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Australia has been the preferred destination for most international poker players and the 2019 Aussie Millions currently underway at the Crown Casino in Melbourne is proof enough. As the series got to the business end on Wednesday, it was the familiar Toby Lewis (cover image) who stole the limelight yet again. The UK-based player matched the glory of his Main Event victory last year by taking down yet another headline tournament this year. He topped a 62-strong field in the A$50,000 Challenge and got the better end of the heads-up deal with Manig Loeser to claim another Aussie Millions title.
In addition to the ANTON Championship ring, Lewis banked A$818,054 in prize money. He now has over $6.3 Million in lifetime winnings.
“I’m just very fortunate. I think I played good and ran good. I didn’t even intend on playing it, I was so tired after the AU$25,000 Challenge. But it looked like such a good event, it got so much more players than last year so kinda felt the need to jump in and the guys were willing me in so I just went for it,” said Lewis after his trailblazing win.
Compared to last year’s disappointing turnout of only four players, this year the event witnessed a significant increase in participation. The field grew to a healthy 37 runners on the first day and 23 among them managed to bag chips with Kahle Burns in the lead holding 242,300. Lewis ended the day fourth in chips with 109,200.
The tournament allowed unlimited re-entries and more players joined the action on Day 2 taking the final count to 62 entries.
Talking about the field size, Lewis said, “It’s easy to say that having the recreational players here helps, but the thing is they started it. They were there from the start so with that, it draws a lot more attention to the event.”
Day 1 of the event saw the play being halted after just four-and-half levels of play and so instead of an overnight re-draw, the re-draw was carried out after Level 6 concluded on Day 2. The unscheduled halt saw an additional day added to the event.
Veterans such as Chino Rheem, Bryn Kenney, Mustapha Kanit, Alex Foxen, Jack Salter, Kristen Bicknell, Cary Katz, and Maria Ho were a handful of the names in the field alongside local players Kahle Burns, Rory Young, Sam Higgs, and Luke Martinelli, were all seen in action but hit the rail.
Day 2 turned out to be a long and grueling grind.
The elimination of Chin Wei Lim in eighth place set the seven-handed final table in motion.
Final Table Recap
Michael Zhang was bounced out in seventh place after his were cracked by Lewis’ on the rundown .
In the next hand, Tobias Ziegler found his run down by Bjorn Li’s on the runout .
Zieglar and Zhang’s elimination left only five players standing. Lewis managed to claim the overnight chip lead and was the only player with a seven-figure stack.
Final Table Chip Counts
Final Day Recap
Unexpected turnarounds dominated the early action on the final table. Thomas Muehloecker, who was carrying the shortest stack, found two double-up`s through Bjorn Li and even snatched a big pot off Dominik Nitsche to get ahead in chips.
Bjorn Li then found himself all in in the big blind against Lewis on a board that read . Li held [d] against Lewis’ . Unfortunately, the landed on the river, giving Lewis a stronger two-pair and Li was eliminated in fifth place.
Dominik Nitsche then led out for 92,000 from under the gun that left him with just 20,000 behind. Manig Loeser announced a raise of 170,000. Action folded to Nitsche and he made the call putting his tournament life at risk.
The flop fell and Nitsche was seen calling out for hearts. The turn gave him outs to a flush but the on the river eliminated Nitsche in fourth place.
The three-handed play started with Lewis holding over half the chips in play. Before long Thomas Muehloecker moved all in for 397,000 from the small blind and Lewis called from the big blind.
Muehlocker was the player at risk and with the flop opening , he was desperately in need of an ace or king to stay alive. The turn was the and Muehlocker was now drawing dead against Lewis’ set. The on the river officially ended Muehlocker’s run in third place.
The heads-up match between Manig Loeser and Lewis went on for a while before the two agreed to a deal based on which Lewis, who held a stack of 1,786,000, would bank A$818,054 and Loeser agreed on A$72,246 as per his stack size of 1,314,000. Both players agreed to go all in blind the following hand, with one card dealt face-up.
The board ran out and both players missed board. Lewis however flipped over the and took the lead with a pair of jacks. Loeser peeled the but it just wasn’t enough. With this hand Lewis also claimed his second Aussie Millions title!
Final Table Results (AUD)
*denotes heads-up deal
Content & Images courtesy: PokerNews/crownmelbourne.com.au
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