MicroMillions 8: kevin83825 KOs the competition in Event #46, $11 NLHE (6-max, Super-Knockout)
Knocking players out in a large-field tournament is a great way to build a big chip stack. But because anything can happen in a poker tournament, it's not necessarily a predictor of big success. Sometimes, though, racking up a bunch of knockouts really does help to propel a player to a big win - particularly when at least a few of those knockouts come at the final table of a Super-Knockout bounty tournament.
Event #46 of MicroMillions 8, an $11, 6-max, Super-Knockout No-Limit Hold'em event, gave fans of bounty tournaments plenty of reasons to play some poker. Half of each buy-in went to the regular prize pool, and the other half went to the bounty on each player's head. In the end 7,636 players turned up, building an $80,178 prize pool that was split evenly between payouts to the top 960 players and the bounty pool.
The larger bounties made it possible for some players who didn't even make the money to earn more than they would've had they survived for a min-cash. And for those who steamrolled the opposition most of the way but didn't make it to the final table, like the United Kingdom's 22ARJ, who finished in 18th place ($240.53) after racking up a tournament-high 20 knockouts, the extra cash from the bounties can help to ease the pain of seeing a good run come up short.
By 12:10 p.m. ET there were six players left, with knockout totals ranging from six to 15. With blinds and antes at 80K/160K/17.5K, they sat down to play the final table with chip stacks arranged like so:
Seat 1: brock (12,673,929 in chips) 13 KOs
Seat 2: ciesyou (5,161,273 in chips) 8 KOs
Seat 3: PAYMEANDRE (1,858,340 in chips) 13 KOs
Seat 4: kevin83825 (5,480,477 in chips) 15 KOs
Seat 5: UNKNOWN_x_13 (9,174,210 in chips) 13 KOs
Seat 6: petrbogoslov (3,831,771 in chips) 6 KOs
The rise of kevin83825
China's kevin83825 won the first pot that saw a flop on Hand #2. kevin83825 took down 1.3M after calling short-stacked Brazilian player PAYMEANDRE's pre-flop raise, then raising PAYMEANDRE's 219K bet on the 7♣ 4♥ 3♦ flop. That left PAYMEANDRE with just 1.3M chips, while kevin83825 stacked up to 6.1M.
After three more hands without a flop, kevin83825 again came out ahead with cards on the board - this time with a big showdown. The player from China opened with a raise to 320K in the small blind and Latvia's UNKNOWN_x_13 called in the big blind, bringing a 5♦ 7♦ 4♣ flop. kevin83825 check-called UNKNOWN_x_13's 315K bet into the 760K pot, and then check-called another 665K bet into the 1.39M-chip pot after the J♠ fell on the turn. But when the 6♣ came on the river, kevin83825's move was to shove for 4.9M into the 2.7M-chip pot. UNKNOWN_x_13 called in a flash and turned over 8♣ 6♦ for the flopped eight-high straight, but that was beaten out by kevin83825's 9♠ 8♥ for a rivered nine-high straight.
That was good for a whopping 12.7M-chip pot, which gave kevin83825 the overall lead, while UNKNOWN_x_13 dropped to 2.8M chips and fifth place in the standings. Nine hands later came the third flop of the final table, and gain kevin83825 was on the right end of it. The player from China opened for 320K under the gun, holding A♣ 6♣, and then called after PAYMEANDRE jammed for 1.2M in the small blind. The Brazilian's K♦ Q♣ trailed from the start and never caught up on the 4♦ 2♠ J♦ 5♣ A♠ board, eliminating PAYMEANDRE in 6th place ($601.33).
Another 33 hands would go by without another serious confrontation, time enough for the blinds to go up to 100K/200K with 25K antes. And when the next one arrived, it was a showdown between short-stacked petrbogoslov, who three-bet all-in for 934K in the small blind with Q♠ J♣, and kevin83825, who had opened the betting for 400K in the cutoff with A♦ 6♠. petrbogoslov caught up on the flop and the rest of the 8♠ 7♦ J♠ 6♥ 8♦ board never threatened, giving the desperate Russian player a 2.1M-chip lifeline.
petrbogoslov milked the opportunity for every drop, hanging around for another 20 hands on the short stack as the blinds advanced to 125K/250K with 31.25K antes. Then came another hand with eerily similar action, as ciesyou opened for 500K under the gun and petrbogoslov jammed for 956K from the small blind. This time it was ciesyou who held Q♦ J♦, while petrbogoslov had the dominated Q♠ T♣. There was some brief hope on the J♥ 3♦ 9♦ flop, but the 8♦ turn and 2♦ turn river squashed it, giving ciesyou the 2.3M-chip pot and eliminating petrbogoslov in 5th place ($1,002.22).
