Posts Tagged ‘Aussie’

Toby Lewis Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

 Toby Lewis Wins Aussie Millions Main Event

Toby Lewis won the Aussie Millions Main Event this weekend, triumphing over a field of 800 runners. The A$ 1,458,198 (USD $ 1,178,513) first prize was the biggest score of his career, eclipsing his ~$ 600,000 cash for winning EPT Vilamoura in 2010. He now has nearly $ 4.4 million in live tournament earnings.

Lewis went into the seven-handed final table (yes, seven-handed) as the chip leader and never looked back. Ok, technically he looked “up” at times, as he was neck-and-neck with Espen Solaas (5.835 million to 5.680 million chips) initially before Solaas overtook him for the lead early on. Before we get too bogged down with it all, here is what the chip stacks looked like to start the final table:

Toby Lewis – 5.835 million
Espen Solaas – 5.680 million
Ben Richardson – 4.870 million
Mike Del Vecchio – 3.065 million
Stefan Huber – 1.975 million
Chul-Hyon Park – 1.670 million
John Schumacher – 955,000

Schumacher was the first to go on Hand 25. Solaas shoved pre-flop with 7d-5d, likely a power move, but Schumacher looked him up with 5c-5s. Unfortunately for Schumacher, Solass hit a runner-runner diamond flush to take the hand and eliminate Schumacher in seventh place.

Solaas continued to add chips, but on Hand 37, Lewis took a huge pot from Stefan Huber to climb to 8.365 million and regain the chip lead by nearly 1.5 million over Solaas. Lewis ran into a rough patch over the next three orbits or so, seeing his stack dip below 6 million. In the meantime, Chul-Hyon Park came out of nowhere to take the lead after doubling through Solaas on Hand 54. The very next hand, Ben Richardson was knocked out in sixth place Solaas, K-K against A-Q.

Park held the lead for a while, but Lewis kept chipping up while Solaas was a bit stagnant. By Hand 80, Lewis had risen to 7 million chips and back into the chip lead. On Hand 95, he took a massive chunk of change from Park with A-K against J-J. Lewis paired his King and got Park to pay him off handsomely on the river. That put a canyon between Lewis and the field, while Park fell to the short stack.

It was Mike Del Vecchio who bowed out next, though, eliminated in fifth place by Lewis. By Hand 107, Lewis had 15.810 million chips, twice the chips of the other three players combined. At that point, his three opponents were just trying to make it to third place. Lewis was fully aware of this and made them pay, pounding away at them while they stayed out of his way.

“He knew he had to be very tight,” Lewis said of Park to Aussie Millions officials after the tournament. “[Huber and Solaas] both understood ICM very well. It’s an absolute disaster for either of them to get it in against me. It was one of those spots where eventually something had to give but nobody wanted it to give.”

Eventually it was Park who gave, getting unlucky when his Queens fell to Solaas’s Sevens when Solaas turned a set.

After Park’s elimination, the remaining three players began to discuss a deal. Lewis, though, he was way ahead, likely didn’t want to risk a string of bad luck and just wanted to lock up a serious payday right then and there. The other two players, Huber and Solaas, were probably more than happy to also lock up a prize and relax a little bit. They agreed that Lewis would get A$ 1,383,198, Solaas, who was in second place, would receive A$ 1,177,103, and Huber would get A$ 909,699. A$ 75,000 was left on the table for an incentive to keep playing.

It took about another 30 hands to decide it. Solaas went out in third place when his Nines fell to Lewis’ Kings. Lewis had little trouble finishing off Huber. On the final hand, Huber raised pre-flop with A-8 and Lewis called with Q-T. Lewis flopped trips and you can guess what happened from there.

2018 Aussie Millions Main Event – Final Table Results

1. Toby Lewis – A$ 1,458,198
2. Espen Solaas – A$ 909,699
3. Ben Richardson – A$ 1,177,103
4. Mike Del Vecchio – A$ 470,000
5. Stefan Huber – A$ 370,000
6. Chul-Hyon Park – A$ 300,000
7. John Schumacher – A$ 235,000

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Mike Del Vecchio Leads 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event, Former Champions Lurking

 Mike Del Vecchio Leads 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event, Former Champions Lurking

After four grueling days (there were two Day Ones) of action, the final 38 players have been determined in the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. Veteran poker pro Mike Del Vecchio is at the helm of the ship following today’s play, but former champions Ari Engel and Ami Barer are lurking back in the pack with the hopes of becoming the event’s first-ever two-time champion.

158 players returned to the Crown Casino’s tournament arena on Thursday (late Wednesday night in the States of America), each with the dream of capturing Aussie gold. Two Australian players, Najeem Ajez and Frank Pezzaniti, were in the lead at the start of the day with a host of top pros in hot pursuit. Sam Grafton, Jonathan Karamalikis, Fedor Holz, Martin Finger, Harry Demetriou, Jesse Sylvia, and former World Champion Martin Jacobsen were arranged around the tournament room as the call of “shuffle up and deal” rung out.

The start of the day was good for Jacobson as, without having to show down his hand, he was able to pick up a decent stack of chips after calling a river bet from Jack Brown and then watching Brown pitch his hand into the muck. The news wasn’t as good for Sylvia, however. Responding to Duy Ho’s three-bet of his open, Sylvia answered with an all-in move and, after Ho called, it was off to the races. Ho’s pocket tens held the edge against Sylvia’s A-K off suit, and the Queen-high board added a ten on the river to give Ho an unnecessary set. Sylvia headed to the rail, one of the many on Thursday who fell short of the money.

In a change from current protocols, officials at the Crown Casino decided to pay the final 88 players in the tournament. That is slightly more than 10% of the field, a departure from other tournaments which pay anywhere from 15% to 20% of those in the competition. Holding to the usual 10%, however, has allowed this year’s Aussie Millions Main Event to pay the top two slots a million-plus payday, however.

Another player who wouldn’t be around to take part in cutting up the prize pool was Holz. The German wunderkind tried to run an A-9 that flopped a nine against Con Krousoratis, but Krousoratis had the goods. His pocket Queens were still good even after Holz flopped the nine and, after the turn brought another lady to the show, Holz was drawing dead and heading to the exits, albeit temporarily; Holz has already committed to the $ 100,000 Challenge that begins on Sunday.

The tournament could be said to be sedate until a stunner of a hand before the dinner break. In a hand between he and Jan Pettersson, Del Vecchio made the call of a 63K bet on a 5♣ 3♣ 10 to see the turn. A 7♣ on the turn brought the fireworks as Pettersson put out a 140K bet and Del Vecchio moved all in over it. Pettersson made the call and showed only an A♠ K♠ for Ace high, while Del Vecchio had Pettersson drawing dead with his J♣ 8♣. After the meaningless river was dealt (a 10♣, only improving Del Vecchio), Del Vecchio rocketed to the top of the leaderboard with nearly a million in chips.

The pace of eliminations was such that there was no need for the tournament to go to hand-for-hand play. After Matthew Wakeman was unceremoniously dumped from the tournament by Toby Lewis in 89th place, the remaining players were all guaranteed a $ 15,000 (Australian) payday for their efforts. That knockout opened the floodgates as players picked up an official cash at the Aussie Millions and a new flag for their Hendon Mob resume.

Pettersson, Jacobson, and Finger would all leave on each side of the dinner break, but the consistent over the post-bubble action was Del Vecchio’s charge to the top of the leaderboard. He powered his way over the million-chip mark right after dinner and motored over a million and a half only a couple hours later. In one of the final hands of the evening, Del Vecchio eliminated one of Australia’s favorite poker sons, Tony Hachem (the brother of former World Champion Joe), to break the two million mark and set himself up well for the Day 4 battles on Friday.

1. Mike Del Vecchio, 2.33 million
2. Aaron Lim, 1.358 million
3. Tu Lan, 1.22 million
4. Vincent Chua, 1.089 million
5. Ari Engel, 1.075 million
6. Kahle Burns, 973,000
7. Ben Richardson, 967,000
8. Najeem Ajez, 958,000
9. Espen Solaas, 862,000
10. Saijes Mundadan, 835,000

Engel, the 2016 champion of this event, is in good shape to make that run at a second Aussie Millions Main Event champion. Barer, who took down the title in 2014, is in 25th place with his 428,000 in chips and has a good deal of work to do to get into the mix for his second title.

The Aussie Millions Main Event Day 4 will begin at 12:30PM on Friday in Melbourne (8:30 Thursday night in the States of America) with the plans of working the final 38 players down to a more manageable two tables. The action is being streamed by Jason Somerfield over his Twitch account for the world to see, with the stream going all the way through the crowning of the next champion of the Aussie Millions.

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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.

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Nick Petrangelo Outlasts Mike Watson, Fedor Holz to Win Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge

 Nick Petrangelo Outlasts Mike Watson, Fedor Holz to Win Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge

In a rather rapid final table of five hours, Nick Petrangelo got his 2017 tournament poker season off to a good start by outlasting Mike Watson and Fedor Holz to win the Aussie Millions $ 100,000 Challenge on Saturday at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.

Steffen Sontheimer was the leader of the event with 451,000 in chips as it entered its final day, but that lead was a tenuous one. Hot on his heels were Holz (394,500) and Petrangelo (381,000), with the remainder of the table filled out by Sam Trickett (265,000), Watson (146,000), 2016 Player of the Year David Peters (96,000) and David Steicke (78,500) rounding out the field. With only three players getting paid, the desire to remain at the final table for even the shortest of the stacks was high.

Steicke was looking for that proverbial “double up and go home” early on and he would get that (against Sontheimer), but that would be the highlight of his day. On Hand #5 after Holz had raised and Watson three-bet the action, Steicke pushed all in from the big blind and only found Watson willing to play. Watson’s Big Slick was slightly behind Steicke’s pocket Queens, but the Ace on the flop changed everything in favor of ‘SirWatts.’ A ten on the turn presented more outs for Steicke to a Broadway straight, but the river Ace instead gave Watson trips; left with 5000 in chips, those would go to Holz on the next hand as Steicke went home empty handed in seventh place.

It would take almost two dozen more hands before the next combatant left. Watson was once again the beneficiary as, after raising from the cutoff, Peters would defend his big blind. The 7-2-10 flop brought a check-call from Peters, an action that was duplicated when a Jack came on the turn. The river brought a King and Peters checked for a third time, at which time Watson put Peters to a decision for his tournament life by moving all in. Peters mulled the decision for a lengthy time, even using a ‘time bank’ chip being employed in this tournament, before calling off his stack. Whatever Peters was thinking, he didn’t put together than Watson had rivered the nuts with his Q-9 for a King-high straight. Sending his Q-10 (pair of tens) to the muck, Peters was done in sixth place.

With two more eliminations to the money, the remaining players tightened up a bit. Trickett would double through Sontheimer to put the German on the short stack, but that would be the most action for the next 20-plus hands. On Hand 52, Sontheimer’s short stack became “no stack” when he clashed with Watson.

Sontheimer raised off the button with pocket sevens, only to see Watson three-bet out of the big blind, which Sontheimer called. A 6-8-5 flop saw Watson utilize the c-bet and Sontheimer, pondering his action, burned a ‘time bank’ chip before moving all in. Watson nearly beat Sontheimer into the center with his call, turning up pocket tens for an over pair to the board. Sontheimer, however, was in good shape with his pocket sevens; the open-ended straight draw, along with his pocket pair, gave Sontheimer 10 outs to taking the hand. Alas, another five on the turn and the Queen on the river weren’t one of those 10 outs, sending the start of day chip leader to the rail in fifth place.

Trickett would be next to head home (and without any money) as, on Hand 57, Watson’s A-J picked up a Jack on the turn to leave Trickett drawing dead with his Q-9. With a $ 1.76 million prize pool to split amongst each other, Watson (holding a significant lead), Petrangelo (rather quiet) and Holz (continuing his rush from 2016) took care of their business rather quickly.

Holz would be first to go as he decided to challenge Petrangelo. Holz correctly pushed all-in against Petrangelo (holding A-8 off suit) while holding pocket fours but, after Petrangelo called, the “poker gods” weren’t with him. An Ace showed up on the flop and a second came on the turn, leaving Holz drawing to one of the two fours to vanquish Petrangelo. The river six ended that hope and sent Holz out of the event in third place, but with some money for his efforts. Holz will look to add on to his Aussie Millions trip by playing in the Main Event final table on Sunday.

Down to heads up, Watson held a slight advantage against Petrangelo, one that he would extend to a million chips only 10 hands into play. Petrangelo spent the next 10 hands getting back to even before taking the lead on Hand 96 when he forced Watson to fold the better hand (8-6) by over betting a pot on a 5-6-3-Q-5 board when Petrangelo only held a K-7. Now roughly even, the twosome would keep action to pre-flop as three-bets took down many of the next 20 hands.

With both players playing quite strong, the ending came rather suddenly. After a raise from Watson, Petrangelo (holding a slight lead) called to see an 8-2-5 flop. Both players checked their options to see a seven come on the turn, which brought a 45K bet from Petrangelo and a call from Watson. A Jack on the river presented flush possibilities, but Petrangelo didn’t hesitate in popping 150K into the center. At this point, Watson made a move, waiting until the last possible minute to move all in. After an exact count, Petrangelo made the call and showed J-8 for two pair. All Watson could muster with his gutsy move was an A-4 for only Ace high as Petrangelo took the championship.

1. Nick Petrangelo, $ 882,000
2. Mike Watson, $ 529,200
3. Fedor Holz, $ 352,800

(all amounts in Australian dollars)

With the conclusion of the $ 100,000 Challenge, the Aussie Millions Main Event will return for its conclusion on Sunday. Shurane Vijayaram will take a big chip lead to the final table, one that will also include Holz and Jeff Rossiter amongst its notables. It promises to be an exciting day as the champion of one of the poker world’s most coveted titles – Aussie Millions Main Event champion – will be decided.

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2017 Aussie Millions Main Event: Shurane Vijayaram Leads Final Table That Includes Fedor Holz

 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event: Shurane Vijayaram Leads Final Table That Includes Fedor Holz

Six days of competition have taken the Aussie Millions Main Event from its original field of 725 players all the way to the final table and the seven men who will contend for the title. On Sunday at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Shurane Vijayaram will come back with a massive lead over a field that has Jeff Rossiter and Fedor Holz in the mix.

36 players came back to action at the start of Day 4 on Friday with Mustapha Kanit holding the lead with his 2.318 million chips and Day 2 chip leader Jennifer Tilly still quite viable on her 704,000-chip stack. Rossiter and Holz were amongst the more “known” players that also included Seth Davies and former World Poker Tour champion Brian Altman, while Vijayaram was jousting with Tilly on his 745,000 mountain of chips. Altman, unfortunately, was the player who came in on the shortest stack of all. He would depart on the very first hand, with his 54K in chips going over to Haorang Zhang when his 8♣ 7♣ was summarily crushed by Zhang’s A♣ K♣ after an unnecessary Ace on the flop and a King on the turn left him drawing dead.

The first player to make a move on the day was Rossiter, who cracked the 1.2 million chip mark when he got Matthew Wakeman to lay his hand down on a J♣ 2♠ 5♣ 9♣ flop and turn. As he was using those chips to dispatch of Ruzman Hussan, Vijayaram was starting his march. Vijayaram knocked off Steven Swalling, his flopped set of Queens holding on against the K-Q of Swalling, and soon Vijayaram joined Rossiter over the million-chip mark after eliminating Frank Pezzaniti in a classic race situation (Vijayaram’s Big Slick “only” hitting quad Aces against Pezzaniti’s pocket Jacks).

Tilly was never able to get anything going on Day 4, her chips slipping through her fingers until she doubled up through Vijayaram and STILL only had 132K in chips. The World Series of Poker bracelet holder would get her final chips in good, but it would be for naught. After calling a limp from Vijayaram off the button and Nino Marotta in the big blind checking his option, the 4-8-5-4 flop and turn saw Tilly jam after it was checked to her and only Marotta called. Tilly was in good shape to double with her J-4 against Marotta’s 6-4 off suit, but the river seven gave Marotta a straight to top the Academy Award nominee and send her home in 29th place.

A similar story could be told for Kanit who, along with Tilly, was around the top of the leaderboard for much of the tournament. He was able to get up over the three million mark when the tournament was redrawn with three tables left (18 players), but it was a gentle slide from that point onward. Gradually his pursuers drew closer and, with new chip leader Vijayaram at his table, Kanit would send a 1.6 million chunk of his stack to him when Kanit could not call a Vijayaram all in on what seemed to be an innocent 8-2-J-5 flop and turn. That hand saw Kanit’s stack fall under two million, but his next competitive hand decimated him.

After raising from the cutoff, Kanit saw Ben Heath three-bet the action off the button. After both blinds stepped aside, Kanit casually made the call and the twosome saw a Q-8-A flop. Heath c-bet his fortunes to the tune of 185K and, after some study, Kanit made the call. Both players checked the Queen on the turn and, after a King hit the river, Kanit tried to check again, but Heath was having none of it. Heath pushed all in for 1.275 million (slightly less than what Kanit held) and, agonizing over the decision, eventually would call. It was the proverbial “crying call” as Heath turned up a J-10 for the rivered straight against Kanit’s Aces up (A-10), sending Kanit to the basement with 315K in chips. After a double through Vijayaram, Kanit’s final chips would end up in the stack of David Olson as Kanit exited in 11th place.

It would take a quick 20 minutes to determine the final table. Koray Aldemir, Nicholas Wright and Peter Aristidou (oddly enough, the player who eliminated Aldemir) would depart rapidly in tenth through eighth places respectively, with Aristidou sending his stack to Vijayaram to give him a monster stack and set up the final table showdown:

1. Shurane Vijayaram, 7.47 million
2. Ben Heath, 3.27 million
3. Jeff Rossiter, 3.105 million
4. Tobias Hausen, 2.955 million
5. David Olson, 2.35 million
6. Luke Roberts, 1.305 million
7. Fedor Holz, 1.165 million

You might have noticed that Holz snuck into the final table as the short stack. Woe is the final table if he can get some chips in his hand, which is a good possibility as he is surrounded by them with the stacks of Heath (on his immediate right) and Vijayaram (on his immediate left).

The final table of the 2017 Aussie Millions will take place on Sunday as the $ 100,000 Challenge is scheduled to take the stage on Saturday. Continuing his massive heater from 2016, Holz is also a part of that tournament, so it could be a very profitable weekend for the German superstar. It promises to be an action-packed weekend of poker “Down Under” as the 2017 Aussie Millions reaches its conclusion.

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