It is one of the biggest live poker tournaments the world over, and the Aussie Millions continues to attract players for its series extravaganza each January at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. As last year’s Main Event proved, with Stewart Scott taking home $2 million AUD for his victory, the tournament remains one of the strongest in the industry.
The $10,500 Main Event began with the first of three starting days and 233 players in the running. Big names like Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, and Billy Argyros were in the field, though many of the competitors did not make it through the day. When the chips were counted at the conclusion of play, it was Sorel Mizzi in the chip lead with 112,300 chips.
Day 1B brought another 243 players into the mix, which guaranteed that the first prize would be a minimum of $1 million. Some of the recognizable faces in the crowd included Erik Seidel, Chris Ferguson, Grant Levy, Shane Warne, Vanessa Selbst, Tony Dunst, Jay Rosenkrantz, Leo Margets, Jeff Lisandro, Dani Stern, Van Marcus, Annette Obrestad, and defending champion Stewart Scott. The day ended with no chip leader specified in the official reporting.
Day 1C was the last chance to get in on Aussie Millions Main Event action, and 270 players took advantage of that opportunity, bringing the total number of players in the tournament to 746. The prize pool was calculated to be $7,460,000, which guaranteed $2 million for the ultimate winner, though the top 72 finishers would be paid at least a minimum of $15K. In the crowd on the third starting day were names like Tony G, Mark Vos, Clonie Gowen, and Chris Moorman. When the action stopped at the end of the requisite seven levels, it was Pierre Aoukar in the lead with 178,500 chips.
Day 2 saw a total of 294 players return for play, but as the hours went by, players like Tony G, Erick Lindgren, Joe Hachem, and Dan Harrington were eliminated. By the time play ended for the night, only 83 remained, and David Frieling was the chip leader with a bag full of 537,000 chips. He was followed by Pierre Aoukar and his 501K-stack, and the rest of the top five included Sorel Mizzi, Chad Wiedenhoeft, and Jurgen Wenigwieser.
Players came into Day 3 hoping to make the money, but a few of the 83 starting players had to go before the bubble burst. It took some time during hand-for-hand action, but finally, a hand began with Joseph Sevian raising, Chris Gillard calling, and Peter Jetten putting in a reraise. Sevian raised again, which prompted a fold from Gillard but an all-in move from Jetten. Sevian was covered and finally called all-in for his tournament life with pocket kings. But Jetten showed pocket aces. The flop came to give Sevian the set, and the allowed that to remain the case. But the entire tournament room erupted when the hit on the river to give Jetten top set. And in that painful way, Sevian left the event on the money bubble.
Action continued throughout the evening, and some of the notable in-the-money eliminations included J.P. Kelly in 67th place, Van Marcus in 60th, Marsha Waggoner in 59th, Barry Greenstein in 50th, and Gus Hansen in 23rd. Play finally ended with 18 survivors, and Kosmas Dratsas sat atop the leaderboard with 1,792,000 chips. Annette Obrestad was close by in second with 1,711,000, and Sorel Mizzi was still near the top of the pack with 1,695,000 in third place. Jurgen Wenigwieser and Stephen Shelley finished off the top five.
Day 4 commenced with 18 players, but the small field got even smaller as eliminations started, Pierre Aoukar being the first to leave in 18th place, which was worth $75,000. As the group got ever closer to the final table, the bustouts of Dan Shak in 11th place and Jens Kerper in tenth brought them to final table bubble play. It was during that tense action that Sorel Mizzi and Kosmas Dratsas got involved. After seeing a flop of , Mizzi bet, and Dratsas check-raised all-in. Mizzi called and showed for top pair, and Dratsas showed for middle pair. The latter needed help, but the on the turn and left him without improvement, and Dratsas was ousted in ninth place with $125,000 for the effort.
With that, the final table was set, with Sorel Mizzi as the far-and-away chip leader and notables Peter Jetten and Annette Obrestad hanging in with average stacks. Chip counts and seat assignments were listed as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Sorel Mizzi ||6,033,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Stephen Shelley ||991,000 |
|Seat 3: || Annette Obrestad ||1,349,000 |
|Seat 4: || Tyron Krost ||1,869,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Frederik Jensen ||1,754,000|
|Seat 6: ||Kosta Varoxis ||635,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Peter Jetten ||1,700,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Steven Friedlander ||694,000 |
Over the course of the first 3.5 hours of play, there were no eliminations or double-ups, which made for solid but slow poker action. The most significant result of the time passage was that Varoxis chipped up and out of short-stack position. Jensen also moved up, as did Shelly.
But it was Shelly who finally made a move that would cost him. Krost started the hand with a preflop raise, but Shelly reraised it from the big blind, and the two saw a flop of . Krost bet out, but Shelly check-raised all-in with pocket sevens. However, Krost quickly called with pocket jacks, which remained the best hand as the came on the turn and the hit the river. Stephen Shelly was the first to go from the final table, taking with him $125,000 for the eighth place finish.
Obrestad had been unable to gain much ground during the first several hours of action and finally decided to risk it all. She pushed all-in prefloop for her last 600K chips, and Krost considered the options before finally making the call with pocket sevens. Obrestad flipped over the . The flop made things interesting when it came , which brought Krost the set but gave Obrestad the straight draw. The on the turn changed nothing, and the on the river ended it. Annette Obrestad collected $175,000 for her seventh place finish.
Upon the final six heading off to dinner break, the chip counts showed Mizzi retaining his lead but Krost, Jensen, and Jetten coming up behind. Varoxis had lost ground, and Friedlander was the short stack and the only player with less than one million chips.
Play was slow when the competitors returned from dinner, but Friedlander finally found a spot to make his move. The hand started with a preflop raise by Jensen, calls from Varoxis and Jetten, and the all-in reraise from Friedlander for his last 615K. Jensen folded, but Varoxis came over the top all-in, which successfully prompted a fold from Jetten. Varoxis showed , and Friedlander was racing with pocket sevens. The flop came to give Varoxis the lead, and the hit on the turn to give him trips. A on the river gave Varoxis the pot and eliminated Steve Friedlander in sixth place with $250,000.
There was quite a bit of action with the remaining five players, starting with a three-way all-in chop involving Mizzi, Krost, and Jetten, and a Broadway straight on the board split the pot. But from there, it was Mizzi who lost ground as Jensen, Varoxis, and Krost all climbed the leaderboard. Nevertheless, Mizzi stayed in the lead until Krost crept past by a slim margin.
Jetten won several key pots as well to stay alive. But when his preflop raise was met by a reraise from Krost in the big blind, Jetten pushed all-in for his last 2.3 million chips with , only to find himself in a bad spot up against the pocket tens of Krost. The board produced no help for the all-in player with , and Peter Jetten was gone in fifth place with $350,000 in prize money.
With that hand, Krost took a significant lead, and Mizzi began a serious fall. He allowed Jensen to double through him, which put Mizzi under the one-million chip mark. Mizzi then came back to double through Varoxis to stay alive, and he continued to chip up after that until Varoxis came back to double through Mizzi.
Varoxis was the victim of one additional double-up by Mizzi, and Varoxis was ready to risk it again, though the hand of note started with Varoxis getting involved with Jensen preflop and leaving only 150K behind. The flop of prompted Jensen to bet and Varoxis to call all-in with his , which hit nothing on the board. Jensen was ahead with his pocket deuces. The on the turn led to a on the river, which only improved Jensen’s hand and sent Kosta Varoxis out of the tournament in fourth place with $450,000.
Krost continued to chip up while Mizzi struggled. And just after the final table action hit the 12-hour mark, Mizzi made another move. After Jensen raised, Mizzi reraised from the small blind. Krost pushed all-in from the big blind, and when Jensen folded, Mizzi took some time to think about his options, finally calling all-in for his tournament life with pocket sevens. Krost showed , and the race was on. The board started with a flop, which gave Krost the advantage with the pair of kings. The turn and river couldn’t aid Mizzi. And while Krost increased his lead for heads-up action, Sorel Mizzi left the table with $715,000 for the third place finish.
Heads-up started with the following chip counts:
|Tyron Krost ||10,180,000 |
|Frederik Jensen ||4,860,000 |
The battle took less than 30 minutes and saw Krost as the aggressor, putting Jensen to the test several times. As Krost accumulated more chips, Jensen sought an opportunity to change the trend.
That happened when the two got involved to see a flop. Jensen bet, and Krost check-raised. Jensen reraised, at which point Krost pushed all-in. Jensen called for the remainder of his chips holding for top pair, but Krost showed for top pair with the better kicker. The on the turn and on the river changed nothing, and Frederik Jensen took second place in the tournament, which came with a $1.1 million prize.
The winner of the 2010 Aussie Millions was Tyron Krost, a 23-year old Sydney native who became $2 million (AUD) richer for the grand accomplishment.