Aussie Millions Event #6, $1,650 'Bounty' NLHE, Day 1: Binger Heads Final Table
Event #6 of the 2008 Aussie Millions had the most intriguing structure of any tournament so far this year. The $1,650 Bounty Tournament started off with a turbo format, where players had 20 seconds to make their action. To boost the action, each table started with one 'bounty' player, each of whom had a $1,000 cash price on his head for the player who eliminated him. Play then progressed as a normal no-limit hold'em tournament until the final 32 players, the money bubble.
When 32 players remained, the format shifted to a shootout format to set the final table. The 32 players were seated at four tables according to stack sizes to ensure a relatively even number of chips at each table. Play continued at the four final tables until only two players remained, and those two players from each table progressed to the eight-handed final table. Some of the notable players selected as 'bounty' players included Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Grant Levy, Brandon Schaefer, Jeff Lisandro, Thomas Bihl and Jeff Madsen.
The first few levels were tough on the bounty players, as many of them saw their bounties claimed early on Day 1. Anna Wroblewski busted with a monster draw when she hit a flop of holding . Her opponent flopped a set of fours which held up to send her to the rail and claim her bounty. Emad Tahtouh's bounty was claimed by Saidal Wardak when his rivered a flush to bust Tahtou's own A-K. PokerNews' own Editor-in-Chief John 'Schecky' Caldwell saw his bounty claimed when his pocket jacks failed to hold up against his opponent's pocket kings, and Billy 'The Croc' Argyros was crippled after running queens into Mel Judah's aces, and he busted moments later.
As round 1 drew to a close, more notable players went to the rail, including Internet pro Shaun Deeb, actor Michael Vartan and Jon 'Pearljammer' Turner. Former WSOP Women's Champ Jennifer Tilly was joined on the rail by boyfriend Phil 'Unabomber' Laak when they both busted on Day 1. Mick 'The Hoon' Stanton was the final elimination before the money bubble and the shootout format change, when Alfred Grech's outflopped Stanton's .
After Stanton's elimination, the players reseated based on chip counts and proceeded with the shootout portion of the event. The final two players from each table advanced to the final table, and several big names just missed the final table. Josh 'JJProdigy' Field booked his first live tournament cash when he finished in 15th, but he was hoping for more in a hand where he hit the flop hard with . All the money went in preflop, and Field found himself heads-up against Marlon Goonawardne, who held . The flop came down , but the on the river gave Goonawardne a Broadway straight and sent Field to the rail. Goonawardne advanced to the final table when he took out Michaela Johansson in 11th place to finish off his table.
APPT Grand Final Winner Grant Levy was one of the final bustouts of the night when he ran into David Kruger's , all the chips going in preflop. Kruger's hand held up on the board, and he collected Levy's bounty as well as a spot at the final table. Greg Tomas was the final-table bubble boy when Michael Binger picked off his steal attempt with pocket tens. Binger rivered a full house to send Tomas to the rail, and the final table was set.
Here are the official final-table seating assignments and chip counts:
Seat 1: Ramy Tadros - 162,500
Seat 2: Steve Leonard - 145,000
Seat 3: Jeppe Nielsen - 56,000
Seat 4: Michael Binger - 393,000
Seat 5: Marlon Goonawardne - 322,000
Seat 6: Kim Pearl - 311,000
Seat 7: David Kruger - 236,000
Seat 8: Josh Egan - 225,000