MicroMillions II: Mpak.Vagelis climbs Everest to win Event #70 ($5.50 NLHE)
I always wonder what it must feel like to conquer a 10,000-player field in a poker tournament. When you decide to sit down, fire up PokerStars, browse the lobby and jump into a sea of virtual humanity, you know that you must survive a minefield of bad beats, bad players and bad luck over ten-plus hours of gruelling play in poker's equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. How do these guys take on such an enormous challenge?
It's the lure of the rare opportunity to turn a tiny $5.50 investment into a healthy $8,000+ pay day, and the only place that happens is in the PokerStars MicroMillions II.
Event #70 of the MicroMillions II schedule was the $5.50 No Limit Holdem tournament that guaranteed a $50,000 prize pool. That number was exceeded as the field of 11,489 formed a $57,445 prize pool.
Team PokerStars Pro Andre "acoimbra" Coimbra was again among the entrants but fell pretty early on, while Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman got closer to the money but fell short in 1,633rd place.
The top 1,440 players would be in the money with Canadian Saviola07 the unfortunate bubble of the $9.19 min-cash.
When Ms.MaLLIa's Q♥K♥ flopped a pair of queens to better the short-stacked MotaRoms' A♥2♥, the final table lineup was set:
Final Table Lineup
Seat 1: Mpak.Vagelis (14,306,112 in chips)
Seat 2: Misslalady (2,708,377 in chips)
Seat 3: Cyatusha (2,357,439 in chips)
Seat 4: mouky788 (5,733,499 in chips)
Seat 5: Morginho13 (4,260,055 in chips)
Seat 6: Ms.MaLLIa (5,822,582 in chips)
Seat 7: stoniefish68 (5,101,905 in chips)
Seat 8: mio201004 (9,034,536 in chips)
Seat 9: nikc658 (8,120,495 in chips)
The final table blinds started 150k/300k with a 37,500-chip ante with Mpak.Vagelis holding a handy chip lead. That lead was soon extended with the elimination of Morginho13 as the first player to go from the final table.
Morginho13 moved all in preflop with 9♥9♣ and the race was on against Mpak.Vagelis' A♠K♠. Morginho13 was looking to avoid an ace or a king, but the 7♠3♠6♠ flop was even worse as Mpak.Vagelis flopped the nut flush to leave Morginho13 in a world of hurt. The J♦ turn and T♦ river completed the board to see Morginho13 collect $390.62 for 9th place.
Mpak.Vagelis was well out in front but Ms.MaLLIa was quick to even things up with two double ups. The first was with A♠5♥ on a 8♥A♦J♦T♦9♠ board against Mpak.Vagelis' K♣J♣, before the second was a bit of a cooler that was enough to give Ms.MaLLIa the chip lead:
Ms.MaLLIa's monster changed things at the top of the counts, as Mpak.Vagelis was back in the pack. But it was nikc658 who was next to depart. nikc658 opened with a 3x raise before Cyatusha moved all in. nikc658 called it off with T♦T♥ as Cyatusha showed A♠Q♠ for overcards. The flop was a bare K♠K♥4♣ but the A♦ turn card paired Cyatusha to take the lead. nikc658 would need to spike a ten to stay alive but the 5♠ peeled off to leave nikc658 to collect $574.45 for 8th place.
The very next hand we saw another elimination as Cyatusha went on a mini-rush. mio201004 moved all in from under the gun with A♦9♥ but Cyatusha woke up with K♠K♣ and made the easy call. It was pretty much over on the flop as the board was spread K♥5♠6♣9♦8♠. mio201004 finished the tournament in 7th place and received $1,148.90.
Meanwhile Misslalady had blinded down to less than a big blind and when the blinds rolled around again, Misslalady was forceably all in. mouky788 was also committed with 5♣5♥ as Misslalady could only find 2♥T♥ in the big blind. The board fell 3♥A♦8♠3♠J♣ to see Misslalady fall in 6th place for $1,723.35 in prize money.
Cyatusha was now challenging Ms.MaLLIa for the chip lead, but that all changed again in a massive three-way pot that saw Mpak.Vagelis double up as stoniefish68 was eliminated:
Top pair, no kicker was enough for Mpak.Vagelis to crack Cyatusha's pocket kings, as stoniefish68 couldn't improve enough to stay alive. stoniefish68 added $2,297.80 to the bankroll for 5th place.
Mpak.Vagelis was back in front and played the rush to win the next three pots, including the elimination of mouky788.
mouky788 three-bet shoved A♦5♥ but Mpak.Vagelis was quick to call with a dominant A♣Q♥. The board of A♠7♠4♠9♥7♦ gave both players two pair, but Mpak.Vagelis' kicker played to eliminate mouky788 in 4th place for a nice score of $2,872.25.
Three-handed play was pretty tense as it appeared that Cyatusha and Ms.MaLLIa were trying to pick their spots to strike against the unpredictable Mpak.Vagelis.
Cyatusha landed a couple of double ups, both times getting it in very good with dominating hands. The first saw Cyatusha's A♣8♦ hold against Mpak.Vagelis' 8♣7♣ before Cyatusha shoved K♥Q♦ from the button as Mpak.Vagelis snap-called in the big blind with J♣K♦. Both players made two pair on the board of 5♠Q♥K♠2♦J♦ but again Cyatusha landed the double.
Ms.MaLLIa got in on the fun, shoving K♥3♥ from the small blind and turning a flush to get past Mpak.Vagelis' A♠J♥ in the big blind as things got pretty even once again between the three players.
However the deadlock was broken when Ms.MaLLIa and Cyatusha ended up clashing with each other:
Ms.MaLLIa grabbed the lead on the flop, but Cyatusha caught a straight on the turn to end the great run of Ms.MaLLIa in 3rd place for $4,136.04.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 1: Mpak.Vagelis (27,059,964 in chips)
Seat 3: Cyatusha (30,385,036 in chips)
Cyatusha held the lead but Mpak.Vagelis quickly snatched it back, winning a nice pot on the first hand of heads-up play.
Mpak.Vagelis got caught bluffing with the old 3♠2♠ nut-low but was winning more pots than Cyatusha with an unpredictable style that was tough to combat.
The final hand came when the two players took a flop of 8♥8♦9♠. Mpak.Vagelis fired a bet and was check-raised by Cyatusha. Mpak.Vagelis called before Cyatusha moved all in on the 3♦ turn. Cyatusha held 9♣6♣ for top pair but Mpak.Vagelis made the quick call after flopping trips with T♠8♣. The river was the A♦ to leave Cyatusha to pick up $5,859.39 for 2nd place as Mpak.Vagelis won the MicroMillions II title and $8,048.75 in prize money.
MicroMillions II Event #70 final table results
1st Mpak.Vagelis (Greece) - $8,048.75
2nd Cyatusha (Ukraine) - $5,859.39
3rd Ms.MaLLIa (Russia) - $4,136.04
4th mouky788 (Lebanon) - $2,872.25
5th stoniefish68 (Czech Republic) - $2,297.80
6th Misslalady (Netherlands) - $1,723.35
7th mio201004 (Serbia) - $1,148.90
8th nikc658 (Ukraine) - $574.45
9th Morginho13 (Norway) - $390.62
With 100 events on the schedule there are plenty more chances to turn a few measly coins into wads of cold, hard cash in the MicroMillions II series. For a complete rundown of the schedule, as well as results, statistics and more, head over to the MicroMillions II Main Page.