MicroMillions 8: Two late comebacks propel takarot to win in Event #13, $3.30 Stud

Stud isn't the dominant game that it used to be, but it still enjoys a strong following thanks to the popularity today of mixed games. Knowing your way around the different varieties of the seven card game can be a ticket to a solid win rate there, so long as you're not leaking in any of the other games in the mix. Stud-only games are a little harder to find these days. In fact, today's Event #13 is the only Stud-high tournament on the schedule for MicroMillions 8. (Stud Hi-Lo and Razz each get one tournament apiece next week.)

With that limited availability it was no surprise, then, that a solid field of 5,991 players showed up to play. That built a $17,973 prize pool with 760 places paid, including a first-place prize of $2,782.60. It took a little less than eight hours before stakes were at 200K/400K with 40K antes, which is when these eight players reached the final table:

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Seat 1: takarot (7,028,232 in chips)
Seat 2: simonstof85 (2,465,553 in chips)
Seat 3: alfpoker64 (5,961,633 in chips)
Seat 4: damean.dana (1,106,084 in chips)
Seat 5: sebmay (2,002,588 in chips)
Seat 6: ostaph1234 (8,246,831 in chips)
Seat 7: Przemyt e30 (532,277 in chips)
Seat 8: Igor.ss1986 (2,611,802 in chips)

Przemyt e30 had less than two big bets and started the first hand with three hearts, the 9♥ showing, which was good enough for the Polish player to raise to 400K after an opening raise to 200K by Denmark's simonstof85, whose up card was the K♦. The Danish player raised enough to put Przemyt e30 all-in and after the call showed a split pair of kings. Przemyt e30's board ran out 2♥ 5♥ / 9♥ 4♣ 2♠ Q♠ / T♦, a pair of deuces was no good against simonstof85's kings, and Przemyt e30 left in 8th place ($125.81).

The next 29 hands were an exercise in patience by nearly every player at the table. alfpoker64 from Colombia took the lead from Ukraine's ostaph1234 on Hand #23, starting with a split pair of aces and catching three deuces for a full house by seventh street to win the 4.4M-chip pot and stack up to 9.6M. And Hand #30 saw Greece's takarot sit back and call with a buried pair of queens in a multiway pot against Russia's Igor.ss1986 and alfpoker64. takarot led out on fifth street after catching a pair of sevens on the board, which folded alfpoker64 out; Igor.ss1986 called down the rest of the way but mucked with 8♦ 6♥ 9♦ 2♣ showing after takarot showed Q♣ Q♦ / 3♠ 7♠ 7♦ 2♦ / Q♥ for queens full and the 5.9M-chip pot.

The boom drops

With 300K/600K stakes and 60K antes, that left the table distinctly split into the haves and have-nots:

Seat 1: takarot (10,693,232 in chips)
Seat 2: simonstof85 (737,830 in chips)
Seat 3: alfpoker64 (9,596,633 in chips)
Seat 4: damean.dana (512,168 in chips)
Seat 5: sebmay (327,588 in chips)
Seat 6: ostaph1234 (6,190,747 in chips)
Seat 8: Igor.ss1986 (1,896,802 in chips)

Short-stacked Belgian player sebmay doubled up to 835K with a rivered pair of tens against ostaph1234. Four hands later fellow shorty damean.dana from Romania tried to do the same against takarot after starting with a split pair of fives, but the fives never improved and takarot's board by seventh street read 4♣ 3♣ / 5♣ 7♥ Q♥ 6♣ / 8♣. The flush was good and damean.dana was out in 7th place ($224.66).

Two more hands later simonstof85 was down to 167K and called all-in after takarot opened for 300K with the K♠ showing. simonstof85 had the Q♥ and caught a pair of queens on seventh street, but not before takarot caught running deuces on fourth through sixth streets to win the pot with trips, knocking simonstof85 out in 6th place ($494.25).

takarot's whack-a-mole winning streak continued two hands after that when Igor.ss1986, showing the A♥, raised to 300K with just 6K left behind. takarot was the only caller and held a split pair of queens. Igor.ss1986's board ran out four to both a flush and a straight but never improved on ace-high, giving the queens the small pot and eliminating the Russian player in 5th place ($853.71).

sebmay managed to hold on for another 14 hands, in which time ostaph1234 won a couple of good-sized pots to chip up from 3.4M to 8.2M and a virtual tie for second place. Then sebmay picked up a split pair of jacks and ostaph1234 a wired pair of queens with the J♣ showing. All the chips went in and sebmay caught jacks and tens on sixth street, but ostaph1234 caught the 9♥ on seventh for queens and nines, a better two pair, to win the 1.9M chips in the middle and bust sebmay in 4th place ($1,213.17).

A nearly even even three-way split

After a few rounds of three-handed play the players' stacks were all within one big bet of each other, bringing on discussion of a deal. They all quickly agreed to a deal based on chip counts with $300 left over for the winner, which equated roughly to a three-way chop.

With the deal out of the way, ostaph1234 hit the gas pedal. Starting with rolled-up tens helped, especially with the T♥ showing against takarot's K♣. The two players capped the betting on third, fourth, and fifth streets before takarot finally slowed down and called a raise on sixth. takarot check-called on seventh with K♣ 6♦ J♣ 9♣ showing but mucked after ostaph1234 showed T♣ T♠ / T♥ 3♥ Q♠ 9♥ / Q♥ to win the 17.8M-chip pot with tens full of queens.

takarot was left with less than two big blinds and got right to work on stacking back up. The first double-up was to 4.7M after starting with A♠ K♠ / 7♦ against ostaph1234's buried pair of treys, picking up an open-ended straight draw by sixth street, and riveting a pair of nines to stay alive when the treys never improved.

After the stakes went up to 500K/1M, takarot won another pot worth 6.3M; ostaph1234 opened from the bring-in spot with the 3♦ showing and takarot raised with the 6♥ up, then both players checked on fourth and fifth streets. takarot made a split pair of kings on sixth and got paid on value bets there and on seventh, beating a pair of eights ostaph1234 was dealt on fourth and sixth streets.

takarot completed the comeback immediately after winning with the kings. ostaph1234 open-raised to 500K with the 9♥ showing and takarot called showing the 7♥. takarot caught the A♥ on fourth street, giving the Greek player four hearts, which was good enough to lead out with ostaph1234 showing 9♥ J♠. ostaph1234 called and caught the innocuous-looking 5♣ on fifth but raised after takarot led for 1M showing 7♥ A♥ J♣. takarot, looking for a fifth heart, called the raise and another bet on sixth before catching a heart on seventh and leading out. The rest of takarot's stack went in on the river and the two players showed their cards:

takarot Q♥ T♥ / 7♥ A♥ J♣ 2♠ / 2♥
ostaph1234 5♦ 5♠ / 9♥ J♠ 5♣ T♠ / K♠

takarot's flush beat trip fives to win the 14.9M-chip pot and move back into the lead with almost exactly as many chips as both other players at the table combined. ostaph1234 still had chips to work with but lost the next substantial pot 15 hands later against alfpoker64. The action went bet-call on third, fourth, and fifth streets before alfpoker64 raised on sixth street showing J♦ 6♠ 4♣ A♣; ostaph1234 called the raise with 5♦ 3♥ 5♥ 7♣ showing and then check-called on seventh street as well, only to muck when alfpoker showed A♠ 6♣ / J♦ 6♠ 4♣ A♣ / 2♦ for two pair, aces and sixes.

That 10.3M-chip pot moved alfpoker64 into the lead by two big bets and left ostaph1234 with only 3.3M chips. The Ukrainian player was more than ready to get those chips in on the very next hand after starting with Q♦ 4♠ / K♣. ostaph1234 capped the betting there on third with takarot and got the last 1.2M in the middle on fourth street, only to see some terrible news when takarot turned over a very strong starting hand:

takarot 7♦ 7♠ / 7♥ 2♦
ostaph1234 Q♦ 4♠ / K♣ 3♦

takarot caught the 2♥ on fifth street for sevens full, leaving ostaph1234 drawing dead, and after the cards ran out the Ukrainian player left in 3rd place ($1,982.79).

A tough battle for the last $300

With the stakes so high, things were essentially even as heads-up play got going:

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Seat 1: takarot (16,068,719 in chips)
Seat 3: alfpoker64 (13,886,281 in chips)

takarot won the first significant pot four hands in, starting with a split pair of tens that held up through seventh street for the 9.2M-chip pot and a 21.4M-chip stack. Another nine hands later, though, alfpoker64 drew the game basically back to where it started after winning 8.2M with a split pair of eights that never improved.

Soon the stakes were up to 600K/1.2M, cutting into the contenders' already shallow stacks, and alfpoker64 moved into the lead with two big pots. The first, worth 9.8M, was won with kings and eights on the river despite takarot's board showing 8♠ K♠ 6♣ J♦. The next, worth 7.4M, saw the action go bet-call or check-bet-call on third through sixth streets before check-check river had alfpoker64's A♦ 6♣ / 7♦ 9♥ 6♦ 4♣ / 3♦ winning with a pair of sixes over takarot's deuces with 8♦ K♦ / J♠ 2♠ 2♥ 4♥ / Q♠.

takarot held just 4.3M chips but had one more comeback left to make. First the Greek player caught a split pair of kings on fourth street and a third king for trips on fifth street at the same time as alfpoker64 made aces and eights. The dead man's hand didn't catch up and takarot doubled to 7.3M. Six hands later the Greek was back within three big bets after catching a split pair of queens on sixth street, good for an 11M-chip pot. alfpoker64 rattled off four consecutive small wins to stay in the lead, but then came a decisive two-hand stretch that decided the tournament.

The first saw the action go bet-raise-call on third and fourth streets before going check-check on fifth, with these boards in play:

takarot 9♠ T♥ / 7♥ 2♣ 8♦
alfpoker64 A♣ 7♠ / 6♠ A♥ 8♠

takarot caught the J♠ on sixth street to make a well-disguised jack-high straight, and alfpoker64 was happy to cap the betting with a split pair of aces after catching the K♣ on sixth. The betting was capped again on the river when alfpoker64 caught the 7♣ to make aces up, but takarot's straight was good to drag the 19.8M-chip pot.

The final hand saw alfpoker64 start off with J♠ J♥ / A♠ against takarot's K♣ A♥ / 4♠. The Colombian player wasn't willing to give up on the jacks after takarot caught a split pair of aces on fifth street, and the last two big bets in alfpoker64's stack went in on seventh street:

takarot K♣ A♥ / 4♠ 3♣ A♣ 5♦ / 5♥
alfpoker64 J♠ J♥ / A♠ 4♥ 7♦ K♠ / 8♣

Aces and fives beat those buried jacks and the tournament came to an end.

The runner-up share of the deal was worth $1,994.98 to alfpoker64, marking an impressive first Stud cash here at PokerStars for the Colombian player. The extra $300 on the table went to takarot, whose total take for the tournament was $2,309.55, set new personal bests not only for Stud tournaments but for all events by more than $500. Congratulations to both players on their achievements, and to everyone who made the final table of the only Stud tournament of MicroMillions 8.

MicroMillions 8: Event #13, $3.30 Stud
5,991 entries
$17,973 prize pool
760 places paid

1st place: takarot (Greece) $2,309.55*
2nd place: alfpoker64 (Colombia) $1,994.98*
3rd place: ostaph1234 (Ukraine) $1,982.79*
4th place: sebmay (Belgium) $1,213.17
5th place: Igor.ss1986 (Russia) $853.71
6th place: simonstof85 (Denmark) $494.25
7th place: damean.dana (Romania) $224.66
8th place: Przemyt e30 (Poland) $125.81
* - denotes results of a three-way deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions