Micro Millions 7: Pimpo4 evades torpor brilliantly to win Event #24 ($2.20 NL Hold'em)
Let's be clear. Players are under no obligation to be entertaining when they reach a final table. None at all. They're only required to play to a winner in whatever fashion they choose. That said, in terms of Event 24 of this seventh MicroMillions, there was something wanting in the hour and a half it took to find a winner, by way of excitement.
So when Pimpo4 finally took the title, and a first prize of $3,292.66, it was with relief more than anything else. For much of the final, played in traditional no-limit hold'em, it was like being stuck behind a tractor on a country lane - unable to get going, and full of frustration. And it showed among the players who did what they could to cross the finish line first.
The line-up for the Event 24 final table
Here's how they lined up.
Seat 1. Ramabjtl (Poland) 3,094,463
Seat 2. Jimangel (Argentina) 7,921,024
Seat 3. Wigto604 (New Zealand) 7,295,028
Seat 4. Nit_Bluffer (United Kingdom) 2,532,030
Seat 5. JoeOdin (Canada) 30,304,783
Seat 6. Diogo579 (Brazil) 7,151,382
Seat 7. Savy67 (Canada) 14,149,911
Seat 8. 69ricardo (Canada) 6,312,416
Seat 9. Pimpo4 (Brazil) 7,911,463
JoeOdin had found himself the surprise leader in the hands leading up to the final and perhaps it was shock that caused him to take the cautious approach.
The start in general was a nervy one, with no single player looking to grab the momentum and point it in the direction they wished to travel. Instead the few all-ins went uncalled. Albeit until Ramabjtl departed in ninth place, shoving on a queen-high flop with a pair of threes only for Jimangel to catch an ace on the river to match the one in his hand.
That did little to inject any life into things, and chip leader JoeOdin seemed content to wait a while before committing any chips. Unlike Savy67, who sent Nit_Bluffer to the rail with a pair of sevens, after Nit_Bluffer shoved with ace-five off-suit.
Savy67, who was now up to nearly 18 million chips, was emerging as a contender. He looked eager to get stuck in - the first car behind the muck spreader, unable to burst free and put his foot down. His frustration was obvious a few hands later when JoeOdin, with a stack of 20 million, declined to call the tiny shove by 69ricardo.
"r u kidding" typed Savy67. JoeOdin pleaded mis-click, but that didn't stop Diogo579 posting a fish emoticon in the chat box, putting to use one of the technological communication advances of the 20th century.
Mercy through elimination
69ricardo would go out in seventh, creating hope that things might get moving. He'd found pocket nines, and the three fours on the board made him a full-house. But Diogo579 had aces to top that.
It would be another seven minutes (seven hours in online time) before Diogo579 himself was left on the rail. He'd found ace-three and got his chips in. Savy67 found ace-four and caught and matched his four on the flop. It left five players, but more importantly put Savy67 in the lead. Finally, he'd steered around JoeOdin and had nothing but open road ahead of him.
Then Wigto604 saw his chance to overtake JoeOdin. For a second it looked like JoeOdin had come to life. The reality was that he'd found queens. The even harsher reality was that Wigto604 had found aces to win a pot worth 17 million chips. Wigto604 took the lot while JoeOdin dropped to 8.6 million; although he pulled some back against Jimangel a short while later.
Enough of this
Meanwhile Pimpo4 set about approaching the lead via a back door. Three shoves hoisted his stack from 5.2 million to 16.2 million in the space of two minutes. He'd avoided tangling with the big stacks until now but had wisely picked his moment.
Jimangel was also getting busy, doubling through JoeOdin with king-ten against JoeOdin's king-queen, catching a ten on the flop, for which he later apologised.
Pimpo4 pushed on, helped by a well-played pair of aces which earned him a 15 million chip pot against Wigto604. Wigto604 would later double-up with ace-seven against the ten-seven of Savy67, a pot that would deny Savy67 his chip lead and bring Wigto604 back up to more than 18 million.
Savy67 didn't shy from counter-attacking though, getting his chips in immediately with a three-bet shove behind a bet from JoeOdin. When JoeOdin folded he again came under fire from the others, who continued to resent every chip he held.
JoeOdin had perhaps not deserved any of the scorn, but as chip leader he seemed happier defending than attacking, which ultimately may have led to his fate, a departure in fifth place. He shoved with ace-queen only for Jimangel to have found ace-king.
Minutes later Wigto604 joined him on the rail, busted by Savy67.
It left three players, with the following stacks.
Pimpo4 - 30.6 million
Jimangel - 27.9 million
Savy67 - 18.4 million
Pimpo4 suggested a deal, which was at first ignored before they each agreed to talk. Happily it speeded things up. With the big blind now 1.4 million and a second break approaching Savy67 busted in third place, shoving with king-seven with Pimpo4 turning over ace-nine. It left Pimpo4 with 46 million to Jimangel's 31 million.
That changed minutes later when Jimangel seized the lead in a pot worth 28 million.
But Pimpo4 was never out of it and regained the lead ahead of the break, and cemented it as play resumed; making an ace-high straight to take his stack to 61 million against Jimangel's 14.4 million. It was all over on the next hand.
Pimpo4 brought Event 24 to as merciful a conclusion as was possible. It was a solid performance in trying circumstances and a hard-earned title. Congratulations to him. The full results are below.
MicroMillions 7: Event #24 $2.20 NL Hold'em
Prize pool: $30,984.00
Places paid: 2,025
1. Pimpo4 (Brazil) $3,292.66*
2. jimangel (Argentina) $2,880.67*
3. savy67 (Canada) $2,493.38*
4. wigto604 (New Zealand) $1,456.24
5. JoeOdin (Canada) $1,146.40
6. Diogo579 (Brazil) $836.56
7. 69ricardo (Canada) $542.22
8. Nit_Bluffer (United Kingdom) $278.85
9. ramabjtl (Poland) $185.90
*denotes three-way deal.
Stephen Bartley -is a PokerStars Blog reporter.