MicroMillions 4: instinct2win proves deadly in Event 73, $3.30 NLHE

If MicroMillions 4 were a horse race, we'd be turning the final corner and heading into the home stretch right now. It's been a wild ride, too: in just over eight days of poker the series has seen 72 events played out, with buy-ins ranging from 11 cents to 11 dollars and millions of dollars distributed to its winners.

Today's schedule included Event 73, an old-fashioned $3.30 NL hold'em freezeout. These tournaments always draw a solid field and today's was no exception. A total of 10,369 players bought in, building a prize pool worth $31,107, more than double the original guarantee. Exactly 1,350 players would be paid, with $4,448.70 set aside for the winner.

By 1:39 p.m. ET the final table had been reached. The blinds and antes were at 125K/250K/31.25K and these nine players had a shot at the top prize:

MicroMillions 4 - Event 73 final table.jpg

Seat 1: psitorch (8,689,536 in chips)
Seat 2: argentoyanee (4,559,522 in chips)
Seat 3: lmfirefly (2,999,002 in chips)
Seat 4: instinct2win (13,632,874 in chips)
Seat 5: kaese85 (3,906,716 in chips)
Seat 6: vihaio (5,570,010 in chips)
Seat 7: vesko ponti (2,876,784 in chips)
Seat 8: SUSEKO (3,671,554 in chips)
Seat 9: everyhand1 (5,939,002 in chips)

Slovakians down, and a Bulgarian too

Neither of the two Slovakian players at the table was in particularly great shape, but neither held the shortest stack, either. That changed on the eighth hand of the final table when SUSEKO moved all-in for 4.85M chips from early position with A♣ Q♥. Germany's kaese85 made the call from the big blind with J♦ J♥, and the jacks held up to win the 7.71M-chip pot after the board came 7♦ 3♠ 3♥ 7♣ 3♦.

That left SUSEKO with just 1.2M chips, worth just four big blinds as the level advanced to 150K/300K/37.5K. Three hands later, sitting in the big blind, the Slovakian player would called all-in with A♦ 3♦ after a raise from short-stacked Ukrainian player Imfirefly but had run into A♣ A♥. There were no miracles on the 3♣ T♦ 5♣ 7♥ J♣ board and SUSEKO was gone in 9th place ($217.14).

Five hands later Imfirefly would once again pick up a big hand and eliminate a Slovakian. This time it was vihaio moving all-in under the gun for 2.93M with Q♥ Q♣ and Imfirefly calling off all but 287K with K♦ K♠. After a 2♦ 3♣ K♥ flop the Slovakian player needed running queens, but the 8♦ and 4♥ came instead, making vihaio the 8th-place finisher ($342.17).

Short-stacked Bulgarian player vesko ponti would face elimination on three of the next four hands after vihaio's departure. vesko ponti split the first pot with Finland's everyhand1 after both players turned up ace-trey. The second saw the Bulgarian win a 2.97M-chip pot with A♣ T♠ against the A♥ 9♦ held by psitorch of Belarus. After folding the next hand, vesko ponti finally hit the end of the road. The Bulgarian opened with an all-in bet holding A♥Q♣ and was called by psitorch with A♦ K♦. The board fell 3♥ 6♦ 7♦ 7♣ K♠ and vesko ponti was out in 7th place ($622.14).

Killer instinct

With the table now down to six, some of the players wanted to make a deal. Bulgaria's instinct2win even went to the trouble of asking the others in their own languages whether they wanted to make a deal, just in case they didn't speak particularly good English. That actually helped in one case, with one of the players holding out that wasn't happening and the game continued - and instinct2win surged forward as it did.

The surge began with blinds and antes at 200K/400K/50K. After opening for three big blinds under the gun, instinct2win called an all-in bet of 6.04M by Imfirefly in the big blind. Imfirefly held A♥ J♠ to instinct2win's 5♥ 5♠. The pair held up through a board of 3♥ 2♥ Q♣ 7♥ 6♣ to eliminate Imfirefly in 6th place ($933.21).

The Bulgarian player won 8 of the next 17 pots without a showdown, chipping up to 33.83M chips when nobody else had more than 9.05M. Then kaese85 took on instinct2win in this hand:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

With that, kaese85 left in 5th place ($1,244.28).

On the very next hand instinct2win would pick off another short-stacked player, this time Poland's argentoyanee. Instinct2win opened the betting with a minimum raise to 800K and then called after argentoyanee moved all-in for 1.21M. There was no help from the A♠ 4♣ Q♦ flop, but the 9♣ gave argentoyanee the lead. The T♠ on the river made two pair for argentoyanee, but it also made a straight for instinct2win, sending the Polish player to the rail in 4th place ($1,555.35).

Moving in for the coup de grace

Now up to 38.08M, instinct2win was in the driver's seat against everyhand1 (9M) and psitorch (4.76M). After 12 hands of dancing back and forth, the Bulgarian finally took out psitorch after opening on the button with J♣ 8♦ and calling psitorch's all-in reraise to 3.14M. The Belarussian player held the lead with A♦ 4♦, but only until the flop came J♠ 9♣ Q♣. After the 9♠ turn and 6♥ river psitorch was all out of options and left in 3rd place ($2,315.91).

The heads-up match, which kicked off with instinct2win holding a 42.74M-to-9.1M chip advantage, wouldn't last very long. The first 11 hands saw instinct2win lean on everyhand1 as often as possible, wearing down the Finn's stack. Once everyhand1 finally caught a hand worth going to battle with, instinct2win was still nearly 50 percent to win the hand:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

With that the tournament was complete. everyhand1, who actually ended up playing very few hands at the final table, took home $3,266.23 for finishing in 2nd place. It was the second largest score of the Finnish player's career, ranking behind only a $4,096 prize for finishing second in a $1 rebuy tournament two years ago.

As for instinct2win, the $4,448.70 winner's prize set a new bar for the Bulgarian's tournament career, surpassing a $238 prize for taking second in a PLO tourney back in 2010. (Plus there's that champion's hat!)

MicroMillions 4 Event #73: $3.30 NL Hold'em
$15,000 guaranteed prize pool
10,369 players
1,350 places paid
$31,107 total prize pool

1st place: instinct2win (Bulgaria) $4,448.70
2nd place: everyhand1 (Finland) $3,266.23
3rd place: psitorch (Belarus) $2,315.91
4th place: argentoyanee (Poland)$1,555.35
5th place: kaese85 (Germany) $1,244.28
6th place: Imfirefly (Ukraine) $933.21
7th place: vesko ponti (Bulgaria) $622.14
8th place: vihaio (Slovakia) $342.17
9th place: SUSEKO (Slovakia) $217.74

There are still two more days left on the MicroMillions 4 schedule, plus a few more events today. There's no time like the present to do your best instinct2win impression and set a new record for yourself!

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions