Pictured: Event 9 – $25,000 Challenge winner James Chen
The 2017 Aussie Millions has continued in impressive fashion, with another raft of champions crowned. And from the first ten events, all but one has seen substantial year-on-year growth. The next five event summaries can be found below. See here for events 1-5.
Event 6 – $1,150 NLHE Six Max, Entrants: 516, Prize pool: $528,900
Belgian player Thomas Boivin has won the $1,150 Six Max event for $117,950. Boivin overcame an impressive 516 players to push his career winnings to over $750,000. He also finished eighth in the $1,150 Shot Clock Event last week, won by Thomas Muehloecker, pocketing $5,995 for that effort.
Local Melbournian and accomplished poker player Andrew Hinrichsen finished in sixth place. Hinrichsen has had a number of successes since coming on the scene in 2009, highlighted by finishing 23rd in the 2011 WSOP World Championship and winning a WSOP Europe NLHE event that same year.
Kitty Kuo is Taiwan’s all-time top tournament earner, and she added another $47,385 to her purse for third place. She finished sixth in the Main Event at the Aussie Millions last year for $270,000, with Ari Engel becoming champion.
Finally, the highest placing local was Joel Feldman, who finished runner-up. This was just his second score at an Aussie Millions, with his largest success at the 2012 $5k Star Poker Summer Series Main Event where he won over $175,000 for first place.
Top 18 Payouts:
|11th||$6,715||Bas De Laat||Swieqi||Malta|
|15th||$5,395||Simon Thwaites||Christchurch||New Zealand|
Event 7 – $2,500 8-Game Mixed Event, Entrants: 75, Prize pool: $168,750
Austrian Jens Lakemeier has defeated Aussie Oliver Gill heads-up to win Event #7. With an increase from 64 players in 2016 to 75 this year, the first prize was pushed to over $55,000.
As the 75 players whittled down to the final table, entrants competed in eight different games, rotating every six hands between the games, unless play was seven-handed, in which case it rotated every seven hands.
Outside of the win, most impressive for Lakemeier may have been the final table he overcame. Almost all players were accomplished, including 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event winner Ari Engel, 2014 WSOP APAC PLO winner Sam Higgs, and the experience Gill, who won this very event in 2015.
Lakemeier adds this triumph to his 26th place in the Opening Event at this year’s Aussie Millions.
|2nd||$35,435||Oliver Gill||Gold Coast||Australia|
Event 8 – $1,150 NLHE Accumulator, Entrants: 721, Prize pool: $739,025
The $1,150 Accumulator event was held over three Day 1 flights with a total of 721 entrants being comprised of flight totals of 206, 212 and 303 players respectively. And it was local Melbournian Bridges Roe to triumph over the massive field for over $160,000.
72 players would min-cash for $2,660 with ten players returning on the final day to crown a champion. Roe made an impressive comeback, starting the final day ninth in chips with 503k compared to chip leader American Alex Givotovsky with almost 1.3m in chips.
Givotovsky and Roe’s days, however, would finish in polar opposites as Givotovsky ran into a series of tough spots, being eliminated in ninth place for $14,780. Jim Andreadis followed him in eighth, a Melbourne local, who has dozens of tournament cashes at Crown over the past year.
For Roe though, his victory would almost quadruple his lifetime earnings, giving hope to those others still in the Series that fairytale results can happen.
Top 18 Payouts:
|1st||$160,725||Bridges R. Roe||Melbourne||Australia|
|2nd||$99,770||Martin A. Ward||New Zealand|
|3rd||$61,710||Darwin Lai||Hong Kong||China|
|9th||$14,780||Alek Givotovsky||New York||USA|
|11th||$9,975||Jonas N Mackoff||Vancouver||Canada|
|12th||$9,975||Melanie Weisner||Los Angeles||USA|
|14th||$8,130||Stephen Smith||Auckland||New Zealand|
|15th||$8,130||Stevan L Chew||Adelaide||Australia|
|16th||$6,280||Daniel J Neilson||Sydney||Australia|
|17th||$6,280||Nick Y Kaselias||Melbourne||Australia|
|18th||$6,280||Andrew J Michael||Adelaide||Australia|
Event 9 – $25,000 Challenge, Entrants: 133, Prize pool: $3,192,000
The first High Roller event of the Aussie Millions was the $25,000 Challenge. As has occurred in recent years, high rollers came from all over the world to play in the elite event where records were yet again broken. With 122 entries last year, the total was again surpassed with 133 total entrants, setting a massive $3.192m prize pool.
And it was James Chen from Taiwan to triumph over the impressive field, edging out American Brandon Adams and Brit Antoine Saout. The best placed Australian would be Rajkumar Ramakrishnan who would finish in tenth for $95,760.
After 12 levels of play, James Chen led the final 25 players, having catapulted his 50,000 starting bank to a mountain of 621,000 in chips. He was closely followed though by former WSOP November Niner Antoine Saout (601,000) and local poker hope Jeff Rossiter (582,500). The top five was rounded out by Mustapha Kanit (485,000) and Brandon Adams (455,500).
With just 14 players finishing in the money, the final day promised to be exciting. Dan Shak, Jason Pritchard and Sam Higgs were just some of the early exits though, ahead of the min-cash of $63,840. Defending champion Chance Kornuth was also unable to repeat his feat. He got it all in with ace-three against ace-king and failed to get any help from the board.
The money bubble brought its usual nervousness for those remaining, with Claas Segebrecht finally alleviating the pressure. The German jammed for 26 big blinds over Antoine Saout’s small blind open. Big stack Saout had been active but Segebrecht raising didn’t necessarily mean much of anything. This time the Frenchman had kings though and wasn’t laying them down. Segebrecht had ace-seven and was drawing dead on the turn as Saout hit a king on the flop. The ace on the river only added insult to injury for Segebrecht who was officially the last one to go before money would start to flow.
“stonecold bubbling 25k’s isnt fun,” tweeted Segebrecht, who’s twitter handle fittingly is ‘@livetourneysfml’.
Local favorite Jeff Rossiter was the first to go in the money, busting with ace-king to Nick Petrangelo’s pocket kings. Rossiter, who announced his retirement from poker a couple of months ago and might be playing his last tournament series here in Melbourne this week, took home a cash worth $63,840.
As players continued to bust, when five-handed, play slowed significantly. Ryan D’Angelo was chip leader for some time but went out in fifth anyway after a number of pots that didn’t go his way. In the end, it was ace-queen against ace-king that did him in. The player known as ‘g0lfa’ online collected $207,480 for his efforts.
John Juanda followed soon after. The poker veteran was short for quite some time and had to go with it when he got ace-eight suited. He got most of his opponents to fold but big blind James Chen had nines and called. A nine on the flop resulted in Juanda drawing dead on the turn, having to settle for a $287,280 payday.
Three-handed play lasted for well over 3.5 hours. Antoine Saout would eventually be the next to go as he found himself short, making a move with ace-nine. James Chen was once again the executioner, this time holding ace-king and turning a king. Saout, third in the WSOP Main Event back in 2009, scored his second biggest win of his poker career finishing third for $383,040.
The heads up between Brandon Adams and James Chen lasted another two hours. Adams, who’s last two cashes have been in the WSOP Main Event in 2016 and 2015, and Chen both were in the lead multiple times but could never hold it for long. After some 90 minutes of heads up play, Adams’ momentum seemed gone. He started bleeding chips and Chen nibbled on his stack, grinding him down bit by bit.
In the last hand of the tournament, Adams made a move with jack-four suited being down 5-to-1 in chips. Chen called with ace-three and despite Adams picking up a ton of outs on the flop and turn, the river blanked and Adams had to settle for second place. Adams’s deep run was worth $590,520, by far the biggest win of his career.
The year couldn’t have started any better for Chen. Coming from a High Roller win in the Macau Poker Cup in September last year, he was heading for Australia in good form. He played the $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. event last week and won it for $39,700. He parlayed that win into a ticket for the $25,000 Challenge and turned it into a straight out win worth a massive $861,840. His name will go into the record books as the winner of the biggest ever $25,000 poker tournament on Australian soil, with 133 players.
|11th||$79,800||David Yann||Auckland||New Zealand|
Event 10 – $1,650 NLHE Bounty Event, Entrants: 357, Prize pool: $535,500
Aussie Rodrigo Meneses, from Sydney, has added the biggest live win of his career after topping a field of 357 players in the Bounty Event, for $119,500.
A total of 32 players min-cashed for $3,050, among them notables including Andrew Hinrichsen, 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event champ, Tyron Krost, Mark Vos, Jackie Glazier and Australian Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson.
The final table was highlighted by Griffin Benger, who made his first final table appearance since the 2016 WSOP Main Event, where he famously battled with William Kassouf back in July. Benger was this time to finish in fifth place.
American Grayson Ramage, who won the Aussie Millions 2013 Six Max event, finished fourth for $40,680. Ramage’s lifetime tournament earnings are now approaching $1.5 million.
Daniel Murphy finished third, the second time he’s finished in the same place in a major event in Melbourne. He’d previously finished third in the 2014 WSOP APAC $1,100 no-limit accumulator event.
It eventually came down to two Sydneysiders in Meneses and Michael Kanaan to spar for the win. Kanaan, who has a combined lifetime live and online tournament earnings of almost $4 million, would not be able to overcome his opponent this time though, finishing runner-up for $81,360.
The 357 entrants in this year’s Bounty Event is yet another increase over last year’s event that boasted 349 players, then won by Aussie Brendon Rubie.
Top 12 Payouts:
|3rd||$50,850||Daniel M. Murphy||Perth||Australia|
|6th||$25,425||John L. Lombardo||Melbourne||Australia|
|7th||$20,090||Colin Morris-Denby||Rongotea||New Zealand|