Back in early 2012, Phil Ivey stormed back onto the tournament scene with a big victory in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge. Now, for the second time, Ivey has taken the title in the event, but this time he pocketed double what he did two years ago by banking AU$4,000,000 — his largest single career score.
Ivey was one of 46 entries in this record-setting event, and he was one of the players to fire only one AU$250,000 bullet. Heading into Day 2, Ivey was seventh overall in chips with 622,000. He never really dropped much lower than that and entered the eight-handed televised final table seventh with 976,000, albeit this time it meant he was second to last in chips. From there, Ivey did well to battle his way back into the mix.
Max Altergott became the first elimination of the televised final table in eighth place, and his elimination meant the players were now on a big AU$500,000 bubble. Unfortunately for Erik Seidel, he would be the man that burst the bubble with his bust out in seventh place.
During Level 14 with the blinds at 25,000/50,000/5,000, Seidel was all in for around 15 big blinds with the . He was dominated by the for Fabian Quoss. The kings for Quoss held up following a board of , and the remaining six players locked up a payday of at least half a million Australian dollars.
From there, Tom Dwan fell in sixth place (AU$500,000), Quoss hit the rail in fifth place (AU$800,000), Daniel Negreanu was eliminated in fourth place (AU$1,250,000), and Mike McDonald busted in third place (AU$1,900,000) to leave Ivey heads up with Isaac Haxton. Interestingly, both Negreanu and McDonald were in this event for three bullets and were able to pull out a profit.
Haxton, on the other hand, was trying to get unstuck from his entire 2014 Aussie Millions and did so. In fact, he did very well for himself by finishing runner-up for AU$2,820,000. Haxton played the $25,000 Challenge and the Main Event, but busted both, and then fired six bullets in the $100,000 Challenge and two bullets in this event for a total of AU$1,160,000 in buy-ins.
When heads-up play began, Haxton had the lead with 6.15 million to Ivey's 5.35 million. Haxton immediately began to extend his lead and even had Ivey down to around the two million mark. Ivey fought back, though, and even found a nice double up during Level 18 with the blinds at 60,000/120,000/10,000 thanks to a full house. Then, he nearly doubled right after, but Haxton was able to find a gutshot on the river to chop the pot.
It was at that point that Ivey looked to really get into the zone. He began chipping up and eventually took the lead thanks to a monster pot sent his way during Level 19 with the blinds at 80,000/160,000/20,000 that knocked Haxton under three million. Things didn't take too long after that.
On the final hand, Ivey limped the button for 160,000, and Haxton raised all in from the big blind. Ivey got the count, then called with the . Haxton tabled the . The board sealed the deal for Ivey and eliminated Haxton in second place. Ivey took home AU$4,000,000 in winnings to move over $20,000,000 in total lifetime tournament earnings. Ivey also became the first two-time winner of this event, which is quite the feat given the event has only been run four times now. With the victory, Ivey also moved into second place on poker's all-time money list.
With that, the 2014 Aussie Millions has come to a close. It was a great festival from Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, and we can't wait to be back here again next year to do it all over again. Until then, you can find us at the bar!
As always, thanks for following along.