MicroMillions 7: facemy123 finds a way to win in Event #9, $8.80 PL Omaha

Game variety is one of the many great things about the MicroMillions, and this latest installment of the series carried on that fine tradition today with the first of 20 non-hold'em tournaments on the MicroMillions 7 schedule. Event #9, an $8.80 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, kicked off at 7 a.m. ET this morning and drew 3,519 players, good for $28,152 prize pool. The top 450 players walked away with cash, and the top prize was set to pay out $4,422.32.

After about seven and a half hours of play the blinds were at 50K/100K and the field had been reduced to just these nine players:

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Seat 1: culibrk1 (1,144,671 in chips)
Seat 2: piratsasha (1,152,992 in chips)
Seat 3: Arasvraus (6,520,031 in chips)
Seat 4: Temego (2,533,520 in chips)
Seat 5: adtaop35 (487,350 in chips)
Seat 6: GameGeekGuy (2,014,407 in chips)
Seat 7: pobre guaso (798,731 in chips)
Seat 8: M2tuu (544,108 in chips)
Seat 9: facemy123 (2,399,190 in chips)

The very first hand of the final table saw short-stacked Dutch player adtaop35 in the 100K big blind with 387K in chips left behind and 7♣ 6♣ 5♥ 4♥ in the hole. adtaop35 called a raise to 300K by Finland's Temego in the small blind to see a J♣ 2♠ 6♦ flop, and then called all-in after Temego led out with J♠ 9♥ 6♠ 5♠ for top two pair. The 5♣ on the turn gave adtaop35 a lesser two pair and more outs, but the 7♥ on the river spelled the end of the line in 9th place ($225.21).

There were only two flops and no showdowns through the rest of the first 10 hands. Then pobre guaso of Argentina got all-in from a bad spot on Hand #11, after calling a min-raise in the small blind with K♥ J♥ 9♦ 8♦, catching trips on the 8♣ 8♠ 6♣ flop, and seeing that Lithuania's Arasvraus held A♣ K♦ K♠ 8♥. The 3♣ came on the turn, but the 9♥ was a bailout good for the 1.65M-chip pot.

It took until Hand #27, with the blinds now at 70K/140K, to see another confrontation result in a pot worth more than just a few big blinds. The United Kingdom's GameGeekGuy opened the action for 215K on the button, then moved all-in for 1.39M after pobre guaso three-bet the size of the pot from the small blind. pobre guaso called and showed A♦ A♣ 6♦ 6♣, which held up against GameGeekGuy's A♥ T♦ 8♦ 2♥ on the A♠ 7♠ 3♥ 4♣ K♣ board to knock the U.K. player out in 8th place ($351.90).

The rise of Arasvraus...

Arasvraus won the next three pots in a row before the flop to chip up over 7.2M and was in the big blind with A♣ K♣ Q♦ 2♣ on Hand #31 when Estonia's M2tuu opened the betting in middle position with a raise to 280K. The Estonian player had just 254K left and called it off with A♥ Q♣ T♠ 3♦ after Arasvraus led out on the K♦ 7♠ 8♦ flop. The board ran out 6♦ 9♥ and M2tuu left the tournament in 7th place ($633.42).

After four more hands of raise-and-take-it poker, the knockout parade continued on Hand #36. Norway's facemy123 opened on the button for a pot-sized raise to 490K, holding A♣ J♣ 8♥ 8♠, and called when the Czech Republic's culibrk1 raised all-in for 644K total with A♦ Q♥ T♠ 2♦. The board came down 3♦ K♥ 4♣ 6♣ 2♠, the eights held up, and culibrk1 was gone in 6th place ($914.94).

By this point Arasvraus had opened up a pretty significant lead over the rest of the table:

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Seat 2: piratsasha (532,992 in chips)
Seat 3: Arasvraus (8,935,408 in chips)
Seat 4: Temego (2,160,870 in chips)
Seat 7: pobre guaso (2,891,869 in chips)
Seat 9: facemy123 (3,073,861 in chips)

The Lithuanian player put that advantage to good use, taking down six of the next seven pots through sheer aggression. The streak was derailed after folding to aggression from Temego before the flop on Hand #45, and then on the next hand doubling up Russia's short-stacked piratsasha, whose A♠ A♥ 7♦ 2♥ flopped a set but had to dodge all kinds of outs on a A♦ 6♠ 8♣ J♥ 4♦ board to outrun Arasvraus' K♦ J♦ 9♦ 7♥. Even with that loss Arasvraus was still one big blind ahead from the start of five-handed play, and by Hand #54 had climbed back to a new high of 9.57M.

Hand #55 finally saw the next elimination come about as piratsasha, who had survived for some time on a short stack, raised all-in for what was effectively a minimum raise to 321K. Temego called on the big blind and facemy123 did the same from the big blind. They checked down the entire 3♦ K♥ J♦ 3♣ 7♠ board and facemy123 showed A♣ K♠ T♥ 8♣ for two pair, kings and treys. Temego mucked, and so did piratsasha, whose quest ended in 5th place ($1,205.18).

Arasvraus resumed slowly chipping up through theft of the 80K/160K blinds over the next 10 hands, climbing as high as 10.4M while nobody else held more than 3.2M. But the balance soon began to shift. Temego managed to double through facemy123 on Hand #65 and chip up over 4.62M thanks to this timely turn card:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

That put all the focus on facemy123, who held just five and a half big blinds and was most likely to be the next player out. The Norwegian player stole the blinds twice in the next five hands. Then facemy123 got a chance to double up on Hand #71, three-betting to what was effectively an all-in bet of 1.04M from the big blind after Arasvraus opened for 320K on the button. facemy123's A♥ K♠ T♦ 9♠ caught top pair on the A♦ 9♦ 6♠ flop, where the Norwegian's last 76K went in the middle. Arasvraus' J♣ J♠ T♠ 5♣ had fallen behind but picked up straight outs on the 8♠ turn. But the 2♠ on the river gave facemy123 a king-high flush and the 2.31M-chip pot.

Arasvraus' stack continued to decline from there. New short stack pobre guaso effectively doubled through the Lithuanian on Hand #74, and on the next hand facemy123 got Aravraus to call a three-bet to 1.3M before the flop before stealing the 2.7M in the middle with a continuation bet after the board came down T♠ A♣ A♦. The Norwegian was in position to move over 6M on Hand #78, but A♣ A♠ Q♦ T♦ failed to hold up against pobre guaso's 9♣ 9♥ 6♠ 5♦ when the board came down 8♦ 2♠ 7♥ Q♥ 5♥, giving the Argentinian a 3.78M-chip lifeline. Two hands later Temego stole a 1.5M-chip pot from Aravraus in position on the turn of a 6♠ 5♥ Q♦ 9♣ board, and then won the same amount from the Lithuanian on the next hand with K♣ K♠ Q♦ 4♦ on a 3♦ A♠ J♦ 6♣ 7♥ board. That broughtthe chip stacks much closer together than they had previously been:

Seat 3: Arasvraus (5,812,473 in chips)
Seat 4: Temego (5,506,772 in chips)
Seat 7: pobre guaso (3,483,738 in chips)
Seat 9: facemy123 (2,792,017 in chips)

From there the four players settled into equilibrium: they exchanged chips back and forth over the next 43 hands, but Aravraus and Temego occupied the top two spots while pobre guaso and facemy123 were always a step away from elimination. Over that span the blinds rose to 125K/250K, leaving even the leaders with only about 20-25 big blinds to work with. The balance was only broken on Hand #125, when two big hands ran into each other in a pre-flop raising war:

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With no king or jack on the river, Temego was ousted in 4th place ($1,618.74).

...and the fall

Once again, Arasvraus had the chip lead with more than 10.7M. But the distance of 6.7M between the Lithuanian and facemy123 wasn't as significant as it had been earlier thanks to the much higher blinds. The short stacks were forced into action and in much better position to catch up, as pobre guaso did on Hand #127 after calling Arasvraus' minimum raise on the button. The Argentinian player's hand hit the 5♦ 6♥ 8♦ flop hard, picking up bottom set and a straight draw, and pobre guaso was effectively all-in after check-raising to 2.5M. Arasvraus called with A♠ Q♦ Q♥ 2♦ but couldn't catch up when the board ran out K♥ J♠, giving pobre guaso the 6.36M-chip pot. Arasvraus still held a narrow chip lead, but that would change on Hand #130:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

Two hands later pobrea guaso cracked Arasvraus' K♠ K♣ Q♣ K♥ in a small pot after flopping top two pair with A♦ 9♠ 8♦ 5♦, dropping the Lithuanian player's stack to 3.44M. Hand #138 saw the Argentinian player eat even further into the former leader's chip supply in another small-ball pot, showing down 7♣ 5♦ 3♣ 2♦ for a straight on a T♦ 9♠ 3♦ 8♥ 6♣ board to win the 4.2M chips in the middle and drop Arasvraus to just 1.49M.

The Lithuanian picked up K♦ K♠ T♣ 5♥ on the next hand and was able to get all-in ahead of facemy123, who held K♥ 9♥ 8♠ 7♦. But the board fell 9♣ J♦ A♦ A♣ T♦, giving facemy123 a jack-high straight on the river and bringing Arasvraus' tournament to an end in 3rd place ($2,336.61).

A speedy conclusion

As heads-up play began the blinds were 150K/300K and the final two players were very close to one another in chips:

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Seat 7: pobre guaso (9,917,476 in chips)
Seat 9: facemy123 (7,677,524 in chips)

They immediately agreed to look at the numbers for a deal. Within three minutes they had reached a satisfactory conclusion and were back to the table to play for the title and an extra $400 - and it didn't take long to find out who would walk away with those prizes.

The second hand of heads-up saw facemy123 raise the minimum to 600K on the button and get a call from pobre guaso in the big blind, bringing a 2♦ 7♥ 5♣ flop. The Argentinian, holding 9♣ 8♠ 5♠ 2♣ for bottom two pair and a gutshot draw, check-raised to 1.8M and then moved all-in after facemy123 made a third bet to 6.6M. The Norwegian called with 7♠ 7♦ 4♣ 3♦ and top set, which held up through the 4♠ turn and T♦ river to give facemy123 the 15.65M chips in the middle and leave pobre guaso with 1.93M. All of that went in the middle on the next hand before the flop, backing Q♦ T♦ 9♠ 3♥ against facemy123's A♦ A♣ 3♠ 2♣. Top pair on the Q♥ 2♥ 7♣ flop was a start, but the tournament came to a close after the board ran out 7♠ 9♦.

pobre guaso's share of the deal came to $3,698.21, second among all the Argentinian's career scores here on PokerStars behind a $19K score last december in a no-limit hold'em event. Meanwhile the extra cash on the table brought facemy123's total take up to $4,017.89 - the Norwegian's third-best prize of all-time and best since April 2011. Congratulations to both players for working through the field and boosting their bankrolls ahead of what should be an action-packed week and a half of small-stakes tournaments.

MicroMillions-009: $8.80 Pot-Limit Omaha
Entrants: 3,519
Prize pool: $28,152
Places paid: 450

1. facemy123 (Norway) $4,017.89*
2. pobre guaso (Argentina) $3,698.21*
3. Arasvraus (Lithuania) $2,336.61
4. Temego (Finland) $1,618.74
5. piratsasha (Russia) $1,205.18
6. culibrk1 (Czech Republic) $914.94
7. M2tuu (Estonia) $633.42
8. GameGeekGuy (United Kingdom) $351.90
9. adtaop35 (Netherlands) $225.21
* - denotes results of a heads-up deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions