MicroMillions 5: It's all EvaggelosB, all the time in Event 82 ($2.20 NLHE)

I've been in the poker business for more than five years now. In that time I've seen my small share of dominating final-table performances. It's rare enough to see one player systematically control the other eight and gather all the chips without ever being threatened that when it happens, the performance sticks in your mind. EvaggelosB made quite a memory for himself and everyone else watching the final table of 2013 MicroMillions 5 Event 82, $2.20 NLHE, by ruthlessly annihilating the other eight players to claim the victory.

There were a few Red Spades - members of Team PokerStars Pro and PokerStars Team Online - scattered throught the Event 82 field, but none of them seriously threatened to break through the money bubble. After almost nine hours of tournament play, these were the nine players who each still had a shot at the $3,000 top prize:

MM5 Event 82 final table.png

Seat 1: Timmy Rebel (6130688 in chips)
Seat 2: marinakis78 (3870449 in chips)
Seat 3: infitoha (6907294 in chips)
Seat 4: artyxxx888 (7830954 in chips)
Seat 5: diego230882 (5211694 in chips)
Seat 6: sandrosc (6421184 in chips)
Seat 7: EvaggelosB (3161927 in chips)
Seat 8: vlasem (7962564 in chips)
Seat 9: bananen26 (5693246 in chips)

Level 47: blinds 150k-300k, ante 37.5k
Average: 5.91 million (20 BBs)

Anyone's game

The chips were evenly spread to start the final table. vlasem had the lead, but at just 7.9 million chips it was a tenuous lead. After two hands, the players reached the 1pm break and got a few minutes to formulate their final table strategy.

bananen26 was in the middle of the pack at the start of the final table, but an unfortunate flop against EvaggelosB resulted in bananen26's 9th-place elimination. Take a look:

EvaggelosB used those chips to push out to a chip lead of 11.5 million. The blinds soon caught up to that stack, pushing up to 250k-500k. The chip leader had 23 big blinds; the rest of the table averaged 13. The pace of eliminations had no choice but to pick up.

No surprise that when they did pick up, EvaggelosB was back in the mix. EvaggelosB used a set of queens to eliminate vlasem, the former chip leader, in 8th place. EvaggelosB led the betting all the way to the river on a 2♠Q♥A♥3♠K♦ board. Down the river, vlasem called all in for 1.33 million with A♠9♠, a pair of aces, but bowed out in 8th place upon being shown EvaggelosB's set of queens, Q♠Q♦.

A more-standard pocket-pair-versus-overcards race eliminated marinakis78 in 7th place a few hands later. marinakis78 had the pair, two black 9s; sandrosc called marinakis78's 1.5-million chip all-in bet with A♥J♥. An ace spiked on the river to end marinakis78's tournament.

Short-stack strategies

The elimination of marinakis78 left diego230882 as the new short stack, two seats to the right of the chip leader, EvaggelosB. diego230882 shoved all in twice without getting called to keep pace with the blinds. Timmy Rebel, on the other hand, couldn't find a spot to make a move and kept folding. Evaggelos, meanwhile, used the big stack to punish the medium stacks, who seemed keen to see diego230882, Timmy Rebel or sandrocs (another short stack) eliminated. EvaggelosB increased the chip lead to 32 million; nobody else had more than 8 million.

Timmy Rebel and diego230882 each doubled up, through EvaggelosB and infitoha, respectively. Yet because their stacks had dipped to between 2 and 3 big blinds, neither double-up was more than an annoyance to Evaggelos B or infitoha.

Timmy Rebel appeared to be in line for another double-up after being dealt pocket kings and shoving all in. artyxxx888 called with A♠J♣ and made the nut flush when the board four-flushed in spades, 2♠J♦8♠Q♠3♠. That left Timmy Rebel without a chip or a chair.

The perennially short-stacked diego230882 followed Timmy to the rail just a few hands later after a desperation shove for 1.9 million from the button with J♥3♠ was called by EvaggelosB's J♠7♠. Although a split pot was a definite possibility, EvaggelosB claimed the pot unimproved on a board of T♦Q♣5♥9♠4♦.

EvaggelosB consolidates power, chips

EvaggelosB also knocked out the last of the short stacks, sandrosc. sandrosc had fewer than a million chips when EvaggelosB opened for 11 million (enough to put anybody else all in) from 1st position. sandrosc called with Q♦T♣ and outflopped EvaggelosB's A♣J♦, 3♣2♠T♠. But EvaggelosB caught running wheel cards to make a 5-high straight to claim the pot.

EvaggelosB continued using the strategy of raising enough to put any remaining opponent all in. infitoha looked up EvaggelosB with K♦J♠, calling all in for 2.6 million in the 400k-800k level. EvaggelosB showed up with the goods, A♥K♥, then flopped an ace to put a stranglehold on the hand. infitoha collected $1,583.99 for 3rd place.

That elimination left EvaggelosB heads up with artyxxx888 for the Event 82 title. artyxxx888 started out as more than a 4-to-1 chip underdog but quickly doubled up with pocket aces against EvaggelosB's K♣T♣ to climb back to a fighting stack.

The two players got all the chips in the middle once again five hands later. EvaggelosB opened the action with a raise to 1.6 million; artyxxx888 re-raised to 4 million. That prompted EvaggelosB to shove all in; artyxxx888 chose to call off another 16.8 million. At showdown, EvaggelosB once again had the best of it, showing pocket jacks against artyxxx888's A♣6♥. Neither player connected with a 9♥9♦7♥9♣K♣ board, which allowed EvaggelosB to notch one last elimination to close out Event 82.

There were eight eliminations at the final table of MicroMillions 5 Event 82. EvaggelosB tallied six of them, including the last four. That's the way to dominate a final table and become a MicroMillions champion.

MicroMillions 5 Event 82 $2.20 NLHE results

Players: 10,638
Prizepool: $21,276
Places paid: 1350

1. EvaggelosB (Greece) - $3,045.15
2. artyxxx888 (Russia)- $2,233.98
3. infitoha (Russia) - $1,583.99
4. sandrosc (Russia) - $1,063.80
5. diego230882 (Brazil) - $851.04
6. Timmy Rebel (Netherlands) - $638.28
7. marinakis78 (Romania) - $425.52
8. vlasem (Russia) - $234.03
9. bananen26 (Denmark) - $148.93

MicroMillions 5 is winding down. There are 18 more events spread out over today and tomorrow. Grab your piece of the action! Check out the schedule of remaining events and all the MM5 stats on the MicroMillions home page.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in MicroMillions