PokerStars Head of Blogging Brad Willis and I have known each other for close to 10 years. We share some interests, we’ve shared some poker, and we share some poker interests. We both have an unhealthy fixation with limit razz, the result of which means that Brad often asks me to recap PokerStars razz events like 2013 MicroMillions 5 Event 91, $5.50 Limit Razz.
I’m going to guess that arcmonkey, the champion of Event 91, shares our unhealthy fixation. arcmonkey, who at one point during final-table deal negotiations admitted to playing razz much more than the average poker player, beat out the other seven final-table players to earn a MicroMillions championship and more than $1,100.
You know who didn’t share arcmonkey’s love of this lowball game? Any member of Team PokerStars Pro or PokerStars Team Online. Not a single Red Spade played the event. That left the field of 1,606 wide open. After six hours of play, only eight players remained:
Seat 1: sani5557771 (605427 in chips)
Seat 2: robsonhech (2081893 in chips)
Seat 3: $heriff Hood (623570 in chips)
Seat 4: arcmonkey (1750710 in chips)
Seat 5: crazytuner (161370 in chips)
Seat 6: cheikhalarab (1280824 in chips)
Seat 7: GstartGend (574348 in chips)
Seat 8: -kadlatko- (951858 in chips)
Level 33: stakes 50k-100k, ante 10k
Average: 1.0 million (about 10 big bets)
robsonhech brought the chip lead to the final table and had some room to pick spots. crazytuner, with just 161k, did not. crazytuner doubled once with a 3-4 / 4 that dragged a pot with J-T-4, but was eliminated in 8th place a few hands later. crazytuner and arcmonkey both started with a three-card wheel. By 5th street, arcmonkey made 8-5. crazytuner was drawing dead by 6th street after catching three bricks in a row.
The remaining seven players played deliberately after crazytuner’s elimination, keeping pots small as a rule. cheikhalarab was the primary beneficiary of this run of hands and took over the chip lead from robsonhech. sani5557771 and GstartGend ran the other way, falling below 300k each at the 80k-160k level. GstartGend was the first to hit the rail when 4-J / 2 didn’t make anything better than a jack against -kadlatko-‘s 5-6 / 4, which rivered a 6-5.
sani5557771 moved all in exactly two hands later in a similar spot, to similar result. sani5557771 started slightly better, with T-2 / A, but so did arcmonkey, with 4-A / 5. sani5557771 made a ten; arcmonkey rivered an 8-5 to notch the elimination. sani5557771 earned $240.90 for 6th place.
That elimination left $heriff Hood as the last of the super short stacks, a distinction $herif Hood retained for just three hands. $heriff Hood found the razz equivalent of a race for a final stand, starting with 7-A / 4 against arcmonkey, who showed… A-7 / 4. arcmonkey got the best of this one by rivering a 10-7. $heriff Hood had a chance to improve to a better hand on the river but bricked out with a king.
The remaining four players had stacks ranging from 10 to 16 big bets. They paused to talk deal. The table host, Paulo, produced ICM chop numbers that offered each player between $850 and $980, leaving just $100 extra for the champion. For that deal, each player would get the equivalent of between 3rd-place and 2nd-place prize money.
Big-stack cheikhalarab, in line to receive $980 under the deal terms, requested $1,100.
cheikhalarab: if not 1100 for me then let’s play
cheikhalarab: I have good stats
-kadlatko-: ok lol then I want 900
-kadlatko-: who will donate?
Although cheikhalarab eventually dropped the demand for $1,100, short-stacked -kadlatko- continued trying to extract an extra $47 from the other three players. The deal collapsed.
Just a few minutes after the deal collapsed, the limits increased to 100k-200k. Stack sizes were cut to between 6 and 12 big bets. -kadlatko-, after holding out for that extra $47, went all the way to the river with cheikhalarab but folded a 5-2-3-Q board to cheikhalarab’s 2-J-A-9 when cheikhalarab bet the river. The fold left -kadlatko- with just 350k. Those chips were added to cheikhalarab’s stack as well a few hands later after -kadlatko- bricked out a 4-9 / 6 against cheikhalarab’s 7-Q / 3, which improved to a 10-8. After being offered $853 and holding out for an extra $47, -kadlatko- exited in 4th place with $562.10.
The players paused again. This time they quickly agreed to a straight ICM deal with the wrinkle of leaving $150 for the winner instead of $100. cheikhalarab, having acquired all of -kadlatko-‘s chips, got the best of the deal.
After the 9am break, the stacks hadn’t appreciably changed. cheikhalarab’s lead was a little bigger; robsonhech and arcmonkey were about even. arcmonkey took a big hit when a hand against cheikhalarab went to the river:
When cheikhalarab did the same thing to robsonhech, the end seemed nigh. But arcmonkey recovered, taking cheikhalarab to the river and winning the hand on pips, 9-6 to 9-7. Each player was fighting tooth and nail for the last $150.
robsonhech gave up the ghost first. cheikhalarab completed 3rd street showing a 7; robsonhech called with a 10. robsonhech led the betting with an ace on 4th street, but when cheikhalarab didn’t fold a 9, all the chips were in on the next street. cheikhalarab had the better hand, a made 9-7, to robsonhech’s J-10. It was all over after robsonhech paired 6th street.
That left arcmonkey and cheikhalarab as the last two players alive. cheikhalarab had a 2-to-1 chip lead, but with limits up to 120k-240k, it wasn’t much cushion. Cheikhalarab would learn just how little, as arcmonkey went on a heater, winning every big pot and only losing the little pots that neither player wanted to contest. arcmonkey took the lead inside of 10 hands.
It took another 20 hands for arcmonkey to close out the tournament. The big blow came in this hand:
The end for cheikhalarab came three hands later. Showing a 10, cheikhalarab just called arcmonkey’s jack bring-in bet. Both players caught 9s on 4th street and capped the betting. That was bad for cheikhalarab when cheikhalarab bricked 5th street with a queen and arcmonkey caught good with an ace. By then, however, it was too late to turn back. The rest of the chips went in.
Each player had two babies in the hole and paired 6th street. cheikhalarab was drawing live down the river, but paired again. Queen-ten couldn’t beat arcmonkey’s jack-nine, ending cheikhalarab’s run one short of the final destination.
arcmonkey got things started at the final table by eliminating crazytuner in 8th place. arcmonkey also finished things off with the elimination of cheikhalarab in 2nd place. In between, arcmonkey tallied several more eliminations. It wasn’t as dominating a run as EvaggelosB’s final-table performance in Event 82 yesterday, but any time a player can accrue multiple final-table eliminations, it’s a good bet that player will become a MicroMillions champion the way arcmonkey did today.
MicroMillions 5 Event 91 $5.50 Limit Razz results
Places paid: 208
* reflects 3-way deal
1. arcmonkey (Russia) – $1,131.72*
2. cheikhalarab (Morocco) – $1,088.26*
3. robsonhech (Brazil) – $952.82*
4. -kadlatko- (Czech Republic) – $562.10
5. $heriff Hood (Greece) – $401.50
6. sani5557771 (Russia) – $240.90
7. GstartGend (China) – $160.60
8. crazytuner (Germany) – $80.30
Today’s the last day of MicroMillions 5 but it’s not too late to get your share of the MicroMillions riches. PokerStars is running MicroMillions events all day. Check out the schedule of events and qualifiers at the MicroMillions home page.
Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.