MicroMillions 4: FreHe86 survives grueling heads-up to win Event #36 ($11 NL Hold'em)
There was a little discussion, a couple of jokes - in German so only Google Translate found them funny - and then a settlement. "We chose to play," said FreHe86 after both he and Damri failed to reach an agreement on numbers. And play they did, in good spirits, until one of them took the lot.
That would be FreHe86, from Germany, who collected the first prize of $7,429.59 despite suggesting deals on several occasions. His opponent Damri, from Switzerland, (replying in English and German) preferred not to, a decision that would ultimately lead to second place and $5,515.11. Both players earned it the hard way.
The entire final took an hour and 21 minutes, 47 minutes of that taken up by heads-up play. Neither player was able to completely break free from the other. FreHe86 had led from the start, but Damri had proven to be an amicable and able opponent. The outcome was a good old fashioned no deal heads-up brawl.
The final had been reached after eight hours and six minutes of play, with a field of 4,734 easily shattering the $25,000 guarantee, creating a prize pool of $47,340, distributed among the top 630 finishers. Of that the finalists were certain to receive at least $378.72.
Final table line-up
Seat 1. Uwantit85 - $1,762,666
Seat 2. GreenChe - $1,886,162
Seat 3. Damri - $1,860,065
Seat 4. FreHe86 - $7,466,129
Seat 5. Imrelvas - $1,574,046
Seat 6. Glanzer - $1,709,080
Seat 7. Thanos Theo - $4,205,970
Seat 8. Wasasa147ste - $876,272
Seat 9. RafaDT - 1,979,610
Field gets 86'd
First out was Uwantit85, all-in for 1.7 million (the big blind was 140,000), running his sevens into FreHe86's pocket nines. With blinds up again GreenChe followed four minutes later after a three-bet shove with ace-deuce. Thanos Theo called with ace-seven, sending GreenChe out in eighth.
The final table of Event 36
At this stage Damri was among those reduced to the all-or-nothing option. RafaDT, Wasasa147ste, Glanzer and Imrelvas were even shorter, each on less than a million, and with blinds eating into their stacks every few seconds they were forced to use any means necessary to stay alive. "Chopchop?" asked Wasasa147ste, hoping for a stay of execution for his handful of big blinds. It was laughed off (actually FreHe86 agreed but insisted on 8.5k - first prize being some way less than that).
Wasasa147ste was on the rail minutes later, shoving with ace-king. Damri called with ace-queen, flopping another queen to boost his own stack while leaving Wasasa147ste with seventh place money. Three minutes later RafaDT followed, all-in with ace-king for less than three big blinds against the queen-jack of FreHe86. It seemed good but RafaDT was soon to find he was flat out of luck, a queen and a jack hitting the flop. RafaDT out in sixth.
Four-handed in 15 minutes
The pattern of short stacks departing showed no sign of subsiding. Even when one doubled up it was at the expense of another.
Imrelvas was out in fifth, while Glanzer had been handed a lifeline. Crucially FreHe86 was now sitting a-top a stack of more than 13 million, a lofty position that provided the perfect vantage point from which to control the landscape. He started by proposing a deal, using all the diplomatic skills a stack of 13.9 million permits (declined).
As play continued so did the all-ins, those from Thanos and Damri going unanswered while that of Glanzer resulting in a much needed double up through FreHe86. Then they each tried it again. Thanos and Damri picking up the blinds once more. But Glanzer was called again by Thanos whose ace-queen easily out-manoeuvred Glanzer's ace-four, ending their tournament in fourth place.
Picking on the other guy
This gave Thanos Theo more than seven million, and a renewed confidence. FreHe86 suggested another deal and Thanos Theo agreed to see numbers. The stumbling block however was Damri, who would consistently reject suggested deals both now and when heads-up. They waited but Damri gave no indication either way. The answer to Thanos and FreHe86 was simple. As FreHe86 said: "Ok we eliminate him."
It certainly seemed the most likely outcome, but it fell to pieces when Thanos Theo became the third place finisher, having moved all-in against a resurgent Damri.
It left the final pair to first discuss and then reject a deal, with good natured smileys and "lols" between the German FreHe86 and Swiss Damri.
"We chose to play"
The divide between the two was stark:
FreHe86: 19.3 million
Damri: 4.3 million.
Over the next 47 minutes Damri would double up seven times, sometimes clawing himself back to 20 big blinds, once or twice leapfrogging FreHe86into the lead. It must have seemed to FreHe86 impossible to deliver the killer blow, particular when each time he had Damri on the ropes his opponent would out-kick him, bringing things back to even.
Then a massive hand that put FreHe86back in front as they paused for the break
FreHe86even felt compelled to apologise for his good fortune, with Damri replying with a grin "I'll try again."
Try he did until his ace out-kicked that of FreHe86to take the lead, temporarily at least. The back and forth continued, FreHe86growing increasingly frustrated as his big leads were repeatedly cut down to all square.
FreHe86: Deal jetzt? ("Deal now?")
Damri: Nein ("No.")
FreHe86: **** ("****")
But his next lead would prove enough.
There was nothing micro about the length or the quality of Event 36's conclusion. Congratulations to FreHe86 for a great win.
MicroMillions 4 Event #36 Results
Prize pool: $47,340 ($25,000 gtd)
Places paid: 630
1st. FreHe86 (Germany) - $7,429.59
2nd. Damri (Switzerland) - $5,515.11
3rd. Thanos Theo (Greece) - 3,905.55
4th. glanzer (Austria) - $2,674.71
5th. lmrelvas (Portugal) - $2,011.95
6th. RafaDT (Finland) - $1,538.55
7th. wasasa147ste (Belgium) - $1,065.15
8th. GreenChe (Belarus) - $591.75
9th. uwantit85 (Australia) - $378.72
There's more than $5 million in prize money guaranteed during the fourth MicroMillions series, with 100 events running until March 24th across a wide range of poker disciplines. Check out the MicroMillions 4 home page for the full schedule as well as statistics, coverage, leader boards and much more.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter