The $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys Event at the Aussie Millions drew a crowd of the biggest names in poker, with several WSOP bracelets represented at the final table. After a lengthy final table battle, it was Lee Watkinson who came away from his 2008 Aussie Millions debut with the trophy and the $180,600 first prize.
The high cost of the event ($3,000 entry, with unlimited $3,000 rebuys for the first two levels) kept the field small, but the players that braved the waters of big-money Omaha were among the best in the world, including Mike Sexton, Andy Black, Eli Elezra, and Tony G.
Several internet superstars took the field at Event #7, including Kevin ‘BeLOWaBOVe’ Saul, Josh ‘JJProdigy’ Field and Niki ‘Kaibuxxe’ Jedlicka. Jedlicka was an early elimination when he ran afoul of Eli Elezra. In a three-way pot, Jedlicka pushed his last few chips in on a flop of and Elezra and Steve Zolotow both called. Elezra and Zolotow checked it down as the turn and river came . Elezra tabled , and his straight sent Jedlicka to the rail. Elezra himself busted shortly afterwards when he rivered a nut straight with the same card that gave Leonard Barshack a full house. Also eliminated before the money were Tony G, Jeff Lisandro, Andy Black, and Graeme ‘Kiwi G’ Putt.
The final table was set just before the dinner break, and the high-powered final nine looked like this -
Seat 1: Van Marcus - 42,500
Seat 2: Lenny Barshack - 62,900
Seat 3: Max Pescatori - 60,300
Seat 4: Mark Kassis - 99,700
Seat 5: Jamie Pickering - 65,300
Seat 6: Michael "Sticky" Guttman - 38,200
Seat 7: Lee Watkinson - 35,500
Seat 8: Tom "Durrrr" Dwan - 41,600
Seat 9: Mike Sexton - 71,000
Max Pescatori was the first elimination of the final table after he ran into Tom ‘Durrr’ Dwan. With five players in the pot preflop, action checked around to Dwan, on a flop of . Dwan led out, all the players between them folded, and Pescatori went for the check-raise. Dwan went into the tank briefly before declaring himself all in, and Pescatori called. Dwan held for bottom set, and Pescatori held for an over pair, inside straight draw and the nut flush draw. None of Pescatori’s outs materialized, and he was eliminated in 9th place ($10,320).
Jamie Pickering took down one Aussie Millions’ trophy in Event #4 and was looking for a bookend, but instead became Dwan’s next victim to finish in 8th place ($15,480). Dwan once again flopped a set with on the board of -[s], but this time he was behind Pickering’s flopped straight as all the chips went in on the flop. Pickering held the lead with , but Dwan turned the nut flush when the landed, and the on the river gave him the full house and sent Pickering to the rail.
Michael ‘Sticky’ Guttman took out Lenny Barshack when his outflopped Barshack’s . The flop came down and gave Guttman 10s with an Ace kicker, and when the turn and river came down , Barshack was eliminated in 7th place ($20,640). Guttman himself was next to fall when he called Lee Watkinson’s all in move with on a board of . Watkinson tabled , and his trips held up to bust Guttman in 6th place for $30,960.
It took several hours for the final table to thin any further, but finally Mark Kassis pushed all in preflop with . Lee Watkinson called with and flopped trips when the board came down . The on the turn gave Watkinson the full house and sent Kassis home in 5th place ($41,280). Mike Sexton was Watkinson’s next victim, a few hands later, when he missed a nut flush draw to bust in 4th place ($51,600).
Van Marcus busted in 3rd place ($61,920) when his top, two pair was no good on a flop of 0 to Tom Dwan’s flopped straight. Dwan called Marcus’ all in with and dodged Marcus’ outs on the turn and river to set up the heads up match. Just like Event #6, the players settled in for a lengthy heads-up battle that failed to materialize as Watkinson took out Dwan in less than 15 minutes to claim the win.
Preflop, Watkinson raised, Dwan re-raised, and Watkinson called. The flop brought the and Dwan bet out. Watkinson raised the pot, and Dwan re-raised all in with for top set, and Watkinson was drawing to plenty of outs with . The on the turn added a flush draw to Watkinson’s straight draws, and the on the river gave him the runner-runner flush to bust Tom Dwan in 2nd place ($103,200). Lee Watkinson made an impressive debut at the 2008 Aussie Millions, claiming $180,600 in his first appearance.