MicroMillions 7: Tomstern overcomes slow start to win Event #44 ($11 NL Hold'em)
It's not always a straightforward thing, finding an analogy for a MicroMillions final table. The most suitable for Event #44 was that of a rollercoaster. Not all of a rollercoaster, with all the ups and downs and twists and turns. Just that bit at the start - the strapping in, the jerky start and the slow climb up the first incline where you begin to brace yourself as the ride gathers the momentum it needs to see it to the finish.
It was perhaps because Event #44, and its winner Tomstern reached its final destination a little earlier than expected, with the blinds still small and everyone relatively well chipped up. It meant a slow start to the final - the slow climb to the top of the ride. But then as it rolled over that first crest it all seemed to work in the ordinary textbook manner that you would expect.
The final table of Event 44
Here's how they lined up at the start.
Seat 1. Mati_1112 (Argentina) 2,149,288
Seat 2. Mierdoro (Argentina) 1,132,772
Seat 3. Sil-central (Argentina) 1,051,242
Seat 4. Tintin99514 (Canada) 686,765
Seat 5. Rickehyo (Australia) 4,258,438
Seat 6. Pawlinho (Brazil) 4,016,553
Seat 7. MaNyAdRaGoN (Canada) 3,117,776
Seat 8. Tomstern (Norway) 1,761,276
Seat 9. 13MM1345 (Germany) 803,590
Rickehyo began as chip leader, having assumed that role some time prior to the last nine. Oddly he kept the chip lead while his actual chip count declined from somewhere around 4.5 million to 3.9 million, the difference being spread equally among his opponents.
Slow and steady does not win the race
That meant more than 15 minutes of play would pass before the first elimination, that of 13MM1345 who called all-in with pocket sevens against Rickehyo's aces. 13MM1345 found a seven on the flop, but Rickehyo got his ace on the turn, bolstering his lead with a stack of 4.7 million.
Pawlinho then shoved twice, picking up enough chips to move ahead of Rickehyo with 5.6 million. Others shoved in the same way, albeit with a smaller budget. They included Mierdoro who, 22 minutes into the final, represented that bit of the roller coaster where you descend the first dip and start screaming, either with delight or terror.
For Mierdoro it was a scream of desperation. He shoved with ace-king and found himself in a race against Tomstern's pocket queens. The queens held, reducing the field to seven.
A minute later Sil-central joined him on the rail, shoving with king-jack off-suit against Pawlinho's king-queen. No help for Sil-central, out in seventh. Mati_1112 then got in on the action in the next hand, doubling with pocket tens in a race against Tintin99514's king-queen. Then on the next hand Tintin99514 would be out, shoving with king-nine of spades which Pawlinho called with jacks. Tintin99514 found a nine on the flop but nothing more.
Pawlinho was now up to 7.7 million, a clear lead. But this marked the end of the excitement. Despite a couple of double ups in between, and some uncontested shoves, it would be twenty minutes before MaNyAdRaGoN went out in fifth, shoving with a last ditch jack-four which Pawlinho dismissed with ace-ten.
Then a further 11 minutes would pass before the next flash of action, separated by an extended period of raises and shoves that went without response.
It would by Mati_1112 out next. The Argentinian had earlier proposed two deals as the short stack. Each time he would insist "just look," like a window salesman hoping to tempt hesitant customers with a cut price deal far better than expected. But nobody was listening.
So when Tomstern moved in Mati_1112 looked down at ace-jack and shoved, only to find Tomstern calling with ace-king suited -- Mati_1112 out in fourth. This put Tomstern in a convincing lead, soon up to 13.3 million. It was a lead that the others would contest but never come close to reaching.
Pawlinho - 4.3 million
Rickehyo - 1.2 million
Tomstern -- 13.5 million
Short stack Rickehyo began shoving again, twice without reply before third time proved a charm.
Having led earlier Pawlinho decided the only option left open to him was a heroic last ditch charge.
He shoved once, then twice, and then a third time, perhaps trying to wear out the right index fingers of the opposition who were clicking "fold" again and again. He moved in a fourth time with ace-six. Tomstern though had been dealt ace-king. It was an easy call to make. Pawlinho would reach no further than third place.
It left the action heads-up, Tomstern now even further ahead by a margin of 15.5 million to Rickehyo's 3.6 million. With GLs all round play went on. Rickehyo clawed the odd million back, but it was always too little. His was a spirited defence but one destined to end in the runner-up spot, even when he found ace-king with which to shove.
Tomstern's tens held, securing him the title and a first prize of $6,049.71. Congratulations to him on the title.
MicroMillions 7: Event #44 $11 NL Hold'em
Prize pool: $38,520
Places paid: 495
1. Tomstern (Norway) $6,049.71
2. Rickehyo (Australia) $4,506.84
3. pawlinho (Brazil) $3,177.90
4. mati_1112 (Argentina) $2,214.90
5. MaNyAdRaGoN (Canada) $1,637.10
6. tintin99514 (Canada) $1,251.90
7. sil-central (Argentina) $866.70
8. mierdoro (Argentina) $481.50
9. 13MM1345 (Germany) $308.16
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.