MicroMillions 7: Weird, wild stuff, Event #70 sees nine-way chop, swinganut victorious ($5.50 NLHE)
The final table of Event #70, a $5.50 freeze-out with over ten thousand entrants, was, to paraphrase True Detective's Marty Hart, "the strangest thing I ever caught."
Deals are by no means foreign to MicroMillions events, particularly when their arrives a point in the tournament with stack parity or an absence of an experienced veteran of online poker. Typically when those two ingredients mix, a number of players will be left who all are playing for very high stakes in relation to their normal poker day, and deal making is understandable. At the outset Event #70's final table, that was the case for everyone, it seemed, and as unlikely as it would seem, a nine-way chop was agreed upon. After the tournament resumed, it was the shortest stack of the nine, swinganut, who was left standing when the dust cleared. They pocketed $1,749.54 and took home the MicroMillions title.
Let's start at the beginning, though the climax comes somewhere in the middle. This format had already been on offer during the series, a straight up freeze-out, and as with previous incarnations, their was a field just topping the five-figure mark, 10,348 to be exact in this case. Proceedings would be a test of poker endurance, start to finish the tournament ran ten minutes past the ten hour mark.
As the final table approached no particularly big names had run deep and it appeared to be anyone's game. A cruel bad beat burst the final table bubble, as is want to happen in situations such as these. With a big blind costing 250,000 in chips, Norwegian player edybesland moved all-in from one off the button for 3.6M, certainly enough to encourage folds. They did receive action, however, from the small blind, the table chip-leader the shrakher, who moved all-in over the top for over 5M. It was not the worst of situations for the Norwegian, they revealed A♣ K♦, which dominated the A♥ J♣ of their opponent. But even with that domination, they would be missing the final table more than a quarter of the time, once all the community cards were tabled.
This would be one of those unfortunate times, the 9♥ J♦ 6♠ flop flipped favourites, and edybesland was searching for a three-outer in the dark. The T♣ and 2♠ filled out the board and they were eliminated in tenth, receiving $269.04, a noble return on $5.50, but a pittance compared to what the shrakher would be able to ply shortly thereafter, on account of having accumulated nearly 10M chips, and deal talk beginning as soon as the final table commenced.
Final Table Chip Counts
Seat 1: stampking (2,809,222 in chips)
Seat 2: l_GREECE_l (3,930,684 in chips)
Seat 3: swinganut (2,684,122 in chips)
Seat 4: steveo432 (6,499,700 in chips)
Seat 5: the shrakher (9,199,917 in chips)
Seat 6: sr. quijito (3,237,674 in chips)
Seat 7: Jrod2210 (5,300,446 in chips)
Seat 8: wiars (13,344,425 in chips)
Seat 9: rolonaga (4,733,810 in chips)
To be perfectly frank, it is unclear how a nine-way deal could ever be consummated in an online setting. Particularly with excerpts from the chatbox such as this:
rolonaga: jrod steveo ?? ok ?
steveo432: I just want an extra 100 and I'm good
Jrod2210: I need an extra 150
wiars: ok I put 100 for my price
sr. quijito: I need extra rice
stampking: blinds are too high to demand more fellas get fair dinkum
Besides the extremely high likelihood that none of the other eight final tablists would have any idea what the quintessentially Aussie expression fair dinkum meant, as you can see, there were some demands to be sorted. Not always was the discussion perfectly civil. Players also began negotiations from the starting point of a chip-chop, which, to everyone's full knowledge or not, would favour the bigger stacks wiars and the shrakher, particularly when put through the prism of ICM (Independent Chip Model) valuation. The adjustments to the payouts from the chip-chop numbers were between $50 and $200 per player -- that no one made any outrageous demands made it at least conceivable that everyone would come to terms.
It was generally agreed that the big blind, at 300,000 was quite large, and that everyone's variance was through the roof. Again this expedited talks and despite some belly-aching, when it came down to the moderator's request to type "I agree" or not, everyone did.
There was $600 left up for grabs in what was now a winner-take-all sit and go. Eight players would bust, having no improved their lot, and one would add to their payout. Perhaps most incredibly, chip-leader wiars dealt for $700 more than the original second place payout. They had the most chips, but what would result might have some second guessing the prudence of their deal-making in hindsight.
Back to the Action
The first elimination of the final table would take home the third most money. The hand began with steveo432 raising to 600,000 in early position, rolonaga cold-calling on the button, and l_GREECE_l coming along in the big blind. The flop fell A♥ T♣ Q♦, and action checked around. On the A♣ turn, l_GREECE_l bet out 1.2M, steveo432 got out of the way, and rolonaga called. The river was the 5♣ bringing backdoor clubs, l_GREECE_l moved all-in for 3.8M, which at the time was nearly exactly to the chip, the size of rolonaga's stack. The Belgian player called all-in with K♦ Q♣ and was shown A♦ 4♥ for trip aces. In ninth, however, they walked away with $2,884.10, which bested fourth place money in the original payouts!
Canadian swinganut had made some headway, to eleven big blinds, when the next pot of consequence passed. They raised in early position to 800,000, the big blind having risen to 400,000 by this time. stampking of Australia defended their big blind, but without much in the way of chips behind. On an A♣ T♥ 3♣ flop they open shoved for 1.6M with Q♦ J♥ for a gutshot straight draw. They were not drawing dead, but swinganut had flopped the nuts with A♠ A♦. The 9♦ turn gave the short stack even more hope of survival, but the 9♥ river filled up the Canadian. The only representative from down under was down and out in eighth, but had $1,519.85 to soothe them.
The big blind was up to 500,000 now and sr. quijito was casting aspersions towards the metaphorical dealer, having fallen to four big blinds. They consequently moved all-in for 2M under the gun, just before the blinds could decimate their remaining stack. When it folded around all the way to the shrakher in the big blind, they would be forgiven if they had high hopes for not running into a strong hand, but the Israeli player called with 8♦ 8♣ and their 9♥ 7♥ was looking to pair their highest ranking card. The A♥ 3♥ 3♣ flop was nowhere in the vicinity of sweat, the 6♦ turn changed nothing, and the 7♣ river was the pair sr. quijito was not hoping for. They were ousted in seventh, receiving $1,706.38.
Things had not been going well for wiars; since the elimination of sr. quijito they had dropped from chip-leader to middle of the pack, with only seven and a half big blinds (that pesky big blind had risen to 600,000 at this point). In their final hand steveo432 min-raised under the gun to 1.2M and they went all-in for 4.5M total. Surely to their consternation l_GREECE_l moved in over the top for 10.4M, with A♥ Q♥, it turned out. That was bad news for the former chip-leader from Mexico, who held A♣ T♠. The Q♦ 5♦ 7♥ flop was spoiling the rich, and the T♥ turn was now not the best card for wiars hopes (a jack or a king giving a bit more promise to survival). The A♠ was another useless pairing and wiars was eliminated sixth. As previously detailed, they were already guaranteed riches beyond the dreams of avarice; as per the terms of the deal they left the table $6,146.20 richer.
So then there were five, all vying for a somewhat muted $600. the shrakher was next on the chopping block, moving all-in in the small blind for five big blinds and called by Jrod2210 last to act. It was an easy call for the latter, they tabled A♠ 9♥, while the Israeli managed live cards in K♦ 4♥. The flop extinguished the life in one of those cards, it was 9♦ 8♠ 6♦. The J♠ turn and 2♣ river did not contain the royalty the shrakher sought and they departed in fifth with a whopping $4,269.17, better than third place money by $400 and with great thanks to the final-table-bubble suckout detailed at the beginning of this recap. Something tells us the shrakher and (especially) wiars might be feeling like they hoodwinked an opponent or two on this day. But that, after all, is good poker.
There was relatively parity between the four remaining stacks, but not much in the way of maneuvering. So much time had passed and the blinds' motion was both perpetual and unmerciful. Jrod2210, who had stayed out of trouble for much of the final table moved all-in under the gun for 81M, about thirteen and a half big blinds, with A♥ T♦, as the table's shortest stack. In the big blind steveo432 had a straightforward call with one better, A♠ J♥. The all diamond flop, Q♦ 4♦ 2♦ gave Jrod2210 much in the way of hope, but the 6♠ 5♠ runout left him unfulfilled. They were out fourth, cashing for $2,141.26,
A near identical cooler took place shortly thereafter, with blinds nearing the seven-figure mark at 800,000 a big. l_GREECE_l min-raised on the button, starting the hand with nearly 19M, before steveo432 shoved for a shade over 19M in the big blind with A♥ T♥. It was a snap call from the Netherlands-located player with the overtly Greek sobriquet, because they had A♣ Q♦. Both players made top pair after the trio of A♠ 6♦ 4♦ extended l_GREECE_l's lead in the hand. The turn J♣ was a near miss for both players' kicker and the case ace, the A♦, made for trips in either player's hand. Unfortunately for steveo432 it was the queen that played and they were vanquished, reduced to a few antes, and eliminated the next hand in third, worth $2,554.34.
Somehow, some way, swinganut was still in this tournament, having outlasted all but one player who began the final table with more betting units than they had. In the decisive hand of heads-up, they raised to 2.6M (big blind still at 800k) with 3♥ 3♣. l_GREECE_l covered their 22M chip stack and moved all-in with A♣ Q♥. It was off to the races with 44M in the middle. The ace was in the door, the flop A♥ 6♦ 5♦ leaving the big stack in need of a three, a four, or a two on the turn. The J♣ came off the deck and it was up to the two remaining threes to appear or swinganut would have almost all the chips that were in play when this tournament had begun ten hours earlier. The river paired the board with the 6♠.
Three hands later swinganut woke up with K♠ K♣, snap called the 9.6M chip shove from their opponent and had a hammerlock on the victory facing K♦ 8♣. The board produced nothing in the way of sweat, it ran out Q♣ 7♣ 2♥ 6♣ 4♣ and l_GREECE_l was eliminated second, having done much of the clearing of the final table, but receiving no additional reward to their deal-guaranteed figure of $1883.61.
Congratulations to swinganut for surging from worst to first for an impressive MicroMillions title, outlasting over ten thousand runners and taking home $1,749.54!
MicroMillions-070: $5.50 NLHE
Total prize pool: $51,740
Places paid: 1,350
1. swinganut (Canada) $1,749.54*
2. I_GREECE_I (Netherlands) $1,883.61*
3. steveo432 (Canada) $2,554.34*
4. Jrod2210 (Canada) $2,141.26*
5. the shrakher (Israel) $4,269.17*
6. wiars (Mexico) $6,146.20*
7. sr. quijito (Philippines) $1,706.38*
8. stampking (Australia) $1,519.85*
9. rolonaga (Belgium) $2,884.10*
*Denotes payouts in lieu of a nine-way deal.
Gareth Chantler is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.