MicroMillions III: Malta's MarsaskalAS wins Event #38 ($5.50 NLHE)

This tournament was AAcayipsinNN's to lose. The German took a massive chip lead into the final table and utterly destroyed it, eliminating six of his eight opponents. With four players remaining, AAcayipsinNN held 70% of the chips in play, but MarsaskalAS refused to go quietly. Hitting his rush at the right time, MarsaskalAS overcame more than a six-toone chip deficit heads-up to win a MicroMillions title in Event #38 ($5.50 NLHE). That said, AAcayipsinNN had qualified for 60 FPP making a second-place payout of $5,521.07 more than impressive.

8,874 players came out for this event, creating a $44,370 prize pool that easily surpassed the $25K guarantee. 1,170 spots were paid, with first place set to earn $6,661.45. Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki was the lone Red Spade in the field, but he busted out short of the money.

Dzjeszt ended his run as the final table bubble boy after making a standard open-shove for ten big blinds on the button. MarsaskalAS called from the small blind, and (no doubt delighted) micro-stack RussianNuts1 folded the big blind. MarsaskalAS's A♣J♥ remained dominant over dzjeszt's A♠2♥, the board running out 9♣7♠8♣3♠9♥ to send us to the nine-handed final table.


Final table chip counts

Seat 1: liljulian1 (3,375,780 in chips)
Seat 2: RussianNuts1 (512,192 in chips)
Seat 3: MarsaskalAS (9,580,861 in chips)
Seat 4: raafek (3,188,547 in chips)
Seat 5: noHuK (1,496,622 in chips)
Seat 6: goodsmoking (1,845,483 in chips)
Seat 7: danmount (3,838,846 in chips)
Seat 8: AAcayipsinNN (17,087,887 in chips)
Seat 9: shamanking69 (3,443,782 in chips)

AAcayipsinNN KOs three in a row

With less than a half a million in chips and the blinds up to 100,000/200,000, RussianNuts1 was lucky just to make the final table, but he quickly found a double-up, with A♦3♠ holding against danmount's 8♠9♠. RussianNuts1 was still extremely short with only 1.3 million, but noHuk had blinded down to even less. Ultimately noHuk open-shoved for 521,622 and both AAcatipsinNN and shamanking69 called from the blinds. Both active players checked the 9♣5♥2♦ flop, but when the Q♦ hit the turn, AAcayipsinNN led out for 1,000,000. Shamanking69 gave up his hand and AAcayipsinNN revealed Q♣J♠. NoHuK showed A♥7♦ and needed an ace to survive, but got the K♠ instead, his ninth-place finish yielding a $343.86 payday.

On the next hand raafek open-shoved for 1.98 million with A♥K♦ and AAcayipsinNN called on the button. AAcayipsinNN's pocket sixes made a six-high straight on the 5♠4♠2♥2♠3♥ board and he scored his second KO as raafek exited in eighth place.

AAcayipsinNN opened for 625,000 on the next deal and this time shamanking69 shoved for 3 million. AAcayipsinNN's K♦Q♣ was in trouble vs. shamanking69's A♠K♥, and shamanking69 maintained the lead on the J♥9♥5♦ flop. However, AAcayipsnNN picked up a gutshot straight draw with the K♠ on the turn and miraculously filled it on the river, the T♣ falling to send a surprised shamanking69 to the rail in seventh place.

AAcayipsinNN's one-two-three punch did not go unnoticed by his remaining opponents:

danmount: wow
liljulian1: loool
AAcayipsinNN: :O
MarsaskalAS: carnage
liljulian1: running good
danmount: sick

How about three more?

Amidst all the carnage, RussianNuts1 was still alive, albeit hanging on by a thread with 860,000 at 125,000/250,000 blinds. RussianNuts1 doubled again when his A♣Q♦ held on against AAcayipsinNN's 8♠9♠, and fellow short stack danmount did the same, his Q♣J♥ improving to a king-high straight against MarsaskalAS's A♣J♠. Their success left goodsmoking at the bottom of the pack with 1.34 million. Goodsmoking got those chips in preflop with 8♠8♦ against AAcayipinNN's A♦9♠, but AAcayipsinNN made it four for four in eliminations when an ace hit the turn. For sixth place, goodsmoking picked up $1,331.10.

Not two minutes later, liljuilan1 three-bet shoved for 2.72 million with pocket sevens and UTG raiser AAcayipsinNN called with A♥J♥. Liljuilian1 was reduced to two outs on the A♠J♣4♦ flop and didn't find them, his fifth-place finish good for $1,774.80.

With four players remaining, AAcayipsinNN had over 70% of the chips in play with 31.4 million, MarsaskalAS was a distant second with 10.7 million, danmount had five big blinds with 1.27 million and RussianNuts1 had less than four big blinds with 940,000. Danmount and RussianNuts1 were essentially in a game of chicken when it came to the rapidly circulating blinds, and danmount was the first to pick up a hand, three-bet shoving with A♦K♣. MarsaskalAS called with 9♥T♥, but danmount hit top two pair on the flop to double up.

Two orbits later, 250,000 of RussianNuts1's remaining 408,000 was committed in the big blind. Danmount opened for a min-raise to 500,000 on the button and AAcayipsinNN and RussianNuts1 both called. AAcayipsinNN bet danmount off his hand on the K♣J♠5♦ flop and turned over K♦6♠ for top pair. RussianNuts1 showed A♠T♥ and needed an ace or a queen to survive, but missed his outs, the 3♦ and the 6♣ falling to send him to the rail in fourth place. RussianNuts1 could have easily bubbled this final table, but thanks to tenacity and a bit of luck, he banked $2,236.24.

MarsaskalAS gets a turn

After watching AAcayipsinNN obliterate the entire final table, MarsaskalAS finally took out an opponent. MarsaskalAS opened from the small blind and danmount called all-in from the big, his Q♦5♠ up against A♠6♥. Danmount flopped a gutshot straight draw, but MarsaskalAS rivered a pair of aces and danmount was out in third, earning $3,327.75.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 3: MarsaskalAS (9,614,874 in chips)
Seat 8: AAcayipsinNN (34,755,126 in chips)

MarsaskalAS started heads-up play at a 3.6 to 1 chip disadvantage and quickly lost about a third of his stack. On the ropes with only 5.9 million remaining, MarsaskalAS open-shoved with 9♣T♣ and AAcayipsinNN called with A♥Q♦. AAcayipsinNN retained the lead on the 7♣6♥4♣ flop, but MarsaskalAS made a flush on the turn with the 2♣ to double to 11.8 million.

MarsaskalAS's momentum continued on the very next deal. He picked up A♥A♣ and AAcayipsinNN's K♦9♣ flopped just enough to enable him to continue:

Although AAcayipsinNN had dominated the final table up to this point, suddenly, the chip counts were even. Both players agreed to pause the action and make a 50/50 chop of the remaining prize pool, leaving the required $500 on the table to play for. With at least $5,500 apiece locked up, cards went back in the air.

AAcayipsinNN retook control, bettin MarsaskalAS off a A♠T♠9♥Q♠ board on the turn to rake in a 12.9 million pot, but MarsaskalAS quickly doubled back up, his A♦Q♦ holding against AAcayipsinNN's J♦8♦. That hand gave MarsaskalAS a 2 to 1 chip lead, and although AAcayipsinNN was able to chip up a bit thanks to a few small pots, MarsaskalAS finished off his opponent after flopping a pair and a straight draw against king-high:

Congratulations to MarsaskalAS on a remarkable come-from-behind victory! He banked $6,021.08 for the win while runner-up AAcayipsinNN earned $5,521.07.

PokerStars MicroMillions III Event #38 ($5.50 NLHE) results

Players: 8,874
Prizepool: $44,370
Places paid: 1,170

1. MarsaskalAS (Malta) $6,021.08*
2. AAcayipsinNN (Germany) $5,521.07*
3. danmount (Malta) $3,327.75
4. RussianNuts1 (Russia) $2,236.24
5. liljulian1 (Romania) $1,774.80
6. goodsmoking (United Kingdom) $1,331.10
7. shamanking69 (Phillipines) $887.40
8. raafek (Poland) $510.25
9. noHuk (Russia) $343.86

*= reflects the result of a heads-up deal that left $500 in play for the winner

Ready for an ROI like these guys? There's still another 60 MicroMillions events on tap. Head over to the MicroMillions page for more information and a full tournament schedule.

Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in MicroMillions III