After a disappointing second-place finish to Gus Hansen last year catapulted him onto the international poker scene, Jimmy ‘gobboboy’ Fricke returned to the Crown Casino in Melbourne for the 2008 Aussie Millions, finally claiming his trophy in Event #3, the Mixed Stud Event. Fricke bested a field of 96 players, including Eric Assadourian, Lee ‘Final Table’ Nelson, Mel Judah, and Thomas ‘Buzzer’ Bihl, who won the World Series of Poker Europe HORSE tournament in 2007.
The mixed stud tournament was a rotation event of stud hi, stud eight or better, and razz (stud low only with no qualifier). The game changed with each change in level, and each level was 40 minutes long. The $500 buy-in led to some players taking a shot at the event which they may have otherwise passed on, as Peter Aristadou learned when he realized he was the most experienced stud player at his starting table. Aristadou was playing in his second live stud tournament ever!
With a field of 96, only the final table of eight would pay, so the final table bubble was also the money bubble. Thomas Bihl held that unfortunate designation when he made two pair, Aces up on seventh street, but lost to his opponent’s King-high straight on the river. Bihl joined other notable eliminations like Mel Judah, Gary Benson, Marsha Waggoner, Lee Nelson and Juliet Connolly.
Jimmy Fricke took the chip lead with three tables remaining, and held it to the final table and beyond. When the final eight were seated, Fricke held a commanding chip lead over his nearest competitor, Graeme ‘Kiwi G’ Putt. The final table seating assignments and chip counts looked like this -
Seat 1: Jimmy "gobboboy" Fricke 134,500
Seat 2: Sean McKenzie 11,100
Seat 3: Rich Holmes 60,000
Seat 4: Trung Tran 15,000
Seat 5: Emmanuel Sideridis 23,800
Seat 6: Graeme Putt 80,600
Seat 7: Jared Bottroff 43,600
Seat 8: Jethro Horowitz 16,300
Sean McKenzie got his short stack in early in the Razz level when he completed with the in the door. Emmanuel Sideridis raised him all in with the showing, and McKenzie made the call. The players’ board looked like this at the end of the hand –
McKenzie – -
Sideridis – -
McKenzie’s 9-8 low was no good to Sideridis’ 9-7 low, and he was eliminated in 8th place ($1,920). Trung Tran also fell in the Razz level, collecting $2,400 for his 7th-place finish.
Jethro Horowitz called all in with a pair of fives on third street after Rich Holmes raised his bet with the in the door. Horowitz had - and made trips on fourth with the , but Holmes started with - and rivered the Ace-high straight to bust Horowitz in 6th ($2,880).
In a massive stud hi pot, Jimmy Fricke and Rich Holmes tangled, to Holmes’ detriment. Fricke led out on third street with the in the door. Holmes raised with the showing and Fricke called. Holmes led out on fourth street when he made , and Fricke again called with up. Holmes bet out again on fifth street when he caught the , and Fricke called with the . Fricke’s board read on sixth, and he checked. Holmes checked behind with . Fricke bet out on seventh street, and Holmes raised him. Fricke re-raised, and Holmes re-raised again for his last chips. Fricke called to see Holmes’ hole cards of for the Queen-high flush. Fricke tabled the full house with in the hole to bust Holmes in 5th ($3,840).
Jared Bottroff went out in 4th when his aces in the hole couldn’t hold up to Fricke’s tens with an Ace kicker, when Fricke caught the case Ace for two pair. No help on following streets for Bottroff, and he picked up $4,800 for 4th place. Emmanuel Sideridis went under the Fricke-dozer when he couldn’t hold up against Fricke’s Aces and 7-6 low in Stud Eight. Sideridis picked up $5,760 for 3rd place.
Fricke took a 5:1 chip lead into heads up play, and it didn’t take him long to put away Graeme ‘Kiwi G’ Putt and claim his trophy. On the final hand, Fricke made a wheel on fifth street and Putt was drawing dead on sixth. As Putt shook Fricke’s hand on the way to the rail and his $9,600 payday, Jimmy ‘gobboboy’ Fricke was crowned the Event #3 Aussie Millions champ, worth $16,800. As he contemplated his win this year and his runner-up finish in 2007, Fricke joked "I really wanted to win last year. Maybe I can scratch off the date on the trophy."
*photo courtesy of PokerNews*