MicroMillions 8: NotSure0486 is the champion for certain in Event #86, $1 NLHE

The fields for your average MicroMillions No-Limit Hold'em tournament tend to be on the large side. If you've ever wondered what happens when you drop the already low MicroMillions buy-ins even lower, Event #86 of the series' eighth installment provided an answer: those fields grow considerably larger.

Sporting a freezeout structure and a buy-in of just $1, Event #86 drew a mammoth field of 26,636 players. That built a $24,238.76 prize pool that paid the top 3,600 places, with prizes ranging from $1.45 at the bottom to $2,320.99 up top. The field was large enough that it took until Level 50 (250K/500K/62.5K), nearly nine and a half hours into the tournament, to reach the final table:

Seat 1: NotSure0486 (17,421,285 in chips)
Seat 2: zyx123 (9,663,686 in chips)
Seat 3: Feniksiuke (12,619,418 in chips)
Seat 4: RASTAFOR (10,309,048 in chips)
Seat 5: freezerestar (18,801,670 in chips)
Seat 6: scorpio20117 (10,688,939 in chips)
Seat 7: klce (7,270,984 in chips)
Seat 8: vmind1 (9,669,670 in chips)
Seat 9: MACTALAN (10,099,300 in chips)

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Starting with a bang...and another, and another...

None of the first four pots was worth more than six and a half big blinds, but Hand #5 finally saw some action when Russia's RASTAFOR opened for 1M in middle position and klce moved all-in over the top for 6.2M. Then Lithuania's vmind1, sitting on the button, went all-in with a fourth bet for 9.9M total. RASTAFOR folded 6♦ 6♠ face-up and vmind1's A♠ K♠ was up against klce's K♦ T♦. vmind1 caught top pair but had a lot of cards to dodge as the 8♣ J♦ A♦ flop gave klce a royal flush draw. The 2♣ turn and 4♠ river posed no danger, though, and klce left the tournament in 9th place ($121.19).

RASTAFOR opened Hand #6 for 1M in second position and was once again re-raised, this time to 2.2M by Turkey's MACTALAN on the button. Ukrainian player NotSure0486 then moved all-in for 16.5M in the small blind, and RASTAFOR pondered a call before folding and leaving MACTALAN to make a quick call for 8.9M total. The Turkish player had A♠ Q♠ but was in rough shape against NotSure0486's A♥ A♣. The K♥ 7♣ J♦ left the possibility of a Broadway straight open, but the board ran out 4♦-4♠ and MACTALAN was gone in 8th place ($206.02).

Feniksiuke picked up a couple of decent pots over the next eight hands, including one worth 8.3M after calling bets from Canada's zyx123 before and after the J♦ 5♠ 5♥ flop, then betting when checked to on the 9♣ turn. That moved the Lithuanian player up to 20.6M, good for second place behind NotSure0486's 29.3M.

The next pot with a showdown came on Hand #15 and began with Qatar's freezerestar raising to 1.2M under the gun. RASTAFOR called for 600K in the big blind and the flop came T♥ A♠ K♥. RASTAFOR checked to induce a 1.8M-chip bet from freezerestar, then moved all-in for 4.4M. freezerestar called with A♥ 6♣ for top pair with a backdoor heart draw, while RASTAFOR held A♦ 9♣ for the same pair with a better kicker. The 9♠ gave RASTAFOR the win with two pair, and the Q♦ on the river made the Russian's win in the 12.1M-chip pot official.

That dropped freezerestar down to 11.6M, just over half of what the former leader had come to the final table with. Three hands later the player from Qatar was back in the thick of the action, opening for 1.8M on the button. There were no callers, but vmind1 did move all-in for 10.6M in the big blind. freezerestar called and showed 4♠ 4♥, which was dominated by vmind1's T♠ T♣. Only a four could keep freezerestar in the game, but the board came Q♦ 2♦ 8♠ A♦ Q♣, the tens held up, and freezerestar departed in 7th place ($302.98).

...and another, and another

Hand #19, the first of the 400K/800K/100K level, involved pocket fours and an overpair, too. Feniksiuke opened the action with a raise to 1.6M and RASTAFOR called in the cutoff, bringing a 5♥ 3♠ K♣ flop, which both players checked. Feniksiuke led out for 2M into the 5M-chip pot on the 4♠ turn and quickly called when RASTAFOR moved all-in for 9.9M. RASTAFOR had turned a set of fours with 4♣ 4♦, but was trailing Feniksiuke's flopped set of fives with 5♠ 5♦. RASTAFOR needed the last four in the deck on the river but got the K♦ instead, losing out on the 24.8M-chip pot and finishing in 6th place ($436.29).

That pot moved Feniksiuke within a few big blinds of NotSure0486's leading stack of 25M, while vmind1 had 21.5M and scorpio20117 and zy123 were both under 10M. Five hands later the field would shrink again after zyx123 opened under the gun with an all-in bet of 8.9M. NotSure0486 called in the big blind with A♠ J♣ and had zyx123's K♦ J♥ dominated. NotSure0486 didn't need an ace to win but caught one on the river of the 9♣ 6♦ 4♠ 6♣ A♥ board, busting zyx123 in 5th place ($654.44).

The longest yard

As four-handed play began, the chip counts were clearly stratified thanks to those five bustouts in the first 24 hands:

Seat 1: NotSure0486 (44,051,571 in chips)
Seat 3: Feniksiuke (31,927,714 in chips)
Seat 6: scorpio20117 (9,043,939 in chips)
Seat 8: vmind1 (21,520,776 in chips)

It took 22 hands, all but four of them ending without seeing so much as a flop, before the next pot worth at least 10 big blinds came along. vmind1 won it after raising the minimum to 2M under the gun, getting a call from NotSure0486, and then three-betting all-in on the 7♦ 3♦ 9♥ flop after leading for 3.1M and being raised to 7M. That made vmind1 the third player to cross 30M chips.

scorpio20117 complicated the picture further on Hand #50 by playing slow with A♥ A♠ before the flop, then getting Feniksiuke to bet out on the 6♦ J♣ 5♣ flop and call 4M more with just 9♠ 6♥ for a pair of sixes. scorpio20117's 16M-chip stack was still in last place, but it got some company near the bottom on the next hand, which began with NotSure0486 raising to 2M under the gun and Feniksiuke three-betting to 5M on the button. NotSure0486 called there and check-called 4.8M on the 7♠ 6♣ J♥ flop before both players checked the 2♣ turn. They both checked the 6♦ river as well and NotSure0486 showed K♣ J♠ to win the 21.6M-chip pot with two pair, jacks and sixes, dropping Feniksiuke's stack to 18.8M.

Feniksiuke got some of those chips back on Hand #52 after hitting a straight with 9♦ 9♥ on the river of an 8♥ 6♥ Q♣ J♠ T♥ board and calling a stone-cold bluff from NotSure0486, winning a 17M-chip pot to stack back up to 27.6M. With that kind of volatility on display, all four players quickly agreed to talk over a potential deal. Within 11 minutes they had come to an agreement that left $300 on the table for the champion, and the game was back on.

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Hand #65, the first of the 600K/1.2M/150K level, saw the first big post-deal confrontation. scorpio20117 got things started with a raise to 2.6M, which NotSure0486 called from the big blind to bring a 3♠ 8♣ 6♦ flop. Both players checked there, and NotSure0486 check-called another 2.6M on the A♦ turn. That brought the 5♣ on the river, and NotSure0486 checked once again. scorpio20117 bet 7.7M and NotSure0486 called, showing A♠ T♥ for a pair of aces, topping scorpio20117's J♦ T♣ for ace-high with a jack kicker to win the 27.9M-chip pot.

scorpio20117 dropped back into last place with 10.8M there, but two hands later Feniksiuke supplanted the Colombian player at the bottom of the leaderboard. The Lithuanian opened the action with a raise to 2.4M on the button, which vmind1 re-raised to 4.8M from the big blind. Feniksiuke called and the flop came 4♠ A♦ 2♣. vmind1 checked and then called Feniksiuke's 4.3M-chip bet there, and then both players checked the J♦ turn. Feniksiuke didn't waste much time calling vmind1's 6M-chip bet on the 9♣ river, but mucked after vmind1 turned over A♣ A♠ for a flopped set of aces to win the 31.4M-chip pot.

That left Feniksiuke with just 5.9M chips, and though a couple of blind steals would help out some, they merely delayed departure. The Lithuanian player opened Hand #74 by moving in for 6.6M in the small blind with A♣ 4♠. That was ahead of the J♣ T♦ scorpio20117 called with, but only until the T♠ 9♦ 7♠ flop gave the Colombian a pair of tens with a straight draw. Feniksiuke's best hopes were to hit an ace or running spades for a flush. The 8♠ on the turn kept that flush draw alive but killed the aces by making a jack-high straight for scorpio20117. The T♣ on the river changed nothing, sending Feniksiuke to the rail in 4th place ($1,417.32).

The next major scuffle wouldn't take so long to develop. scorpio20117 opened Hand #78 with a raise to 2.6M on the button, which NotSure0486 called in the big blind to bring a 7♦ 9♦ K♦ flop. NotSure0486 checked, scorpio20117 bet 2.4M, and then NotSure0486 check-raised to 4.8M. scorpio20117 called to bring the T♥ on the turn, and then moved all-in for 7.9M into the 15.9M-chip pot when NotSure0486 checked. The Ukrainian player called and showed K♥ 8♥ for top pair with an open-ended straight draw, which was trailing scorpio20117's T♠ 7♣ for two pair, tens and sevens. But the 6♣ on the river brought the straight draw home, giving NotSure0486 the 31.9M pot and ending scorpio20117's tournament in in 3rd place ($1,292.86).

A tough heads-up match

That was enough to give NotSure0486 the lead as heads-up play began:

Seat 1: NotSure0486 (64,818,224 in chips)
Seat 8: vmind1 (41,725,776 in chips)

There was some tentative back and forth for a bit, but the real action got started on the ninth hand of heads-up. That's when NotSure0486 caught a pair of sevens out of position on the 6♠ 7♠ K♣ flop with 7♦ 3♦, check-called bets there and on the 2♣ turn, and then checked down the 7♥ river to win 16.5M with three of a kind. The next hand also went NotSure0496's way after raising to 2.4M on the button with 8♦ 8♥, betting 2.4M and calling a check-raise to 6M on the K♣ 2♦ 3♣, then checking down the 5♦ turn and K♠ river to win unimproved against vmind1's busted flush draw with Q♣ J♣.

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Those two pots gave NotSure0486 78.6M to vmind1's 27.9M. vmind1 got some of the losses back three hands later when both players flopped pairs but vmind1's queens topped NotSure0486's jacks to win the 21.2M chips in the middle. The Lithuanian managed to hold that margin fairly steady for 11 more hands until managing to grab a bigger win. vmind1 opened the betting with a raise to 2.4M on the button, and NotSure0486 called to bring a 7♥ K♠ 4♥ flop. NotSure0486 checked and then raised to 6M after vmind1 bet 2.6M. The Lithuanian responded with a three-bet for 10.8M, then called and showed K♦ 4♣ for two pair, kings and fours, when NotSure0486 moved all-in. NotSure0486 had caught top pair with K♣ 3♦ and needed running cards for a full house to win or split the pot, but the turn and river came 7♦-4♦ and vmind1 seized the lead with the 71.3M-chip pot.

NotSure0486 immediately began fighting back, starting with a pot worth 17.1M on the next hand via an all-in raise on the river of a Q♦ 9♦ T♥ 7♥ 6♥ board. Then the Ukrainian player rattled off wins in five of the next seven pots to get back to within 6.8M with the blinds and antes at 700K/1.4M/175K. That was about the margin of difference nine hands later when the next big confrontation came.

It started with a vmind1 raise to 2.8M on the button. NotSure0486 re-raised to 5.6M and vmind1 called, bringing a J♣ T♦ 6♣ flop. NotSure0486 checked and vmind1 bet 4.6M into the 11.5M-chip pot, setting off a cascade of action that ended with NotSure0486 all-in for 44.6M. vmind1's K♣ T♣ had caught middle pair with a flush draw, but NotSure0486's A♦ T♠ was in the lead with middle pair, top kicker. The 8♥ turn and 3♥ river were devoid of kings and clubs, leaving vmind1 with just 5.7M chips.

vmind1 folded the next two hands before winning a desperation all-in with 8♦ 4♣ against NotSure0486's A♠ 5♦, but a comeback from the brink wasn't in the cards. The Lithuanian jammed on the final hand with K♦ 3♠ and NotSure0486 called with A♠ 7♥, winning with a pair of aces after the board came 5♣ T♣ 3♣ A♥ 4♠ to close out both the tournament and the hard-fought heads-up match.

vmind1's runner-up share of the deal was $1,465.55, a fine return on the $1 investment by anybody's measure. As for NotSure0486, the Ukrainian earned the extra $300 on the table from the deal for a total prize of $1,789.79, a second-best personal score on PokerStars behind a $6K prize in a $1 re-buy tournament earlier this summer. Congratulation to both players for those hard-earned prizes.

MicroMillions 8: Event #86, $1 No-Limit Hold'em
26,636 entries
$24,238.76 prize pool
3,600 places paid

1st place: NotSure0486 (Ukraine) $1,789.79*
2nd place: vmind1 (Lithuania) $1,465.55*
3rd place: scorpio20117 (Colombia) $1,292.86*
4th place: Feniksiuke (Lithuania) $1,417.32*
5th place: zyx123 (Canada) $654.44
6th place: RASTAFOR (Russia) $436.29
7th place: freezerestar (Qatar) $302.98
8th place: MACTALAN (Turkey) $206.02
9th place: klce (Netherlands) $121.19
* - denotes results of a four-way deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions