MicroMillion 5: holtender1 the Super Slugger in #46 ($11 NLHE, 6-max, SuperKnockout)

The midpoint of MicroMillions 5 featured some fun formats for action junkies, including the well-patronized 'superknockout' event. Half of every player's entry money would go into the prizepool as it would for any other tournament, while the other half would loom over them as a bounty. As if that didn't incentivize early bloodshed enough, players would do it all six-handed, with only one, holtender1, keeping their own bounty for themselves.

The tournament sported a $25,000 guarantee and surpassed it easily, with 38,487.75 in each the main prizepool and the knockout prizepool. Over the next nine hours, 7331 combatants would play down to 960 finalists, and eventually one champion. Special recognition should be given to mustafa_XX of the Ukraine who only finished 258th but somehow managed to eliminate 19 opponents in the fog of war, while Alex8609 of Russia also only made the final 100, finishing 62nd, KO'd an astonishing 24 opponents with their two bare hole cards.

The final table bubble burst with Roman4150 three-bet shoving A♣ J♥ on the button against holtend1's under the gun open with 8♠ 8♥. The 4,621,798 chips in the middle were not in much doubt after the 8♣ fell on the flop, and with that knockout the final two tables combined for one last brawl.

Final Table chip counts

Seat 1: Mr.Moe1987 (7,941,418 in chips)
Seat 2: Yurak2008 (11,871,736 in chips)
Seat 3: roayalkarta (3,765,292 in chips)
Seat 4: kurs23 (1,503,209 in chips)
Seat 5: ReaDaeR (4,219,688 in chips)
Seat 6: holtender1 (7,353,657 in chips)


Before any of the six remaining knockout artists hit the felt much ado about deal-making took place. Ultimately not everyone shared the same level of enthusiasm, and despite calls for a Moldovan translator for roayalkarta, the all European final could not broker a Versailles type accord. As expected, war ensued.

The first elimination of the final table began with a button min-raise from kurs23, good for more than 10% of their remaining chips. holtender1 had three times the chips and defended in the big blind, the flop coming Q♥ J♠ 8♣. Both players checked and with three-times the pot size behind it was looking like a small pot would result. On the A♦ turn however, holtender1 decided to check-raise kurs23's two big-blind bet of 320,000 to 1,280,000, about half of the remaining effective stacks. Kurs23 decided A♥ 7♥ was too strong to get away from but they were in rough shape versus the J♦ 8♦ of holtender1. The river did not come an ace, seven, or queen, and kurs23, who had twelve bounties, was out in sixth.

Talk of a deal had died down when ReaDaer opened in the cutoff, only to be put to an all-in test by the covering Yurak2008's big blind. When they called the news was bad, ReaDaer's 7♥ 7♠ was dominated by 9♠ 9♦. The flop J♠ 8♦ 6♦ brought the slimmest backdoor straight hopes for the Hungarian, the 3♣ turn shutting the door on those. The 7♣ river however, brought both a double for ReaDaer and questions of "Now?? Deal????" for it had been Yurak2008 who had not acquiesced up to this point.

A few orbits later in blind versus blind Mr.Moe1987 raised to 600,000 at the 100,000/200,000 level only to have Yurak2008 move in for a shade over 4,000,000. Making the call with A♦ 7♦ Mr.Moe was on the good side of a flip with K♠ Q♣. The board ran out ten high and Yurak2008 was done in fifth, their personal tally of twenty-eight eliminations, practically five tables worth, good for high mark in the tournament.

Mr.Moe1987 and holtender1 were large stacks staying out of one another's way. Instead they pressured roayalkarta and ReaDaer's restealing stacks as it seemed like the two wanted to outlast the other for third place money. This dynamic all came to a head when roayalkarta opened to 1,000,000 (four big blinds) first to act and called off their last 3,769,042 facing a shove from Mr.Moe1987. The hands?

Mr.Moe A♦ 7♦
Roayalkarta A♥ J♠

That's right, Mr.Moe1987 had found the exact hand that had knocked out the previous elimination, not a good omen for the Moldovan roayalkarta's chances, even though they were in a dominant position.

Sure enough the seven from heaven was in the window, the flop 7♥ 2♦ T♠. The 9♦ turn added three outs for the ace-jack but took away one in return. The A♣ was not the pair roayalkarta was looking for and they exited in fourth.

With the Moldovan language barrier out of the way the remaining players finally managed to make a deal. Mr.Moe1987 and holtender1 would receive equal 4,500 shares with the former spotting $245 for the latter from the initially proposed numbers and ReaDaer contributing an important $7.50 to holtdener1's sum (which looked for a moment like it would be the lynch pin to hold up the proceedings). With everyone guaranteed big money there was still the question of the $500.00 left to play for.

holtender1 had been chipping up steadily since three-handed play began, their tabby cat avatar striking fear into their opponents surely. Having opened the button for 500,000 the chip leader faced a shove from the seven big blind stack of ReaDaer. With plenty of chips they called with T♠ K♥ and were dominated by their plucky opponent's A♣ T♥. Virtues are not always rewarded and getting there is a skill unto itself as the K♣ K♠ 4♣ flop showed. ReaDaer was drawing dead on the 4♠ turn and they finished in third place.

On the first hand of heads-up holtender1 induced a flop bluff from Mr.Moe1987's air and managed to call down a turn and river bet with third pair for a huge fourteen million chip pot. This was the decisive confrontation that sustained holtender1's now unstoppable momentum.

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From there they chipped up slowly, steadily, seemingly inexorably. Then, still at 125,000/250,000/31,250 Mr.Moe1987 min-raised the button and faced a three-bet to 1,250,000. With Q♠ 8♠ they elected to move all-in for 7,349,921 and holtender1 snap-called with K♠ J♠. Suite dominated but rank-live, the underdog turned the tables on the Q♣ 2♣ 9♥ flop. The 7♠ turn changed nothing, but the K♣ river gave holtender1 the best hand and a chance to type "gg" into the chatbox. Mr.Moe1987 had made a play consistent with the preflop aggression they had displayed throughout the final table and came up one card short in second.

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Congratulations to MicroMillioins 5 Event 046 champion holtender1 who knocked out three of their five final table opponents (not to mention seventh place) on their way to a cool $5,000.00 first place prize!

PokerStars MicroMillions 5 Event #48 ($11 NLHE, Six-Max, SuperKnockout) results (*reflects three-way deal)

Entrants 7,331
Total prize pool: $38,487.75
Total bounty pool: $38,487.75
Places paid: 960

1. holtender1 (United Kingdom) $5,000.00
2. Mr.Moe1987 (Germany) $4,500.00
3. ReaDaer (Hungary) $3,204.76
4. Roayalkarta (Moldova) $1,731.94
5. Yurak2008 (Romania) $962.19
6. kurs23 (Latvia) $577.31

We are only halfway through all the MicroMillions 5 action, there is still plenty of time to jump in to one of the huge prizepools in the format of your desire.

Gareth Chantler is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Gareth Chantler
@PokerStars in MicroMillions 5