MicroMillions 7: Slow and steady wins the race, Jok777 conquers Event #35 [$5.50 NL Hold'em, 1R1A]
The last event on the first Sunday of MicroMillions 7 gave entrants two bullets and an add-on, should they be fortunate to survive the first hour. There would be some bleary eyes in the Americas as it took nearly ten hours to eliminate all buy one of the 4,584 entrants. The one who avoided elimination was Ukrainian Jok777, who kept a steady hand at the final table while his opponents often pressed too hard. For that they were rewarded $6,730.32 and a MicroMillions 7 victory!
It took over four hours to reach the money bubble of 585. Canadian Neochronos had a commanding chip lead at that point, but, perhaps owing to the late hour, they fizzled out in 165th, good for $39.27. The blind levels were only ten minutes (as opposed to 12 or 15) so could not be blamed for the length of this fight so much as the 5,000 chip starting stack. The pace of play slowed down considerably when only three tables remained, and one could sympathize why, 19th to 27th paid $117.83, while up top was $7,257.67. Someone had to be the bubble-boy and it was Latvian XapgcTau/| who busted 10th for $277.26.
Final Table Chip Counts
Seat 1: kalamara1969 (5,015,702)
Seat 2: Quinones21 (3,947,184)
Seat 3: zugmoraes (2,589,879)
Seat 4: Psychopat26 (3,731,271)
Seat 5: Jhad.7 (3,948,302)
Seat 6: Jok777 (5,654,306)
Seat 7: Ardetroyal1 (7,740,657)
Seat 8: Mai Yo (4,346,818)
Seat 9: marcus2441 (8,839,631)
Zugmoraes was the shortest stack of the final nine, and shortly after matters got underway, they moved all-in K♣ 9♦ one off the button for an even 2M chips. Zugmoraes' Kansas Jayhawk avatar could offer no more protect when Jhad.7 moved all-in over the top for 3.4M with A♥ J♣. The flop came A♠ K♠ 8♦ and both players paired their top card, which meant Zugmoraes was in worse shape than when they had started. The Q♥ turn and 4♣ river summarily knocked the Brazilian Kansas fan out in ninth, good for $369.68. Whether they will be happy if their men's basketball team does just as well later this month remains unclear.
No one was elminated in the next pot, but it signalled a seismic shift in the table's chip layout. Jok777 raised the minimum, to 600,000, with the 150,000/300,000-37,500 level just having begun. On the button kalamara1969 three-bet all-in for a shade under 5M. This fell into the parameters of a standard reshove, but because of the lax pace of eliminations from three tables to one, stacks were short all around. Jok777 had a no decision with K♦ K♠ and had coolered their opponent's 9♣ 9♥. The flop only extended the domination, it was A♦ 8♠ 5♣. The A♣ turn and the 8♥ river bucked no equity trends. The devastated Greek player busted out a couple hands later, putting their last big blind in the pot with A♣ 4♣ only to be isolated by Jok777, who was on the button with K♣ Q♠. An epic comeback was still pregnant until the K♦ turned up on the T♦ 2♦ 7♥ K♦ T♣ board. For their eighth place ousting kalamara1969 received $577.62.
Jok777's timely duck
Jok777, having recently assume the chip lead, opened another pot to 600,000 with K♣ J♣, marcus2441, the second largest stack, put all of their 8M chips in play, with 7♣ 7♥. The action was not complete, Quinones21 decided to call off their last 4.1M, understandably, with A♥ K♦. Jok777 folded their suited broadway hand face-up. The flop was quite interesting in light of that free, publicly available information, K♠ J♦ 7♠. Some drama-duds, the 3♥ and the 4♣ followed up on the turn and the river and marcus 2441 now took the chip lead -- 13.3M to Jok's 9.5M. Quinones21 broke into the four-figure scores with $1,039.72 for their 7th place finish.
Three times around he table and all was quiet -- raise and take it poker prevalent as the big stacks tried to extend their territory. But no peace can last forever, Psychopat26 feeling the pressure once the blinds climbed to 200,000/400,000/50,000. They moved all-in one of the button with 5M in chips and K♦ Q♣. Ukrainian Jok777, no stranger to peace interrupted, moved all-in on the button with A♥ T♠. But it was Ardetroyal in the big blind who would make this hand a memorable one, they called all-in in the big blind with Q♥ Q♦ for nearly 6M chippies.
When the flop rolled out J♥ T♦ T♣ Jok777 had to be licking their chops like Putin looking upon Crimea. They had Psychopat26's ace outs dead and the bigger-stacked Ardetroyal in a vice-grip barring the case queen. The 8♣ turn missed Pyschopat26 by one pip, it was any nine for them and the only queen for the other at-risk player. Well if this hand history was a Russian Doll, the tiniest of all was the Q♠, springing to life on the river. The final-table one-outer had come to fruition! Suddenly it was Ardetroyal with the chip lead, 17.6M, ahead of marcus' 14M. Psychopat26's sixth place run netted them $1,501.82.
Peruvian Jhad.7 had laddered up, picking their spots well. Until they didn't. Two hands after the epic three-way confrontation, they open shoved 4.5M chips first to act, five-handed. That was quite reasonable with K♦ J♣, except for the fact that A♣ A♦ was waiting in marcus2441's hand in the big blind, dominating suits and all.The matchup was quite lopsided and the 9♣ 3♠ 4♦ 9♥ 6♦ board sided with the lop at every opportunity, meaning Jhad.7 was out fifth with $1,963.92.
Mai Yo had been the tightest player at the final table and the short-handed play whittled them down as a result. They put up a stand, though, shoving 3M in blind versus blind, still at 200k/400k with Q♣ 5♣. They were called by marcus2441 with A♣ 4♦ in the big blind and were only a 41.5% equity underdog. The A♠ Q♦ 9♦ flop pushed their hopes down to 18% The 9♥ and 3♣ river was part and parcel with the final table trend of marcus2441 or Jok777's accumulation. The Belarus player, Mai Yo, had been extremely short (two big blinds) even with 18 players left, and had to be thrilled with fourth place and $2,657.07.
Jok777 would have their own blind versus blind double-up the next hand, 6.2M in the middle immiedately with A♣ 4♠ to be called by Ardentroyal's K♥ J♣. A dry, uneventful 8♠ 6♠ 4♥, T♦, 2♥ runout meant another realigning of chips.
For the next little while, neither Jok777 or marcus2441 would let Ardentroyal get a hold of chips. Sitting on 7.7M Ardentroyal folded the button and marcus2441 got aggressive, shoving 13.5M effective against Jok777's big blind with T♦ 2♦! Jok777 called with A♣ Q♣. The A♦ T♣ 7♦ flop had everything one could ask for, the 5c turned and killed the 2c as an out for marcus. The Jc meant Jok777 would assume the chip lead with 27M to 11.3M to 7.7M.
"These stack sizes are so awkward" marcus2441 observed, curiously in the chatbox, during three handed play, having been overtaken by a surging Ardentroyal. The three-handed jockeying would come to a close in another theme of the final table, three-way action. It began with Jok777 opening the button to 600,000 and Ardentroyal moving all-in for 10.4M from the small blind. Marcus2441 called all-in for 9.5M with 8♣ 8♦ and had their opponent's 3♣ 3♥ in bad shape. The A♣ K♥ 9♠ flop were overs to both pairs, meaning the 9♣ turn presented a few opportunities to chop. The 7♦ mean the eights played and Ardentroyal was crippled with Arden had one and a half big blinds remaining.
They nearly built their stack back to ten big blinds, finally calling all-in in blind versus blind with J♠ T♥, facing the K♣ 7♦ of Jok777. 11M in the pot and for the nth time this battle could have swung another way. The A♣ 7♣ 4♣ flop was more than Jak777 could have asked for, the 5♥ turn and K♠ river bringing the tournament definitely to head-up.
marcus2441, with 19,103,032 in chips versus
Jok777, with 27,106,968 in chips
Players reached terms of a deal heads-up relatively quickly. It had been Ardetroyal who had put negotiations on the back burner during three-handed play. With the payouts smoothed out one might expect more gambling, but this was a long, drawn-out affair. Jok777's play was steady in the face of big aggression from marcus2441, the latter took the chip lead quickly and pounded Jok777's stack down. It looked as if that aggression would overwhelm at a few points, but some key doubles set up a climactic confrontation.
In the conclusive hand, Jok777 openend the pot to 2M the minimum on he button, with A♠ 3♣. They faced a huge bet, 20M from marcus2441, who was making a move with 9♥ 6♦. Despite catching marcus2441 with their hand in the cookie jar, Jok777 had a meagre 57%-43% advantage. The A♦ 2♦ 2♣ did better to reward the Ukranian's heroism. The 8♣ and 8♦ concluded matters and 40.7M chips went Jok777's way.
They awoke the next hand with A♦ Q♥ and marcus2441 already all-in for 5.4M on the button with K♣ 5♦. After an easy call the flop was still a sweat, Q♣ J♣ T♠, but the K♥ turn ended the tournament one card prematurely. The 5♥ riverred and marcus2441 had finished in second place, good for $5,933.92.
Congratulations for Jok777 of Ukraine whose heady play led them through ten grueling hours of poker to the title of MicroMillions Event #35 champion! While certainty might not be available in the world around them, they can be certain that a $6,730.32 payday was delivered directly to their PokerStars account following the win!
MicroMillions-035: $5.50 NL Hold'em (1R,1A)
Entrants: 4,584 (3,227 re-buys, 1,431 add-ons)
Prize Pool: $46,210
Places Paid: 585
1. Jok777 (Ukraine) $6,730.32*
2. marcus2441 (Australia) $5,933.92*
3. Ardetroyal (Argentina) $3,812.32
4. Mai Yo (Belarus) $2,657.07
5. Jhad.7 (Peru) $1,963.92
6. Psychopat26 (Canada) $1,501.82
7. Quinones21 (Dominican Republic) $1,039.72
8. kalamara1969 (Greece) $577.62
9. zugmoraes (Brazil) $369.68
*Denotes the terms of a heads-up deal.
Visit the MicroMillions 7 homepage, or check out the remaining schedule, packed full of exciting events with big guarantees, small buy-ins, and varied formats. There are still a week's worth of events to enter!
Gareh Chantler is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.