedBeardxX, Canada, $2,970.75
RICH and BAD, Ukraine, $2,103.75
nameLarsen, Russia, $1,440.75
Sikapa, Russia, $1083.75
Demo_ev, Ukraine, $828.75
Mahoni83, Germany, $573.75
Jays94, Canada, 318.75
Aawera, Finland, $204.00

Entrants: 5,100
Prize pool: $25,500
Places paid: 675

That leaves 36 events still to play in the MicroMillions III. Visit the MicroMillions page for more information and a full tournament schedule.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in MicroMillions