Chip-leading Australian player brock hadn't made too many waves so far but had steadily chipped up to a stack of more than 15M. And two hands after petrbogoslov's knockout brock had a much more valuable pot served up on a platter as UNKNOWN_x_13 moved all-in for 3.2M from the small blind and the Australian woke up to A♥ A♦. The 6♦ Q♥ 4♠ flop gave UNKNOWN_x_13 a pair, and the 5♣ turn an open-ended straight draw to go with it, but it was the 7♣ on the river that spared the Latvian player with two pair, good for a double to 6.7M.
That pot dropped brock back into second place with 12M behind kevin83825's 14.7M chip stack. Six hands later that lead would expand, though not at brick's expense. The action opened with a small-blind raise to 500K by ciesyou and a call from kevin83825, bringing on a 4♦ 2♠ 6♦ flop. ciesyou led the action again with a 500K bet, then jammed for 3.8M when kevin83825 raised to 1.5M. The Chinese player called and showed J♦ 8♦ for a flush draw with two over cards to the board, and ciesyou turned over K♦ 6♣ for a pair of sixes with a higher backdoor flush draw. The A♦ on the turn gave kevin83825 the advantage, but ciesyou could still win with a diamond on the river. The 4♠ came instead, sending ciesyou to the rail in 4th place ($1,804).
Three to the title
The remaining players were clearly stratified as three-handed play began:
Seat 1: brock (12,885,880 in chips)
Seat 4: kevin83825 (19,633,022 in chips)
Seat 5: UNKNOWN_x_13 (5,661,098 in chips)
UNKNOWN_x_13's mission at this point was clear, and the Latvian player accepted it with gusto, stealing four of the first five pots to stay ahead of the blinds and antes and even add a million chips. Meanwhile brock got the better of kevin83825 in a couple of smallish pots, pulling even with the former leader. Then, three hands after blinds and antes rose to 150K/300K/37.5K, brock and UNKNOWN_x_13 collided thanks to a cooler. UNKNOWN_x_13, holding 9♣ 9♦, opened the action with a raise to 600K, then moved all-in for 6.8M after brock re-raised to 2.7M in the small blind. brock wasted no time calling with J♠ J♥, and the favorite held up on a 7♥ 3♥ A♥ 8♠ T♣ board, busting UNKNOWN_x_13 in 3rd place ($3,006.67).
That gave brock a 22.5M-15.6M lead going into heads-up play, but it wouldn't last long. kevin83825 won the first pot with a big blind re-raise of brick's opening 900K bet. The next hand, which opened with a raise to 600K by kevin83825 on the button and a call from brock in the big blind, was more damaging. brock check-called 900K on the A♣ A♦ T♣ flop, and the both players checked the Q♠ on the turn. brock led for 1.8M after the Q♣ came on the river, but a raise to 4.8M by kevin83825 chased the Australian away and gave the Chinese player a six-big-blind chip lead.
The rest of the short heads-up match went against brock, too, with the exception of one 3.6M-chip pot won with a pair of fours at showdown after checking the flop and turn of a 2♥ 4♥ K♦ 9♣ K♣ board. But three pots out of 11 wasn't enough to save brock because the last one went the wrong way. It opened with the Australian raising to 900K on the button, only to be three-bet to 3M by kevin83825. brock called the bet and, when checked to on the T♠ 4♦ A♦ flop, bet 1.8M. kevin83825 came back with a check-raise to 4.5M, then snap-called with brock moved all-in for 13.8M. brock held Q♥ T♦ for a pair of tens with a backdoor diamond flush draw, while kevin83825 had the lead with A♣ K♠ for top pair, top kicker. The 4♣ on the turn have kevin83825 two pair, aces and fours, and left brock in need of one of the last two tens in the deck. But the 6♥ fell on the river instead, bringing the tournament to an end.
Despite what had to be a disappointing end to a final table that had begun with the chip lead, brock earned a fifth-best career score of $4,209.34, plus another $73.50 in bounties. As for kevin83825, the win was a breakthrough, with the $6,017.50 purse before bounties constituting not only a career-best prize but an increase of nearly 75 percent over the Chinese player's total previous tournament earnings here at PokerStars. Congratulations to both players for their fine performances in another tough MicroMillions 8 tournament.
MicroMillions 8: Event #46, $11 No-Limit Hold'em [6-max, Super-Knockout]
$80,178 prize pool
960 places paid
1st place: kevin83825 (China) $6,017.50 + $99.75 in bounties
2nd place: brock (Australia) $4,209.34 + $73.50 in bounties
3rd place: UNKNOWN_x_13 (Latvia) $3,006.67 + $68.25 in bounties
4th place: ciesyou (Poland) $1,804 + $47.25 in bounties
5th place: petrbogoslov (Russia) $1,002.22 + $31.50 in bounties
6th place: PAYMEANDRE (Brazil) $601.33 + $68.25 in bounties
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.