MicroMillions 5: Final table comeback leads drewster33 to victory in Event 73, $3.30 NLHE

Like all PokerStars tournament series, MicroMillions 5 is packed full of variety. It's like an ice cream lover walking into Baskin Robbins and being confronted with an array of flavors. Shootout tournaments, shorthanded tournaments, tournaments played in every game from Badugi to Courchevel to Omaha to Stud, all packed into 11 days. It's everything a poker player could ask for. Part of that variety involves having the old standbys on the schedule, too. Just like some people want a scoop of vanilla, some players want to play no-limit hold'em.

Today's Event 73, a $3.30 freezeout, was a vanilla lover's delight: no re-buys, no add-ons, just 5,000 chips and two hole cards on every hand. That was an attractive enough proposition to draw 8,782 players, building a $26,346 prize pool and setting up a scheduled top prize of $3,958.11. By 12:26 p.m. ET, after nearly eight and a half hours of play, these nine players had outlasted the rest of the field:

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Seat 1: Diamondderrr (5,255,911 in chips)
Seat 2: ChampiTOuTx (1,136,960 in chips)
Seat 3: BACIC (3,919,495 in chips)
Seat 4: Fer RamVaz (3,097,781 in chips)
Seat 5: vovan123456 (6,481,910 in chips)
Seat 6: drewster33 (1,964,428 in chips)
Seat 7: kayode12 (9,973,479 in chips)
Seat 8: Zvyagin_S (8,391,000 in chips)
Seat 9: marnie600 (3,689,036 in chips)

Hitting the gas

The blinds and antes were 100K/200K/25K as the final table began. The United Kingdom's drewster33 came in with the second-shortest stack, but that changed on Hand #2 thanks to a bit of good fortune. Russia's Zvyagin_S had opened for 600K under the gun with A♠ K♠ and called after drewster33 moved all-in for 1.71M from the small blind with A♣ Q♦, but lost the pot after the board came 7♥ 3♣ 8♦ Q♣ 7♦. Two hands later India's ChampiTOuTx was in a similar situation after moving all-in for 1.03M from early position with K♦ Q♦ and being called by Mexico's Fer RamVaz with Q♣ Q♥, but the J♣ J♦ 4♠ A♥ 7♣ board was no help and ChampiTOuTx left in 9th place ($204.18).

On Hand #6 drewster33 was back in action again, stacking up to 8.8M chips after this pot:

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That crippled BACIC, leaving the Australian player with just 40K. Even winning 262K on the next hand wasn't enough to put BACIC back into a position of any strength, and on Hand #8 the end of the road abruptly appeared:

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That pot boosted Greece's marnie600 to 6.62M chips and sent BACIC out in 8th place ($302.97).

Shifting down

Things hadn't worked out too well for most of the incoming short stacks so far, but drewster33 continued to be the exception to the rule. On Hand #11 the player from the U.K., holding A♠ K♠, called an early position raise to 600K from Australia's Diamondderrr and both players checked the Q♥ 4♦ 3♦ flop. Diamondderrr bet 800K on the K♦ turn, which drewster33 called, and then 700K on the 9♣ river. Drewster33 called again and won the 4.67M-chip pot when Diamondderrr showed 7♥ 7♠.

That left Diamondderrr with just 1.58M, slightly under eight big blinds. But the Australian player managed to double up to 4.43M on Hand #17 when A♦ Q♣ held up after a pre-flop raising war against marnie600's A♠ T♥. Then, on Hand #24, Diamondderrr doubled through marnie600 with another dominating ace, this time A♦ K♠ against A♣ Q♦. The run was good enough for Diamondderr to stack up to 8.33M, and it brought marnie600 down to just 1.22M with the blinds and antes freshly up to 125K/250K/31.25K.

marnie600 would manage to pull off a similar feat. First the Greek player doubled to 2.98M through Zvyagin_S with A♦ T♣ against K♦ T♦ on Hand #25. The next 13 hands went by without a flop and marnie600 managed to steal enough blinds and antes to stay alive before picking up K♠ Q♣ on Hand #39 and moving in for 1.82M from early position. The United Kingdom's kayode12, who had entered the final table with the chip lead but seen that stack cut in half, called from the big blind with A♠ J♠. The underdog hit the 2♦ K♦ K♣ flop hard, and won the 4.05M-chip pot after the turn and river came 3♦ T♥.

