123 players took the field in Event #4 of the 2008 Aussie Millions tournament series at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, including Jimmy ‘gobboboy’ Fricke, who just hours before had claimed the trophy for Event #3, the mixed Stud tournament. Fricke was joined by a host of solid local and international players, including Jozef Berec, Brandon Schaefer, Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros and Anna Wroblewski, looking for her second final table of the Aussie Millions.
Argyros went to the rail early when his A-K was cracked by A-Q twice in the same hand. After getting all his money in as a dominating favorite preflop, Argyros was feeling good when both opponents flipped up A-Q. When the board ran out , Argyros had gone from dominating to eliminated in the span of a flop. Jimmy Fricke’s hopes for winning back-to-back events were dashed when he ran his pocket fives in the pocket Jacks of David Lacchia.
With the limit event drawing fewer players, only the top 18 places paid. That left Warren Pritchard as the bubble boy, when he was all in on the big blind with . He found one caller with , and went to the rail in 9th when a four flopped. The field thinned rapidly from Pritchard to the final table, when Marc Goodwin busted in 10th place to set the final nine players -
Seat 1: Jamie Pickering - 85,000
Seat 2: Simon Morris - 76,000
Seat 3: Martin Cardno - 11,000
Seat 4: Michael Lipari - 22,000
Seat 5: Jim Sachinidis - 33,000
Seat 6: Ben "Buford" Edwards - 45,500
Seat 7: Ivan Sop - 53,500
Seat 8: David Lacchia - 31,500
Seat 9: James Potter - 139,000
James Potter took the chip lead into final table play, but it was Jamie Pickering who took an aggressive posture once the field shrank to nine. Pickering picked up Aces to send Martin Cardno’s Queens to the rail at the very end of Day 1, and then picked up right where he left off on Day 2, sending Michael Lipari home in 8th place on one of the first hands of Day 2.
Lipari capped the betting with after a preflop raise from James Potter and a re-raise from Pickering. Potter folded, and Pickering called with . The flop brought gin for Pickering with , and he led out. Lipari raised all in with his over pair, and Pickering quickly called. Lipari was busted by Pickering’s flopped set, and picked up $3,690 for 8th place. For his next elimination, Pickering held the pocket Kings to Ben Edwards’ pocket sevens. Pickering’s Kings held up, and Edwards was gone in 7th ($4,920).
Jim Sachinidis managed to avoid the bulldozer named Pickering, and got his last few chips in against Simon Morris. Sachinidis held to Morris’ and took the lead on the flop of , but Morris took over when the landed on the turn. Morris picked up a third pair when the hit the river, and Sachinidis was eliminated in 6th place ($6,150). Pickering once again was the aggressor, sending David Lacchia to the cashier’s cage in 5th place ($7,380) when he hit a Jack on the flop with to outflop Lacchia’s pocket sixes.
Ivan Sop went out as so many before him, in a big hand with Jamie Pickering. Sop raised preflop, and Pickering defended his big blind with his big stack. Both players checked when the flop came down , and Pickering bet out when the turn brought the . Sop raised the turn, and Pickering just called. The came on the river, Pickering checked, Sop bet all in, and Pickering called with . Sop tabled for two pair on the flop, and went out in 4th place ($9,840).
James Potter got in on some of Pickering’s action when he sent Simon Morris to the rail in 3rd ($13,530). Potter raised from the button, Morris defended his big blind with a re-raise, and Potter called. Morris led out on the flop of , Potter raised him and Morris put the last of his chips in with the re-raise. Potter called with for top pair, and Morris tabled for middle pair. Potter’s hand continued to improve when the turn and river came down for the full house, and Morris was eliminated.
The heads-up match was quick, as Potter and Pickering wasted no time getting it all in on a board of . Pickering check-raised the turn, then Potter re-raised and the two raised and re-raised until all the chips were in the pot. Potter had hit the board hard with for two pair, but was drawing to a four on the river against Pickering’s . The on the river brought no help, and James Potter was busted in 2nd place ($23,370). Jamie Pickering took control of a fast-paced final table to emerge as the victor at Aussie Millions Event #3 and claim his $39,360 first place prize.