Dan Smith has joined one of the most exclusive Aussie Millions clubs as the latest winner of the $100,000 Hold’em Challenge. Smith prevailed after a marathon heads-up match against Russia’s Mikhail Smirnov.
The second day of the world’s longest running ultra high stakes tournament started with eight players eyeing one of four spots in the money with the chip counts as follows:
Gus Hansen 567,000
Joe Hachem 538,500
Dan Smith 346,500
Mikhail Smirnov 265,000
Sorel Mizzi 228,500
Tony G 102,000
Nam Le 79,500
Sam Trickett 73,000
Hansen quickly picked off the short stacks of defending champion Trickett and Nam Le but gave up his chip lead after losing a handful of big pots as Mikhail Smirnov claimed the scalp of Mizzi and shot to the lead.
It looked that either Hachem or Tony G would bubble the money as Hansen rallied but almost as quickly, the Dane hit the rail when he lost a flip with A-J against the pocket 10s of Smirnov.
Hachem and Tony G would finished third and fourth respectively but both collected their biggest Aussie Millions cashes – Hachem smashed his previous best of 23rd on the 2007 Main Event for $60,000 while Tony G’s previous best result was a fifth in this event two years ago for $100,000.
It was USA versus Russia for the title with Smirnov leading initially until Smith stole an early lead when his jacks held against Smirnov’s pocket 10s. The Russian recovered to lead by as much as 2:1 but Smith hoisted the spinnaker at the right time to finish over the top.
Smith acquired the majority of Smirnov’s chips with pocket sixes against A-Q, then finished the job when Smirnov’s Q-6 failed to connect against the pocket deuces of Smith. Despite the difference in first and second prizemoney of more than $400,000, both players smashed their previous best career tournament cashes.
2012 Aussie Millions $100,000 Hold’em Challenge (22 players; 4 players paid) results
1 Dan Smith $1.012,000
2 Mikhail Smirnov $616,000
3 Joe Hachem $330,000
4 Tony G $242,000