He did it again. After winning the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge back in 2011, Sam Trickett emerged victorious in the 2013 Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge on Friday after outlasting a tough field of 18 high rollers. The Brit started the final table as one of the short stacks, but he was unstoppable from the moment he doubled through Tobias Reinkemeier, the same player ended up facing heads-up for the title. Trickett took home AU$2,000,000 for his victory, putting him in second place on poker's all-time money list behind Antonio Esfandiari.
The final table started out with seven players, three of whom would not make the money. Play began slowly with a AU$500,000 money bubble looming, but eventually Richard Yong busted in seventh place. Yong ran his ace-queen into Igor Kurganov's ace-king, giving the German a big chip lead with six left.
Erik Seidel was the next player to go. The 2011 winner of the $250,000 Challenge started out as the short stack and failed to mount a comeback. Seidel lost his final chips with ace-five versus Fabian Quoss' ace-queen. From there, the money bubble lasted for about three hours.
Many players were all-in, a few doubled, and some pots were chopped. Finally, Winfred Yu ended up busting in fifth place, leaving him empty handed. Yu was all-in with ace-four of spades and didn't improve versus Kurganov's ace-seven.
Kurganov was in command for a big part of this final table, but a huge cooler ended his day in fourth place. Kurganov turned a jack-high flush and was all-in for the biggest pot of the tournament. The German seemed confident, but that was washed away quickly when Trickett turned over his cards and showed a straight flush. Kurganov added AU$500,000 to his bankroll after already finishing second in the $100,000 event earlier this week for AU$610,000.
When three-handed play began, it was certain that Quoss was going to be all in many times before being a serious threat to the other two players. With just 325,000 chips against Reinkemeier's 985,000 and Trickett's 3,215,000, Quoss had a lot of ground to make up. Quoss ended up all in with seven-six suited and was up against Trickett's ace-ten suited. No help came for Quoss, who took home AU$750,000, his biggest result to date.
That left Reinkemeier and Trickett playing for the title, a position both players have become accustomed to in high-roller events. Trickett finished second to Antonio Esfandiari in the Big One for One Drop during the 2012 World Series of Poker, and Reinkemeier lost heads-up to Justin Bonomo in the €100,000 High Roller in Monte Carlo just a few months earlier. Both had their eyes on the prize and the title, but it was Trickett who took it all home.
On the final hand, a shot-stacked Reinkemeier moved in with king-deuce and lost to Trickett's ace-five.
Have a look at Trickett's post-victory interview with Lynn Gilmartin:
While the $250,000 Challenge is over, the Aussie Millions Main Event has reached a final table and you can find those updates at the PokerNews Live Reporting page on Saturday. We'll also be covering the $25,000 Challenge, which kicks off at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, so be sure to stay locked in to PokerNews.com.