PokerStars MicroMillions 6: The World’s Largest Aquarium

micromillionsNovember 14, 2013 marks the kickoff of the sixth installment of PokerStars’ MicroMillions event. Although this series was only introduced in March 2012, it’s rapidly becoming one of PokerStars’ biggest draws, and it isn’t hard to see why.

Major online poker series, like the WCOOP, TCOOP and SCOOP are exciting to watch and to play in, but not everyone has the bankroll to participate in such tournaments, where the buy-ins tend to be in the three and four figures. That’s where MicroMillions comes in.

It Might Get Ugly

The MicroMillions 6 promises to be good fun and good value, but if you’ve got high blood pressure or an allergy to bad beats, you might want to steer clear. It’s very likely that all 100 events, with the possible exception of the $22 main event, will see a lot of extremely questionable play.

Aside from the obvious fact that high guarantees combined with low buy-ins are a great draw for the more casual players, it’s clear that the mix of events was chosen so as to encourage wild play.

Rebuys and Knockouts and Turbos, Oh My!

Nearly a third of the events are rebuys, over a third are turbos, and several forms of knockout bounties are thrown in as well.

Many of the tournaments are Stars’ special 2x- and 3x-Turbo rebuys, with blinds that grow so large that many players are forced all-in every hand, enticed to keep rebuying by the massive add-ons offered to those who weather the storm. If you plan on playing these events, note that they tend to be much more expensive than their sticker price suggests; expect to pay for at least four or five rebuys on average, plus the original buy-in and add-on.

Possibly the most interesting event from the perspective of encouraging aggression is #57, to be held on Wednesday, November 20. This is an 8-Max Shootout Turbo SuperKnockout with an $8.80 buy-in. Not only does $4.20 of each player’s buy-in go to the player who eliminates them, but the shootout format guarantees that survival poker is not an option: you must get rid of everyone else at your table before you can advance. Expect a bloodbath!

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Looking for Value in Unlikely Places

As you’d expect, the majority of the events are NL Hold’em, but there are a number of other games and unusual formats on offer. Few players have much experience with anything non-standard, so despite the comparatively smaller prize pools, there is good value to be had in these events, especially if you can find one with an overlay due to low registration.

If you’re interested in more exotic games, then in addition to the usual Stud and Omaha offerings, you’ll find PL Badugi (Event #17, $3.30 buy-in), 8-Game (#39, $3.30), HORSE (#49, $8.80), NL Draw (#56, $5.50), PL 5-Card Omaha (#68, $3.30), NL Single Draw 2-7 (#69, $3.30) and PL Courchevel (#79, $3.30).

Finally, just before the main event kicks off, you won’t want to miss the guaranteed-to-be-completely-ridiculous Event #96, a $3.30 NL Courchevel Hi/Lo, 6-Max, 3x-Turbo Rebuy with a $25k guaranteed prize pool. Bring a stress ball, plenty of cash for rebuys and a bottle of scotch for that one.

If the weirder games aren’t for you, but you’d like to try something a little bit different while still playing NL Hold’em, you can play with big antes (#12, $3.30), a progressive SuperKnockout bounty (#22, $11), antes only (#25, $3.30), or Zoom (#29, $3.30).

And in case you want a break from the inevitable preflop all-ins, there’s Event #45, a $3.30 tournament modeled after PokerStars’ reality show “The Big Game,” which plays as NL Hold’em post-flop, but Pot Limit preflop, simply to avoid too much open shoving.

Whatever your game, it’s clear that there’s plenty of value to be had in this sixth instalment of MicroMillions – but you’d better go in expecting to see some bad beats.

Alex Weldon is a game designer by day and poker tournament wizard by night. You can read more from Alex at www.benefactum.ca and follow him on Twitter at @benefactumgames

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