MicroMillions 6: alfredoz86 outlasts comeptitive final table in Event #46, $11 NLHE (6-max, SuperKnockout)
In most poker tournaments, knocking another player out is good for your chip stack but not much else. With no kind of premium for busting your opponents, simply surviving can net you a pretty nice payday in such events. In a knockout tournament, however, it pays to be more aggressive since every player has a price in his head. It can make for some pretty competitive poker as even the players who don't make the money can still walk away with a profit if they just take out enough of the other players at the table before their runs are done.
The SuperKnockout format here at PokerStars is a boon to those players who like to play aggressively in the early stages of the tournament, since half of each buy-in - compared with one-quarter or less in most knockout tourneys - goes to the bounty pool. The buy-ins for Event #46 of this MicroMillions series were all split with 50 cents going to rake, $5.25 going to the general prize pool, and $5.25 as a bounty. It was an attractive enough proposition to attract 8,428 players and build a total prize pool of $88,494.
There was plenty of money to be made even for those who didn't cash in this tournament. Australia's Arenas_000 led the way among those players, knocking out nine players for $47.25 despite busting 1,642 spots too early for a cash. But the big money was reserved for those who outlasted the field and made the final table, which kicked off after eight and a half hours of play with blinds and antes at 125K/250K/31.25K and these six players still in the hunt:
Seat 1: csupi11 (10,907,010 in chips)
Seat 2: bromsnor2 (5,524,756 in chips)
Seat 3: Oceanrain123 (2,153,648 in chips)
Seat 4: promba (2,065,206 in chips)
Seat 5: alfredoz86 (14,493,004 in chips)
Seat 6: Kolin barrel (6,996,376 in chips)
Though two of the players were working with less than 10 big blinds, the early going of the final table was competitive. Poland's promba stole more than enough pots with all-in moves to stay ahead of the ever-rising blinds and antes and managed to avoid any all-in moments in the process, and the United Kingdom's Oceanrain123 actually managed to move up into fourth place with all those steals.
Oceanrain123 was eventually crippled on Hand #29 after three-betting all-in for 4.34M from the big blind with 7♠ 7♦. The United Kingdom's Kolin barrel, the original raiser, called all-in for 142K less with Q♦ Q♠. Both of Oceanrain123's suits were covered so the only hope was for a seven or straight cards. The possibility of the latter was raised by the turn with the board reading 3♣ 8♠ T♠ 9♦, but the 5♠ on the river gave Kolin barrel the pot and left Oceanrain123 all-in for less than the small blind on the next hand. The U.K. player was able to survive with K♣ Q♠ against promba's Q♦ 2♠ on Hand #30, but lost out with A♦ 9♥ to bromsnor2's A♣ A♠ on Hand #31 to leave the tournament in 6th place ($663.70).
All eyes on promba
With Oceanrain123's departure, promba was easily the shortest stack left with just 1.23M, a little more than four big blinds compared to everyone else's 26 or more. Picking up Q♠ Q♦ against csupi11's A♥ J♣ on the next hand helped, but even with that pot the Polish player was still sitting with less than 10 big blinds. That and a continued strategy of playing tight would turn out to be enough for a pay jump.
The next 11 hands saw Kolin barrel's stack steadily dwindle to 6.71M from a combination of the blinds and antes and having to fold hands after raising before the flop. When the U.K. player picked up 5♣ 5♠ on Hand #42 and opened for a minimum raise of 600K, only to be re-raised to 1.5M by the Netherlands' bromsnor2 from the big blind, it was time to take a stand. Kolin barrel moved all-in - and bromsnor2 quickly called with 9♦ 9♠. The board came 7♥ A♥ 2♦ J♦ J♣ and Kolin barrel left the tournament in 5th place ($1,106.17).
The last four players were divided into haves and have-nots, and promba occupied the latter category all alone with just 3.25M chips. The Polish player continued to play tight poker but wasn't picking up any cards, and the blinds and antes kept up the pressure by moving up to 200K/400K/50K. After being whittled down to 1.42M, promba managed to double up with K♣ 7♥ against the 6♣ 5♦ held by Belgium's alfredoz86 in a blind-versus-blind hand. With a handful of pre-flop moves after that and another double on Hand #69 with 5♥ 5♠ against alfredoz86's A♣ Q♠, promba had moved just ahead of csupi11's 6.62M-chip stack to sit in third place with 7.01M.
csupi11 soon bet alfredoz86 off a 6.25M-chip pot , though, and promba was back in the basement again. The Polish player finally reached the end of the line on Hand #86. With the blinds and antes up to 250K/500K/62.5K, promba moved all-in before the flop for 3.96M with A♠ 9♥ and bromsnor2 called with K♦ J♠. Things looked good for another double until the 6♣ 9♠ K♥ flop, and when none of promba's five outs came on the 8♥ turn or 5♠ river the Polish player was gone in 4th place ($1,991.11).
Three down, two to go
With half the original players now gone from the final table, the chips were distributed like so:
Seat 1: csupi11 (15,174,076 in chips)
Seat 2: bromsnor2 (20,026,774 in chips)
Seat 5: alfredoz86 (6,939,150 in chips)
Though they weren't as deep as they would have been if promba hadn't doubled up several times in a row, there was still some room to maneuver for the most part. They agreed at that point to discuss a deal, but when bromsnor2 wanted a larger share than the chip chop, the negotiations broke down and play continued.
alfredoz86 stayed aggressive on the short stack, winning four of the next 11 pots uncontested to stay ahead of the blinds and antes. On Hand #98 the Belgian player caught Q♥ Q♣ while csupi11 held A♥ Q♠ and doubled to 14.2M - and then something unusual happened. The three players agreed to talk about a deal again, and once the numbers based on chip count were presented they all immediately agreed to them. Play then continued with $500 left on the table for the winner.
alfredoz86 won the first significant post-deal pot and took the chip lead on Hand #104 thanks to a little help from the turn and river:
Though nobody had much to lose, nearly all of the next 30 hands or so were won before the flop. It wasn't until Hand #136, with blinds and antes now at 400K/800/100K, that csupi11 three-bet all-in for 6.27M over bromsnor2's 1.6M opener. bromsnor2 called and was ahead with A♥ 7♠ against J♥ T♦. The 3♠ 9♥ 8♠ flop held out hope for a straight to keep csupi11 alive, but the K♠ turn and A♣ river were no help and the Slovakian player was out in 3rd place ($4,037.34).
bromsnor2 and alfredoz86 were separated by less than seven and a half big blinds as heads-up play began:
Seat 2: bromsnor2 (24,061,700 in chips)
Seat 5: alfredoz86 (18,078,300 in chips)
alfredoz86 won four of the first five pots and chopped the other to move into the lead by about three and a half big blinds, but a few three-bets before the flop put bromsnor2 back ahead. The crucial moment came on the 13th hand of heads-up play when alfredoz86 picked up A♥ K♦ and bromsnor2 was dealt A♦ Q♥, Big Slick held up on the 2♦ 6♦ T♥ 5♠ 7♠ and the cooler left bromsnor2 with less than four big blinds. Two hands later bromsnor2 moved in with 5♦ 3♠, which lost out to alfredoz86's Q♦ 9♦ on a 5♥ K♦ 8♦ 6♥ 9♣ board to bring the tournament to a close.
For having the biggest chip stack when the deal was made, bromsnor2 walked with the largest prize from the tournament at $5,346.93. That's a new career best for the Dutch player by more than $4,800. And with the extra $500 on the table, alfredoz86's share of the deal came to $5,222.72 - also a new career high, by more than $4,700. In fact, almost everyone at the table set a new career high with their final table appearances. The lone exception was Oceanrain123, whose $663.70 is a second-best mark.
MicroMillions-046: $11 NL Hold'em (6-max, SuperKnockout)
Prize pool: $88,494 ($44,247 regular, $44,247 bounty)
Places paid: 1,080
1. alfredoz86 (Belgium) - $5,222.72* + 17 KOs
2. bromsnor2 (Netherlands) - $5,346.93* + 21 KOs
3. csupi (Slovakia) $4,037.44* + 9 KOs
4. promba (Poland) $1,991.11 + 16 KOs
5. Kolin barrel (United Kingdom) $1,106.17 + 10 KOs
6. Oceanrain123 (United Kingdom) $663.70 + 10 KOs
* - denotes results of a three-way deal
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.