Back into high gear

The ride wouldn't last much longer for marnie600, though. On Hand #42 the Greek player picked up A♠ T♥ in the small blind and moved in for 3.51M when the action folded around. Diamondderrr woke up with J♠ J♥ in the big blind and won the 7.38M-chip pot after the board came 4♠ 8♣ 9♠ 5♦ 5♠. That sendt marnie600 to the rail in 7th place ($526.92).

The long gap between bustouts wasn't replicated this time around, though, as another short-stacked player got involved on the next hand:

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That flush draw turned out not to be good after all, and Zvyagin_S finished the tournament in 6th place ($790.38).

With the blinds now up to 200K/400K with a 50K ante, and just 2.69M chips to work with, Russia's vovan123456 only had one move after being dealt A♦ Q♣ on Hand #43. All those chips went in the middle, matched when drewster33 called from the small blind with 9♦ 9♥. The T♥ 8♣ 6♠ was safe for the nines, as was the 3♥ on the turn. Down to just six outs, vovan123456 missed them all on the 6♥ river and left in 5th place ($1,053.84).

A deal and the home stretch

With four players left the stacks now looked like this:

Seat 1: Diamondderrr (11,589,080 in chips)
Seat 4: Fer RamVaz (9,822,241 in chips)
Seat 6: drewster33 (12,543,372 in chips)
Seat 7: kayode12 (9,955,307 in chips)

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After seven hands everyone agreed to look at numbers for a deal. Just three minutes later they had found a way to make everyone happy and play resumed with $300 left on the table for the winner. The pace of play didn't pick up too much, but Fer RamVaz did manage to pick up a substantial pot on Hand #57, just five hands after the deal:

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Only two of the next 11 hands went to a flop, and both of those went against kayode12 to drop the U.K. Player down to 5.94M. But the next player to go would actually be Fer RamVaz, who jammed for 8.73M from the small blind on Hand #68 with J♣ T♠ and was quickly called by drewster33 in the big blind with A♠ 7♥. The board came down 2♦ 8♥ K♣ 7♦ 3♥, the pair of sevens was good, and Fer RamVaz left in 4th place ($2,178.28).

Four hands later, with blinds and antes now at 500K/1M/62.5K, drewster33 opened for 1M on the button and Diamondderrr called from the big blind to take a flop of 3♠ 6♥ T♥. Diamondderrr checked, drewster33 bet 1.25M into the 2.43M-chip pot, and then Diamondderrr check-raised to 3.5M. It didn't take long for drewster33 to re-raise to 5.75M, and after some thought Diamondderrr decided to ship for 10.91 total. drewster33 called almost immediately with K♥ K♦. Diamondderrr held 8♥ 6♠ for a pair of sixes and needed either another six, an eight, or running cards to a straight to stay alive. The board din't cooperate, though, bringing the 4♥ on the turn and the 5♣ on the river to send Diamondderrr out in 3rd place ($2,490.78).

That left just two players from the U.K.: drewster33 with 37.65M chips, kayode12 with 6.25M. kayode12 had the button on the first hand and raised to 1.2M with Q♦ 8♣. drewster33 raised to 1.8M with K♣ Q♠ and then called after kayode12 moved all-in. The J♦ 6♥ 5♠ flop wasn't any help to kayode12, but the T♥ held out a strand of hope in the form of an inside straight draw. But the 5♦ gace drewster33 the pot and brought the tournament to a close.

kayode12's share from the deal came to $2,528.73, a nice reward after coming to the final table with the chip lead but seeing nearly everything go wrong after that point. drewster33, meanwhile, earned the extra $300 on the table for the winner for a total prize of $2,962.13. Those were career-best numbers for both players, making this a very good day for low-stakes tournament players from the United Kingdom.

MicroMillions 5 Event #73: $3.30 NL Hold'em
8,782 entrants
$26,346 prize pool
1,170 places paid

1st place: drewster33 (United Kingdom) $2,962.13*
2nd place: kayode12 (United Kingdom) $2,528.73*
3rd place: Diamondderrr (Australia) $2,490.78*
4th place: Fer RamVaz (Mexico) $2,178.28*
5th place: vovan123456 (Russia) $1,053.84
6th place: Zvyagin_S (Russia) $790.38
7th place: marnie600 (Greece) $526.92
8th place: BACIC (Australia) $302.97
9th place: ChampiTOuTx (India) $204.18
* - denotes results of a four-way deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions