MicroMillions 7: Venny92 the villain and the victor in Event #62 ($4.40 +R PL Omaha 6-Max)
What Event 62 lacked in swiftness it made up for in that other quality that makes you watch to the end. You could call it drama or tension, or some such, but you and I would more likely call it by its street name - nastiness.
If you can't rely on the pace of the action to keep you watching the next best thing is a campaign of scorn and mockery from the table villain. Step forward venny92 to fill that role. Mockery was his forte, evidently along with poker, for it was he who won the day today, collecting the title and a first prize of $2,828.87 in a final that dragged a little for more than an hour and quarter.
The final gets under way
Here's how they lined up.
Seat 1. Sowpedro (Brazil) 3,215,024
Seat 2. BalicaLiviu (Romania) 3,916,372
Seat 3. Us3dC0nd0m (Canada) 2,487,560
Seat 4. Venny92 (Bulgaria) 3,307,917
Seat 5. Brady Hawk66 (Netherlands) 2,190,454
Seat 6. ICEMAN7788 (Canada) 8,492,673
ICEMAN7788 held the lead, and at that stage it was a lead, yet to be eroded by the inflation of the blinds, and one that had the potential to boss others about a bit.
But rather than aggression, one player seemed intent on consolidation. Within minutes of the final starting Sowpedro suggested a six-way deal. It was a while before anyone answered - such is the protocol - with BalicaLiviu politely suggesting that he would agree three-handed, if he made it that far. So sowpedro dropped the idea and played on.
It would take a full hour of play before there was any elimination of which to speak. So the first 60 minutes were taken up with double-ups and big pots that made the position of chip leader a temporary one.
It would be 34 minutes form the start until the first hand of note played out. Us3dC0nd0m secured the first double-up of the final against Sowpedro, rivering a set of jacks against Sowpedro's two pairs. He was up again minutes later in a pot worth 4.7 million against BalicaLiviu, this time rivering aces to move up to 7.5 million.
More doubles would follow. The next was for Venny92. But again Sowpedro's main focus was a deal.
"Hey guys, deal?" he said, looking a little like one of those automated customer service pop-ups you sometimes find on sales websites. Then he sweetened the suggestion by offering an ICM calculation. When no one answered his eagerness turned to frustration.
"Come on guys..." It exposed a level of desperation that other poker players rarely give in to, instead preferring to exploit it, all while trying not to catch his eye, figuratively at least.
Brady Hawk66 was next to double-up, although his stack was one of the shorter ones. Then this hand played out, with ICEMAN7788, who was playing much of the final on a mobile device, momentarily disconnected.
It was harmeless enough but Venny92 was not content and said to Sowpedro, who was in the hand, suggesting that he should have re-raised and that ICEMAN7788's internet problems were a bluff. ICEMAN7788 wasn't happy, and suggested, using the medium of obscenity that Venny92 should go away.
One sensed that Venny92 preferred his pariah status. He immediately doubled through Sowpedro and subsequently started calling people idiots.
As the hour mark passed Brady Hawk66 found himself with fewer than two big blinds. As he waited in the big blind he watched BalicaLiviu raise. Venny92 was in the small blind, ironically urging Brady Hawk66 to fold. Instead he called, which was all he could do, and in doing so becoming the first player eliminated.
That moved BalicaLiviu up to 7.4 million and turned venny92 into the short stack with 1.8 million, who dashed off a few more expletives ahead of Sowpedro's new bid for some kind of deal -- again with little in response.
Meanwhile Us3dC0nd0m doubled, moving up to 5.1 million against BalicaLiviu. Venny92 then shoved, only to find no one willing to take him on, as ICEMAN7788 edged slowly back in front.
Again, a familiar voice piped up.
"Deal guys... icm?"
It would be the last we heard of Sowpedro, who in the space of a minute would be on the rail. First he clashed with Us3dC0nd0m.
Then, reduced to just 625,000, he moved all-in against arch-foe Venny92. Sowpedro managed a pair of eights, which was easily dashed by Venny92's six-high straight. Sowpedro was out in fifth place with a whimper, and without that deal that Venny92 couldn't help but mock him about.
By now the final had entered a phase of prolonged action. Soon after Sowpedro hit the rail, BalicaLiviu followed him after what proved a massive pot.
That turned the villain of the day into the chip leader. Venny92 up to more than 9 million and was now the only player showing the degree of fearlessness with which to capitalise on such big blinds.
Venny92 - 10.1 million
Us3dC0nd0m - 7.9 million
ICEMAN7788 - 5.2 million
Channelling the ghost of Sowpedro, ICEMAN7788 broke the vow of silence he'd kept earlier to propose a deal, a three-way chop. While Sowpedro may have been yelling "yes! yes! From beyond the grave - or beyond the rail at least -- the silence at the table was a thunderous. Still, ICEMAN7788 would not suffer the same fate. He quickly doubled against Us3dC0nd0m, a pair of kings enough to defeat a pair of nines, which would ultimately lead to Us3dC0nd0m's departure in third place.
The heads-up battle would be short and one-sided. Venny92 enjoyed the advantage, with 14.8 million to ICEMAN7788's 8.9 million. But Venny92 was by now unstoppable, grudgingly so, and quickly had Event 62 in the bag.
He may not have been a popular winner, but what Venny92 might have lacked in class and courtesy he made up in sheer will to win, which is often all that's required. Hats off to him on an impressive performance.
MicroMillions 7: Event #62 $4.40 + R PL Omaha(6-Max)
Entrants: 1467 (1872 re-buys, 946 add-ons)
Prize pool: $17140.00
Places paid: 192
1. venny92 (Bulgaria) $2,828.87
2. ICEMAN7788 (Canada) $2,125.36
3. Us3dC0nd0m (Canada) $1,585.45
4. BalicaLiviu (Romania) $1,096.96
5. sowpedro (Brazil) $702.74
6. Brady Hawk66 (Netherlands) $466.20
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.