MicroMillions III: Ulybashka bashes through for win in Event #76 ($2.20 NLHE)

Money isn't everything. Well, it does make for the ultimate scoreboard in poker as the person with the most money at the end of the night is usually declared the winner. However, tonight's MicroMillion III Event #76 $2.20 NLHE tournament would have a four-way split of the big cash at the table. Usually the player who receives the largest amount from the chop, also manages to hold that lead to claim the title. The norm did not occur however as Ulybashka had no intentions of laying down for vinivini85 and vecinul. The persistence paid off to the tune of an extra $400.00 from the chop, $3,127.42 total, and the MicroMillions III Event #76 title.

The first word that came to mind after looking at the MicroMillions III Player of Series leaderboard was "again"?!?! After taking down the PLO rebuy last night in Event #64 Team PokerStars Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki was sitting in the driver's seat for the MicroMillions III Player of the Series trophy and a 2013 PCA package. If you recall in March, Marcin took the Player of Series honors during the inaugural MicroMillions series and as of tonight he holds an 60 point lead over second place Chocoyote and 90 points over Artur Lesley. Considering a player earns 100 points for a win, Horecki is very much in control of repeating as the Player of the Series despite finishing out of the money (6,758th place) and Chocoyote gaining ground by cashing in the top ten percent (126th place, $25.98) thus earning 25 points in the process.

During the last hourly break before the final table and nine and half hours into the tournament only 11 players remained with Visiits leading the way into the 250K/500K ante 62.5K level with 23.1 million in chips.

The players wasted no time in eliminating enough player to start up the dash for the $4,657.93 sitting up top. Just five hands after the re-start both tables would have an all-in and a call. First, on Table 45 yungam would limp in from the cutoff as vinivini85 would raise to 2.5 million from the button, enough to put the Romanian all-in. yungam would make the call holding Q♥J♦ and would be about even odds against vinivini85's T♦A♦. A queen on the flop 3♠7♣Q♦ gave yungam new tournament life, and the A♠ turn took it away. No double reversal on the river 4♥ and yungam took home $174.03 in 11th place.

Even before the virtual tournament director could announce hand-for-hand play and playing six-handed on the adjacent table, vecinul would min-raise from the hijack seat as LadyHulk said "SMASH" and pushed in 6.5 million from the big blind. Holding pocket queens Q♦Q♣ and covering, vecinul made the call. LadyHulk's bark was worse than the bite flipping up 8♠9♠. Despite an eight on the flop, and extra straight outs on the turn the 2♦ 7♣ 8♣ T♥ 7♦ board would run smooth for the ladies as LadyHulk got some green in tenth place ($174.03) starting up the final table below:


Seat 1: vinivini85 (10137224 in chips)
Seat 2: SlotsJunger (9754616 in chips)
Seat 3: Ulybashka (17604535 in chips)
Seat 4: Visiits (23165016 in chips)
Seat 5: Sylph85 (4796596 in chips)
Seat 6: kiaushinis13 (4464342 in chips)
Seat 7: kazah-kobi (8703491 in chips)
Seat 8: vecinul (25790352 in chips)
Seat 9: mako18poker (11608828 in chips)

Well, that's one way to start a final table

One hand after kiaushinis13 tripled up with a 17.7 million chip pot, Visiits would retrieve some chips lost on the previous hand from mako18poker and kazah-kobi. Watch as the three-way pot unfolds below:

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Visiits J♠J♥

A king in the middle of the wheel cards 2♠ 5♦ K♣ 5♠ 4♥ rolled the 17.5 million chip pot to Visiits and mako18poker earned $278.46 in ninth place and kazah-kobi by virtue of having more chips before the all-in was awarded eighth place ($417.69).

vecinul back on top

With the blinds holding at 300K/600K ante 75K Sylph85 quietly walked up the pay ladder as the bigger stacks demolished any chance for the shorter stacks to get into play. One of the aforementioned big stacks, vecinul, would lead out for 1.5 million from UTG+1 as Sylph85 took a pair of fours 4♥4♠ and shoved in just a bit more (1.55 million). vecinul made the easy call holding T♣K♦ and would lock up the hand with the nut straight by the turn Q♣ J♠ 5♦ A♥ 9♠ ending Sylph85 near silent stay at the final table in seventh place ($652.06).

Unlucky seven

Seven hands later as the blinds bumped up to 400K/800K ante 100K another short stack having only taken one pot the entire final table would gamble a bit for a chance to make a rush at the MicroMillions title. SlotsJunger, if roughly translated from German, a slots disciple or devotee (like your bonus round loving scribe this evening) was down to the last spin holding 3.07 million chips and spun the reels with A♣5♠. Unfortunately, kiaushinis13 was waiting in the big blind with big slick K♦A♥ quickly calling. The board came up all mixed symbols for SlotsJunger 7♣ 3♠ T♣ T♠ 9♥ as $928.20 came down the coin chute for sixth place.

One raise, two raise, three raise, four!

