MicroMillions 8: xxxMenAcexxx battles to victory in Event #68, $3.30 PL 5-Card Omaha (6-max)

Omaha fans have had plenty get excited about during MicroMillions 8 with six tournaments in the first six days of play, covering most of the variations of the game that have become popular here at PokerStars. Today brought two more events with more hole cards than most people are used to, including one in a new favorite that hadn't yet been visited during this series: 5-Card Omaha.

Event #68, a $3.30 Pot-Limit 5-Card Omaha tournament played with 6-max tables, drew a relatively large field of 5,525 entries, good enough to more than triple the guarantee with a
$16,575 prize pool. The top 720 players would share in that cash, with a minimum $5.30 guaranteed and $,2531.20 set aside for first place.

After eight hours and 42 blind levels, only these six players remained in contention for the latest MicroMillions title:

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Seat 1: milioenator (1,161,897 in chips)
Seat 2: farro27 (1,680,405 in chips)
Seat 3: Qkiller_menQ (9,648,469 in chips)
Seat 4: chavezoatl (4,522,896 in chips)
Seat 5: xxxMenAcexxx (3,184,720 in chips)
Seat 6: 007sandel007 (7,426,613 in chips)

Seven hands, two knockouts

Two players were behind the eight-ball from the very start. Denmark's farro27 came to the final table with just over 10 big blinds on the 80K/160K level, and Israel's millioenator was working with just over seven. And that was before the blinds went up to 100K/200K on the third hand of the final table, whittling their effective stacks down even further. Both players would end up finding chances to get those chips in action in the early going.

farro27 got the first chance on Hand #4, picking up Q♣ Q♠ T♠ 9♠ 8♦ under the gun and opening for 700K. Mexico's chavezoatl re-raised pot to 2.4M and everyone else folded back to farro27, who call all-in for 980K more. chavezoatl showed A♣ A♦ 8♦ 4♦ 2♥, which made aces up on the 2♣ 3♥ 9♥ 6♠ J♠ board, beating farro27's queens up to send the Danish player home in 6th place ($248.62).

Just three hands later it was millioenator's turn to go all-in with a raise to 1.1M over the top of 007sandel007's under-the-gun raise to 400K. The rest of the table folded and Denmark's 007sandel007 called, showing A♣ A♦ 9♥ 4♦ 2♦. That was a slight underdog against millioenator's own A♥ A♠ Q♠ 5♦ 3♠ before taking a slight lead on the 7♥ 2♠ 7♦ flop. The 3♦ on the turn gave 007sandel007 the nut flush draw, and that draw came home with the 6♦ on the river, beating millioenator's aces and sevens to knock the Israeli player out in 5th place ($469.90).

The sticking point

With the two short-stacked players eliminated quickly, everyone left at the table had some room to work with:

Seat 3: Qkiller_menQ (9,508,469 in chips)
Seat 4: chavezoatl (5,203,301 in chips)
Seat 5: xxxMenAcexxx (4,224,720 in chips)
Seat 6: 007sandel007 (8,688,510 in chips)

Play was tentative for the next 14 hands, with no one pot rising above five big blinds in value. Then Austria's xxxMenAcexxx opened for 400K on the button on Hand #22, getting calls from 007sandel007 in the small blind and Ukraine's Qkiller_menQ in the big. All three players checked through on the 7♣ 2♦ 3♣ flop, and 007sandel007 checked the Q♠ turn as well. Qkiller_menQ bet 600K into the 1.2M-chip pot, which xxxMenAcexxx called and 007sandel007 declined. Qkiller_menQ bet 1.4M when the K♣ came on the river, sending xxxMenAcexxx into the time bank. Finally the Austrian player indicated he had hit trip kings and typed, "sucks, have to call" before calling and mucking when Qkiller_menQ showed A♦ A♣ A♥ 9♣ 6♥ for the rivered club flush.

That boosted Qkiller_menQ's stack to 13.2M and dropped xxxMenAcexxx to 1.5M. But the Austrian doubled back through Qkiller_menQ two hands later, hitting a full house with Q♠ Q♣ 9♣ 9♥ 3♣ on a Q♦ J♥ 7♥ J♠ 8♥ board to beat the Ukrainian's heart flush with A♣ A♦ 9♦ 5♥ 3♥. With just four big blinds less than where four-handed play had begun, that was plenty of slack.

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With the exception of a few well-timed larger wins by chavezoatl to move into a thin chip lead, most of the pots stayed small again for the next 27 hands, closing out the 125K/250K level. On the first hand of 150K/300K, 007sandel007 opened the betting with a raise to 600K under the gun, a bet which Qkiller_menQ called on the button. xxxMenAcexxx called as well in the big blind to see a J♥ Q♦ A♦ flop. xxxMenAcexxx checked, 007sandel007 bet 600K, and both opponents called to bring the A♣ on the turn. All three players checked this time, and xxxMenAcexxx was able to take down the 3.7M-chip pot by leading with an all-in bet of 1M.

By Hand #61 all four players' stacks had tended toward leveling off, leaving them all within five big blinds of one another. chavezoatl opened the action on that hand with a raise to 600K under the gun, 007sandel007 and Qkiller_menQ called in the small and big blinds to bring a T♥ 9♦ Q♠ flop. Everyone checked and the 3♥ came on the turn. 007sandel007 checked again but Qkiller_menQ bet 900K, which got chavezoatl to call and 007sandel007 to fold. Qkiller_menQ led for 2.1M into the 3.6M-chip pot after the 6♥ came on the river, but opted to fold rather than show down when chavezoatl raised all-in for 5.6M.

That gave chavezoatl the lead with 11.3M and knocked Qkiller_menQ back into last place with 4.3M, though the Ukrainian quickly moved back into second place by winning a small pot heads-up against 007sandel007. The Danish player recovered all those chips three hands later but then entered a nine-hand tailspin of called bets and folded rivers that dwindled that stack all the way down to 1.3M on the 200K/400K level. Then came two double-ups, first through Qkiller_menQ and then through xxxMenAcexxx, to get back to 4.7M.

Deadlock broken

Hand #81 was the turning point as 007sandel007 and Qkiller_menQ, holding the two shortest stacks, clashed one more time. 007sandel007 opened the action in the small blind for 1.2M and Qkiller_menQ called in the big blind to bring the 2♥ 9♠ J♦ flop. Both players checked there and 007sandel007 check-called a 1.2M-chip bet on the K♣ bringing the T♥ on the river. 007sandel007 moved all-in for 2.3M, and after a moment's thought Qkiller_menQ folded.

Hand #82 finally brought the end of the four-handed standoff. xxxMenAcexxx opened for 800K under the gun and Qkiller_menQ called to see the K♦ 8♦ 4♥ flop. Qkiller_menQ checked, xxxMenAcexxx bet 2M, and then Qkiller_menQ check-raised all-in for another 438K. The Ukrainian player showed Q♦ J♠ T♣ 7♣ 4♦ for a pair of fours, a diamond flush draw, and an assortment of backdoor straight draws, while xxxMenAcexxx had K♠ Q♠ T♦ 7♦ 6♦ for a pair of kings and three blockers to Qkiller_menQ's flush draw. The 6♥ on the turn didn't change much. The A♥ came on the river, the pair of kings held up, and Qkiller_menQ left the tournament in 4th place ($787.31).

The 200K/400K blinds and relatively short stacks for all the remaining players convinced them to pause to make a deal almost immediately after three-handed play began. It took less than six minutes to split up the prize pool based on ICM and get back to play, leaving $100 on the table for the winner. Unsurprisingly, having that deal on the books made the next elimination come along a lot sooner.

Hand #86 - the first one back from the break for dealmaking - saw chavezoatl open for 800K on the button and 007sandel007 call in the big blind. 007sandel007 checked the Q♦ T♠ Q♥ flop and induced a 990K bet from chavezoatl before check-raising the pot to 4.7M. That left 1.5M behind, which the Romanian player called off after chavezoatl three-bet all-in. chavezoatl had A♥ Q♠ 8♠ 6♠ 3♥ for trip queens, but 007sandel007 was ahead with J♣ T♣ T♦ 7♥ 4♥ for tens full of queens. chavezoatl fell a little further behind the flopped underfull when the K♠ came on the turn. But there were still 13 live cards going to the river, and the Q♣ to give chavezoatl four of a kind was one of them. The underfull fell, and 007sandel007 departed in 3rd place ($1,736.82).

One last turnaround

chavezoatl had an edge of about 10 big blinds as heads-up play began:

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Seat 4: chavezoatl (15,938,591 in chips)
Seat 5: xxxMenAcexxx (11,686,409 in chips)

xxxMenAcexxx won more pots over the first 14 hands, but chavezoatl won the largest of them, with the end result that the player from Mexico added another six big blinds to that lead. Then xxxMenAcexxx was dealt K♦ K♠ 6♠ 6♣ 4♣ on Hand #102 and within the span of five pre-flop bets had gone from raising on the button to calling all-in for 10.5M. chavezoatl's A♠ Q♦ J♦ 9♦ 6♥ was trailing until the 2♣ A♥ 7♠ flop brought a pair of aces, making xxxMenAcexxx a three-to-one underdog to stay alive. The 9♣ on the turn gave xxxMenAcexxx 10 outs - any club or any king - heading to the river, and the K♣ made a flush to give the Austrian player the 21.1M-chip pot.

On the next hand the blinds went up to 250K/500K and xxxMenAcexxx took down five of the next six pots, only two of which saw a flop, to leave chavezoatl holding just 3.7M chips. Those all went in the middle before the flop of Hand #109, backing K♥ K♣ 4♣ 3♣ 3♠ against xxxMenAcexxx's A♥ A♣ 6♣ 4♠ 3♦, but the 2♥ A♦ T♣ had chavezoatl hoping for a any five to make a wheel straight. The 4♦ turn didn't help, and as soon as the Q♦ hit the river, the final table had come to its end.

chavezoatl's runner-up share of the deal was $1,811.58, a new career best here at PokerStars by more than $1,000 for the frequent Omaha player. The extra $100 on the table made winner xxxMenAcexxx's total prize $2,049.17, a new career high by nearly $50 to top the previous best from a hold'em tourney back in 2011. Congratulations to both players for riding out the storms of 5-Card Omaha for these memorable results!

MicroMillions 8: Event #68, $3.30 PL 5-Card Omaha [6-max]
5,525 entries
$16,575 prize pool
720 places paid

1st place: xxxMenAcexxx (Austria) $2,049.17*
2nd place: chavezoatl (Mexico) $1,811.58*
3rd place: 007sandel007 (Romania) $1,736.82*
4th place: Qkiller_menQ (Ukraine) $787.31
5th place: millioenator (Israel) $469.90
6th place: farro27 (Denmark) $248.62
* - denotes results of a three-way deal

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions