MicroMillions 4: mikejaen holds on to win Event #45 ($3.30 NL Hold'em Big Game format)
There were a few surprises, big bust outs, big swings, big hands and big expletives. Surely that's all you could wish for in event #45 of MicroMillions 4, played by 5,046 and won by a single Mexican player, mikejaen, in nine hours and a minute - a feat worth $2,378.44.
Once more several thousand players from around the world, who paid $3.30 to play, showed that, while the stakes are small, micro in fact, the quality of play is as compelling as any rival series boasting added zeros. And besides, there was nothing puny about the prize pool. The guarantee had been $5,000 but was smashed considerably, resting at $15,138.
Again, the final table had an international line-up, with a Mexican bettering a Latvian, two Russians, a Greek, a Belgian, an Australian, a Romanian and a Ukrainian, who lined up as follows:
The final table
Seat 1. Renat682 - 5,572,003
Seat 2. Irigri - 2,285,801
Seat 3. Chinababy8 - 7,217,418
Seat 4. DirtyRivDog - 480,945
Seat 5. mikejaen - 1,620,766
Seat 6. Sabpap1 - 1,386,440
Seat 7. Koolshefu90 - 367,918
Seat 8. Iceman031080 - 2,054,945
Seat 9. DrHouse223B - 3,928,764
Chinababy8, from Latvia, led coming into the final with more than 7 million, with blinds at 60,000-120,000. It put him at a distinct advantage, particularly with two players - Koolshefu90 and DirtyRivDog - playing just a handful of blinds. Others were not much better equipped, with a few more than ten.
The final table of Event #45
So he set to work busting them; first using a pair of queens to crush Koolsheu90's ace-queen in ninth place, then Irigri in eighth place, whose ace-king was humbled by Chinababy8's seven high straight. After a pair of aces in the hands of sabpap1 knocked out DirtyRivDog with ace-six, Chinababy8 struck again hitting quad eights, seeing to it that the confident Iceman031080, who had joked with tournament hosts about "shipping it", would depart in sixth.
Was it Chinababy8's to win? Was the Latvian about to steam roll the second half of the table, just as he had done the first, on his way to a MM4 title? Well, no. He'd be the next player out, something of a shock to the final, having amassed close to 10 million chips less than ten minutes earlier. The blame came in the shape of eventual runner-up Renat682 who hat the time was second in chips. The two leaders collided in dramatic fashion, kings against tens.
Suddenly Chinababy8 had been cut down, and, disregarding rules about "English only" and adopting a poker face, called Renat682 a long, ugly word (in Russian) before quickly getting on with the business of busting in fifth place three minutes later.
Renat682 cared little for Chinanbaby8's demise, or language, given that he'd just seized the chip lead, a narrow advantage over the surging mikejaen who would have had more had DrHouse223B not doubled through him with two pairs.
So taken with this approach, DrHouse223B had another go a few hand later with ace-king, flopping two pairs, again against mikejaen, to restore his stack to something resembling respectability. Not surprisingly, however, mikejaen was now thinking the same thing, and struck fast on his way back to the lead, using pocket eights against Renat682's ace-deuce. That crucial clash put mikejaen back in front while once more Renat682 trailed behind by a narrow margin. It would prove a constant theme.
The Big Game format, of pot-limit pre-flop and no-limit post flop, guaranteed plenty of action. Sabpap1 took advantage of this, doubling up with a pair of deuces against Renat682 and then doing so again through mikejaen with ace-jack. But sabpap1's stack had been meagre to begin with and the sizeable blinds meant he could not stick around for much longer, busting in third place a minute later, mikejaen delivering the final blow.
It sent mikejaen and Renat682 into the heads-up battle that had seemed inevitable since the demise of Chinababy8.
mikejaen - 19.7 million
Renat682 - 5 million
But there was plenty of play left. After a period of tense folding Renat682 got to work doubling up with jack-queen against mikejaen's jack-ten, then drew back to all square. But, as is so often the case, the hard work was undone in the caprice of a couple of hands, and at the break mikejaen had restored his almost four-to-one lead.
Renat682 had tried but had come undone. Moments after play restarted the chips went in.
It ended a convincing performance by mikejaen, who withstood the continued onslaught of Renat682 who so nearly got the better of his opponent. Here's the full result from Event #45.
MicroMillions 4 Event #45 Results
Prize pool: $15,138 ($5,000 gtd)
Places paid: 675
1st. mikejaen (Mexico) - $2,378.44
2nd. Renat682 (Russia) - $1,763.57
3rd. sabpap1 (Greece) - $1,248.88
4th. DrHouse223B (Ukraine) - $855.29
5th. chinababy8 (Latvia) - $643.36
6th. Iceman031080 (Belgium) - $491.98
7th. DirtyRivDog (Australia) - $340.60
8th. irigri (Russia) - $189.22
9th. koolshefu90 (Romania) - $121.10
There is more than $5 million in prize money guaranteed during the fourth incarnation of the MicroMillions series. A total of 100 events will be running until March 24th across each poker disciplines. To find out more go to the MicroMillions 4 home page where you'll find the full schedule of events as well as statistics, coverage, leader boards and much more.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter