MicroMillions 7: Generous g3r4rd0x tops five-way deal in Event #88, $4.40+R NLHE (6-max, Action Hour)

For those players who love having lots of chips on the table, re-buy tournaments are a preferred tournament format. Whether you're reaching back for another bullet because you're on the receiving end of a bad beat or because you couldn't deliver one yourself, every re-buy adds to the number of big blinds in play at the end of the tournament when the big money is on the line.

If that kind of action makes for a good time at the tables, the Action Hour re-buy structure makes for a righteously raucous party. The first six 10-minute levels play out with antes and higher blinds than usual, making the 3,000-chip starting stack worth just 30 big blinds. Once the re-buy period ends the structure resets to 15/30 blinds with no antes and plays out like a regular tournament with 10-minute levels from there. All the extra chips from the re-buy period make for lots of deep stacks and, fittingly, great action.

Event #88 of MicroMillions 7, a $4.40+R 6-max No-Limit Hold'em tournament, was played with this action-inducing schedule and drew a field of 12,029 players. Through the Action Hour they combined for 23,043 re-buys and 6,337 add-ons, building a total prize pool of $165,636. The top 1,650 players were paid out, with $23,198 set aside for the winner.

Those 2,000 starting tables were reduced to just one in nine hours and 12 minutes, when these six players sat down with blinds and antes at 250K/500K/65K:

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Seat 1: neronaBatko (10,302,851 in chips)
Seat 2: ReeBroHan (14,402,840 in chips)
Seat 3: g3r4rd0x (67,801,858 in chips)
Seat 4: espresso4 (3,773,016 in chips)
Seat 5: jadan0s (22,052,016 in chips)
Seat 6: JVaGil (18,568,419 in chips)

The shortest stack by a pretty wide margin belonged to espresso4, a situation that the German player saw to immediately by jamming on the button with A♦ J♠ after Peru's g3r4rd0x opened for 1M in the cutoff. The rest of the table folded and g3r4rd0x called with Q♣ 9♣, but the 8♦ 2♠ 3♦ A♠ A♥ board was all espresso4 and the German doubled to 8.4M.

There was talk of making a deal four hands later when Portugal's JVaGil opened for 1.1M under the gun, but espresso4 didn't wait to see what would happen with it before raising to 3M in the small blind and then calling for 6.9M more when JVaGil moved all-in. espresso4's A♥ K♣ caught top two pair on the K♠ A♠ 9♣ flop, but JVaGil's 9♥ 9♠ was better with a set of nines. Any of the remaining aces or kings could have kept espresso4 in the game, but the 8♦ and T♥ came instead to give JVaGil the 20.6M-chip pot and knock the German player out in 6th place ($2,070.45).

A five-way deal

The deal proposal was still okay with all five players so they began looking at numbers. After getting the ICM breakdown from the host, dominated by big-stacked g3r4rd0x, two different players decided they wanted more money. Disagreement over the differences began to come up when g3r4rd0x - who won the Sunday Million in a six-way deal back in 2012 - piped up and said to give those players what they wanted from the Peruvian player's own share. With everyone happy, the deal was sealed and play resumed with 300K/600K/75K blinds and antes.

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Other than a big chopped pot between g3r4rd0x and JVaGil on Hand #10 where almost all the chips went in on the river of a 3♣ 3♥ 3♠ 3♦ A♠ board, most of the action stayed low-key. The other notable pot in the early going was also won by g3r4rd0x, who called a pre-flop raise to 1.4M by JVaGil from the small blind on Hand #14 and check-called bets on the 2♠ 8♠ 2♣ flop and 5♣ turn before winning 12.1M at showdown with T♠ T♥.

Hand #23 saw the first major action of the final table when JVaGil opened for 1.4M in the cutoff and sparked a series of raises from the rest of the table:

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With that Bulgaria's neronaBatko made aces full to win the 14.9M-chip main pot, g3r4rd0x's aces and kings won the 17M-chip side pot for a small profit on the hand, and ReeBroHan left in 5th place ($8,000).

With 75.1M chips now, g3r4rd0x had nearly 13M more chips than the other three players combined. JVaGil and jadan0s of the Netherlands held 23M and 23.7M, respectively, while neronaBatko had the most reason to get aggressive with 14.9M. All three players stayed aggressive and combined managed to win 15 of the next 17 pots.

Finally two of them faced off on Hand #41 when JVaGil raised to 1.8M in the small blind and neronaBatko called the extra 1M in the big blind to see the 7♦ 6♠ 5♦ flop. neronaBatko bet 2.4M in to the 4.1M-chip pot when checked to, then called with 3.2M chips more behind after JVaGil check-raised all-in. JVaGil showed 7♥ 3♠ for top pair, while neronaBatko's J♦ T♦ had no made hand but 15 outs twice. The 9♥ increased neronaBatko's outs to 18 with the addition of an inside straight draw, and the Q♦ on the river made a flush for the Bulgarian player, good enough to win the 30.5M-chip pot. With that JVaGil was out in 4th place ($12,119.40).

Three-handed standoff

g3r4rd0x still held more than half the chips in play and chose not to get over-involved on any given hand, leading to a quiet stretch over the 14 hands where no hand went past the flop and no pot was worth as much as five big blinds.

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The Peruvian player managed to win a pot worth 11.5M on Hand #56 after raising from the small blind with K♦ 9♠ and calling jadan0s' three-bet to 3.2M, check-calling 2.4M on the J♥ K♥ 7♥ flop, and checking down the 9♦ turn and 4♦ river. jadan0s mucked and was down to 26.3M. After another five hands without much action, four big pots would play out in the span of six hands.

g3r4rd0x won 9.1M on Hand #62 after three-betting to 4M out of position against neronaBatko and then continuing with a 4.2M-chip bet on the Q♣ T♣ Q♠ flop. jadan0s took down 9.9M on Hand #63 in what started as a family pot that checked the flop to reach the turn with a board reading T♣ J♥ T♠ A♦. jadan0s bet 2.4M into 5.1M there and got a check-call from g3r4rd0x, but the Dutch player was able to take down the pot uncontested with a 6.7M-chip bet on the K♠ river. Hand #65 saw neronaBatko win 13.7M with a check-raise on the A♠ 8♦ K♥ after opening for 1.6M in the small blind before the flop and calling g3r4rd0x's three-bet to 4M. And Hand #68 was worth 30.3M for g3r4rd0x:

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Soon the blinds and antes climbed to 500K/1M/100K, leaving jadan0s with less than 20 big blinds. On Hand #75 the Dutch player found a great spot for a double-up, calling for 18.1M in the big blind with A♦ Q♠ after g3r4rd0x opened the betting all-in from the small blind with A♠ 5♥. The 3♦ 9♦ 4♠ flop was safe for jadan0s but the 6♥ on the turn created a straight draw for g3r4rd0x. The 2♥ brought it home to give the Peruvian player the 36.6M-chip pot and eliminate jadan0s in 3rd place ($11,180.43).

g3r4rd0x held 97.1M chips to neronaBatko's 39.7M as heads-up play began and would win every pot of their short duel. The first three were without contest, but Hand #79 saw a showdown. g3r4rd0x called neronaBatko's raise to 3M to see the 5♥ J♣ A♠ flop, then got a check-raise to 9M in after neronaBatko bet 3M. The Bulgarian player jammed for 33.7M total, holding A♣ K♠ for top pair with a king kicker, and g3r4rd0x snap-called with A♦ 5♣ for two pair, aces and fives. The 7♣ turn and Q♦ changed nothing, bringing the tournament to a close.

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Per the five-way deal, neronaBatko earned $5,482.30 as the runner-up, a new personal best here at PokerStars by more than $5,300. The extra $1,200 on the table made g3r4rd0x's take for the win a total of $23,429.59, which was actually slightly more than the originally scheduled first-place prize, marking the first career MicroMillions title for the past Sunday Million winner.

MicroMillions-088: $4.40 No-Limit Hold'em (6-max, Action Hour)
Entrants: 12,029 (23,043 re-buys, 6,337 add-ons)
Prize pool: $165,636
Places paid: 1,650

1. g3r4rd0x (Peru) $23,425.59*
2. neronaBatko (Bulgaria) $5,482.30*
3. jadan0s (Netherlands) $11,180.43*
4. JVaGil (Portugal) $12,119.40*
5. ReeBroHan (Poland) $8,000*
6. espresso4 (Germany) $2,070.45
* - denotes results of a five-way deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions