So far as playing poker tournaments goes, you can't have a lot more fun than entering a rebuy event. If you take a bad beat, another chance is just a click away; if you don't, you're in great position to pile up huge amounts of chips as players who are inclined to play every hand keep making that click. And once the rebuy period is over, you can find yourself extremely deep-stacked compared to the blinds and ready to have a great time.
The only way to make it a rebuy tournament crazier is to turn it into a turbo event - or, as was the case in MicroMillions III's Event 1, a hyper-turbo. With three-minute levels and rebuys costing just 10 cents apiece, the only sure things were that there would be lots of action and that it would be over nearly as soon as it began. Sure enough, just three hours and 19 minutes after it started the tournament was complete. Bulgaria's poker izrod8 became the first champion of MicroMillions III, winning $1,761.22.
The (not so) long and winding road
Of course, there was still a path to travel en route to the ultimate destination, even if it was a short one. It started with the $10,000 guaranteed prize pool, which ballooned during the 30-minute rebuy period to a total of $24,809.80, the combined value of 53,870 entries, 171,788 rebuys, and 22,440 add-ons.
Team PokerStars Pro member Marcin "Goral" Horecki accounted for 46 of those rebuys himself, plus an add-on for good measure. All those extra chances helped to put him in the money; the $2.23 he earned for his 2,017th-place finish didn't quite cover his tab, but he probably made the rest up in pure enjoyment - especially when he had the chance to root for two of his fellow Polish poker players at the final table.
It was no surprise that the action continued at a brisk pace once the final table was set at 1:12 p.m. ET, with the blinds at 6M/12M. After all, this was a "Hyper-active" tournament! But with more than 17,000 times the buy-in set aside for first place, the fact that the final table lasted just seven minutes and 20 hands was still remarkable.
Ready set GO!
These nine poker daredevils had a shot at the top prize:
Seat 1: Vladimir743 (40,979,948 in chips)
Seat 2: poker izrod8 (70,180,116 in chips)
Seat 3: Besusov (116,373,234 in chips)
Seat 4: patolp07 (130,620,956 in chips)
Seat 5: ANDREI 19500 (53,019,868 in chips)
Seat 6: beattle0 (33,239,182 in chips)
Seat 7: wilco1983 (93,494,259 in chips)
Seat 8: Ronce86 (59,355,039 in chips)
Seat 9: etneya (77,195,398 in chips)
The blistering pace was foreshadowed on the very first hand of the final table when Russia's ANDREI 19500 moved all-in from second position with K♥ Q♣ and Lithuania's Ronce86 shoved for just half a big blind more in the cutoff, holding A♠ J♠. The 4♦ 9♣ J♣ flop put Ronce further ahead but gave ANDREI 19500 outs to an inside straight. The J♥ turn didn't help, though, and the 2♥ river made ANDREI 19500's exit official in 9th place ($91.79).
The second hand looked like it would see the second elimination of the final table after the action folded to poker izrod8 on the button and the Bulgarian player moved all-in for 61.87M chips with A♦ 3♠, only to see Poland's Besusov re-shove in the small blind with 5♦ 5♣. But the board ran out A♣ K♠ K♥ K♦ 6♦, and poker izrod8 won the 145.16M-chip pot (and the chip lead) with kings full of aces.
Hand #3 saw the next exit, this time in a blind-versus-blind battle. The action folded to Poland's patolp07, who put in enough chips from the small blind to move Russia's beattle0 all-in from the big blind. With just a big blind and a half left behind, beattle0 called with A♦ 6♥ and was way out in front of patolp07's 8♥ 6♣. The J♣ 7♦ 3♦ kept beattle0 in the lead, but the 8♠ on the turn flipped the script. The 9♥ then fell on the river, sending beattle0 out in 8th place ($155.06).
A pause...and then a fast-forward
It sounds funny to say the pace slowed down from there, but in a tournament structured to move so fast three blind-steals in a row with zero confrontation pretty much qualifies as a lull. But Hand #7 saw a return to form, with Besusov getting a little back when A♣ 6♠ held up against poker izrod8's J♥ 8♣ for a 82.78M-chip pot. The two butted heads again in the blinds on Hand #8, with poker izrod8 taking down 56.4M chips with an uncalled river bet.
Hand #9 was the biggest of the tournament so far, and once again poker izrod8 was the beneficiary of a little good fortune, as you can see in this replay:
That 221.17M-chip pot gave poker izrod8 a sizeable lead, and it sent Ukraine's Vladimir743 (7th place, $227.50) and Russia's etneya (6th place, $327.48) to the rail.
The journey of Besusov, who had been up and down over the course of those first nine hands, finally came to an end on Hand #10. With the action folded around to the button, the Polish player shoved for 47.73M chips holding J♦ 7♣; the timing couldn't have been much worse, as patolp07 held a dominating hand in A♣ J♣. The flop was all patolp07, too, falling 8♣ A♥ A♠. Only a running 9 and 10 to a straight could save Besusov, but the J♠ came on the turn to leave the Pole drawing dead. The J♥ on the river marked the end as Besusov left in 5th place ($490.48).
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here
Hand #11 was another no-confrontation blind steal, but Hand #12 saw wilco1983 double through poker izrod8 with 7♦ 7♣ against A♥ 6♦ after shoving preflop. The 221.18M-chip pot just edged out poker izrod8's double-elimination hand for the biggest of the tournament up to that point and gave wilco1983 the chip lead, but by Hand #14 poker izrod8 was back ahead courtesy of a continuation bet and a blind steal.
There were no more confrontations until Hand #18, when the tournament was down to three relatively healthy stacks (for the circumstances) and Ronce86, who held just under two big blinds. As it happened, the big stacks would collide first. Poland's patolp07 made the right call from the small blind with 8♥ 8♦ after poker izrod8 shoved on the button with 4♦ 4♣, but the board didn't cooperate. It fell 7♣ 5♠ 6♠ 3♠ T♠, giving poker izrod8 a seven-high straight and the 378.89M-chip pot. It also ended patolp07's day in 4th place ($654.23).
Hand #19 saw Ronce86 get those remaining chips in from the small blind with a meager holding, Q♠ 2♦. It was clearly played out of necessity, but it also turned out to be ahead of poker izrod8's 6♦ 5♣. But again the flop was on poker izrod8's side, falling 4♦ 6♠ 7♦. The 6♥ on the turn left Ronce86 drawing dead, and with the formality of the T♦ river out of the way the Lithuanian player left in 3rd place ($819.21).
Hand #20 would be the last of the final table, and like so many of the other 19 its action consisted of an all-in bet and a call before the flop. On the button was poker izrod8 with Q♣ T♦; in the big blind was wilco1983 with K♣ J♣; and in the middle was a pot worth 400.77 million chips. The Q♠ 7♥ 9♠ flop was, again, a good one for poker izrod8. It did leave outs to a gutshot straight for wilco1983, but none of them came on the 6♦ turn and 9♣ river.
With that wilco1983 became the 2nd-place finisher, winning $1,254.13 - not a bad prize for a few hours' work. As for poker izrod8, a bit of good luck at the right times - specifically, in the last seven minutes of the tournament - translated into $1,761.22 and the honor of being the first champion of MicroMillions III.
MicroMillions III Event #1: $0.11+R NL Hold'em [Hyper-active]
$10,000 guaranteed prize pool
53,870 entrants, 171,788 re-buys, 22,440 add-ons
6,975 places paid
$24,809.80 total prize pool
1st place: poker izrod8 (Bulgaria) $1,761.22
2nd place: wilco1983 (Netherlands) $1,254.13
3rd place: Ronce86 (Lithuania) $819.21
4th place: patolp07 (Poland) $654.23
5th place: Besusov (Poland) $490.48
6th place: etneya (Russia) $327.48
7th place: Vladimir743 (Ukraine) $227.50
8th place: beattle0 (Russia) $155.06
9th place: ANDREI 19500 (Russia) $91.79
If you're looking to boost your bankroll without investing a lot of money, you're in luck - MicroMillions III is designed especially for you! With another 99 events on the schedule, there's sure to be at least one event that'll suit your fancy.