MicroMillions III: Ned_bg bags Event #57 ($8.80 NLHE 8-max Shootout)

One hallmark of MicroMillions III events has been mega-sized fields. Having just crossed the halfway mark in the 100-event series, the smallest field so far has been 2,296 (Event #56, $5.50 NL Draw), with more than 30 tourneys having drawn fields of 10,000 or more.

In other words, while the prizes are big relative to the "micro" stakes buy-ins, the chances of outlasting thousands of opponents are fairly slim. Thus might have Event #57, an $8.80 buy-in NLHE shootout tournament, held special appeal. Rather than beat thousands, in this one winning your way through just four eight-handed tables could earn you a coveted MM III title and thousands in return.

A total of 3,910 players found the format inviting enough to participate, thus creating a prize pool of $31,280 (beating the event's $25K guarantee). And after a little over nine hours of poker it was Ned_bg of Bulgaria who emerged as the victor to earn a handsome first prize of $3,884.57.

From 3,910 to 8

It took almost three hours for the first round of matches to complete and that field of 3,910 to play down to 512 and the money. rijkov49 of Russia was the last player to win a spot in the second round after outlasting Australia's Germanband to win their Round 1 table.

By winning one table, those 512 players had guaranteed themselves $23.46 paydays. But all had eyes toward winning more tables and increasing their ROIs significantly with each additional step.

It would take about two-and-a-half hours for Round 2 to play out, with RMAchampion (Vietnam) being the last one through to the third round after beating out t1moha17 (Ukraine) heads up to win their table. Now everyone had secured cashes of at least $125.12. Winning another table would double that prize, with five-figure scores awaiting those finishing in the top spots at the final table.

bugay77 of Russia was the first one through to earn a final table spot, taking just an hour-and-a-half to win a third table of the afternoon. A little over 40 minutes after that it was donpepinoBG of Bulgaria winning the eighth and last final table seat after taking the last of Brazil's jhoseft blaf's chips heads-up.

About seven hours and 40 minutes after the shootout had begun, the last eight-handed final table was underway.


Seat 1: Max666917 (Russia) -- 5,000
Seat 2: donpepinoBG (Bulgaria) -- 5,000
Seat 3: KKhonAAs (United Kingdom) -- 5,000
Seat 4: bugay77 (Russia) -- 5,000
Seat 5: MAKKAPAKK (United Kingdom) -- 5,000
Seat 6: hanfbaron17 (Switzerland) -- 5,000
Seat 7: Ned_bg (Bulgaria) -- 5,000
Seat 8: Mumuz (Ukraine) -- 5,000

As was the case at the start of each of the previous rounds, players all saw their stacks reset to 5,000 to begin the final table, with the blinds starting at 25/50 and increasing every 10 minutes.

Max666917 stacked in eighth

bugay77 became the short-stack early on near the end of Level 1, then was all in on a [10s]9♦J♥ flop with Q♥Q♦ against KKhonAAs's 8♥7♥ (a flopped straight). Luckily for bugay77, the river brought the 8♦ and a better straight, and suddenly bugay77 was second in chips behind early leader Ned_bg.

Not long after that hand Max666917 lost a fairly big pot to leader Neg_bg to fall down to 1,745 halfway through Level 2. That's when hanfbaron17 raised 2.5x to 150 from the cutoff seat, then Max666917 reraised all in from the big blind, getting a call from hanfbaron17.

Max666917 showed A♣T♠ and needed to improve versus hanfbaron17's 4♣4♥. The flop was good for Max666917, coming T♦K♥K♠, and the J♥ turn meant Max666917 was one card from surviving with a double-up. But the river was the 4♠, giving hanfbaron17 a full house and sending Max666917 out in ninth.

KKhonAAs KO'd in seventh

Ned_bg continued to enjoy the chip lead as they moved into Level 4 (50/100) until Mumuz enjoyed a double-up through the leader with pocket eights versus Ned_bg's A♣J♦.

Ned_bg quickly bounced back and reassumed the top spot, though, after a hand versus KKhonAAs. In that one KKhonAAs open-raised all in from early position for 2,085 with A♦Q♠ and Ned_bg called from the blinds holding T♥T♦. The board came 2♥J♥4♣8♥2♠, Ned_bg's tens had held, and KKhonAAs was the seventh-place finisher.

MAKKAPAKK sent packing in sixth

They moved to Level 5 (60/120), and soon came the biggest hand of the final table thus far. It began with a raise from bugay77 to 360 from middle position, with MAKKAPAKK reraising to 600 from the next seat. It folded back to bugay77 who called, and the pair saw the flop come Q♦8♦J♣.

MAKKAPAKK checked, bugay77 bet 720, and MAKKAPAKK called. The turn brought the K♥ and another check from MAKKAPAKK. bugay77 fired 1,440 this time, and again MAKKAPAKK called.

The river was the 9♦. This time MAKKAPAKK led for 1,200, bugay77 raised all in for 5,010, and MAKKAPAKK called, turning over K♠T♥ for a rivered straight. But bugay77 had K♦J♦, that river having brought a flush to bugay77 and thus ending MAKKAPAKK's final table hopes in sixth.

hanfbaron17 handled in fifth

That big pot catapulted bugay77 into the lead, with bugay77 and Ned_bg having about two-thirds of the chips in play with five players left.

Then donpepinoBG scored a big double-through at bugay77's expense with A♣J♣ versus the latter's [10s][10h] after the board brought a club flush to donpepinoBG to win the hand. Ned_bg continued to lead, however, and would add to that lead after scoring the next elimination, this one at the expense of hanfbaron17.

With the blinds up to 100/200 (Level 7), Ned_bg raised to 400 from UTG and only hanfbaron17 called from the big blind. The flop came (easy as) A♦2♦3♦, and in the face of the monotone board hanfbaron17 pushed all in for 2,190 while Ned_bg called right away.

It was Q♥Q♦ for hanfbaron17, well behind the top pair of aces Ned_bg had with A♥K♦. Indeed, Ned_bg even had hanfbaron17's diamond draw covered. The turn was the 7♣ and river the 9♠, and they were down to four.

Mumuz moves on in fourth

Ned_bg's run good would continue soon thereafter in a Level 8 (125/250) hand versus Mumuz. It began with Ned_bg raising to 625 from the small blind, and Mumuz coming back with an all-in push for 5,800 from the big blind.

Ned_bg called, showing Q♦Q♠ to Mumuz's A♦T♥, and when the board came 8♥5♦8♠, then 8♦, then 6♦, Mumuz was out in fourth and Ned_bg was comfortably in front with 22,300 of the 40,000 chips in play.

donpepinoBG downed in third

On the very next hand, it was donpepinoBG open-raising for 625 from the small blind and bugay77 calling from the big blind. The flop came 6♥5♣7♦, and donpepinoBG led for 750. bugay77 called. The turn was the 4♠ and donpepinoBG bet 750 again, and this time bugay raised to 2,000. donpepinoBG called.

The river was the Q♣. donpepinoBG checked, and bugay77 bet 4,500, enough to put donpepinoBG all in. donpepinoBG did call all in for 4,355, showing A♣3♣ for a straight. But bugay77 had J♠8♦ for a higher straight, and suddenly they were down to two.

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Heads-up: Ned_bg vs. bugay77

Ned_bg held a slight lead to start heads-up play, and after one small hand the pair paused proceedings to talk about a possible deal. At that point Ned_bg had 21,900 chips to bugay77's 18,010.

As they chatted about the deal, Ned_bg made reference to the MicroMillions III Player of the Series leaderboard and his hopes of earning more points there. A quick check revealed 12 cashes already for the Bulgarian, adding up to 120 MM III points. That was good enough for a tie for 133rd currently, although a victory would earn Ned_bg another 100 points and a spot just outside the top 10 at present.

"Chip chop" numbers were produced leaving $500 for which to play, and the pair quickly agreed. There was still cash on the line, but there was an added incentive for Ned_bg -- winner of a WCOOP event this year (Event #54, $320 NLHE) -- to try to finish the deal in Event #57 and collect more MM III Player of the Series points, too.

It would take but three hands more to decide things. In the final hand, Ned_bg min-raised to 600 from the button, bugay77 called, and the flop came 8♠K♠T♥. bugay77 led out for 900, Ned_bg raised to 2,900, and bugay77 called. The turn was the 6♣ and this time bugay77 checked. Ned_bg took the opening to bet 4,600, and bugay77 called.

The river was the 5♦. bugay77 checked again, and when Ned_bg fired 10,000, bugay77 called with the 9,875 left. bugay77 had K♦9♣ for top pair of kings, but Ned_bg had A♠A♥ for a better pair, and the tourney had been won.

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Congratulations to Ned_bg for winning four tables and taking down the Event #57 shootout. And kudos as well to bugay77 for making it to heads-up and a chop, thereby earning a $3K-plus payday along with Ned_bg.

MicroMillions III Event #57 $8.80 NLHE 8-max. Shootout final table results (*reflects two-way deal):
1st: Ned_bg (Bulgaria) -- $3,884.57*
2nd: bugay77 (Russia) -- $3,309.83*
3rd: donpepinoBG (Bulgaria) -- $2,346.00
4th: Mumux (Ukraine) -- $1,720.40
5th: hanfbaron17 (Switzerland) -- $1,094.80
6th: MAKKAPAKK (United Kingdom) -- $703.50
7th: KKhonAAs (United Kingdom) -- $469.20
8th: Max666917 (Russia) -- $234.60

Entrants: 3,910
Prize pool: $31,280.00
Places paid: 512

That's 57 events down, and 43 to go in MicroMillions III. Check out the MicroMillions page for the remaining schedule, as well as that aforementioned MM III Player of the Series leaderboard currently featuring Ned_bg and others.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in MicroMillions III