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One of the bigger live poker extravaganzas in the southern hemisphere, the Aussie Millions 2019 is well underway at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. The 21-day long festival features a full platter of 27 championship events, one more than last year, and the series will run all the way till February 4.
If 2018 saw 7,500 players flocking to Melbourne to participate in the series, then this year’s edition promises to be bigger. The series has already crowned it`s first champion in Daniel Mayoh who won the A$2,500 H.O.R.S.E. after a three-way deal with the other two finalists. Mayoh banked A$29,120 in prize money and walked away with the ANTON Jewellery Championship Ring.
Participation numbers have been impressive in the Opening Event that has already registered 570 entries in the first three flights alone. The fourth and fifth flights are scheduled to run on January 18 and January 19 respectively, and the event certainly looks on track to surpass last year`s numbers of 1,538 entries.
With increasing Indian participation at major international stops, the 2019 Aussie Millions is yet another hunting ground where Team India is expected to come out in healthy numbers. Already, a number of Indian pros have confirmed plans to make it to the series including Young Gun Abhinav Iyer and Vinod Megalmani.
The second event at the ongoing 2019 Aussie Millions was the $2,500 H.O.R.S.E that opened on January 16. A total of 54 hopefuls joined the field and end of day it was Daniel Mayoh who won the event after a three-way deal with runner-up Srdjan Brkic and third-place finisher Timothy Marsters.
Mayoh has played only a few live tournaments but has quite the record in 8-Game events especially in the 2017 and 2018 Melbourne Poker Championships. This was Mayoh’s second-ever Aussie Millions event, but he certainly made it count!
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Mayoh, “I feel very blessed and very lucky. I think all of us were all in and drawing at some point of the day, myself included. This was a very tough final table; any of the seven of us had the skills to win it.”
Last year Salvatore Ribbera (A$39,700) outlasted 49 runners to take down the event. There were plenty of big names in the fray this time, including former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final-tablist Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros and to the surprise of many, Australian Poker Haller of Famer Lee Nelson who has not been very active in poker for quite some time now.
Australia’s poker legend Mel Judah, 2018 WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Ospina, WSOP APAC bracelet winner Sam Higgs and Mark Betts also entered the event, but ran dry of chips and busted short of the final table. Former Aussie Millions champions David Gorr and Richard Ashby also fell short of the final table. Ashby was eliminated two places shy of the final table in tenth place.
When the final eight bagged up at the end of Day 2, WSOP bracelet winner Michael Moore was the one in charge with a stack of 152,500. Mayoh was the second shortest stack coming into the final day where the eight finalists resumed action. Only seven of them were to make it in the money and that was reason enough forMayohto be active from the get-go.
“I was doing well and then after the first break I got short and was down to two and a half big bets. I got it all in on a Stud Hi-Lo hand and made a wheel and tripled up. That was a big thing that gave me life,” Mayoh said, recounting his final table run.
He quietly played through as other players crashed out one after the other until just three of them remained. The three then started discussing a possible deal. “When we got down to three-handed play, there were plenty of big pots. Some that I lost on the river, some that I won on the river. I’m just glad I held out!”
Final Table Chip Counts
Final Table Recap
With the money bubble looming, it was, unfortunately, the Indian-origin player Ashish Gupta who had brought in the shortest stack on the final table only to be eliminated first in a hand ofLimit Hold ‘em. Only seven finalists were to earn a payout and Gupta was the unlucky eighth.
Meanwhile, Mayoh climbed up to hold the second-biggest stack, though Moore still commanded the lead.
The play slowed down then and players continued to dabble around as the short stacks found double-ups. The next elimination hand saw Luke Edwards moving all in with ace-high in Stud Hi-Lo against Timothy Marsters’ four low cards. On the sixth street, Marsters improved to a six-high straight and the seventh street saw Edwards failing to make a higher straight draw, and he went out in seventh place.
Despite an early double up, Lee Nelson found himself short on stacks and finally moved all in with king-six against Moore’s pocket queens. Nelson paired his six on the turn but a brick river sent him packing in sixth place.
Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros was eliminated by Srdjan Brkic in fifth place in a Stud Hi-Lo hand. Skrbic hit two pair on the river with Argyros, who only held a pair of kings, failing to improve.
Start-of-day chip leader Michael Moore then found his sevens defeated by Mayoh’s ace-king that improved to one-pair, sending Moore out in fourth place.
Marsters started three-handed play with a quick double-up that prompted the finalists to sit down to discuss a deal. Initial attempts at a deal failed and before long, Marsters doubled up once more. Finally, they did decide on the payouts each would take. Marsters was to bank A$26,000, Brkic $25,000 and Mayoh was to pocket $24,000, with A$7,620 and the ANTON Championship Ring left in play.
Timothy Marsters`s dream run came to a screeching halt at third place and that too in a brutal beat when his aces were cracked by Mayoh’s kings in a hand of Seven Card Stud. Left with crumbs, he was eliminated in third place at the hands of Brkic.
Down to the heads-up play, Crown Casino regular Srdjan Brkic and Mayoh were near even in chips and each kept snatching the lead from the other. However, slowly Mayoh took over and gained a comfortable lead. On the final hand, Mayoh held ace-ten against Brkic’s king-five. An ace appeared on the window and Brkic found no help on the turn or the river, to be eliminated in second place, as Mayoh took home the title.
Final Table Results (AUD)
The A$1,150 Opening Event A$1 Million GTD has played out three of its five starting flights till now, with two more flights scheduled to run on January 18 and 19 respectively. With 166 entries coming in the first flight, followed by 191 and 213 entries in the second and third flights respectively, the field size is 570-strong already.
With 18 players advancing from the first flight, 24 from the second and 26 from the third flight, a total of 68 players have made it to Day 2 so far with more to come in through the remaining two flights. Flight two chip leader Artur Koren (262,500) holds the largest stack in this group and is followed by Flight three chip leader Sean Eichendorf (218,300).
The next big stacks are Indian origin player, Vishal Maini (200,000), Wayne Clinch (193,000) and another Indian-origin player Gautam Dhingra (179,300) – all three advancing via the second flight. Flight one chip leader Fedon Phaedonos (169,500) is also among the big stacks.
Notables still in action include 2018 Australian Poker Young Achievement Award winner Kahle Burns (17,300), Jonathan Karamalikis (46,600) and defending champion Benedikt Eberle(40,100).
Top 10 Chip Counts From Flights 1-3 (combined)
Images & Content courtesy: PokerNews/crownmelbourne.com.au
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