Michael Chrisanthopoulos started the final table of the Aussie Millions Main Event with a massive chip lead, but he wasn’t able to hold on as Alexander Kostritsyn took over the lead early in the day and rode his aggressive style to his first major victory and a $1.65 Million first prize. The chip stacks looked like this as the day began -
Seat 1: Alexander Kostritsyn - 1,439,000
Seat 2: Peter Mobbs - 1,357,000
Seat 3: Antonio Casale - 1,995,000
Seat 4: Erik Seidel - 1,491,000
Seat 5: Nino Marotta - 1,649,000
Seat 6: Michael Chrisanthopoulos - 6,806,000
Seat 7: Peter Ling - 877,000
Peter Mobbs started the day on one of the short stacks, and he pushed it all in early, getting into a raising war with Kostritsyn preflop and finally going all in with . Kostritsyn tabled , but the flop gave Mobbs the lead with . The on the turn gave the lead back to Kostritsyn, and Mobbs couldn’t catch one of his two remaining outs on the river and busted in 7th place ($225,000).
Crown Casino regular Antonio Casale made a deep run in the Main Event, holding the chip lead at various times in the early days, but he couldn’t overcome the lead of Alexander Kostritsyn at the final table and finished in 6th place ($300,000). All the money went in preflop and Casale’s Jacks were far behind Kostritsyn’s Aces. No help on the board for Casale, and he was eliminated. Kostritsyn continued his domination of the final table when he took out Nino Marotta in 5th place ($400,000). Marotta picked up a pair on the flop, holding , and pushed all in. Kostritsyn quickly called with for top pair, and picked up the on the turn just for good measure. No ten came on the river for Marotta, and his tournament was over.
Nearly two hours passed before the next elimination, as players jockeyed back and forth, trying to pick their spots carefully to make a move for the win. Peter Ling finally put the last of his chips in the middle on a flop of with , and Michael Chrisanthopoulos called with , and the on the turn left Ling drawing dead. Ling earned $500,000 for his 4th-place finish. Chrisanthopoulos couldn’t hold on to any momentum from his elimination of Ling, as he was Kostritsyn’s next victim, finishing 3rd for $700,000.
In Chrisanthopoulos’ final hand, Erik Seidel raised preflop, Chrisanthopoulos called from the small blind, and Kostritsyn re-raised. Seidel got out of the way, and Chrisanthopoulos moved all in with . Kostritsyn quickly called with , and needed to dodge an ace or running cards to eliminate Chrisanthopoulos. The board came down , and Chrisanthopoulos was done. As Erik Seidel and Alexander Kostritsyn settled in for their heads-up match, it was noted that a native Australian had never won the Main Event at the Aussie Millions, and with Chrisanthopoulos’ elimination, that would hold true for another year.
Kostritsyn held a significant chip lead over Erik Seidel as heads-up play began, with chip stacks looking like this -
Erik Seidel 5,685,000
Alexander Kostritsyn 9,925,000
It took nearly two hours of heads-up play, but the young Russian finally prevailed over the American champion for the first place prize. In the final hand, Seidel raised preflop, and Kostritsyn called to see a flop of . Kostritsyn checked, Seidel bet out on the flop, and Kostritsyn check-raised all in. Seidel thought for a moment before making the call with , and Kostritsyn revealed . The on the turn was no help to Seidel, and the on the river sent him home in 2nd place ($1,000,000) as Alexander Kostritsyn took down the Main Event at the 2008 Aussie Millions, worth $1.65 Million in prize money.
The final table results and payouts looked like this from the Aussie Millions Main Event -
1 - Alexander Kostritsyn - $1,650,000
2 - Erik Seidel - $1,000,000
3 - Michael Chrisanthopoulos - $700,000
4 - Peter Ling - $500,000
5 - Nino Marotta - $400,000
6 - Antonio Casale - $300,000
7 - Peter Mobbs - $225,000