David Steicke took down the $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Challenge, the biggest buy-in event of the 2009 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, on Sunday. Steicke entered the day's action with the lead, lost that lead early on Day 2, but battled back to eliminate all but one of his opponents on the way to the title and the AUD $1.2 million top prize.
After a breakneck pace on Day 1, players started slow on Day 2. It took nearly two hours for the first elimination to take place, and it would be the only one of the day not involving Steicke. John Juanda raised preflop with , and JC Tran defended his big blind with . The flop was bingo for Tran, who checked to Juanda, then went for the check-raise when Juanda bet. Juanda thought for a long moment before moving all in over the top. He got his bad news when Tran tabled trips, and did not improve as the turn and river came down . Tran improved to a full house on the turn as Juanda was eliminated.
Soon after, Bill Jordanou three-bet David Steicke preflop with , only to see Steicke move all in over the top. Jordanou called instantly, but Steicke tabled the cooler with for not only the bigger pair, but also having both of Jordanou's suits dominated. The board of brought no help for Jordanou, and he bubbled the money spots in fifth place.
Dan Shak was the next to fall to the Steicke bulldozer, picking up $200,000 for his fourth-place showing. Steicke raised preflop, and Shak re-raised with . Steicke wasted no time moving all in over the top, and Shak thought for a moment before calling. Again Steicke tabled the dominant pocket pair, this time . All the suspense went away when the flop came to give Steicke quads and leave Shak drawing dead. The rest of the board ran out , and Shak was done.
Three-handed play continued for quite some time before Steicke was able to claim another victim. After taking a massive chip lead over his two remaining opponents, Steicke raised preflop with . JC Tran made a stand with , but found no help on the board. Tran headed to the rail in third place, worth $300,000. Steicke held a 10:1 chip lead going into heads-up play, and it took longer to spread the prize money across the table than it did for Steicke to dispatch Tony Bloom in second place ($600,000).
Just a few hands into heads-up play, Bloom made a stand with . Steicke called from a wide range, this time doing so with . Bloom held the lead on the flop as it came down , and the turn left him poised for a double-up when it came the . The river, though, made a bigger two pair for Steicke, who overcame a field of the toughest pros on the tournament circuit to claim the Raymond Weil winner's watch and the $1.2 million top prize.