Still in the 400K/800K ante 100K blind level kiaushinis13 and vinivini85 would swap preflop raises until 40.1 million sat in the middle with kiaushinis13 holding the worse of it A♦Q♦ and vinivini85's tournament life hinging on pocket kings K♥K♣. A little scare with a queen in the door, but the rest of the Q♠ 9♣ 3♥ J♣ T♠ ran in vinivini85's favor to rake in the largest pot in the tournament to this point.

Four hands later just as the players were looking to cut a deal, kiaushinis13 found a spot to shove all-in for 2.81 million holding pocket ducks 2♣2♠. Waiting once again was vinivini85 who min-raised to lock out the blinds, and showed the better hand once again 5♠5♥. The fives had no issues on the 4♥ T♣ T♠ 8♦ K♦ board and kiaushinis13 was left out of the chop talks in fifth place ($1,392.30).

Russian spoken here

vecinul was feeling a bit left out as the other three players left enjoyed a bit of the Russian language as we washed through ten minutes of chop talks coming down to the deal shown below:

vinivini85 $3,440.15
vecinul $3,257.22
Ulybashka $2,727.42
Visiits $2,458.76

Falling quickly from high in the tree

vecinul held a decent lead after the chop talks but as with any no limit game it can only two or three hands to turn a lead into air. With the blinds at 700K/1.4MM ante 175K vecinul would three-bet vinivini85 to seven million as the Russian made the call to see a king-high flop 3♣ K♥ T♠. vecinul was not letting go and followed through with a 11.2 million chip bet. Holding top pair J♠K♣ vinivini85 shoved for 19.9 million total as vecinul called for 8.7 million more with the outflopped pocket nines 9♣9♦. No two outer on the turn and river 4♦ K♦ as vecinul was knocked to a still sizable 31 million chip stack.

The next hand would see Ulybashka take a chunk out of the chip leader, doubling through for a 35.3 million chip pot after Ulybashka's J♥A♦ managed to hold up against vecinul's J♣K♥ on the 3♠ 7♥ A♠ 6♠ 3♣ board and the chip leader was now left holding just two million. Those meager helpings would be shipped off to vinivini85 on the next hand as vecinul earned $3,257.22 in fourth place.

Vini vini fin

With the blinds up to 800K/1.6MM ante 200K the actual chip leader at the time of the chop talks was now looking at a third place finish. Ulybashka would raise all in for 34.1 million from the button as it folded to vinivini85 in the big blind. Holding 9♠A♥ vinivini85 made the call for 16.2 million and would race for the Russian's tournament life against Ulybashka's pocket fives 5♠5♣. Despite a flop full of face cards, Ulybashka's fives would hold J♠ K♠ J♣ 6♣ 8♠ taking down the 37.1 million chip pot and eliminating vinivini85 in third place ($3,440.15).

Bashing for the win

A 12 minute struggle for tonight's finalist as Ulybashka had a little ground to cover to catch Visiits. Starting with a 77.6 to 38.2 million chip lead, the game would flip in Ulybashka's direction very quickly. In the seventh heads-up hand both players would get it in preflop for 81.5 million chips. With the blinds at 1MM/2MM ante 250K Ulybashka would min-raise and Visiits returned the favor with a three-bet to eight million. Ulybashka wasted no time shoving for 40.5 million as Visiits called with Q♣T♦. Ulybashka was perhaps surprised to see it was much better than a flip holding pocket tens T♣T♠. The ten held easily A♠ 3♠ 6♣ J♠ 8♠ as Ulybashka would gain the chip lead that would not be given up.

After mostly minor hands for the next 10 minutes, they finally decided to end things preflop. Watch below as Ulybashka takes down Event #76 with this hand:

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38.5 million chips riding on pocket twos 2♥2♣ for Visiits as this time Ulybashka would not hold a dominate hand but rather flipping with Q♥K♣. The killer queen would show on the river tonight 9♥ 4♣ 4♥ 8♦ Q♣ as Ulybashka claimed the remaining $400.00 left over from the chop talks and took down tonight's MicroMillions III Event #76!

MicroMillions III Event #76 $20,000 guarantee ($2.20 NLHE) results (11-23-12):

Players entered: 23,205
Places paid: 3,150
Entry fee: $2.20
Prize Pool: $46,410.00
First place: *$3,127.42

(*denotes part of four-way deal)

1. Ulybashka (Belarus) *$3,127.42
2. Visiits (Netherlands) *$2,458.76
3. vinivini85 (Russia) *$3,440.15
4. vecinul (Romania) *$3,257.22
5. kiaushinis13 (Lithuania) $1,392.30
6. SlotsJunger (Belarus) $928.20
7. Sylph85 (Ireland) $652.06
8. kazah-kobi (Kazakhstan) $417.69
9. mako18poker (Poland) $278.46

The $1,000,000 guaranteed MicroMillions III Main Event draws near. The $22 buy-in tournament starts Sunday along with the usual slate of Sunday Majors to make for some exciting poker this weekend. Please read along as we cover the remainder of the MicroMillions series right here at the PokerStarsBlog.

David Aydt is a freelance contributor

David Aydt
@PokerStars in MicroMillions III