On the final night of the MicroMillions 4 tournament series so not-so-micro action took place involving some not-so-micro stakes players. The $1 million guarantee Main Event gathered 68,081 players paying $22 a pop to take a shot at a top prize of $167,541.13. In tonight's $500,000 guarantee Sunday Warm-Up Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov was out looking for his first Sunday Major victory as he trounced the field for the last three hours of this tournament with constant aggression pre and post flop in what seemed to be one of the quickest endings to this tournament. His last three opponents would fall in three minutes as Lykov stood up top of the 3,528 player field claiming $110,780.37 for his victory adding this Sunday Major victory to his EPT victory in Kiev.
At the seventh hourly break only one Red Spade remained with tournament chips next to his name. Martin "AABenjaminAA" Hruby would lose the last of virtual Sunday Warm-Up funds shortly before the break earning $987.84 in 99th place. However, Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov still held an above average stack of over 600K with blinds at 10K/20K ante 2K with 77 players left in the field. As stated in a blog post by the Russian pro back in January, his goal for 2013 is to make a big score in a Sunday Major and outlasting 97.8% of the field thus far may help him achieve that score tonight.
Midway through the eighth hour with 52 players left Maxim would reach the top of the leaderboard as the first player with two million chips, followed closely by dede65 of Germany and ticaprincesa of Costa Rica. By the eighth hourly break Maxim went into full overdrive increasing his tournament leading stack to 3.6 million with just 34 players remaining and blinds at 20K/40K ante 4K. Only szwindel and ticaprincesa held more than two million chips as the Russian Pro's eye on the prize was getting closer.
Twenty minutes into the ninth hour Lykov would pick up two huge pots. The one came off some interesting preflop action with blinds at 25K/50K ante 5K Maxim would min-raise from early position as General Lef three-bet to 300K. Not backing down Lykov four-bet to 568,965 as General Lef made the call to see a monochrome flop Q♣4♣9♣. Lykov led for 234,567 as General Lef shoved for 1.17 million getting an insta-call from Maxim holding two pair 4♥Q♠. General Lef's pocket tens T♣T♦ did have a club draw but blanked on the turn A♠ and river 9♦ to ship the 3.6 million chip pot to the Russian Pro. Three hands later ticaprincesa would try separate some chips from the Team Pro after five-betting all-in for 2.1 million and getting another quick call by Lykov holding big slick A♥K♠. ticaprincesa's T♠A♣ would quickly go down in flames 9♦ 2♥ 3♥ 4♣ Q♣ as Maxim pushed his stack to over seven million chips.
Maxim would hang on to the chip lead as two tables of nine were formed. "Hang on" meaning pushing his stack over the 10 million chip mark with 15 players left and still 15 minutes until the ninth hourly break. Another testament that he did not look to be slowing down was knocking out oncommand in 14th place ($3,175.20) after oncommand correctly called Lykov's bullying three-bet all-in with A♦J♣ as the Russian pro flipped up A♣9♥. But a nine on the turn 2♠ 8♦ 6♣ 9♣ Q♥ shipped another 2.4 million to the chip leader as second place szwindel only held four million chips.
Only ten players would survive the carnage and make the ninth hourly break as the players collected themselves before hand-for-hand play greeted their return. Maxim still held 10.3 million with blinds at 40K/80K ante 8K as that elusive Sunday Major title crept closer. The final table would be set just five minutes after the players returned to the table. Poeira4 would an opening with a small stack of 1.36 million by open shoving with pocket sixes 6♠6♦ from the small blind. However, it was the infallible Team Pro in the big blind making the call with 3♦A♣ and finding an ace on the turn T♠ K♥ 2♠ A♥ 8♠ to claim another 2.76 million chips and start up the final table below:
Seat 1: suarez_BG (5185278 in chips)
Seat 2: szwindel (3131019 in chips)
Seat 3: Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov (11267779 in chips)
Seat 4: rnb333 (4262535 in chips)
Seat 5: makarios007 (1577744 in chips)
Seat 6: Xx-Luxury-xX (2364875 in chips)
Seat 7: pupon (1096860 in chips)
Seat 8: johnxfleming (2401136 in chips)
Seat 9: dede65 (3992774 in chips)
"Welcome to the final table ladies and gentlemen, I'll be your handsome host for this final table" never a dull introduction from Team Online's Kevin "WizardOfAhhs" Thurman as everyone's eyes were on Lykov's huge stack.
Life of Luxury extended
As the blinds moved up to 50K/100K ante 5K in what might be one of the quickest starts to a Sunday Warm-Up final table dede65 was left with 266,170 chips fresh off doubling up pupon as they flipped pupon's pocket queens against dede65's big slick with the ladies taking down the pot. dede65 would push in those scraps from UTG getting a re-raise from Xx-Luxury-xX on the button as the blinds folded. dede65's Q♣5♠ would only pair the five on the 9♦ 8♠ K♥ 4♥ 5♦ board. Not enough to defeat Xx-Luxury-xX's pocket sixes 6♣6♠, as dede65 claimed $5,644.80 in ninth place.
