MicroMillions 6: expect_more wins the most in Event #85, $2.22+R NLHE (3x-Turbo, Saturday Splash Special Edition)

With MicroMillions 6 winding to a close this weekend, one of the last things on the schedule was a special edition of the Saturday Splash. Fans of this tournament know it well - a $2.22 no-limit hold'em event with a turbo structure and unlimited re-buys for the first 90 minutes that regularly awards. Normally it sports a $50,000 guarantee but for MicroMillions that was tripled to $150,000.

This Saturday's siren call drew 19,405 sailors to the shore by the end of late registration and coaxed 72,242 re-buys and 10,429 add-ons from their pockets, building a total prize pool of $206,193.52. That set up a top prize of $22,253.20, which would be awarded less than seven hours after the tournament began. What else can you do with two dollars that can bring that kind of return?

By 4:37 p.m. ET the final table was set, with 1.6M/3.2M/320K blinds and antes and these nine players looking to join the ranks of MicroMillions champions:

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Seat 1: MAGA777MAGA (131,975,370 in chips)
Seat 2: it5tricky (31,418,739 in chips)
Seat 3: tomicic (16,341,024 in chips)
Seat 4: lahmaputra (36,867,088 in chips)
Seat 5: Mist€r.pc (64,409,684 in chips)
Seat 6: martella31 (77,149,291 in chips)
Seat 7: RiKiHC (23,276,299 in chips)
Seat 8: BUWUBALO (52,964,144 in chips)
Seat 9: expect_more (15,340,9361 in chips)

Starting with a bang

Croatia's tomicic arrived at the final table with a stack worth just over five big blinds and got all of it in play on the very first hand, moving all-in for 16M. lahmapura of the Czech Republic, also fairly short with just 36.6M chips, went into the time bank before finally electing to call with Q♠ 7♥. THe timing couldn't have been a lot worse as tomicic held a dominating A♣ 7♦ and was a solid favorite to double up. But the 5♥ 8♥ T♥ flop and 4♥ turn have lahmaputra a heart flush, and the 3♠ sent tomicic to the rail in 9th place ($1,237.16).

Nobody was eager to get too involved, possibly because of the difference of nearly $1,200 between busting out next and making it to 7th place. As a result most hands were taken down before the flop with little resistance. Hand #10 finally saw a change of pace as Russian player MAGA777MAGA's opening raise to 7.2M was re-raised all-in for 47.6M by itStricky from the United Kingdom. MAGA777MAGA called with A♣ 4♦ and outlasted Q♦ T♦ on a board of 7♥ 4♠ 2♦ 7♣ 6♥ to knock itStricky out in 8th place ($1,855.74).

The blinds and antes went up to 2M/4M/400K two hands later and the pattern from the beginning of the final table persisted until Hand #15, when Romania's expect_more flexed a little muscle in position to move into the chip lead:

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MAGA777MAGA made up for that loss partially on the next hand when Canada's RiKiHC moved in from early position for a bit under two big blinds, MAGA777MAGA isolated with a raise and showed A♦ T♣, while RiKiHC held Q♣ 9♣. Both players paired on the 3♠ A♣ Q♦ flop, but the 8♠ turn and 6♦ changed nothing further and RiKiHC was gone in 7th place ($3,092.90).

The Russian player struck another blow just three hands later, this one the biggest of the final table so far. The Ukraine's BUWUBALO opened the betting with an all-in bet of 45.1M, and expect_more called from the small blind with 146M left behind. Then MAGA777MAGA moved all-in for 170M in the big blind, clearing expect_more out of the way for a heads-up pot. BUWUBALO had opened the betting with J♣ J♦ only to run into Q♣ Q♠, and without a jack on the 9♣ 4♥ 2♣ 6♦ 8♥ board the Ukrainian player was eliminated in 6th place ($5,154.83).

Mighty MAGA777MAGA

After taking the next pot for 30M with an all-in re-raise before the flop, MAGA777MAGA had a substantial lead with five players left and the blinds and antes still at 2M/4M/400K:

Seat 1: MAGA777MAGA (263,358,696 in chips)
Seat 4: lahmaputra (40,488,112 in chips)
Seat 5: Mist€r.pc (34,189,685 in chips)
Seat 6: martella31 (103,509,289 in chips)
Seat 9: expect_more (146,265,218 in chips)

There was soon a burst of action that would cut into that lead. Portugal's Mist€r.pc stacked up to 84.2M on Hand #23 after moving in with K♦ Q♣ and getting MAGA777MAGA to call with K♥ J♦. lahmaputra did the same on the next hand, with A♥ K♦ against the Russian's Q♥ T♦, for a double to 87.1M. By Hand #36 MAGA777MAGA held 187M chips and Mist€r.pc was in a great spot to double through the Russian after a very friendly flop, but the turn changed everything:

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That eight on the turn gave MAGA777MAGA the 215M-chip pot and sent Mist€r.pc to the rail in 5th place ($7,216.77).

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That gave MAGA777MAGA a 290M-chip stack and the Russian put it to good use, leaning on the other three players over the next dozen hands and stealing enough blinds and antes to move up over 340M. Hand #49 erased much of that progress, Holding A♦ 4♦, MAGA777MAGA opened under the gun for 125M, enough to move any one of the other players at the table all-in, and expect_more called from the big blind with J♥ J♦. The 7♦ 9♥ Q♦ kept expect_more in the lead by gave MAGA777MAGA 11 good outs going to the turn. The J♣ came there and took the three aces in the deck away but left seven of the diamonds in play. The 2♥ on the river was safe for expect_more, giving the Romanian player a lifeline with the 207M chips in the pot.

Both lahmaputra and Poland's martella31 were hanging on with stacks worth about 13 big blinds. martella31 doubled that on Hand #57 with A♣ Q♦ against expect_more's K♣ Q♥, but after a lull gave much of it back on Hand #72:

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The battle between the two short stacks continued after lahmaputra doubled through MAGA777MAGA on Hand #78 with A♦ 2♥ against 8♦ 6♦. They finally ended up clashing with one another on Hand #83 when lahmaputra moved in for 58.6M on the button and martella31 raised to isolate, leaving 4.21M behind after expect_more folded in the big blind. lahmaputra was ahead with K♠ T♣ against Q♦ J♣ and stayed there after the board came 9♥ 5♦ A♣ A♠ K♣. martella ended up all-in two hands later and mucked after expect_more and lahmaputra checked down the A♥ T♣ A♦ 7♦ 8♥ board, expect_more won the pot with K♣ J♣ and martella31 left the tournament in 4th place ($9,278.70).

Standoff at three

lahmaputra managed to get back in the game on Hand #94 after flopping middle pair and outrunning MAGA777MAGA's inside straight draw. Two hands after that lahmaputra got the better of MAGA777MAGA again after flopping an inside straight draw, calling a cheap bet to hit it on the turn, and getting paid on the river. That left the three players stacked like so:

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Seat 1: MAGA777MAGA (129,363,931 in chips)
Seat 4: lahmaputra (223,009,792 in chips)
Seat 9: expect_more (235,437,277 in chips)

lahmaputra put all those chips at risk in a bad spot on Hand #101, coming over the top of expect_more's 14M bet for 185M with [A♣ Q♠ and running into A♠ K♥, but the board came 5♦ 5♥ 3♦ 3♥ 4♠ for a split pot. Ten hands later the Czech player's run would come to an end after moving all-in over the top of MAGA777MAGA's 24M-chip opener. The Russian called with A♣ K♣ and promptly caught two pair on the A♠ K♥ J♣ flop. The Q♣ turn left open the chance of splitting the pot with a ten, but the 3♦ hit the river instead and lahmaputra was out in 3rd place ($17,526.44).


MAGA777MAGA held a nice advantage as heads-up play began with 4M/8M/800K blinds and antes:

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Seat 1: MAGA777MAGA (374,773,723 in chips)
Seat 9: expect_more (213,037,277 in chips)

expect_more only won one of the first four pots as MAGA777MAGA kept the pressure on, but the fifth was a big win thanks to the perfect river card:

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Now it was expect_more who applied the pressure, winning seven of the next 11 pots to move into a lead of 68 big blinds. The 17th hand of heads-up saw both players pick up big starting hands, expect_more with A♥ Q♥ and MAGA777MAGA with A♠ T♣, and all the Russian's remaining chips went in the middle before the 4♥ 4♣ Q♠ flop. Only running tens could save MAGA777MAGA, but the 5♠ and K♠ came instead to bring the tournament to an end jsut six hours and 22 minutes after it began.

Thoguh MAGA777MAGA fell one spot short of the victory, the $17,526.44 runner-up prize was still ten times larger than the Russian player's previous career-best cash. Champion expect_more's $22,253.20 prize was also a new high-water mark at $7,500 more than the previous best, though that tournament's buy-in was $109 compared to the $2.22 minimum investment in this event. That's serious money no matter how you look at it, so congratulations to both for their play.

MicroMillions-085: $2.22+R NL Hold'em (3x-Turbo, Saturday Splash Special Edition)
Entrants: 19,405 (72,242 re-buys, 10,429 add-ons)
Prize pool: $206,193.52
Places paid: 2,475

1. expect_more (Romania) $22,253.20
2. MAGA777MAGA (Russia) $17,526.44
3. lahmaputra (Czech Republic) $13,402.57
4. martella31 (Poland) $9,278.70
5. Mist€r.pc (Portugal) $7,216.77
6. BUWUBALO (Ukraine) $5,154.83
7. RiKiHC (Canada) $3.092.90
8. itStricky (United Kingdom) $1,855.74
9. tomicic (Croatia) $1,237.16

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions