MicroMillions 7: andyh26 quashes competition with quads in Event #32, $11 NLHE (Sunday Storm Special Edition)

The Sunday Storm is a fixture here at PokerStars not just on regular weekends, but also during the MicroMillions. And it's become one for players on smaller bankrolls to look forward to. Of the last four special editions of the weekly $11 no-limit hold'em tournament, held during MicroMillions 5 and 6, each have seen their winners walk away with at least $30,000.

At 47,442 players, the field for today's tournament was smaller than the last two special editions, but the top prize would eclipse both of theirs by a significant margin. The $474,420 total prize pool was split among the top 5,967 finishers, with $36,852.61 set aside for the winner.

The action may be serious thanks to the large return on investment waiting at the end of the tournament, but with its 10-minute levels and gradual blind structure, the pace of the Sunday Storm is leisurely. It wasn't until the 48th level - blinds and antes of 300K/600K/60K - that these nine players settled down at the final table:

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Seat 1: F!$HHUNT€R (35,908,942 in chips)
Seat 2: geo_all_in3 (58,855,437 in chips)
Seat 3: Neomir (5,518,208 in chips)
Seat 4: sluckZ (21,358,581 in chips)
Seat 5: Andy "andyh26" Holman (72,892,588 in chips)
Seat 6: Ticiz (8,377,824 in chips)
Seat 7: SaloMaloUzb (11,338,120 in chips)
Seat 8: sAlamYr (6,623,913 in chips)
Seat 9: woxix (16,336,387 in chips)

The overwhelming leader

The United Kingdom's Andy "andyh26" Holman led the way with a stack worth 121 big blinds, more than half of which came courtesy of picking up quad sevens with 11 players left and picking off an opponent's bluff with unimproved ace-king. andyh26 put that edge to use and picked up six of the first 10 pots while only having to see a single flop, moving up to 83.7M chips in the process.

Hand #11 brought the first confrontation between the shorter stacks when Dutch player Ticiz opened all-in for 7.2M in the cutoff, holding 6♣ 6♥, and Latvia's woxix called in the big blind with K♦ K♠. The Latvian player had 3.7M chips left behind, which ended up being a lifeline when Ticiz won the 15.3M-chip pot with a set on the 2♥ 6♠ Q♦ 3♥ 5♣. Woxix got those chips in two hands later in bad shape with K♠ 2♠ against the K♥ Q♦ of Germany's F!$HHUNT€R, but three spades on the J♠ Q♠ 3♥ Q♣ 6♠ board were good for the 8.1M-chip pot.

With blind steals on the next two consecutive hands - worth 1.55M each on the 315K/650K/65K level - that brought woxix back to 12.3M, off the bubble for the moment. Sitting on the bubble were two players with less than 10 big blinds each, Thailand's sAlamYr (3.6M) and Denmark's Deomir (4.1M). sAlamYr on ended up all-in before the flop on Hand #16 in with A♠ 9♦ but couldn't catch against the 5♦ 5♥ held by Germany's sluckZ, sending the Thai player out in 9th place ($1,926.14).

Neomir was next in line and got the last 2.6M in the middle before the flop against two players on Hand #23. The Dane's A♠ J♥ was good on a Q♠ Q♦ A♥ 2♦ 3♦ board against medium pairs held by both sluckZ and F!$HHUNT€R, taking down the 9.1M-chip pot. That left Neomir running neck-and-neck with woxix, who ended up all-in before the flop two hands later holding J♣ J♥ against Ticiz's K♦ K♣. With no help from the 9♠ A♦ 3♥ 4♦ 3♦ board, woxix left in 8th place ($3,282.98).

F!$HHUNT€R on patrol

Just a few hands later, with blinds and antes up again to 350K/700K/70K, F!$HHUNT€R won a rare multi-way pot for a nice profit:

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The German player quickly put those chips to good use, winning another 25M-chip pot on Hand #36 after calling andyh26's early-position minimum raise along with Romania's geo_all_in3, and then getting the Romanian to call bets on the flop and river of a 5♦ 2♠ 4♣ 9♥ 8♦ before showing down T♣ T♦ for the winner. That left F!$HHUNT€R in second place with 53.8M chips, still 40 big blinds back from andyh26's leading stack but well out of danger. With that buffer, F!$HHUNT€R was able to play it cool five hands later and not lose too many chips with 9♠ 9♥ against andyh26's A♣ A♠.

All the action from the big stacks took a break on Hand #42 when sluckZ shoved for 5.4M under the gun and Ticiz made the call from the hijack seat. No one else called and sluckZ was in trouble with A♠ Q♥ against Ticiz's A♣ K♥. The board came down T♠ 3♦ 9♠ 7♠ J♦ and sluckZ was gone in 7th place ($4,824.85).

The next nine hands were mostly blind steals, but then Hand #51 saw andyh26 and F!$HHUNT€R play a pot twice as large as any other at the final table so far:

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That moved F!$HHUNT€R back down to 27.2M chips, a virtual tie with Ticiz for third place behind geo_all_in3's 48M in second. And andyh26 loomed over them all, holding a 117M-chip stack worth 130 big blinds. geo_all_in3 widened the gap between second and third further on Hand #54, three-betting Ticiz's opening minimum raise before the flop and then leading out on every street of a 8♦ 6♦ T♥ 9♠ 8♣ board to drive Ticiz out of the 30.2M-chip pot.

F!$HHUNT€R was the next player to end up all-in, winning Hand #59 with A♣ A♦ against geo_all_in3's J♣ 5♣ in a blind-versus-blind battle for 18.1M chips on a J♥ Q♦ 9♦ 3♠ K♥ board. The German then split the next pot with short-stacked player SaloMaloUzb of Uzbekistan when both players' aces played but neither's weak kicker did on a 9♥ J♠ 3♦ 9♣ 9♠. Paired with a blind steal on the next hand that brought SaloMaloUzb out of the cellar and into fifth place ahead of Neomir (5.4M). The Uzbek player was still behind Ticiz but that situation lasted just one more hand.

Ticiz picked up K♠ Q♣ in the big blind and called all-in after andyh26 jammed from the small blind with 8♣ 8♦. The 8♥ 5♦ 8♠ flop made four of a kind for the chip leader and left Ticiz drawing dead; the 6♦ turn and 7♠ made the Dutch player's departure official in 6th place ($6,945.50).

Desperation street

The blinds and antes were now up to 500K/1M/100K and the chips were distributed like so:

Seat 1: F!$HHUNT€R (36,334,882 in chips)
Seat 2: geo_all_in3 (54,742,342 in chips)
Seat 3: Neomir (5,344,624 in chips)
Seat 5: andyh26 (131,270,032 in chips)
Seat 7: SaloMaloUzb (9,518,120 in chips)

The desperately short-stacked Neomir doubled up immediately with A♦ Q♥ to andyh26's A♣ 7♦. andyh26 stole all those lost chips back and then some in six of the next seven pots before doubling the similarly desperate SaloMaloUzb to 13.5M and ending up with a stack that was right back where it had been when five-handed play first began.

Despite the pressure from three larger stacks, neither SaloMaloUzb was put to the test until Hand #83, when F!$HHUNT€R opened the betting on the button with A♦ 2♠ and called Neomir's re-raise all-in to 5.4M. The Dane held 4♠ 4♦ but fell behind on the A♠ 8♣ K♠ flop and never caught up as the board ran out 7♥ J♦. With that Neomir hit the rail in 5th place ($10,408.77).

andyh26 kept the pressure on the two medium stacks as they waited to see what would happen to short-stacked SaloMaloUzb, but it was geo_all_in3 who got to the Uzbek player's stack on Hand #89. The Romanian's 8♥ 8♦ held up against A♦ Q♥ on a 3♠ J♦ 2♥ 5♥ 7♣ board to knock SaloMaloUzb out in 4th place ($13,881.52).

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Only one hand could be played out before the tournament was paused for the last three players to discuss the possibility of making a deal. andyh26 held 141M chips and all the leverage, with blinds and antes at 600K/1.2M/120K and neither opponent with even half as big a stack. After 12 minutes they'd come to an agreement that guaranteed the leader $30,852.61 and left another $6,000 on the table for the last player at the table. With that, play resumed.

With much less on the line, monetarily speaking, the action loosened up a bit. The next three hands in a row all went at least to a flop and both F!$HHUNT€R and geo_all_in3 picked up some chips. Then andyh26 flexed some muscle and ran off with four pots in a row, uncontested. But it was sitting back and letting the action develop on its own that paid off handsomely for andyh26 on Hand #90:

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The T♣ never materialized for the straight flush, ending geo_all_in3's run in 3rd place ($23,892.34).

A short duel

The battle for the tournament title, and the last $6,000 in the prize pool, started with F!$HHUNT€R at an 8-to-1 disadvantage:

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Seat 1: F!$HHUNT€R (26,128,630 in chips)
Seat 5: andyh26 (211,081,370 in chips)

The German player folded the big blind on Hand #91, folded after raising the button on Hand #92, and folded the big blind on Hand #93. Left with just 20.1M, F!$HHUNT€R got those chips in good on Hand #94 with Q♦ Q♥ against andyh26's A♣ 5♥. The board looked good through the turn, reading 9♣ 6♠ 3♥ 7♦, but the A♦ came on the river and brought the tournament to an end.

F!$HHUNT€R's share of the deal was $20,800, a new career best following a $12K win in a $1 rebuy tournament back in January. As for andyh26, riding the big stack - and two sets of quads - to victory grabbed the extra $6K on the table for a total score of $36,129.50. That's a pretty solid reward that tops the prizes taken home by the last four players to win the Sunday Storm during the MicroMillions, making this weekend one to remember for Mr. Holman. Congratulations!

MicroMillions-032: $11 No-Limit Hold'em (Sunday Storm Special Edition)
Entrants: 47,442
Prize pool: $474,420
Places paid: 5,967

1. Andy "andyh26" Holman (United Kingdom) $36,129.50*
2. F!$HHUNT€R (Germany) $20,800*
3. geo_all_in3 (Romania) $23,892.34*
4. SaloMaloUzb (Uzbekistan) $13,881.52
5. Neomir (Denmark) $10,408.77
6. Ticiz (Netherlands) $6,945.50
7. sluckZ (Germany) $4,824.85
8. woxix (Latvia) $3,282.98
9. sAlamYr (Thailand) $1,926.14
* - denotes results of a three-way deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions