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Aussie Millions is one of the most popular live poker tournament series to be hosted in the southern hemisphere and this year’s edition proved likewise. With a calendar full of 23 tournaments, the 2019 Aussie Millions saw heated action and a number of international and acclaimed faces converge to felts at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
Team India was seen in the hunt with all gusto across several headline events at the series and returned home with three scores. After Vinod Megalmani (5th for ₹6.87 Lakhs) opened the scorecard for India in the A$1,150 Terminator which is also his career-best live score, World Series of Poker (WSOP) champion Aditya Sushant posted a deep run in the A$1,150 Hyper Turbo (25th for ₹1.22 Lakhs). Sushant even managed to reach Day 3 of the A$10,600 Main Event alongside Paawan Bansal and Vinod Megalmani where he was the only one among the trio to make it past the money line (87th – ₹8.07 Lakhs).
Bringing the excitement to a halt was the series closer i.e. the A$25,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha that crowned a champion yesterday. The event was introduced at the Aussie Millions for the first time this year and attracted 67 entries on its inaugural run. Germany’s Anton Morgenstern (cover image) orchestrated a surprise comeback from the bottom of the rankings to capture the event to lay claim on the ANTON Championship ring along with A$530,640 ($382,061) in prize money.
Morgenstern prefers to play PLO and this is his poker career’s second live PLO title. It also happens to be his biggest cash to date, after his 20th place finish ($285,408) in the 2013 WSOP Main Event.
The German pro was one of the shortest stacks when the money bubble loomed but he not only managed to make it in the money, he went ahead to enter the final table where he was quite the dominator. “From almost bubbling to winning it, that’s pretty good!” said Morgenstern, adding. “For the last three years, Omaha has been pretty much my main game.”
The heads-up play with Columbian pro Farid Jattin was equally challenging for Morgenstern. Though Jattin held more than two-thirds of the total chips in the play when the heads-up match began, Morgenstern scored two huge double ups and deftly rode past the chip deficit to take over.
“I went into the heads-up match honestly expecting to just get second and be happy with it. But sometimes the cards just come your way and you fight back,” Morgenstern recalled. “When we finally got even in chips, he was asking for a deal, and I declined…and flopped a full house the next hand!”
Another surprising turnaround was that from Andras Nemeth. Nemeth had bagged the overnight chip lead among 16 survivors with a stack of 518,500 as Day 1 ended. Within the first level of play on Day 2, Nemeth lost two big pots to stumble right to the bottom in chip counts. He did attempt to regain his foothold but could never make it. Nemeth was eventually knocked out by Jattin in 10th place.
The tournament allowed one re-entry and several players including the likes of Rainer Kempe, Michael Gu, David Wang, Cary Katz, Connor Drinan, Dominik Nitsche and Andy Lee failed to make it to Day 2 despite firing a second bullet.
Johannes Becker, Jason Gray, Jan Larsson, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Kahle Burns, Manig Loeser and Jarred Graham were the other notable names that hit the rail on the opening day. All of them were denied a payout since only the top seven finishers were to take home at least A$96,480.
Final Table Recap
Nemeth’ elimination set the nine-handed final table into motion. Two more players were to be eliminated before the money was reached and it was Rory Rees and Takashi Ogura who exited in ninth and eighth place respectively to burst the money bubble.
Alex Foxen was the first player to exit in the money and he went out at the hands of Jattin in seventh place.
Tobias Ziegler knocked out Max Lehmanski in sixth place, and shortly afterwards, Jarryd Godena fell prey to Jattin and joined the rail in fifth place.
Ziegler then sent the last remaining Australian, Daniel Demicki packing in fourth place.
Three-handed, the play was fast striding towards the heads-up and at this point Jattin ran into a stroke of luck when he raised to 63,000 from the small blind and Tobias Ziegler called from the big blind. The flop fell and Jattin continued for 83,000. Ziegler called. The turn saw Jattin betting 292,000. Ziegler moved all in for 735,000 and Jattin made the call.
Both Jattin and Ziegler were one card short of a straight but the former got there as the landed on the river. Jattin scooped the pot even as Ziegler headed to the rail in third place.
Farid Jattin entered the heads-up finale against Morgenstern with a dominating four-to-one chip lead, but all it took were two double ups for the latter to get ahead.
On the final hand, with the flop open , both the players moved all in.
Both of them flopped two pairs but Morgenstern was ahead. The runout changed nothing and Jattin was eliminated in runner-up place as Morgenstern took down the last event at the stop!
Final Table Results (AUD)
1. Anton Morgenstern – A$530,640
2. Farid Jattin – A$337,680
3. Tobias Ziegler – A$225,120
4. Daniel Demicki – A$176,880
5. Jarryd Godena – A$128,640
6. Max Lehmanski – A$112,560
7. Alex Foxen – A$96,480
Content & Images courtesy: PokerNews/crownmelbourne.com.au