MicroMillions III: Blind&Crazy proves to be neither in Event 92 ($1+R Sunday Spark Special Edition)
Just like the MicroMillions has proven to be a huge hit among PokerStars players since its inception, the Sunday Spark has proven to be a popular tournament since it was added to the weekly schedule this summer. With a $1 entry and 90 minutes of unlimited rebuys for another dollar each, what would there be not to like?
It only made sense to combine the two on the final weekend of MicroMillions III. So was born Event 92, a special edition of the Sunday Spark with a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool - double the usual and sure to attract a crowd. By the time late registration closed 90 minutes into the tournament, the numbers were impressive: 11,760 entrants, 56,124 rebuys, and 6,181 add-ons for a total prize pool of more than $67,000.
Over the last few months the winners of the Sunday Spark have been taking home, on average, somewhere close to $6,500. As it turned out, today's special edition would see three players would take home that much money and more. Tops among them was a player from Lithuania going by the screen name of Blind&Crazy, who played anything but blind and crazy and came out with $7614.15 to show for it.
No time for love, Dr. Jones
After five hours and 41 minutes of play, the final table began with the blinds and antes at 1.8M/3.6M/360K and these nine players:
Seat 1: Fischkopf70 (19,688,280 in chips)
Seat 2: ständi (27,620,366 in chips)
Seat 3: Fragnatik_33 (19,489,264 in chips)
Seat 4: Blind&Crazy (92,045,467 in chips)
Seat 5: IVANDRAGOOO (32,219,739 in chips)
Seat 6: Budulai39 (42,586,280 in chips)
Seat 7: Pokerofwind (28,635,191 in chips)
Seat 8: Alsty_D (104,545,949 in chips)
Seat 9: cheesseeki (22,251,464 in chips)
The short stacks only had 5.5 big blinds to work with but even the leader, the Czech Republic's Alsty_D, held just 29 big blinds. Those numbers would only shrink with the blinds and antes going up every five minutes, so the stage was set for plenty of action.
Within minutes the players had delivered. Alsty_D got to work on stealing blinds from the very first pot, though the second time around resulted in a double-up for short-stacked Fischkopf70 of Switzerland, whose K♣ Q♣ held up against the former's Q♦ 6♠. Only four hands later Blind&Crazy had the chance to take out two players in the same hand - Russia's Fragnatik_33 and Germany's ständi - while holding 9♥ 9♣. Fragnatik_33's Q♣ Q♦ won the main pot after the board came 6♠ 3♣ 5♦ 6♣ 3♠, but the nines held up against K♥ J♠ to send ständi out in 9th place ($424.61).
Les bons temps rouler pour Budulai
Fragnatik_33's reprieve was only good for a short while. Nine hands after chipping up with those queens, the Russian player would move all-in from middle position before the flop for 36.93M. Only one player made the call: fellow Russian Budulai39, whose A♠ K♣ was just a shade behind Fragnatik_33's T♣ T♦. The flop changed that, though, falling Q♠ A♦ 9♠ to give Budulai39 the lead. The 5♣ turn and K♠ were no help to Fragnatik_33, who was left with just 1.22M chips. After calling all-in on the next hand with Q♦ 2♠ and coming up short, Fragnatik_33 exited the tournament in 8th place ($673.99).
On the very next hand, another Russian player would take leave of the tournament. Holding just 11.4M chips with the blinds about to advance to 2.5M/5M, IVANDRAGOOO chose to move all-in from middle position before the flop holding Q♣ 9♦. Budulai39 was the only caller and held the dominating Q♠ J♣. The 3♥ J♦ 5♥ flop was all bad news for IVANDRAGOOO, who now needed running nines or running cards for a straight in order to stay alive. None of those materialized, though, as the turn and river came 4♠ K♠ to knock out IVANDRAGOOO in 7th place ($1,347.98).
Budulai39's roll continued three hands later with a little help from the river and resulted in another player heading to the rail:
South Korea's Pokerofwind couldn't dodge two outs on the river and instead had to settle for a payout in 6th place ($2,021.97).
Alsty_D's wild ride
Budulai39 now held the chip lead, though it was a small one with 2.5M/5M blinds and 500K antes:
Seat 1: Fischkopf70 (66,316,560 in chips)
Seat 4: Blind&Crazy (80,887,305 in chips)
Seat 6: Budulai39 (124,939,002 in chips)
Seat 8: Alsty_D (104,107,669 in chips)
Seat 9: cheesseeki (12,831,464 in chips)
It would turn out to be a short-lived lead, as Alsty_D won four of the next five pots - including a 40M-chip one via an all-in three-bet over Budulai39's opening raise - to reclaim the advantage. Both players would each take a shot at knocking out short-stacked Australian player cheesseeki during the next orbit, but the Aussie managed to survive and stack up to more than 25M.
Then cheesseeki picked up 3♥ 3♦ and moved all-in under the gun; the action folded to the big blind, where Alsty_D woke up with J♠ J♥ and made the call. The only hope extended by the A♠ 8♦ 7♦ was the possibility of running diamonds for a flush, but the 8♥ on the turn meant that only of the other two treys in the deck would do. Instead the A♥ fell on the river, the 53.17M-chip pot went to Alsty_D, and cheesseeki was out in 5th place ($2,695.96).
Four-handed play saw a lot of action, much of it driven by Alsty_D. The Czech had chipped up to 186M before doubling up Blind&Crazy in this hand:
The Czech player was undeterred by that loss. After a few blind steals and one 44.4M-chip pot taken away from Budulai39 before the flop with an all-in three-bet, Alsty_D was back up over 154M and ready to apply pressure to extend the lead further. Budulai39 took advantage of that to move ahead after the two players had checked into the blinds to see a J♦ 6♠ 7♦ flop; after leading out for 6M into the 14.4M pot and getting raised to an even 30M, Budulai39 won the pot with a three-bet to 54M.
The very next hand saw Alsty_D drop to the bottom of the standings. After the action had folded to the small blind, the Czech moved all-in with A♥ 5♦ and was called in the big blind by Fischkopf70 with A♣ T♥. The board threatened to give Alsty_D the upset win after a 6♦ 7♣ 4♦ flop and T♦ turn, but the A♠ on the river shipped the 133.5M-chip pot to Fischkopf70 and left Alsty_D with only 52M chips.
One hand later, the roller coaster ride continued. Budulai39 limped for 6M under the gun and then called with A♣ 5♣ after Alsty_D moved all-in. The Czech turned up with a dominating hand this time, showing A♠ K♦, and the 7♦ T♣ 6♥ 3♦ 6♠ board was good enough to ship the 114.3M-chip pot Alsty_D's way.
Within six hands Alsty_D had once again chipped up to 162M and moved out in front of the pack. Budulai39 had no such luck, going broke in this hand against Blind&Crazy:
Blind&Crazy's pair held up for the 120M-chip pot, sending Budulai39 out in 4th place ($3,369.95).
A deal, then a battle
With Budulai39's departure there remained just three players, stacked like so:
Seat 1: Fischkopf70 (103,583,120 in chips)
Seat 4: Blind&Crazy (133,302,488 in chips)
Seat 8: Alsty_D (152,196,392 in chips)
Having just witnessed the full fury of variance during four-handed play, they quickly agreed to discuss a deal and after a few minutes came to a satisfactory one: they would split the remaining prize pool evenly and leaving $1,000 on the table for the winner. That guaranteed $6,614.15 to each of them and within moments the game was moving again.
Within a few minutes the blinds were up to 3.5M/7M with 700K antes. After a few orbits of touch-and-go poker, Blind&Crazy got two breaks and leapt ahead of the other two players. The Lithuanian player opened the action on the first hand with a raise to 14M in the small blind, and Alsty_D called to see a flop of 2♣ 4♣ 6♦. Blind&Crazy led out again, this time for 21M into a pot of 30.1M. Alsty_D responded with a raise to 63M but wasn't willing to come along after Blind&Crazy moved all-in. The 156.1M chips in the middle went to Blind&Crazy.
Two hands later the Lithuanian was at it again, this time in a blind-versus-blind hand. After Fischkopf70 limped for 7M from the small blind, Blind&Crazy raised to 28M. Fischkopf70 called and both players proceeded to check on the K♥ T♥ 3♥ flop and the Q♦ turn. Fischkopf70 checked again on the A♠ river before calling Blind&Crazy's 21M-chip bet, then mucked when Blind&Crazy turned over A♥ 6♥ for the flopped nut flush. With that 100.1M-chip pot in hand, Blind&Crazy was now head and shoudlers above the competition with 264.9M chips to Fischkopf70's 67.28M and Alsty_D's 56.89M.
The two shorter stacks would clash twice in the next five hands, with Alsty_D winning both confrontations. The first was good for 99.09M chips after moving all-in with K♥ 5♥ from the small blind and outrunning Fischkopf70's Q♦ 6♠. Then Alsty_D struck the final blow after opening all-in on the button with K♠ Q♠ and getting called by Fischkopf70 with K♣ 9♣. The flop came T♥ J♣ A♥, and Alsty_D's Broadway straight held up through the T♠ turn and 2♣ river to eliminate Fischkopf70 in 3rd place ($6,614.15).
Two blinds and crazy
As heads-up play began on the 3.5M/7M/700K level, Blind&Crazy held a lead over Alsty_D, 252.3M chips to 136.7M. It was far from insurmountable, and as if to prove that Alsty_D doubled up on the second hand with A♦ 8♦ against Blind&Crazy's K♣ 8♣. The tables now turned, Blind&Crazy dug in for the long haul. The Lithuanian player slowly slid further behind as 15 of the next 16 hands (and 23 of the next 24) ended before a flop. But on the 25th, a preflop shove with 7♣ 7♠ would move Blind&Crazy back into the lead after Alsty_D called with A♠ 4♦ and failed to score a knockout on the K♦ 4♥ 8♣ 6♠ Q♣ board.
Easily the most active player throughout the latter stages of the tournament, Alsty_D's game plan didn't waver. The Czech continued to scrap over the next 10 hands and actually managed to seize the lead before this crucial hand turned the tide for Blind&Crazy:
Now down by almost 12 to 1, Alsty_D began scrambling for another comeback and within three hands managed to chip up to 92.18M. But five of the next six pots went to Blind&Crazy, including the most important one. On the final hand, with blinds and antes now up to 4.5M/9M/900K, Blind&Crazy opened with an all-in bet on the button. Alsty_D called for 70.58M and showed K♥ 4♦, which was dominated by Blind&Crazy's K♣ Q♠. A board of 3♣ Q♣ 5♣ J♠ 6♠ brought an end to Alsty_D's day, and Blind&Crazy became the latest MicroMillions III champion.
Thanks to that three-way deal, Alsty_D walked away with $6,614.16. As for Blind&Crazy, the extra thousand on the table made for a total payday of $7,614.16 (plus the priceless glory of being a MicroMillions champion).
MicroMillions III Event #92: $1+R NL Hold'em (3x-Turbo, Sunday Spark Special Edition)
$50,000 guaranteed prize pool
11,769 entrants, 56,124 rebuys, 6,181 add-ons
1,530 places paid
$67,399.15 total prize pool
1st place: Blind&Crazy (Lithuania) $7,614.15*
2nd place: Alsty_D (Czech Republic) $6,614.16*
3rd place: Fischkopf70 (Switzerland) $6,614.15*
4th place: Budulai39 (Russia) $3,369.95
5th place: cheesseeki (Australia) $2,695.96
6th place: Pokerofwind (South Korea) $2,021.97
7th place: IVANDRAGOOO (Russia) $1,347.98
8th place: Fragnatik_33 (Russia) $673.99
9th place: ständi (Germany) $424.61
* - Denotes result of a three-way deal
Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.