MicroMillions 5: Raymen82 goes wire-to-wire in Event 16, $2.20 NLHE

One of the beauties of the MicroMillions is that even small buy-ins can build up some pretty substantial prize pools. That was the case today in Event 16, a $2.20 NL Hold'em freezeout. Even meeting the guarantee of $10,000 would have made for a nice payday to the winner, but the 10,239 players who showed up more than doubled that guarantee to set up a top prize of nearly $3,000. That may not be life-changing money of the sort you see on big televised tournaments, but for plenty of the players who take to the tables in this series it's at least bankroll-changing.

After eight and a half hours of play the huge starting field in Event 16 had been reduced to just these nine players:

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Seat 1: type27 (3,292,319 in chips)
Seat 2: fer_tour95 (6,185,371 in chips)
Seat 3: Oktobriana (1,544,554 in chips)
Seat 4: mimi93731 (3,799,126 in chips)
Seat 5: Nikos2004 (10,092,864 in chips)
Seat 6: XkdX (1,035,194 in chips)
Seat 7: Raymen82 (15,948,857 in chips)
Seat 8: VavVans (6,610,024 in chips)
Seat 9: MrColdplay13 (2,686,691 in chips)

The blinds and antes were at 80K/160K/20K when the final table began and they quickly moved to 100K/200K/25K. XkdX of Australia came to the final table with the shortest stack and was immediately placed in the big blind. The 685K left after both blinds passed was anted down to 510K by the time XkdX's next turn in the big blind came around on Hand #11. It all went in the middle after Sweden's MrColdplay13 opened to 400K and Hungary's type27 called. Both of those players called to see a flop of 5♦ Q♥ 6♠, and both checked there, but MrColdplay13 folded after type27 moved all-in on the 3♠ turn. That left type27's 9♣ 9♠ ahead for the 1.85M-chip pot, but XkdX's 2♣ 2♠ still had four outs to an inside straight heading to the river. The A♦ came, though, and XkdX was gone in 9th place ($143.34).

The new short stack was Oktobriana of Argentina, who held just over 1M in chips. On Hand #16 the Argentine player would double through Costa Rica's fer_tour95 in a blind-versus-blind hand with A♥ 5♥ against Q♦ 3♠ thanks to two treys on the flop. That 2.29M-chip pot was enough to pull Oktobriana out of the cellar. MrColdplay13 hoped to do the same thing two hands later, getting all-in for 1.61M chips before the flop with A♦ K♠. The only player to call was Greece's Nikos2004, whose dominated K♣ T♠ caught gold on the Q♥ 6♦ T♦ flop. The 3♣ turn and 4♥ river sent MrColdplay13 out in 8th place ($225.25).

The only difference with the shortest stacks gone was that there were fewer players to stand in incoming chip leader Raymen82's way. The Dutch player got to work picking up pots through pressure, climbing to 21.41M chips. Nikos2004 put up a fight, twice, but both times saw the two players chop the pot. Seven-handed play finally drew to a close when short-stacked Oktobriana called all-in from the small blind with A♣ Q♥ after fer_tour95 moved all-in on the button with A♥ K♥. The 5♣ 3♣ T♥ 7♠ 3♠ came nowhere near offering any help and Oktobriana was out in 7th place ($409.56).

As it turned out the next elimination would come on the very next hand:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

Twelve outs twice is pretty hard to dodge, but type27's consolation is that it happened late enough to finish in 6th place ($614.34).

Five-handed standoff

With blinds and antes now at 150K/300K/37.5K and about to go up to 200K/400K/50K, the remaining five players were stacked like so:

Seat 2: fer_tour95 (6,293,925 in chips)
Seat 4: mimi93731 (3,240,126 in chips)
Seat 5: Nikos2004 (14,553,318 in chips)
Seat 7: Raymen82 (21,081,357 in chips)
Seat 8: VavVans (6,026,274 in chips)

With two big stacks and everyone else up against the wall, the pace of play was about what you'd expect. Only two of the next 16 hands even saw a flop, and only two were worth more than four big blinds. It looked like it would take a cooler to break the deadlock - and that's exactly what happened on Hand #49. Belgium's mimi93731 moved all-in under the gun for 3.79M with T♠ T♥ and only got action from the United Kingdom's VavVans in the small blind, who held A♠ A♥. The Q♥ 6♣ 7♥ 5♥ 4♠ board was no help at all and mimi93731 was gone in 5th place ($819.12).

Only two hands later came what was the most crucial pot of the tournament, even though nobody was eliminated, as it gave Raymen82 a lead of nearly 50 big blinds over the rest of the field:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

From there Nikos2004 was the most active player at the table, desperately trying to get back in contention by stealing blinds and antes. But Raymen82 stepped in several times to take pots away, dropping the Greek player back down to 2.96M on the 250K/500K/62.5K level. But Nikos2004 found a way to make the next cut. After moving all-in for 2.53M before the flop on Hand #61 with K♠ 8♠, Nikos2004 was called for less by fer_tour95 with J♠ T♠. The board ran out 3♥ Q♣ 7♣ K♦ 2♦, sneding fer_tour95 to the rail in 4th place ($1,023.90).

Three, two, one...and we're done

That left the tournament three-handed. Often there's still a bit of game to go at that point, but not in today's tournament. Three hands went by before Nikos2004 and VavVans butted heads pre-flop, VavVans with J♣ J♥ and Nikos2004 with A♦ K♥. The K♣ K♠ 8♥ 6♥ 8♣ board doubled the Greek player up to 8.5M chips and cut VavVans' stack to just 6.44M. On Hand #64 VavVans got all of those chips in the middle before the flop with A♣ T♠, which had the best of it against Raymen82's K♠ J♣, but a J♠ 5♣ 4♦ 3♦ 6♥ board sent the player from the U.K. out in 3rd place ($1,524.28).

The heads-up duel tied the record for shortest of all time. On Hand #65 of the final table, Raymen82 moved all-in on the button for 42.68M with A♣ 5♣ and Nikos2004 made the call for 8.38M with K♠ J♣. The Q♣ T♠ J♥ actually put the Greek player in the lead with middle pair and a straight draw, and the 9♣ on the turn completed that straight. But it also gave Raymen82 a flush draw, which itself came home on the 7♣ river. And with that the tournament was complete.

Nikos2004 picked up $2,150.19 for second place, a fine reward for a tournament well played (not to mention a jump of nearly $625 for lasting one hand longer than the rest of the competition). Raymen82, meanwhile, earned $2,930.74 for going wire-to-wire at the final table. It was the third-largest score of the Dutch player's career and the biggest since last December, so congratulations are definitely in order.

MicroMillions 5 Event #16: $2.20 NL Hold'em
10,239 entrants
$20,478 prize pool
1,350 places paid

1st place: Raymen82 (Netherlands) $2,930.74
2nd place: Nikos2004 (Greece) $2,150.19
3rd place: VavVans (United Kingdom) $1,524.28
4th place: fer_tour95 (Costa Rica) $1,023.90
5th place: mimi93731 (Belgium) $819.12
6th place: type27 (Hungary) $614.34
7th place: Oktobriana (Argentina) $409.56
8th place: MrColdplay13 (Sweden) $225.25
9th place: XkdX (Australia) $143.34

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions