MicroMillions 7: BOPOHA_01 outlasts tough final table in Event #65, $4.40 NLHE (6-max)

Sometimes a MicroMillions final table can come and go pretty quickly, particularly when it comes to short-handed tables in big-bet games. Whether it's deep-stacked players playing small-ball, short stacks who can't lose, or some other factor, every now and then the right combination of circumstances keeps a group of players going for longer than anyone might have expected.

Such was the case today in Event #67. The $4.40 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, played out in a 6-max format, drew a field of 9,850 players, building a $39,400 prize pool to be split among the top 1,350 finishers. It took eight and a half hours to dispense with 9,844 entrants and reach the final table - and then another hour and six minutes to eliminate the last five.

Blinds and antes were at 100K/200K/25K as the field narrowed to these final six players:

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Seat 1: BetOrRaiseMe (9,430,130 in chips)
Seat 2: 135x246y (3,888,976 in chips)
Seat 3: bshe (4,371,572 in chips)
Seat 4: antiratten (10,160,934 in chips)
Seat 5: alx greek 13 (8,078,724 in chips)
Seat 6: BOPOHA_01 (13,319,664 in chips)

Ukrainian player alx greek 13 got the action off to a quick start on Hand #4. Sitting in the big blind, alx greek 13 called a minimum raise to 400K by Belgium's antiratten to see a 2♥ Q♥ 2♣ flop. antiratten led for 200K and then re-raised to 1.6M after alx greek 13 made the bet 450K total. The Ukrainian called with 5.9M behind to see the J♥ hit the turn. This time antiratten check-called a 1.6M bet, bringing the 4♣ on the river, where antiratten check-called another 2.2M. alx greek 13 showed 6♥ 5♥ for the flush and won the 11.7M chips in the pot, climbing to 13.9M total and dropping antiratten to 4M.

alx greek 13 stayed aggressive on Hand #7, opening for 505K in middle position with K♦ 5♦, getting two callers, and continuing the action with a 55K bet on the 3♠ 6♠ 6♣ flop. BOPOHA_01 called in position, then called 1.1M more on the 4♣ turn. The two checked down the T♠ river and BOPOHA_01 showed 7♥ 7♣ to win the 5.1M-chip pot.

With blinds and antes up to 125K/250K/31.25K there was more reason than ever for the short stacks to get involved, and the table settled into a steady rhythm as they waited to see who would be the first player to risk it all. Hand #23 saw China's 135x246y open under the gun and then jam for 4.6M total after Belgium's BetOrRaiseMe made it three bets for 1.2M in the big blind. BetOrRaiseMe called with Q♠ Q♦ but couldn't catch up to 135x246y's A♦ A♥, giving the 9.6M chips in the middle to the Chinese player. Ukraine's bshe was next to put the tournament on the line on Hand #25, doubling up to 3.6M with 9♦ 9h] against alx greek 13's A♠ 8♥ on a 3♥ K♥ 4♥ Q♦ 5♣ board.

That left antiratten the short stack with 2.7M. On Hand #29, with blinds and antes up to 150K/300K/37.5K, the Belgian player picked up A♥ 7♠ and moved in for 2.7M from the cutoff. BetOrRaiseMe woke up to K♦ K♥ in the big blind and called immediately, hanging on for the win on a 7♣ 3♦ 8♣ 9♣ 4♣ board to eliminate antiratten in 6th place ($552.38).

Deadlock broken

Still short-stacked, bshe was in the big blind on Hand #36 when alx greek 13 opened for 777K under the gun and BetOrRaiseMe called on the button. The Ukrainian player held 5♣ 5♦ and jammed from the blind for 3.9M total, coaxing alx greek 13 into a fold, but BetOrRaiseMe called with 7♣ 7♥. The 5♠ 6♣ K♠ flop moved bshe into the lead with a set of fives, and the 9♠ turn and 4♥ river turned that lead into a win worth 9M chips.

The table settled into a comfortable rhythm for the next few orbits as the blinds rose to 200K/400K/50K, with plenty of aggression but no showdowns and lots of pots taken down before or on the flop. Finally, on Hand #59, bshe opened for 1.2M in the cutoff and BOPOHA_01 called from the small blind to see a 2♣ A♦ 3♥ flop. BOPOHA_01 check-called another 1.2M to bring the 3♦ on the turn. The Russian checked once again, coaxing a 1.2M bet out of bshe, then check-raised to 2.4M. bshe fired back all-in and showed A♠ K♣ when BOPOHA_01 snap-called with 2♦ 2♠ for deuces full. The last two aces in the deck would have changed things, but the 5♦ came instead and bshe left in 5th place ($788).

The remaining four players now held these chip stacks:

Seat 1: BetOrRaiseMe (5,555,795 in chips)
Seat 2: 135x246y (9,132,923 in chips)
Seat 5: alx greek 13 (11,654,708 in chips)
Seat 6: BOPOHA_01 (22,906,574 in chips)

Just two hands later the short-stacked BetOrRaiseMe picked up 6♦ 5♦ on the button and opened with an all-in bet of 5.2M. alx greek 13 was the only caller, holding A♥ T♠ in the big blind, and ended up winning the 10.9M-chip pot with a pair of tens when the board fell Q♦ 9♠ 9♥ 5♠ T♣. With that, BetOrRaiseMe was eliminated in 4th place ($1,576).

The epic three

The rest of the level played out without any major confrontations, mostly by BOPOHA_01 claiming pots uncontested before the flop. On Hand #79 the Russian faced off with alx greek 13 in a pot that would extend and already healthy chip lead even further:

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Hand #90 saw BOPOHA_01 raise all-in from the small blind with K♠ 6♣ and get a quick call all-in for 8.3M from 135x246y in the big blind with 6♠ 6♦. The board read a dangerous T♣ 8♣ 3♥ 4♣ by the turn, but the 6♥ on the river gave 135x246y a set of sixes and the 16.8M-chip pot to move into second place. Six hands later alx greek 13 picked up A♣ A♥ on the button when BOPOHA_01 held Q♣ Q♦ in the small blind, leading to a double-up to 14.7M for the Ukrainian player.

BOPOHA_01's lead was now down to 10 big blinds over the other two players, who were within one small blind of each other:

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Seat 2: 135x246y (14,978,568 in chips)
Seat 5: alx greek 13 (14,708,284 in chips)
Seat 6: BOPOHA_01 (19,563,148 in chips)

All three players maintained an aggressive stance but played cautiously when there was resistance, leading to another standoff while the blinds and antes rose to 300K/600K/75K. BOPOHA_01 slowly slid back behind the other two players over this stretch, though never so far back to be in extreme danger. It took until Hand #136 before the next river card was seen; BOPOHA_01 called a small raise in the big blind and then called small bets by alx greek 13 on the 5♦ K♠ T♣ flop and A♠ turn before taking down the 7.1M chip-pot with a bet of 6.6M on the Q♠ river.

That brought the three players back to within just 12 big blinds of one another, but alx greek eventually pulled ahead by about 15 big blinds over the other two players. The question of which one would bust first was answered on Hand #149 when BOPOHA_01 jammed for 13.9M in the small blind and 135x246y called for just 300K less. BOPOHA_01's 8♦ 8♥ had to dodge 10 outs twice after the J♠ 3♣ K♥ flop gave 135x246y's A♠ Q♦ a straight draw to go with the overcard pair outs, but the 2♥ J♥ eliminated the danger, giving BOPOHA_01 the 27.4M-chip pot and sending 135x246y to the rail in 3rd place ($2,758).

After playing from behind for a stretch, BOPOHA_01 held the lead at the start of heads-up poker:

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Seat 5: alx greek 13 (21,397,181 in chips)
Seat 6: BOPOHA_01 (27,852,819 in chips)

The third hand of the duel saw BOPOHA_01 pull into a 2-to-1 lead, taking down a 9.8M-chip pot played conservatively by both players - BOPOHA_01 with 7♠ 7♣ and alx greek 13 with 5♥ 4♠ - on the 2♦ 2♥ 5♠ J♣ K♠ board.

alx greek 13 got aggressive from there and by Hand #165 had pulled to within one big blind of BOPOHA_01 without having to show down any cards. Unfortunately for the Ukrainian player, that was as close as the match would get. BOPOHA_01 got aggressive in return and pulled back into a solid lead on Hand #167, also without a showdown:

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Hand #178 saw alx greek 13's best chance for getting back into the thick of the match when BOPOHA_01 opened the betting with an all-in bet on the button. alx greek 13 held 8♥ 8♣ and made the call all-in for 11.9M, looking to be in good shape against BOPOHA_01's A♣ 5♣. The T♠ 3♦ 4♦ flop wasn't immediately dangerous for alx greek 13, but it did create some outs to a wheel straight. The 6♦ on the turn made the straight draw open-ended, and the 7♣ on the river completed it, bringing the tournament to a close.

The runner-up finish was worth $3,940 for alx greek 13, the second-best cash of the Ukrainian's career here at PokerStars behind a $6,574 cash for second place in an $11 re-buy back in January. For the win, BOPOHA_01 claimed the top prize of $5,718.54 and set a new personal best here at PokerStars by more than $5,500. Congratulations to both players for a job well done!

MicroMillions-065: $4.40 No-Limit Hold'em (6-max)
Entrants: 9,850
Prize pool: $39,400
Places paid: 1,350

1. BOPOHA_01 (Russia) $5,718.54
2. alx greek 13 (Ukraine) $3,940
3. 135x246y (China) $2,758
4. BetOrRaiseMe (Belgium) $1,576
5. bshe (Ukraine) $788
6. antiratten (Belgium) $552.38

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions