The $1,000 Rebuy tournament at the 2008 Aussie Millions featured the first wave of the internet top guns, including Kevin ‘BeLOWaBOVe’ Saul, Jimmy ‘gobboboy’ Fricke and Shaun Deeb. Josh ‘JJProdigy’ Field also joined the field in his first major live tournament ever, as the young internet celebrity just turned 18 recently. Field became famous for his domination of online tournaments, and infamous for an incident where he entered multiple accounts in a major online tournament and won with one of them. That incident led to Field being banned from several sites and told to stay home from at least one major live event.
Jilted from another event, Field headed down under to join the competitors at the Aussie Millions. Also making their 2008 Aussie Millions debut in Event #5 were Grant Levy, who took down the APPT Grand Final Event in Sydney, and the inimitable Tony G. They were joined by local pros Lee Nelson, ‘Aussie’ Sarah Bilney, Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros and Event #3 runner up Graeme ‘Kiwi G’ Putt.
The play was expectedly loose early, with the chips and rebuys flying fast and furious. At one point Anna Wroblewski told reporters she had lost track of how many times she had rebought after losing with A-Q four times and A-K twice. Once the rebuy period ended, the eliminations began, with Kenna James, Brandon Schaefer, Sol Bergren, and Karib Karib among the early eliminations.
Field made it almost to the bubble in his first casino tournament, running into David Steicke in a classic coin flip. After a preflop raise from Wroblewski, Michael Russell and Steicke both called, only to see Field push all in over the top. After Wroblewski and Russell folded, Steicke put the last of his chips in with pocket sevens to Field’s . No help on the board of for Field, and he was eliminated out of the money.
By the end of Day 1, Tony Dunst had amassed a significant chip lead over the rest of the field, but he would miss the final table when he, and fellow big stack, Michael Pedley got into a confrontation in a battle of pocket pairs. Dunst put all his chips in with pocket Tens, but ran into Pedley’s Kings and his tournament was over in 10th place. After Dunst’s elimination, the final table looked like this -
Seat 1: Michael Pedley - 208,000
Seat 2: Anna Wroblewski - 37,000
Seat 3: Robert Wang - 46,000
Seat 4: Larry Karambis - 120,000
Seat 5: Rayan Nathan - 60,000
Seat 6: Dane Lomas - 85,000
Seat 7: David Bach - 103,000
Seat 8: David Steicke - 62,000
Seat 9: Julian Powell - 64,000
It took a little while for the first knockout blow to land, as the players jabbed and feinted for the first few hands of the final table. Dane Lomas went for the big punch when he pushed all in from the button with , and found action from David Steicke, who defended his big blind with . An Ace on the flop and Lomas was done in 9th. David Bach was next to fall when he got into a big hand with pocket Tens against Julian Powell’s . Bach was primed for a double-up until the Ace on the river sent him packing in 8th place.
Anna Wroblewski made her second final table of the 2008 Aussie Millions, and rode her chip rollercoaster on Day 2 all the way to a 7th place finish. She checked her option in the big blind, then moved all in with middle pair on a board of . Her was no good against Robert Wang’s and she picked up $21,040 for her 7th-place finish.
After a lull in the action, David Steicke picked up the pace when he busted holding to Larry Karambis’ pocket nines for a 6th-place finish ($26,300). Two hands later, Julian Powell went all in over the top of Robert Wang, preflop, with . Wang called with , and his Ace played on a board of to send Powell to the rail in 5th ($31,560).
The next elimination took only two more hands when Robert Wang busted another player. This time it was Rayan Nathan falling to Wang with to Wang’s pocket sixes, and when the board blanked out, Nathan was done in 4th ($42,080). Larry Karambis lasted longer than two more hands, but he was the next one out when his couldn’t hold up against Michael Pedley’s . Karambis picked up a King on the flop of , but the gave Pedley the four-flush and sent Karambis to the cashier’s cage in 3rd place ($57,860).
Everyone expected a lengthy heads-up match when Michael Pedley squared off with a one-chip advantage over Robert Wang, but when Wang called Pedley’s preflop all in move, that idea went out the window. Pedley was behind with to Wang’s , but the flop of was gin for the popular local player. The turn came down and the river was the to give Pedley the pot and send Wang home in 2nd place ($99,940). Pedley picked up a whopping $168,320 in the biggest prize pool yet at the 2008 Aussie Millions!