Since the start of the Aussie Millions this year, there was talk of a massive, super high roller $250,000 buy-in tournament. At first it was slated to be a heads-up event, then possibly an 8-game mixed event, and finally it was cleared to be a single table no-limit hold'em tournament. What nobody was counting on was just how many people were willing to pony up the $250k. Not only were we able to get a full table here in Studio 3, but we got two full tables and 20 total runners, creating a prize pool of $5 million dollars.
The field included poker greats such as Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, John Juanda, David Benyamine as well as some of the game's young guns like Annette Obrestad, Andrew Feldman and Daniel "jungleman12" Cates, and the now infamous Chinese businessmen; Paul Phua, Richard Yong and Wang Qiang.
One by one the field thinned, thanks in part to a super fast structure meant to ensure the trio of Phua, Yong and Qiang would be able to catch a flight tonight, but also thanks to the amazing run-good and skill of 2011 Aussie Millions $100k winner Sam Trickett.
After what felt like a final table massacre, thanks to the handy work of Trickett, only poker's newest hall of fame inductee, Erik Seidel and the young Trickett were remaining. Trickett held a sizable chip lead, and it looked like he would go back-to-back in two of the biggest tournaments in poker history. Seidel, however would not relent finding one timely double up after another. Soon, the players were even, yet Seidel had all the momentum, chipping away one pot at a time at Trickett who was clearly getting frustrated.
After about 45 minutes of heads-up play, the stacks now firmly swapped, and Seidel holding the chip lead, Trickett picked his spot, attempting to double. Unfortunately for him, Seidel was firmly in front with top-pair, and was able to hold, eliminating Trickett in second place, and earning Seidel the $2.5 million first prize.
This win in the biggest buy-in poker tournament in history, along with his 4th place finish in the 2011 PCA high roller event, and his 3rd place finish in the 2011 Aussie Millions 100k challenge, give Seidel $3.46 million in earnings this month alone. Congratulations Mr. Seidel on the historic win and legendary month.