MicroMillions III: jimmyrestant wins for Romania in Event 64 ($3.30 NLHE)

It's been quite a week of poker here in the PokerStars MicroMillions III. We've seen 63 players from 27 countries add their names to the champion's roll, and their resumes have truly run the gamut. Even those champions who had been mostly anonymous before their wins can now fairly say they're in the company of a Team PokerStars Pro after Marcin "Goral" Horecki won yesterday's shorthanded Omaha event.

Today's Event 64, a $3.30 full-ring no-limit hold'em tournament, would see another country added to this year's list of winners for the first time. Hailing from Romania, jimmyrestant outlasted 9,030 other players to make it to four-handed play. Then, after making a deal, the Romanian eliminated two of the other three players en route to taking home a $2,800 prize.

Hurry up and wait

Eight hours and 20 minutes after the tournament began, the field had been narrowed to these eight players:

Seat 1: milenastutz (7,974,522 in chips)
Seat 2: GOLTH skouba (9,184,167 in chips)
Seat 3: mudcod2 (2,360,972 in chips)
Seat 4: Donkeyserbia (7,387,479 in chips)
Seat 5: jimmyrestant (7,357,494 in chips)
Seat 6: pitster2008 (2,042,863 in chips)
Seat 7: shuriken95 (2,570,347 in chips)
Seat 8: Malushka5000 (1,374,356 in chips)
Seat 9: heksee (4,917,800 in chips)

MM III Event 64 final table.jpg

It's not uncommon for a bustout or two to come within just a few hands of the final table starting, but that wasn't the case in this event. The blinds were still at 80K/160K with 20K antes, and nobody seemed inclined to force the issue enough to cause a confrontation. The first seven pots (and 20 of the first 23) went to the first preflop raiser, and it wasn't until Hand #24 that the first flop was seen.

Finally, on the 25th hand, with blinds and antes up to 100K/200K/25K, Malushka5000 couldn't wait any longer. Down to just 474K, the Ukrainian player moved all-in from middle position with Q♠ J♣. The action folded around to Donkeyserbia, who called in the big blind with K♣ 6♠. The 3♦ 9♥ 2♦ 7♣ T♠ board helped neither player, Donkeyserbia won the pot with king-high, and Malushka5000 finished in 9th place ($210.04).

Let the games begin

With the first player gone, the action kicked into gear. The very next hand after Malushka5000's departure saw Australia's mudcod2 move all-in for 2.42M on the button holding A♦ 5♣ and double through jimmyrestant, who thought for a while before calling with Q♠ J♠. The Aussie then grabbed the next pot, worth 6.3M, with an all-in move on the turn that forced Brazil's milenastutz to fold, and tow hands later showed down two pair on the river to win another pot worth 4.1M. Over the course of four hands, mudcod2 had gone from being one of the short stacks to holding the chip lead.

The next hand saw a huge swing on the river, spoiling another's big hand and taking another player from short stack to big stack:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

That pot brought Donkeyserbia to within two big blinds of mudcod2's leading stack of 10.85M and left milenastutz to work with just under seven big blinds. But within an orbit the Brazilian had doubled up with A♥ A♦ against GOLTH skouba's A♣ 7♣. The blinds and antes went up on the very next hand to 125K/250K/31.25K - bad news for the short-stacked shuriken95 of Belgium, who held just 614K. All of those chips went in two hands later, called off before the flop with K♥ Q♠ after Donkeyserbia had opened the pot for 1M. Nobody else called and Donkeyserbia showed K♠ K♦, which had already been in a dominating position to win before the flop came Q♦ K♣ 5♠. The 7♠ turn and 6♠ river were mere formalities, and shuriken95 left in 8th place ($311.67).

After that burst of action the table settled back into a pattern of keeping each other at distance for the next 11 hands, with 10 of them being won down preflop and the other with a continuation bet on the flop. That was long enough for the blinds and antes to rise to 150K/300K/37.5K, putting even more pressure on the short stacks. One of them, Ukraine's heksee, chose to move all-in for 2.38M from early position holding A♥ 8♠, only to get a call from mudcod2, who was on the button with 9♠ 9♦. The 7♠ 3♠ 2♠ flop took away one of heksee's three outs, as the A♠ would have given both players a flush but mudcod2's would have been better. Neither of the other two aces materialized as the turn and river came 6♥-K♠, shipping the 5.48M-chip pot to mudcod2 and sending heksee to the rail in 7th place ($542.04).

A bad break for the Greek

On the very next hand, jimmyrestant picked up a huge break to move from the middle of the pack toward the front. The action began with GOLTH skouba of Greece raising to 750K from second position. The players in between folded but jimmyrestant moved all-in for 5.15M from the small blind. GOLTH skouba wasted no time in calling with A♣ A♥, which was way ahead of jimmyrestant's A♠ Q♠ and had the Romanian on the verge of elimination. Only running king-jack for a straight to chop the pot or another queen or running spades to win the pot could save jimmyrestant. As it turned out, it was the spades: the turn was the 5♠, the river was the K♠, and jimmyrestant scooped the 10.83M-chip pot.

GOLTH skouba, meanwhile, was left with just 2.35M chips and the prospect of losing 675K of that to blinds and antes over the next orbit. Two hands later, sitting in the big blind, the Greek player moved all-in over the top of an opening 900K raise from Donkeyserbia, holding Q♣ 2♣. Donkeyserbia made a quick call with A♥ T♦, which stayed ahead through the 2♠ 9♦ T♦ 3♣ 4♦ board to send GOLTH skouba out in 6th place ($813.06).

That left just one player - the Brazilian, milenastutz - with a significantly shorter stack than the others. Five hands after GOLTH skouba's departure the action folded around to the small blind, where milenastutz was sitting with just 2.03M chip left behind. The chance to steal 637K was worth the risk with J♥ 9♠, so the Brazilian pulled the trigger, but mudcod2 had a relatively easy call in the big blind with A♣ T♣. The cards in milenastutz's hand stayed live through the 4♠ 3♣ 2♠ flop and 4♣ turn, but the K♠ sent the Brazilian home in 5th place ($1,084.08).

Let's make a deal

With just four players left, the chip stacks looked like this:

Seat 3: mudcod2 (13,638,868 in chips)
Seat 4: Donkeyserbia (14,444,725 in chips)
Seat 5: jimmyrestant (10,161,544 in chips)
Seat 6: pitster2008 (6,924,863 in chips)

Donkeyserbia immediately proposed making a deal. It took a few minutes for the others to agree to talk about chopping up the remaining prize pool, and once they had the numbers in front of them it took even longer to come to a consensus. After 25 minutes of negotiation a deal was in place: Donkeyserbia would earn $2,650 for having the lead, everyone else would take $2,500, and $300 would stay on the table for the eventual winner.

Even with a deal in place and the blinds and antes at 200K/400K/50K, nobody was in a hurry to make a big move. A total of 17 hands went by before the first turn card was seen, and it was 22 hands before the first player ended up all-in. Belgium's pitster2008 survived that one with A♥ Q♦ against jimmyrestant's J♣ J♥ thanks to an ace on the flop. Eight hands later, though, after the blinds were up again to 250K/500K, the Belgian would fall short in this hand against mudcod2:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

The straight on the river sent the 12.64M-chip pot to mudcod2, and pitster2008 finished in 4th place ($2,500).

That gave mudcod2 a 10-big-blind lead over the other two players, but jimmyrestant pulled everybody back to within seven big blinds of each other a few hands later after taking down a 10.1M-chip pot with a check-raise all-in on the turn of a baord reading 3♥ J♦ 8♠ 4♣. Then mudcod2 returned the favor a few hands later, showing down Q♦ T♥ on a queen-high board to take a pot worth 10.6M away from jimmyrestant. Seven hands later, though, jimmyrestant would eliminate Donkeyserbia and take the lead in the same hand:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

The 23M-chip pot went to jimmyrestant's pocket queens, and Donkeyserbia finished in 3rd place ($2,650.01).

Romania vs. Australia for the win

As heads-up play began jimmyrestant held a slim lead over mudcod2, 23.3M to 21.86M. A win for jimmyrestant would mean Romania's first bracelet of the series, while Australia could claim its sixth if mudcod2 came out on top. The two traded pots back and forth for five hands. Then, on the first hand of the 300K/600K level, jimmyrestant grabbed the first major one. After raising to 1.1M on the button and calling a three-bet to 3.2M, jimmyrestant called down bets of 3M on the 8♦ J♣ 8♠ flop and 4.5M on the K♥ turn. The river came the 5♥ and mudcod2 check-folded to an all-in bet by jimmyrestant.

Now up 35.1M to 10.02M, jimmyrestant applied pressure and won four of the next five pots; then mudcod2 fought back, taking down four straight. But the last pot of the night would go to the chip leader. After mudcod2 opened on the button for the minimum of 1.2M with K♦ T♣, jimmyrestant moved all-in holding A♣ 2♣. The 6♣ A♦ 9♠ flop paired jimmyrestant's ace, the J♦ dangled outs to a straight in front of mudcod2, and the J♥ ended the tournament.

For 2nd place, mudcod2 took away the $2,500 agreed upon in the four-way deal. As for jimmyrestant, the $300 left over for the champion brought the Romanian's total haul to $2,800 - not bad for a $3.30 investment and nine and a half hours of work.

MicroMillions III Event #64: $3.30 NL Hold'em
$15,000 guaranteed prize pool
9,034 entrants
1,170 places paid
$27,102 total prize pool

1st place: jimmyrestant (Romania) $2,800.00*
2nd place: mudcod2 (Australia) $2,500.00*
3rd place: Donkeyserbia (Poland) $2,650.01*
4th place: pitster2008 (Belgium) $2,500.00*
5th place: milenastutz (Brazil) $1,084.08
6th place: GOLTH skouba (Greece) $813.06
7th place: heksee (Ukraine) $542.04
8th place: shuriken95 (Belgium) $311.67
9th place: Malushka5000 (Ukraine) $210.04
* - denotes results of a four-way deal

The win for jimmyrestant in this event represents the first bracelet for Romania during MicroMillions III, and just the sixth across all the MicroMillions series to date. You can see a full breakdown of performances by country, both in this series and all-time, over at the official MicroMillions stats page.

Jason Kirk is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions III