The reason that many final-table tournament players choose to deal rather than play out the tournament is because they perceive that their skill edge has diminished in relation to the luck edge that the late-stage structure of the tournament present. That’s especially true in turbo tournaments, where rapidly escalating blinds ensure that no player is a deep-stacked chip leader.
Hindsight can be a bitch sometimes though. In MicroMillions 5 Event 29, $3.30 NLHE (Turbo, ZOOM), Persian7boy was one of six players to agree to a final-table chop. From there, Persian7boy caught every break to notch the last five eliminations and claim the MicroMillions title, causing Persian7boy to wonder aloud in the chatbox if dealing had been such a great idea after all.
The way these ZOOM tournaments work is that the tournament transitions to standard tournament play when 3 tables remain. That transition took place at about 12:38pm PokerStars time with lukaduic46 in the lead (16.6 million). 39 agonizing minutes separated the final 27 from a berth at the final table. These were the fortunate survivors:
Seat 1: ExclusiveMe (8,674,676 in chips)
Seat 2: aphle7 (9,384,014 in chips)
Seat 3: Persian7boy (9,757,065 in chips)
Seat 4: thehammer (9,515,595 in chips)
Seat 5: openitalia (14,079,141 in chips)
Seat 6: lukaduic46 (22,626,576 in chips)
Seat 7: BEPAKQJT (6,416,466 in chips)
Seat 8: oxy 565 (6,963,919 in chips)
Seat 9: boss45272 (8,162,550 in chips)
Level 51: blinds 300k-600k, ante 75k
Average: 10.6 million (18 big blinds)
lukaduic46 was all in and at risk of elimination in the intervening time, but started the final table as the chip leader. BEPAKQJT was the short stack, with a shade more than 6 million in chips. Less than a minute after the final table began, the blinds rolled up to 400k-800k-100k. 6 million would not go very far for very long.
Persian7boy cracked the first joke of the final table.
Persian7boy: I want to say to my mom
Persian7boy: hi mom
It seemed like the honor of first elimination would be a race between BERAKQJT and oxy 565. oxy 565 took that dubious distinction by bowing out in 9th place. oxy 565 earned $344.08 in prize money.
From there things opened up. Persian7boy rivered thehammer, all in pre-flop with Big Slick against thehammer’s pocket 10s. The board was clean until a king hit the river, crippling thehammer. The next hand, a three-way all in knocked out both thehammer and ExclusiveMe:
Big Slick allowed boss45272 to notch a double elimination. By virtue of starting the hand with a bigger stack than thehammer, ExclusiveMe was deemed the 7th-place finisher. thehammer took 8th place.
The remaining six players began to clamor for a deal. It took some time but everyone finally got on board and agreed to pause to discuss a deal. At that point blinds were 600k-1200k. BEPAKQJT was short-stacked at 9.1 million, while boss45272’s 22.4 million was the big stack.
The table host presented the players with ICM deal numbers. Four players quickly agreed to that deal, but the other three – BEPAKQJT, Persian7boy and boss45272 – were slower on the draw. BEPAKQJT, who repeatedly claimed to be playing from an iPad, was having difficulty seeing the chat of the table host but finally agreed when other players mentioned what BEPAKQJT’s deal-share would be. Persian7boy agreed after that, leaving the big stack, boss45272, as the lone holdout. boss45272 wasn’t holding out as a negotiating tactic, however. After a few minutes boss45272 typed, “I agree” to seal the deal. At that point, the players were only playing for the title and an extra $1,000.
The floodgates opened. A few hands after the deal, Persion7boy open-shoved A♥10♠. openitalia called all in with a smaller ace, A♠3♦, and was out in the cold after neither player improved on a board of 7♥2♠K♥4♥2♣. Persian7Boy also took out aphle7 in 5th place when aphle7 called a pre-flop raise fromt eh big blind, then shoved a 4♠J♠7♣ flop. Persian7boy, the pre-flop raiser, had pocket aces and quickly called; aphle7 had 7♠8♥ and did not improve.
Persian7boy: maybe I shouldn’t have deal
Maybe not. Persian7boy made it three-for-three two hands later by raising to 4.8 million then calling lukaduic46’s shove for 7.1 million. Persian7boy had A♦Q♥ and was never seriously challenged by lukaduic’s A♣5♣.
Persian7boy gave some back to boss45272 when Big Slick couldn’t overtake pocket queens, but that didn’t slow Persian7boy down. boss45272 yo-yo’ed up and down until an ill-timed small-blind shove for 13.9 million with Q♥4♥ ran into Persian7boy’s A♠K♦. When both players missed the flop and Persian7boy paired kings on the turn, boss45272 was drawing dead and soon to the rail in 3rd place.
Persian7boy started heads-up play with a 5-to-1 chip lead over BEPAKQJT. The tournament ended after nine heads-up hands. On the ninth hand, with blinds at 1 million and 2 million, BEPAKQJT shoved the button for 24.5 million with A♦8♥. Persian7boy called with the big stack and K♣7♦. Both players flopped a pair, but it was Persian7boy’s pair of kings that collected the pot, 8♦3♦K♠5♣5♠.
After the deal was in place, it was all Persian7boy in Event 29. Persian7boy used strong aggression and a string of premium hands to notch all five remaining eliminations to become the latest MicroMillions champion.
MicroMillions 5 Event 29 $3.30 NLHE (Zoom, Turbo) results
Places paid: 2475
* indicates 6-way deal
1. Persian7boy (Iran) – $3,946.03*
2. BEPAKQJT (Russia) – $2,736.13*
3. boss45272 (Russia) – $3,763.10*
4. lukaduic46 (Croatia) – $3,756.89*
5. aphle7 (Philippines) – $3,319.91*
6. openitalia (Switzerland) – $3,299.42*
7. ExclusiveMe (Germany) – $860.22
8. thehammer (Canada) – $516.13
9. oxy 565 (Australia) – $344.08
PokerStars is awarding millions of dollars over the next week to all of its micro-stakes players. Find the schedule of events and more on the MicroMillions home page.
Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.