MicroMillions 6: dotschulz perseveres, wins Event #10, $1+R NLHE (3x-Turbo)

Winning a poker tournament always means being the last one standing - and the beauty of every tournament is that, until the last hand, it really doesn't matter how you get there. Sometimes success at a final table is determined by coming in with the most chips, and it's easy to see why: the more ammunition you have, the more shots you can fire at the opponents who have the same designs on the top prize as you do. But the cards have their say, too, so sometimes a chip lead doesn't mean much. Nor does a short stack, if you can survive your coin flips or catch a timely card if you get in behind. And for that matter, no amount of chip-stack-swinging can bring you down as long as you're still in your seat at the end of each hand.

Event #10 of the MicroMillions 6, a 3x-turbo $1 no-limit hold'em tournament with unlimited re-buys for the first 90 minutes, gave players plenty of chances for stack-swinging. The 20,393 players who turned up accounted together for 92,725 re-buys and 11,258 add-ons, building a total prize pool of $113,182.16. With a minimum of $9.05 awaiting the top 2,700 players and a first prize set at $11,331.22, there was plenty for everyone to shoot for.

By 2:16 p.m. ET the final table lineup had arrived with 1.8M/3.6M blinds, 360K antes, and these nine players still in contention:

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Seat 1: 19DaViDoFF79 (61,993,856 in chips)
Seat 2: jfava11 (34,928,792 in chips)
Seat 3: Lukasso9 (65,223,559 in chips)
Seat 4: Skik17 (70,492,142 in chips)
Seat 5: lilachaa (169,839,703 in chips)
Seat 6: herkulidis (48,913,558 in chips)
Seat 7: dotschulz (105,911,738 in chips)
Seat 8: Vlgu (96,087,368 in chips)
Seat 9: acamrash (23,703,284 in chips)

Deadlocked at nine

Lukasso9 started the final table on a strong note. After picking up the nut flush draw with A♥ 9♥ on a 7♣ Q♥ 5♥ flop, the Czech player made a speculative 7.2M-chip bet in 18.7M on the 4♠ turn and got a call from Denmark's dotschulz. Then the A♦ came on the river and Lukasso9 was able to get another call for 14.4M, dragging a 61.9M-chip pot when dotschulz mucked.

Israel's acamrash doubled up on the second hand with A♣ Q♦ against the K♠ T♠ held by Russia's Vlgu, catching an ace on the turn to stave off elimination after Vlgu flopped a king. Two hands later Lukasso9 leaned on dotschulz again to take down a 42.1M-chip pot uncontested on the turn of a 6♥ J♦ 9♥ Q♠ board and move into second place with 133M. That trailed only Alen "lilachaa" Bilic, who still had 139M of the 169M he brought to the final table.

Another 18 hands would go by before the next flop and turn were seen, and Lukasso9 took that one to lay claim to the lead with 158M chips. By now the blinds and antes were up to 2.25M/4.5M/450K, putting pressure on the short stacks to make something happen. Portugal's jfava11 did just that on Hand #24, doubling to 34.4M with A♠ A♥ against Vlgu's K♦ J♥.

Hand #32 saw the deadlock continue as dotschulz exacted some revenge on Lukasso9 in this hand:

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Lukasso9 managed to get some of those chip back and score the first knockout of the final tablet on the next hand. Once again the Czech player had a pair against two over cards - in this case acamrash's K♠ Q♦ - but this time it held up on a board of T♦ [43h] 4♥ 6s] 3♦ to bust acamrash in 9th place ($670.09).

Three in a row

With the first blow struck, the rest of the short stacks were guaranteed a pay jump and looked for chances to improve their lot further. Hand #35 saw Skik17 of Belarus open for 27.5M in the cutoff with A♠ 8♠ before calling all-in for 59.9M total after dotschulz re-raised with A♦ K♥. Skik17 picked up a gunshot draw on the 5♣ 4♦ 7♥ flop, but seven outs twice were no good after the 2♥ turn and Q♠ river, sending Skik17 to the rail in 8th place ($1,018.63).

Blind steals and three-bets before the flop were good enough to take down eight of the next nine pots, and on the tenth jfava11 doubled up to 86.8M with Q♦ Q♠ against dotschulz's A♣ Q♣. Three hands later jfava11 would pick up another big pair, but instead of doubling up the Portuguese player would end another player's tournament. The action opened with a min-raise to 12M by dotschulz, to which Vlgu, holding A♣ J♣, responded with an all-in raise for 45.5M. jfava11 made the fourth bet for 86M, chasing out dotschulz and the blinds and setting up a showdown with A♦ A♥ against Vlgu's dominated hand. The 9♥ T♣ 6♣ flop gave plenty to sweat, but the K♦ and 2♥ were safe and Vlgu left in 7th place ($1,697.93).

Hand #50 saw short-stacked Swede herkulidis call all-in for 34.2M from the small blind and double up with T♣ T♥ against the K♥ 8♥ of the pre-flop raiser, Israel's 19DaViDoFF79. On the next hand the Israeli player ended up all-in from the big blind with K♦ 9♠ against a blind steal from lilachaa in the cutoff, but lilachaa's J♦ 7♦ won out after the board fell 3♠ T♠ 3♣ 7♥ 8♣. That sent DaViDoFF79 packing in 6th place ($2,829.55).

Big money on the line

That left five players, playing for the big money and stacked like so:

Seat 2: jfava11 (155005460 in chips)
Seat 3: Lukasso9 (114320127 in chips)
Seat 5: lilachaa (208130001 in chips)
Seat 6: herkulidis (73847116 in chips)
Seat 7: dotschulz (125791296 in chips)

Blind steals and three-bets continued to rule the table until Hand #58, when board texture prevented an all-in from two patient players:

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That moved herkulidis to within a big blind and a half of lilachaa's leading stack. On the next hand, from the big blind, the Swedish player called a min-raise from dotschulz to see a 5♥ 4♥ A♥ flop, which both players checked. herkulidis held Q♣ J♥ and led out for 14M into the 35M-chip pot on the T♦ turn. dotschulz called, and then called another 49M when the K♠ hit the river, but mucked and was left with 55M after herkulidis turned up the Broadway straight.

The strong run continued for herkulidis on Hand #64. The Swede three-bet to 35M from the small blind with 5♦ 5♠ after lilachaa opened for 14M on the button, then called a four-bet to 59M before promptly catching a full house on the Q♦ 5♥ Q♣ flop. Both players checked, and then lilachaa called bets of 49M on both the turn and river before mucking to the flopped boat.

The new balance of power looked like this:

Seat 2: jfava11 (109605460 in chips)
Seat 3: Lukasso9 (59920127 in chips)
Seat 5: lilachaa (88784435 in chips)
Seat 6: herkulidis (371392682 in chips)
Seat 7: dotschulz (47391296 in chips)

dotschulz survived an all-in on Hand #68 but chopped the pot with Lukasso9 when both players' aces played but their kickers didn't. Three hands later Lukasso9 wouldn't be so lucky, The Czech player shoved for 54.7M from the small blind with Q♥ 7♦ when the action folded around, and lilachaa called from the big blind with A♥ 6♦.Lukasso picked up a gunshot draw on the 9♠ K♥ Tc] flop but never got closer as the board ran out K♦ A♦, sending Lukasso9 to the rail in 5th place ($3,961.37).

Another all-in coin flip ended well for dotschulz on the very next hand, with 6♣ 6♥ holding up against lilachaa's Q♣ J♥, but the Bosnian struck back against herkulidis on the next one. After opening for a min-raise of 16M with A♠ T♠ in the small blind, lilachaa called all-in to pick off a bluff from herkulidis with 7♣ 5♥. The Q♦ K♥ 2♥ A♣ T♦ board gave lilachaa the 201M-chip pot and muddied the chip-count waters further.

As it turned out, though, lilachaa's best moment had already come and gone. Another lost coin flip on Hand #75 - this time with A♠ J♦ to dotschulz's 6♦ 6♠ - left the Bosnian player with just 42.3M on the 4M/8M/800K level. lilachaa survived one all-in after catching two pair with 9♥ 8♣ against herkulidis' A♦ 6♦, getting back to 67.1M. But getting in ahead on Hand #79 wasn't good enough - A♠ 5♣ lost out to herkulidis' K♠ 9♠ and lilachaa was gone in 4th place ($5,093.19).

Just four hands later, short-stacked jfava11 moved in for 48.6M with A♠ 2♠ and dotschulz called in the big blind with A♥ J♣. Neither player hit the Q♣ 8♠ 3♥ 3♣ 7♥ board, knocking out jfava11 in 3rd place ($6,790.92).

A deal and done

The last two players were stacked like so:

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Seat 6: herkulidis (372323356 in chips)
Seat 7: dotschulz (304770644 in chips)

They quickly agreed to look at numbers for a deal and came to an agreement, leaving $1,000 on the table for the winner. herkulidis moved steadily ahead over the first 13 hands of their match, but dotschulz took a 371M-305M lead when 3♦ 3♠ held up against A♦ 6♦. On the 21st hand of the match, dotschulz's queens held up to give the Danish player a firm advantage:

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Another 12 hands would go by without a flop before both players picked up hands too strong not to push. herkulidis ended up all-in with A♦ 5♥ and dotschulz held K♠ T♦, which hit top pair on the 2♥ K♦ 7♣ flop. That proved to be enough after the J♣ turn and 6♥, bringing the tournament to a close.

It was a career-best score for dotschulz, whose previous high was $365 for making the final table of an $8.80, 5,700-player tournament this spring. There's no telling what the Danish player will do with all that cash, but something suggests there will be a lot more MicroMillions events in dotschulz's near future.

MicroMillions-010: $1+R NL Hold'em (3x-Turbo)
Entrants: 20,393 (92,725 re-buys, 11,258 add-ons)
Prize pool: $113,182.16
Places paid: 2,700

1st place: dotschulz (Denmark) $10,630.80*
2nd place: herkulidis (Sweden) $9,739.14*
3rd place: jfava11 (Portugal) $6,790.92
4th place: Alen "lilachaa" Bilic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) $5,093.19
5th place: Lukasso9 (Czech Republic) $3,961.37
6th place: 19DaViDoFF79 (Israel) $2,829.55
7th place: Vlgu (Russia) $1,697.93
8th place: Skik17 (Belarus) $1,018.63
9th place: acamrash (Israel) $670.09
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions