MicroMillions III: axel397 wins the MicroMillions III Main Event

This was it! The big one! After 99 incredible events, the MicroMillions III series today culminated with the $1 million guaranteed Main Event. The chance to win life-changing money. All you needed was $22 and a dream.

That dream was realised today by axel397. Hailing from Russia, axel397 started the final table as one of the short stacks, but an early double up saw axel397 become one of the most active players we've seen on a final table for some time. axel397 played hard ball in deal negotiations and was prepared to take risks in order to take the top prize. And that's exactly what axel397 did, winning a jaw-dropping $140,062.92 in prize money in becoming our MicroMillions III Main Event champion!

The MicroMillions III Main Event offered at least $150,000 for first place, but that number was broken when the event produced a staggering field of 61,072. The prize pool ballooned to $1,221,400 with the winner set to pocket a massive $165,789.31. Amazing numbers for a $22 buy-in.

Among the sea of humanity were a sprinkling of Team PokerStars Pros, with just a few of those spotted including Andre Akkari, Grzegorz Mikielewicz, Naoya Kihara, Richard Veenman, Toni Judet, Christophe de Meulder and Jan Heitmann.

The top 7,920 players would finish in the money with multison375 from the Ukraine the unlucky bubble in 7,921st place to miss the $48.85 min-cash.

Only at the MicroMillions could you bust out of a poker tournament with thousands of players left and still make the money. PokerStars Team Online members Dale Philip (5,736th - $48.85) and Kevin Thurman (5,148th - $61.07) were among the cash winners as the players slowly dropped away.

Finishing at least 1,755th would net players a three-figure payout, while reaching the final three tables was worth four figures as things started to get serious.

After eleven hours of play, nicespin lost a race with A♦T♠ against Keiruja's 9♠9♥ to be bundled out in 10th place as our final table line up was set:

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Final Table Line up
Seat 1: davaman (32,441,228 in chips)
Seat 2: Keiruja (130,480,693 in chips)
Seat 3: supersimu (52,087,307 in chips)
Seat 4: PSG96 (96,079,081 in chips)
Seat 5: axel397 (40,118,965 in chips)
Seat 6: Senter268 (67,627,504 in chips)
Seat 7: Royal-Pusher (45,683,764 in chips)
Seat 8: numeromis (95,073,956 in chips)
Seat 9: IvanLiberman (51,127,502 in chips)

The final table blinds started at 1.5M/3M/375k which we thought would provide players with a fair bit of game time, but the trend was set for the final table on just the second hand of play when PSG96 opened with a raise and axel397 three-bet shoved all in. PSG96 decided to call it off with K♦T♦ but was dominated by axel397's K♣Q♠ which held when a queen arrived on the flop.

axel397 was quickly the most active player on the table, but gave some chips back when running Q♥Q♠ smack into davaman's A♦A♠.

However the first player to go was PSG96, despite starting the final table second in chips. Nothing went right for PSG96 on this final table, and when PSG96 moved all in from under the gun with A♥T♥, the call was made by numeromis with Q♠Q♣. The board ran out 5♥J♣6♣K♣K♦ to see the pair hold and PSG96 eliminated in 9th place for $5,520.90 in prize money.

IvanLiberman was down to under five big blinds when a steal attempt with 6♦9♥ backfired. IvanLiberman moved all in from the cutoff but Keiruja called in the small blind with A♦9♦. The board fell A♠8♦4♠J♣Q♠ to pair the ace to eliminate IvanLiberman in 8th place for $8,293.57.

Senter268 was keen to talk deals, and while a few players were open to the idea, axel397 was clearly uninterested. It worked out well for Senter268 who was able to double through axel397 moments later when the two collided on a flop of K♥4♦Q♥. Senter268 had flopped a set with 4♥4♠ but had to fade some outs as axel397 gambled with J♠T♣ for an open-ended straight draw. The turn was the 3♣ and the river the 8♠ to see Senter268 land a key double.

The tournament of davaman came to an end as axel397 continued to gamble. After limping from early position, axel397 called a preflop shove holding K♣T♥ as davaman held A♣Q♣. This time the gamble paid off for axel397 as the board was spread K♠2♣5♦3♥6♥ to pair the king. davaman collected $13,802.27 for 7th place.

The rapid-fire play continued with the elimination of Royal-Pusher. With around six big blinds, Royal-Pusher moved all in with K♦9♣ but ran into the A♥K♥ of Keiruja who made the easy call. The board ran out 7♣T♦6♠7♥2♠ which was no help to Royal-Pusher. A great tournament came to an end in 6th place for Royal-Pusher for a collect of $22,083.63.

With five players left we then saw the biggest pot of the final table as big stacks numeromis and Keiruja collided in a massive coin flip:

RSS readers click through to see replay


"Big Slick" couldn't connect for Keiruja as the queens held for numeromis to take the chip lead and send Keiruja crashing to the rail in 5th place for a healthy $35,898.12.

By this stage, supersimu had blinded down to a little over the price of the big blind and decided to stick what was left into the middle with 6♦4♣. Both axel397 and numeromis made the call, but axel397 fired bets on the flop and turn into the side pot to fold out numeromis. The board read 5♣2♣T♣A♠ with supersimu holding quite a few outs with straight and flush draws against axel397's 8♠T♦ for a pair of tens. However the 8♦ improved axel397 to two pair to send supersimu to the rail in 4th place for an impressive $55,233.51.

With three players left, it took some convincing before axel397 would agree to take a look at the numbers. But when Senter268 landed a double up with J♥A♣ against axel397's J♠Q♥, the clock was paused and deal negotiations commenced.

The chip counts were as follows:

Seat 5: axel397 (146,426,941 in chips)
Seat 6: Senter268 (144,510,016 in chips)
Seat 8: numeromis (319,783,043 in chips)

At first, ICM numbers were presented and while Senter268 and numeromis were happy to accept those figures, axel397 demanded a minimum of $120,000 which over $9,000 more than presented. It seemed unlikely, but when numeromis was prepared to round down to $125,000, and Senter268 was happy with $105,000, axel397 somehow ended with even more than was required!

With the deal agreed to and the cards back in the air, the fireworks erupted, even though there was still a hefty $20,000, and the title, to play for.

Just a few hands after the deal was struck, the following hand unfolded which is best explained through animation:

RSS readers click through to see replay


axel397 had decided to three-bet the old nine-five, and then called it off with tournament life on the line. It guess it was suited after all! axel397 struck the flop and again on the turn for an epic double up.

numeromis was crippled from the previous blow, but things didn't get much better. numeromis found A♦K♦ to get the last four big blinds into the middle and was in good shape for a double up against Senter268's J♣A♠ but the 6♥2♣A♥2♦J♠ saw a devastating jack fall on the river to drown numeromis in 3rd place. A great tournament, and favourable deal, saw numeromis take home a cool $125,000.

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Heads-up chip counts

Seat 5: axel397 (435,853,882 in chips)
Seat 6: Senter268 (174,866,118 in chips)

The way axel397 was playing, we expected the heads-up contest to be both brief and spectacular and that's exactly what we got.

On just the second hand of heads-up play, axel397 three-bet with 3♦2♦ and then called when Senter268 shoved over the top. It might have been the first poker tournament in history to be won by the three-deuce, but Senter268's ace-high held.

Perhaps axel397 was steaming? Or just crazy? Whatever the reason, when axel397 open-jammed for nearly thirty big blinds next hand, it was understandable that Senter268 would make the call with A♠2♠. It figured to be good, but incredibly axel397 showed A♣A♥ and doubled up!

axel397 said, ":)"

A cheeky grin from axel397 turned into a celebration moment later when the final hand of the tournament went down:

RSS readers click through to see replay


Senter268 went with the pair, but axel397 had flopped trip tens, and when the turn and river bricked, we had crowned our champion! Senter268 landed a six-figure pay day with an incredible tournament ending in 2nd place for $105,000, while the unpredictable axel397 had outlasted over 60,000 people to turn $22 into $140,062.92 as the MicroMillions III Main Event champion. Congratulations!

MicroMillions III Main Event Results

Entrants: 61,072
Prize pool: $1,221,440
Places paid: 7,920

1st axel397 (Russia) - $140,062.92*
2nd Senter268 (Czech Republic) - $105,000*
3rd numeromis (Czech Republic) - $125,000*
4th supersimu (Switzerland) - $55,233.51
5th Keiruja (Portugal) - $35,898.12
6th Royal-Pusher (Germany) - $22,083.63
7th davaman (Portugal) - $13,802.27
8th IvanLiberman (Ukraine) - $8,293.57
9th PSG96 (United Kingdom) - $5,520.90

* denotes three-way deal

Thanks to everyone who took part in making the third edition of the MicroMillions such a tremendous success. For more details about the MicroMillions III, including the Player of the Series leader board, head to the MicroMillions home page.

We look forward to seeing you for MicroMillions IV!

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.