Aussie Millions Main Event: Kostritsyn Tops Seidel for Title
Seven players returned to the final table of the 2008 Aussie Millions Main Event at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, all chasing the champion's trophy and the $1.65 million first prize. From a former car salesman to an eight-time WSOP bracelet winner, each had the same thing on his mind – victory. Michael Chrisanthopoulos was the main obstacle for the others, as he started the day with a huge chip lead over the rest of the field. The chip stacks were as follows as play began:
Seat 1: Alexander Kostritsyn - 1,439,000
Seat 2: Peter Mobbs - 1,357,000
Seat 3: Antonio Casale - 1,995,000
Seat 4: Erik Seidel - 1,491,000
Seat 5: Nino Marotta - 1,649,000
Seat 6: Michael Chrisanthopoulos - 6,806,000
Seat 7: Peter Ling - 877,000
Peter Mobbs wasted no time going for the double up, raising preflop with , then re-raising Alexander Kostritsyn and finally getting all his chips in the middle when Kostritsyn went over the top of his three-bet. Mobbs was behind before the flop when Kostritsyn tabled , but the flop gave him a moment's reprieve. Only a moment's, however, as the came on the turn to give Kostritsyn the lead once more. The on the river sealed Mobbs' fate, and he exited in seventh place ($225,000).
Local favorite Antonio Casale was next to fall, behind pocket jacks, and also to Kostritsyn. Kostritsyn made the first raise, and Casale re-raised. Kostritsyn three-bet, Casale raised again, and Kostritsyn moved all in. Casale made the call in what had developed into a huge pot, only to see Kostritsyn table . No jack appeared on the board for Casale, and he went home in sixth place ($300,000). That hand also gave Kostritsyn the chip lead.
It was just a few hands later when Nino Marotta tangled with Kostritsyn for the last time. Marotta raised preflop, and Kostritsyn re-raised with . Marotta made the call with , then moved all in when the flop came down . Kostritsyn quickly called with top pair, top kicker, and picked up the on the turn for good measure. The on the river was no help for Marotta, and he was eliminated in fifth place ($400,000).
After Marotta's elimination, nearly two hours elapsed before the next major hand. Finally, Peter Ling and Michael Chrisanthopoulos got all the chips in the middle on a flop of . Ling's was drawing thin to Chrisanthopoulos' , and the on the turn left him drawing dead. The on the river was irrelevant, and Ling picked up $500,000 for his fourth-place finish.
Former chip leader Chrisanthopoulos was the next to fall when he next tangled with Kostritsyn. Erik Seidel raised preflop, Chrisanthopoulos called from the small blind, and Kostritsyn re-raised. Seidel folded, Chrisanthopoulos moved all in, and Kostritsyn called with . Chrisanthopoulos tabled , and needed help to stay alive. None came on the board, which ran out , and Chrisanthopoulos was eliminated in third place ($700,000). Chrisanthopoulos' elimination meant that for another year, no Australian would win the Aussie Millions Main Event. Erik Seidel, who had chipped up without knocking out any of the others, remained to battle against Kostritsyn for the title, with Kostritsyn taking the chip lead into the battle:
Erik Seidel — 5,685,000
Alexander Kostritsyn — 9,925,000
After nearly two hours of heads-up play, the young Russian knocked out the American superstar to claim his first Aussie Millions win. Seidel raised preflop, and Kostritsyn called to see a flop of . Kostristyn checked the flop, then check-raised all in when Seidel led out. Seidel made the call with , and Kostritsyn tabled for top pair with a gutshot redraw. The turn and river came down , and Kostritsyn's jacks held up to eliminate Seidel as the runner-up ($1,000,000), giving Kostritsyn the 2008 Aussie Millions Main Event title, worth AU $1,650,000.
The final-table results and payouts were as follows (all amounts in AU$):
1. Alexander Kostritsyn - $1,650,000
2. Erik Seidel - $1,000,000
3. Michael Chrisanthopoulos - $700,000
4. Peter Ling - $500,000
5. Nino Marotta - $400,000
6. Antonio Casale - $300,000
7. Peter Mobbs - $225,000