Swindles a win
Play would slow down a bit as the players enjoyed sizable stacks against the blinds as all eight players survived the 65K/130K ante 13K level. But, as the blinds moved up to 80K/160K ante 16K johnxfleming would open shove from the button for 1.97 million with T♦A♠. Folded to a covering szwindel in the big blind and pocket fives 5♥5♦ it would be the UK versus Germany for a 4.1 million chip pot. The flip ended quickly and badly for johnxfleming as a five landed in the middle of the flop 2♥ 8♠ 5♠ 6♣ J♠ as the high-stakes German player (cashing in last year's SCOOP $10K tournament) claimed $8,820.00 in eighth place.
To catch the Red Spade
Someone needs to try as Max Lykov is forcing the action with constant raises and pushing people pre and post flop while extending his chip leading stack to over 16 million chips. With the blinds still at 80K/160K ante 16K pupon would toss in a shortstack of 1.43 million from the cutoff as szwindel decided to jump in again by making the call out of the small blind holding A♣T♣. Kicker problems for pupon as the smaller ace 5♠A♠ failed to find the necessary spades or a five on the Q♠ 6♦ A♥ 8♣ K♣ board to stay alive as pupon ended the night in seventh place ($15,876.00).
Letting others do the dirty work
Up to this point, despite still being the big chip leader, Max Lykov has not eliminated a single player at the final table. With blinds still at 80K/160K ante 16K we would name our sixth place finisher but Lykov was not a part of it. Watch below:
rnb333 with 1.39 million chips open shoved from the button as makarios007 made the call for less (639,488) out of the small blind holding a mid-ace A♥7♠. More kicker problems as rnb333 turned up A♣T♦. Despite a possible chop with three jacks on the board by the turn J♥ J♣ 3♦ J♠ 9♦ makrios007 was reassigned to the rail in sixth place ($22,932.00).
With the blinds at 100K/200K ante 20K Max Lykov would min-raise from the hijack seat as rnb333 next door shoved for 3.52 million holding a decent ace T♠A♣. While Lykov may have raised light a few times recently, this was not one of them as another case of kicker problems presented itself when the Team Pro showed big slick A♦K♠. A king on the turn 2♦ 5♥ 7♦ K♦ 4♠ would nail down the 7.45 million chip pot for Lykov as rnb333 settled for $29,988.00 in fifth place.
To the max with Max
From here on out it seemed Max was predetermined to win this tournament. As the blinds moved up to 125K/250K ante 25K Lykov would min-raise from the button as suarez_BG shoved from the big blind for 5.06 million chips. Holding big slick K♣A♦ quickly called as suarez_BG went looking for a ten with the dominated K♥T♦. Instead an ace appeared on the turn 8♣ 5♦ 3♣ A♥ 7♥ locking out suarez_BG in fourth place ($40,572.00).
"Slight chip lead for Max"
Understatement of the year so far for tournament announcing as Thurman was clearly in awe as others must have been watching Max Lykov try to close out this tournament. With the blinds at 125K/250K ante 25K szwindel holding 3.35 million chips would shove from the button as Lykov re-raised to 6.45 million as Xx-Luxury-xX holding 4.75 million folded. 7♦9♦ for szwindel looking for a little luck against Max's big slick K♥A♥. In what seemed to be the theme tonight, szwindel made his hand hitting a flush on the river but it also completed a full house for Lykov 7♥ 5♦ A♠ A♦ K♦ earning szwindel $58,212.00 in third place.
Quick finale: Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov claims Sunday Warm-Up Title
Heads-up play would only last a little more than minute as Max carried a 30.7 million to 4.48 million chip lead into the final two. Seven hands later with the blinds still at 125K/250K ante 25K Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov would claim his first Sunday Major and $110,780.37. Watch below for the final hand:
Down to 3.68 million Xx-Luxury-xX would shove over Max's button raise to 24.75 million holding A♦T♥. A little better than Lykov's 6♦5♦ but the board spit out a runner-runner straight on the turn and river 2♥ 2♦ 7♠ 3♠ 4♠ giving Lykov the Sunday Warm-Up title!
$500,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-Up results (03-24-13)
Players entered: 3,528
Places paid: 540
Prize pool: $705,600.00
First place: $110,780.37
1. Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov (Russia) $110,780.37
2. Xx-Luxury-xX (Canada) $85,555.20
3. szwindel (United Kingdom) $58,212.00
4. suarez_BG (Bulgaria) $40,572.00
5. rnb333 (Portugal) $29,988.00
6. makarios007 (Germany) $22,932.00
7. pupon (Israel) $15,876.00
8. johnxfleming (Germany) $8,820.00
9. dede65 (Germany) $5,644.80
David Aydt is a freelance contributor