The month of tournaments that comprise the 2009 Aussie Millions continued well through and past the main event. The first eight events were not only well-attended but monitored the world over, and the $10K main event with a $2 million first prize was even more popular with players and fans. More of the events are summarized here for your poker pleasure.
Event 10: $5300 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em
With the ever-growing popularity of heads-up tournaments, this event was scheduled for three days to handle the 64 players, half of whom started on Day 1a and the other half on Day 1b. The first starting day went to the fourth round, which consisted of the following matches:
Alec Torelli defeated Stefan Jedlicka
Jarred Solomon defeated Graeme Putt
The second starting day had another 32 players, some of whom were knocked out on the first day. Special rules allowed for a rebuy on the second day, and David Rheem and Alexander Kostritsyn both made those attempts, only to make it to the second round before elimination. When the fourth round came to be, it played out as follows:
David Gent defeated Michael Pesek
John Tabatabai defeated Andrew Scott
The final four returned on the official Day 2, and the semifinals played out as follows:
Alec Torelli defeated Jarred Solomon, who cashed for AU$40K
John Tabatabai defeated David Gent, who cashed for AU$40K
In the finals between Tabatabai and Torelli, it was the former who won two in a row to clinch in quickly. In the first match, Tabatabai’s went up against the pocket eights of Torelli, and the board showed for Tabatabai’s win with the pair of kings. The second match ended with Torelli all-in with and Tabatabai calling with . The board was on Tabatabai’s side with , and Torelli was eliminated in second place with AU$60K. John Tabatabai won AU$100K for the victory.
Event 11 - $1,110 Pot-Limit Omaha
The two-day PLO event began with a different set of rules, as the second chance option allowed players to use a second starting stack of chips at any time in the first three levels. The tournament began with 120 players, some of whom were Lee Nelson, J.C. Tran, Marsha Waggoner, Billy Argyros, Van Marcus, Nam Le, Jamie Pickering, David Bach, and Julian Powell. It ended with only nine remaining and Bach in the chip lead. The table played out the following day:
9th place: David Morton, out by David Bach (AU$2,400)
8th place: Sandra Propper, out by Lee Nelson (AU$3,600)
7th place: Kenny Ng, out by Rene Freymann (AU$5,400)
6th place: David Bach, out by Lee Nelson (AU$7,200)
5th place: Rene Freymann, out by Lee Nelson (AU$10,800)
4th place: Nino Ascenzio, out by Nathan Snow (AU$14,400)
3rd place: Nathan Snow, out by Lee Nelson (AU$19,200)
Lee Nelson took a 6-to-1 chip lead to the heads-up match with Rainer Quel, but the match lasted nearly four hours. The final hand saw some betting lead to a flop, upon which Quel moved all-in with and Nelson check-called with . The turn and river were and , finishing Quel in second place with AU$24,600 and crowning Lee Nelson the champion with a AU$32,400 prize.
Event 12: $3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha w/Rebuys
Played out over the course of one day, the small group of 42 players that included such names as Chris Ferguson, David Rheem, Tony G, and Michael Binger came up with 87 rebuys. The action-packed day resulted in a nine-person final table and Josh Field at the helm. After Sam Youssef was eliminated in ninth place, the rest played out as:
8th place: Tony G, out by Michael Binger ($0 - money bubble)
7th place: David Rheem, out by Michael Binger (AU$15,480)
6th place: Michael Pesek, out by Josh Field (AU$23,220)
5th place: Daniel Ewing, out by Michael Zowie (AU$30,960)
4th place: Jason Gray, out by Michael Binger (AU$42,570)
3rd place: Michael Zowie, out by Michael Binger (AU$61,290)
Michael Binger was ahead going into heads-up action, and the final hand soon came with Binger and Josh Field seeing a flop. Field pushed all-in with , and Binger called with . His two pair were good through the on the turn and the on the river, and Josh Field was gone in second with AU$89,010. Michael Binger won the tournament and the AU$123,840 prize.
Event 13 - $1,100 Mixed Hold’em
Another one-day event thrown into the mix is a player favorite, and the mixed hold’em event drew 86 registrants to the felt. Some of the more recognizable names included Mel Judah, Tony Dunst, and Dennis Huntly. Eventually, 10 players took their seats at the final table, but Melanie Banfield bubbled the money with a tenth place finish. The remainder of the tournament played out as follows:
9th place: Angelo Scicchitano (AU$2,150)
8th place: Nick Putt (AU$3,010)
7th place: Michael Guzzardi, out by Goonawardana (AU$3,870)
6th place: Andrew Kanaridis, out by Trung Tran (AU$5,160)
5th place: Trung Tran, out by Marlon Goonawardana (AU$6,880)
4th place: Taner Durst, out by Sergey Ershou (AU$8,600)
3rd place: Sergey Ershou, out by Adam Peck (AU$12,900)
Adam Peck led Marlon Goonawardana going into heads-up action, and it only took a few hands for Goonawardana to get all of his chips in preflop with . Peck called with , and the board ran out 7]d\- to give Peck the win. Goonawardana received AU$18,430 for second place, and Adam Peck won $25,000 for the victory.
Event 14 - $2,200 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em
The first day of this two-day event saw 266 players come to the tables for the ever-popular six-handed event, and the field included names like Jennifer Tilly, Phil Laak, James Obst, Tony Dunst, Joe Hachem, Noah Schwartz, Michael Binger, Shane Warne, Michael Vartan, and Lee Nelson. Once Paul Foltyn was eliminated on the money bubble, the final 24 players took a break for the night and returned the next day to play down to the final table. Day 1 chipleader Obst was eliminated late in the day, and with the ousting of Mike McDonald in eighth place, the final seven gathered for the following action with Thomas Lindbjerg in the lead:
7th place: Sam Higgs, out by Alexander Debus (AU$19,152)
6th place: Jonathan Dull, out by Thomas Lindbjerg (AU$23,940)
5th place: Alexander Debus, out by Thomas Lindbjerg (AU$34,580)
4th place: Phillip Peters, out by Thomas Lindbjerg (AU$47,880)
3rd place: Jacob Lysemose, out by Thomas Lindbjerg (AU$65,436)
Lindbjerg was then faced with Noah Schwartz, and the final two players ended it rather quickly with a hand that began with a flop. More betting led them to a turn, which was when Lindbjerg made the all-in move. Schwartz finally called all-in with for top pair, but Lindbjerg showed for two pair and the flush draw. It was an on the river that send Schwartz out in second with AU$86,716 and gave the victory to Thomas Lindbjerg, which was worth AU$130,021.
Event 15 - $2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Teams
The teams event has become a favorite of some players, as the team-poker concept begins to gain more support throughout the industry. A total of 43 two-person teams bought into the event at the Aussie Millions - some couples, some friends, and some keenly-chosen poker pro matchups. When it got down to the final table of nine teams, the remainder of the tournament played out as follows:
9th place: Sproule/MacNaughton
8th place: Campbell/Kanardis
7th place: Karmer/Solomon, out by Peter Aristidou (money bubble)
6th place: Sukkar/Srour, out by Peter Aristidou (AU$5,000)
5th place: Portaro/Mountt, out by Daniel Noja (AU$7,000)
4th place: Noja/Alexander, out by Effie Bouyioukos (AU$9,500)
3rd place: Vanderslius/Demetriou, out by Aristidou (AU$13,000)
The final two teams in play - Aristidou/De Cesare and the Bouyioukos duo - went in with the former in the lead, but Nick and Effie Bouyioukos were unstoppable. They took over the chip lead, which brought them to the final hand. After seeing a flop of , Peter Aristidou pushed all-in with for the flush draw, but Effie Bouyioukos called immediately with and trips. The turn and river came and , respectively, and the Aristidou/De Cesare team finished in second place with AU$20,000. The Bouyioukos team won the event and the AU$31,500 first prize.
Several more events highlighted the 2009 Aussie Millions, including the $10K HORSE event and a million-dollar cash game, and recaps will be provided upon their completion.