MicroMillions 5: Luv2HoldNuts holds court in Event 18 ($3.30 NLHE Turbo)

Making the final table of a MicroMillions event is no small feat. Players have to fight their way through fields bigger than the World Series of Poker Main Event and a structure that is significantly shallower. But for any player that can accomplish the feat, the reward is a guaranteed return on their buy-in of about 80x to 100x, and the chance to turn a few bucks into a few thousand.

Luv2HoldNuts realized that dream in MicroMillions 5 Event 18, $3.30 NLHE (Turbo).

Australian dunecain got things started for the 1,620 people who made the money, earning $5.31 for finishing in 1,620th place after aleks(^)43 bubbled the money. From there the eliminations followed in an orderly fashion until about 10:30am PokerStars time, when these nine players were the last ones remaining in contention for the $5,188 1st-place prize:

MM5 Event 18 final table.png

Seat 1: GeraldVuren (15594879 in chips)
Seat 2: JustProSkill (4658920 in chips)
Seat 3: Starpest (3989733 in chips)
Seat 4: craig117 (5961052 in chips)
Seat 5: desertrat75 (8869302 in chips)
Seat 6: ProOmahaKid (4322380 in chips)
Seat 7: Crofty33 (12993015 in chips)
Seat 8: Luv2HoldNuts (5266173 in chips)
Seat 9: cedhommage2 (1604546 in chips)

Level 50: blinds 250k-500k, ante 62.5k
Average: 7.0 million (14 big blinds)

The chips didn't stay that way for long. cedhommage2 doubled through JustProSkill on the first hand of the final table. Starpest followed suit in the 300k-600k level, making A♠6♣ work against Crofty33's J♣T♠ by turning trip 6s after both players flopped a pair, all in pre-flop. cedhommage2 did it again shortly thereafter with ace-king against ProOmahaKid's T♣8♣. None of the short stacks were busting.

The blinds rolled up to 400k-800k, putting massive pressure on just about everyone. Crofty33, the big stack, had 11.1 million; craig117, the short stack, had 3.0 million. It was truly anyone's game.

It took a bad beat to finally knock out a player. cedhommage2 got the chips in good with pocket kings against Luv2HoldNuts' A♣8♣ and flopped clean, 9♣5♦7♦. But the turn was a second club and the river completed Luv2HoldNuts' club flush to send cedhommage2 to the rail in 9th place. The next hand craig117 followed Luv2HoldNuts out the door, after a Q♠8♥ shove fell to JustProSkill's K♠7♦, 7♥J♠7♣J♦A♥.

That pot gave JustProSkill a bit of a stack, which came in handy a few hands later. On the button, JustProSkill shoved for 11.1 million with pocket 10s. The big blind, desertrat75, called all in for 3.7 million with an ace, A♦9♥, but could only must up a pair of 9s by the river. desertrat75 exited in 7th place.

JustProSKill also notched the 6th-place elimination, using the same tactic, to open a big chip lead over the rest of the table. This time around JustProSkill had A♠K♠ and the big-blind victim was Crofty33, with A♣J♥. A king flopped.

It's tough to hold onto chips in a turbo, however. JustProSkill doubled up Starpest and Luv2HoldNuts to fall back to the pack. JustProSkill got the last laugh against Starpest a few hands later, when A♣9♠ stood tall against A♥4♠. Starpest earned $1,518 for finishing in 5th place.

With four players left, the blinds were up to 600k-1200k and the stacks were spread between 12 million and 18 million chips. There was room to play solid turbo poker, but the rail was waiting for any player that suffered one bad beat or one slip-up.

During the 11am break the four remaining players - GeraldVuren, JustProSkill, ProOmahaKid and Luv2HoldNuts paused to consider a deal. The spread between the short stack of ProOmahaKid, 13.8 million, and the large stack of JustProSkill (17.6 million) had narrowed to just 3 big blinds. ProOmahaKid proposed an even four-way chop, but GeraldVuren wanted 30%. The other three players politely laughed in GeraldVuren's face.

In the end, ProOmahaKid offered to give GeraldVuren $200 to secure the four-way split. Each player would receive $3,251.39 officially - close to 2nd-place money - but ProOmahaKid would send $200 to GeraldVuren. All players agreed to that deal, leaving just $400 up for grabs.

The chips made their way around the table from player to player with nobody able to gain an advantage. Finally a short-stacked ProOmahaKid ran K♣Q♦ into GeraldVuren's black pocket aces to bust out in 4th place.

JustProSkill's turn came next, when A♦7♥ couldn't overtake Luv2HoldNuts' pocket 10s. That left Luv2HoldNuts with a 7-to-1 chip lead over GeraldVuren for the title. GeraldVuren shoved on the first hand of heads-up play with J♠5♠. Luv2HoldNuts thought for a few seconds before going for the kill with 8♣9♦. Neither player connected on an all-small flop, but Luv2HoldNuts turned an 8 to make a pair, then held on for a blank river.

The key hand at this final table for Luv2HoldNuts was runnering a club flush against cedhommage2's pocket kings. That hand broke the seal on final-table eliminations and put Luv2HoldNuts in a chip position to go all the way to the winner's circle.

MicroMillions 5 Event 18 $3.30 NLHE (Turbo) results

Players: 12,652
Prizepool: $37,956
Places paid: 1,620
* indicates four-way deal

1. Luv2HoldNuts (New Zealand) - $3,651.39*
2. GeraldVuren (Netherlands) - $3,251.39*
3. JustProSkill (Russia) - $3,251.39*
4. ProOmahaKid (Ukraine)- $3,251.39*
5. Starpest (Sweden)- $1,518.24
6. Croft33 (Australia) - $1,138.68
7. desertrat75 (Australia)- $759.12
8. craig117 (United Kingdom)- $379.56
9. cedhommage2 (Belgium) - $237.22

PokerStars is awarding millions of dollars over the next week to all of its micro-stakes players. Find the schedule of events and more on the MicroMillions home page.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in MicroMillions