Shurane Vijayaram Defeats Ben Heath Heads Up, Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

 Shurane Vijayaram Defeats Ben Heath Heads Up, Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

Coming into the final table with a sizeable chip lead, Shurane Vijayaram rode that stack to battle the second biggest chip stack to start the day – that of Ben Heath – for the championship of the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event. In the end, that advantageous stack played to Vijayaram’s advantage in his eventual victory.

The seven men that came to the table on Sunday afternoon at the Crown Casino in Melbourne were the survivors from the 725-player field that started the tournament just a week ago. Along with Vijayaram and Heath, Jeff Rossiter was a threat for the title with his 3.105 million chip stack; Rossiter was looking to improve on his third-place finish in this tournament from 2011. Tobias Hausen (2.995 million), David Olson (2.35 million) and Luke Roberts (1.305 million) were in the mix, but at the bottom of the standings – but with many eyes on him – was Fedor Holz, looking to rise from this situation and add to his bounty from the Aussie Millions after yesterday’s third place finish in the $ 100,000 Challenge.

The start was slow for the players as the table looked to find its dynamic. Holz survived two all in moves – one time chopping with Olson when both held A-J – as Roberts dropped into the basement. It would take almost 30 hands before the first casualty of the final table would occur and it would be one of these two men.

On Hand 29, Hausen would raise the action to 135K and Roberts decided it was time to make his stand, pushing his remaining 675K in from the small blind. Hausen made the call and was in a bit of trouble, his 10♠ 9♠ facing an uphill climb against Roberts’ A-10. The J-5-J flop kept Roberts in the lead but the two spades opened many more doors for Hausen to take down the hand. The 6♠ on the turn slammed that door on Roberts, leaving him drawing dead. After the formality of the river was dealt – the A♠ – Roberts headed to the door as the seventh-place finisher.

Only a few hands later, six men would become five in a big clash. Heath popped the betting first, raising from under the gun, and Vijayaram called out of the cutoff. Rossiter put the squeeze on with a three-bet on the button, but Olson didn’t hesitate before four-betting the action to 1.3 million. Nearly immediately Heath and Vijayaram sent their cards to the muck, but Rossiter paused to ponder his action. After a few moments, Rossiter made the call and the cards came were turned up.

The battle turned out to be a classic race:  Rossiter’s pocket Queens held the edge over Olson’s Big Slick and the board would provide no salvation for Olson. The Jack-high board kept Rossiter in the lead all the way as Olson left the festivities in sixth place and Rossiter rocketed into the lead over Vijayaram.

Holz’s time at the table ended almost 20 hands after Olson’s departure. Rossiter raised the action and Holz would defend his big blind to see a monochrome 6♠ 3♠ 7♠ flop. Holz would check-raise all in after a Rossiter bet, which was met with an immediate call from Rossiter. Both men had hit the flop, but Holz’s A-6 off suit was behind Rossiter’s A-7, with the A♠ held by Rossiter. The King on the turn and a four on the river would not help Holz, sending the German superstar to the rail in fifth place as Rossiter’s lead grew.

The foursome left then went into a lengthy battle. Everyone except Heath would have a spell as the chip leader before the remainder of the final table went to dinner break and 85 hands would elapse before the next competitor was sent home. The elimination would prove to be the “turning point” of the tournament as it would send Vijayaram into a lead he wouldn’t let go.

On Hand 137, Rossiter raised from under the gun and ALMOST made it around – until Vijayaram moved all in from the big blind. Rossiter called off his chips with pocket sixes and was in the lead pre-flop against Vijayaram’s K-J off suit. The board had different thoughts, however, coming with a King on the flop and a Jack on the river to thoroughly crush Rossiter’s sixes. After a chip count, it was found that Rossiter was the all-in stack, sending him out in fourth place and stacking Vijayaram with a mountain of ammunition.

Once Vijayaram knocked off Hausen in third – his J-10 turning a Broadway straight against Hausen’s A-J – Vijayaram had nearly a 3:1 lead over Heath as they headed to heads up action. The duo jousted for 29 hands, with Heath never drawing significantly closer that the starting stacks but with Vijayaram looking for the right chance to put away a difficult opponent. On the final hand, Vijayaram fired bullets pre-flop and on the flop and turn, but Heath wouldn’t go away in check-calling each bet. With the board reading 6-9-7-3-Q, Heath suddenly woke up with an all-in move, sending a perplexed Vijayaram into the tank.

Literally five minutes passed as Vijayaram rolled the hand over in his mind, trying to figure out if Heath was bluffing or if he simply drew Vijayaram in. As more time passed, Vijayaram finally reached the conclusion that it was a bluff and made the call. Heath’s shoulders slumped as he sheepishly revealed his K-8 off suit straight bluff that didn’t come home while Vijayaram showed pocket fives for the winning pair and a winning hand for the Aussie Millions title.

1. Shurane Vijayaram, $ 1,600,000
2. Ben Heath, $ 1,000,000
3. Tobias Hausen, $ 620,000
4. Jeff Rossiter, $ 440,000
5. Fedor Holz, $ 335,000
6. David Olson, $ 270,000
7. Luke Roberts, $ 210,000

Vijayaram enjoyed a ROI (return on investment) that would make any poker player envious. Vijayaram entered the Aussie Millions Main Event through winning a $ 130 super-satellite to the Main Event, earning more than 12,000% (12,307%, to be exact) ROI. It also was his first ever live tournament cash, per the Hendon Mob database. If he never plays another hand of poker, Shurane Vijayaram can say he once won one of the premiere events on the international tournament calendar.

Poker News Daily