MicroMillions 5: Well-timed run helps RRFries cook up a win in Event 63, $5.50 NLHE

MicroMillions 5 has been underway for a full week now. It's been a great ride so far, awarding millions of dollars to tens of thousands of players across the first 62 events. And while it isn't over yet, the end is beginning to come into sight. By Sunday evening we'll be looking back at all 100 events wondering how they could have come and gone so quickly. But until then, there's still plenty of poker to be played.

The home stretch for this series started at 2 a.m. ET today with Event 63, a $5.50 NLHE freezeout tournament. Late registration closed two hours in with a total of 5,271 entrants, building a $26,355 prize pool that surpassed the guarantee by more than $11K and setting up paydays for 675 players.

By 10:15 a.m. ET the blinds and antes had progressed to 70K/140K/17.5K and these nine players had their eyes set on first place:

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Seat 1: j0fama (5,461,077 in chips)
Seat 2: RRFries (7,444,964 in chips)
Seat 3: jays94 (3,913,144 in chips)
Seat 4: pedraxix (3,361,651 in chips)
Seat 5: Canonnostes9 (1,506,010 in chips)
Seat 6: pafcio84 (691,877 in chips)
Seat 7: notsure248 (1,316,128 in chips)
Seat 8: kukata465 (1,350,743 in chips)
Seat 9: Jeeper700 (1,309,406 in chips)

After two raise-and-take-it hands to start things off, short-stacked pafcio84 of Poland picked up 7♣ 7♠ and opened the betting by moving all-in for 569K. Russia's Jeeper700 woke up with A♠ K♦ in the big blind and made the call, which was immediately rewarded by the 2♥ A♦ 5♥ flop. The 6♥ turn and 4♣ river gave the pot to Jeeper700 and pafcio84 was gone in 9th place ($210.84).

The next big pot, on Hand #7, didn't see anybody knocked out. But it did allow Portugal's pedraxix to climb into clear possession of second place in the chip counts:

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Mexico's notsure248 kept the action going on Hand #9, three-betting all-in before the flop after Canada's jays94 had opened for 320K in the cutoff and pedraxix had called. jays94 made it four bets all-in to isolate with T♥ T♣ and pedraxix folded, leaving the Canadian up against notsure248's A♠ K♥. The board ran out A♥ 9♠ 5♥ 9♥ 8♠ and notsure248 won the 2.43M-chip pot to stay alive.

Bulgarian player kukata465 was the next short stack to get all-in, with A♠ Q♠ on Hand #13 against Sweden's j0fara, who held A♣ J♠. But the 3♣ K♥ 3♠ 3♥ 9♥ board split the pot to keep kukata465 from doubling up. From there most of the action stayed tentative for the rest of the 100K/200K/25K level, until Hand #27:

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Canonnostes9 needed any king or spade on the river but got the A♣ instead, leaving the Dutch player out in 8th place ($329.43).

Five hands later the blinds were up to 125K/250K with 31.25K antes. Jeeper700 picked up 9♦ 9♥ in early position and moved all-in for 2.47M. jays94, on the button with K♠ Q♣, made the call for 150K less, meaning the hand would either knock the Canadian player out or cripple Jeeper700. The K♣ J♠ 9♣ flop gave Jeeper700 bottom set, but it also gave jays94 an inside straight draw plus a backdoor draw to a club flush. The 7♥ on the turn took the backdoor draw away, and the 5♣ on the river sent jays94 packing in 7th place ($592.98).

Incoming chip leader RRFries of Brazil hadn't been particularly active in the early going and had dropped some chips. But some stolen blinds and antes in the few hands before jays94's elimination had brought the Brazilian player over the 8M-chip mark. That helped to ease the sting of doubling up notsure248 on Hand #34 after opening with A♠ J♣ and calling after notsure248 shoved for 1.09M on the button with Q♠ Q♣. The loss dropped RRFries back to 6.89M, about where the Brazilian had been four hands earlier, and doubled notsure248 to 2.74M. Two hands later kukata465 survived a pre-flop coin flip, with 3♠ 3♥ holding up on a board of T♦ 5♠ J♥ 7♠ 2♥ against Jeeper700's A♠ Q♠. That left the chip counts rearranged like so:

Seat 1: j0fama (3,274,826 in chips)
Seat 2: RRFries (6,581,208 in chips)
Seat 4: pedraxix (6,380,401 in chips)
Seat 7: notsure248 (2,686,012 in chips)
Seat 8: kukata465 (4,516,486 in chips)
Seat 9: Jeeper700 (2,916,067 in chips)

Three hands later, the two players who had just doubled up took each other on. notsure248 opened the betting with a raise to 674K from the small blind, holding A♠ A♥, and had an easy all-in call for 2.9M total when kukata465 shoved from the big blind with A♣ 9♥. notsure248 stacked up to 5.99M after hitting a flush on the Q♦ 4♦ 8♦ 6♦ 6♥ board, while kukata465 dropped to 1.51M - last in the chip counts just as the blinds and antes went up to 150K/300K/37.5K.

On Hand #43, j0fama dropped almost 2M chips after folding to a river bet on a board of 9♣ 2♣ Q♠ T♠ 5♠ against pedraxix. That left the Swedish player with 1.58M chips, all of which went in the middle on the next hand from the cutoff while holding T♥ 8♥. The timing of the move was poor, though, as RRFries held Q♥ Q♦ on the button. The Brazilian raised to isolate and won the 3.77M-chip pot when the board came 7♦ 4♦ Q♣ J♦ [Ad[, sending j0fama to the rail in 6th place ($856.53).

RRFries had a chance to score another knockout on the very next hand after opening in the cutoff with A♦ 2♠ and being three-bet all-in for 1.18M by kukata465, who held 8♥ 7♦. But the river card on the 9♣ J♣ 2♣ J♥ 7♥ board kept kukata465 in the game. From there the blinds and antes went up to 200K/400K/50K and only three of the next 16 hands even reached a flop. kukata465 stayed aggressive and was the one player whose stack kept growing at this point, climbing to 5.08M by the end of Hand #61. On the next hand, though, that ride would come to a quick halt - and the pace of the entire tournament would change.

Hitting the gas

After taking 62 hands to dispose of the first four players, it seemed like the tournament could still go on for a little while longer. Instead, the next six hands would see the tournament come to an abrupt end.

Hand #63 started with pedraxix opening for 1.2M under the gun. The action folded to kukata465, who held A♣ T♥ on the button. The Bulgarian player dipped into the time bank for a bit before finally moving all-in for 5.03M. It didn't take long for RRFries, who held Q♠ Q♦, to re-raise all-in from the big blind. pedraxix got out of the way, and RRFries was returned the extra 1.6M chips. Whoever won this pot would have a sizable chip lead. The board came 9♦ 6♠ Q♣ 4♠ 3♠, RRFries won the 11.72M-chip pot, and kukata465 left in 5th place ($1,120.08).

Hand #64 kicked off with Jeeper700 moving all-in for 3.44M from the button, holding A♦ 4♦. pedraxix made the call from the big blind with 6♣ 6♦, leaving 1.38M chips behind, and lost out when the board came 8♦ A♠ J♣ 4♠ 2♥.

Hand #65 saw the newly short-stacked pedraxix move all-in for 1.33M from the small blind with J♥ 7♥ and get a call from notsure248 in the big blind with A♠ 5♣. The A♦ 9♦ 6♥ flop was bad news for pedraxix but held out a sliver of hope in the form of backdoor straight and flush draws. The 2♥ on the turn kept the heart draw open, but the 4♣ on the river closed the door on pedraxix in 4th place ($1,489.05).

Hand #66 passed without incident, but on Hand #66 notsure248 moved all-in for 5.99M in the big blind after RRFries opened for 1M from the small blind. The Brazilian player went into the time bank for a while before finally deciding to call with A♠ 3♠. notsure248's 5♣ 5♥ was ahead, but only until the flop fell A♣ Q♦ 4♦. The 9♠ turn and 3♦ were no help to notsure248, sending the player from Mexico out in 3rd place ($2,174.28).

Hand #67 was the first hand of heads-up play, starting with Jeeper700 at 4.48M and RRFries at 16.97M. It would also be the last:

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RRFries showed that it's not so much how many chips you collect as when you collect them that makes the real difference. Despite being the only player among the final five who had actually lost ground over the course of the final table's first 62 hands, the Brazilian won the three biggest pots of the entire tournament within six hands to win the title. Jeeper700 was the last one to fall, earning $3,070.35 for the effort. RRFries laid claim to the top prize of $4,137.51, a new career best by more than $3,200, and a first career MicroMillions title.

MicroMillions 5 Event #63: $5.50 NL Hold'em
5,271 entrants
$26,355 prize pool
675 places paid

1st place: RRFries (Brazil) $4,137.51
2nd place: Jeeper700 (Russia) $3,070.35
3rd place: notsure248 (Mexico) $2,174.28
4th place: pedraxix (Portugal) $1,489.05
5th place: kukata465 (Bulgaria) $1,120.08
6th place: j0fama (Sweden) $856.53
7th place: jays94 (Canada) $592.98
8th place: Canonnostes9 (Netherlands) $329.43
9th place: pafcio84 (Poland) $210.84

The MicroMillions might be coming to a close in a few days, but there are still plenty of events left on the schedule. Have a look and take a shot yourself!

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions