MicroMillions III: It's Russia again as Eugene031RUS dominates Event 54 ($5.50 NLHE)

Can anyone stop the Russians' romp through the 2012 MicroMillions III? Through the first six days of events, Russians have amassed two as many cashes and almost twice as much prize money as 2nd-place Germany. That trend continued in 2012 MicroMillions III Event 54, $5.50 NLHE. Four Russian made the final table and one of them, the chip leader Eugene031RUS, earned the victory.

Today is Wednesday, so it isn't too surprising that the total field for Event 54 was smaller than some of the other $5.50 NLHE tournaments that have taken place during the MicroMillions III. Still, the 5,407 players easily surpassed the $20,000 guarantee by creating a prize pool of more than $27,000 that would be split by 720 players. And hey, the champion's payout was still something to shoot for: $4,232.

Nine players were still shooting for it around 9:30am server time.

MM3 Event 54 final table.jpg

Seat 1: mesilovo (4487541 in chips)
Seat 2: Eugene031RUS (5095587 in chips)
Seat 3: just_bl4ze (1661497 in chips)
Seat 4: Indiemay (2776422 in chips)
Seat 5: berkers228 (4581030 in chips)
Seat 6: Sect7G (1402031 in chips)
Seat 7: skynet233 (1192682 in chips)
Seat 8: sostenes_glz (4103955 in chips)
Seat 9: scuppens (1734255 in chips)

Level 41: 40k-80k blinds, 10k ante
Average: 3.0 million (38 BBs)

Russian here and Russian there

As has been the case often throughout the MicroMillions III, two Russians sat atop the leaderboard at the final table. Eugene031RUS had the outright chip lead, while mesilovo sat in second place. At the back of the pack were skynet233 and Sect7G (a Canadian). Sect7G, it would turn out, would be the first eliminated.

That elimination hand featured a three-way all-in among berkers228, Sect7G and scuppens. Sect7G had by far the worst of it with pocket 9s and would need a nuclear-powered comeback against berkers228's two kings and scuppens' two aces. Nobody improved, but because scuppens was also relatively short berkers228 remained in the tournament with a healthy stack of about 4 million. Sect 7G melted down and was eliminated.

Judgment day came quickly afterwards for 8th-place finisher skynet233. A short-stacked shove with A♠6♣ under the gun didn't work out. The next player to act, sostenes_glz, re-shoved with A♥K♥ and had the hand sewn up by the turn of a T♣K♦8♦K♣6♦ board.

From there the final table players played a massive game of Chicken. berkers228 seemed to get the best of it and took over the chip lead with about 7 million in chips. Eugene031RUS and scuppens were tied for 2nd at 5.5 million each, while the rest of the table hovered around 16 big blinds (2.0 million).

After the 10am break, mesilovo, the Russian who started the final table in 2nd place, wasted no time dusting things up with scuppens. Three pre-flop raises got all the chips in on a flip: scuppens showed pocket jacks against mesilovo's A♦Q♣. A board of 3♠2♣K♦K♥2♥ gave scuppens the pot and the elimination of mesilovo in 7th place.

The next hand, sostenes_glz followed mesilovo to the trail. The hand was a little simpler; just_bl4ze opened from first position to 240k, then snap-called sostenes_glz's 954k shove. just_bl4ze showed down A♦T♦, a dominating ace over sostenes_glz's A♥3♥. Two hearts hit the board by the turn, but the river was a blank to end sostenes_glz's run in 6th place.

And how about quads?

RSS readers: click through to see replay

Russian to a deal

By then Eugene031RUS had regained the chip lead. With the other four players all on virtually identical stacks, the whole table agreed to pause in order to consider a deal.

Chip-chop numbers were produced. The four shorter stacks instantly agreed. The leader, Eugene031RUS, who would be scheduled for $3,352, said, "I need 3500."

"U getting more than every1", replied just_bl4ze.

"Accept or keep playing," agreed berkers228. Eugene031RUS took only a few moments to re-consider. The deal was struck.

Only the $400 set-aside for the champion and the Player of the Series points were left to be determined. scuppens and Indiemay almost instantly got their chips in pre-flop on a flip. scuppens made presto (pocket 5s) stand up against Indiemay's A♣T♠. Indiemay finished in 5th place and scuppens took a big leg up in the race for the champion's set aside.

A mis-timed shove by just_bl4ze ended in just_bl4ze's elimination as the 4th-place finisher. In the small blind, just_bl4ze opened to 2.94 million, leaving just 500k behind. berkers228 shoved with K♦T♦. just_bl4ze was forced to call with T♣4♣ and never improved.

A few hands later scuppens, whose path to heads-up play had seemed so promising only moments before, was eliminated in 3rd place by Eugene031RUS. One raise, two raises, three raises and a call saw the two players all in before the flop. scuppens was gambling with pocket 4s; Eugene031RUS showed A♠Q♦. A queen flopped and that was all she wrote for scuppens (although it was berkers228 who gobbled up scuppens' last 300k chips one hand later).

Eugene031RUS started heads-up play with a nearly 2-to-1 chip lead over berkers228. The two played nine hands without any action. On the 10th heads-up hand, Eugene031RUS raised the 160k big blind from the button to 400k. berkers228 three-bet to 800k and Eugene031RUS called. On a king-high flop, 8♦6♣K♠, berkers228 continued for 320k, then called Eugene031RUS's raise to 960k. berkers228 again lead the Q♥ turn, this time for 640k. Eugene031RUS raised to 2 million, berkers228 three-bet all in to 7.3 million, and Eugene031RUS quickly called. It was a battle of two-pair hands: berkers228's Q♣6♦, queens and sixes, was drawing to four outs against Eugene031RUS's K♦8♣, kings and eights. The river 9♣ knocked out berkers228 in 2nd place and give Eugene031RUS the Event 56 victory.

When four Russians made the final table of Event 54, and two of them stood atop the counts, yet another Russian MicroMillions III victory seemed assured. Eugene031RUS didn't disappoint, delivering a dominating final-table performance and earning a payout worth 700 times the Event 54 buy-in.

2012 MicroMillions III Event 54 $5.50 NLHE results (* denotes five-way deal):

1st: Eugene031RUS ($3,752.80)*
2nd: berkers228 ($2,137.66)*
3rd: scuppens ($2,199.67)*
4th: just_bl4ze ($2,154.44)*
5th: Indiemay ($2,043.83)*
6th: sostenes_glz ($878.63)
7th: mesilovo ($608.28)
8th: skynet233 ($337.93)
9th: Sect7G ($216.28)

We've passed the halfway point of the 2012 MicroMillions III. It's not too late to join the fun. Get all the MicroMillions III information you could ever want - schedules, results, point standings and more - at the MicroMillions home page.

Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Dave Behr
@PokerStars in MicroMillions III