Two winners were crowned on Thursday in Melbourne at the 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship.
In Event #5, the $1,650 No-limit Hold'em w/Rebuys, Jonathan "xMONSTERxDONGx" Karamalikis came away with the win. When the day began, four tables played a shoot-out format. Karamalikis began the day second in chips behind Jason Gray but steamrolled his way through the shoot-out part to go into the final table with the chip lead.
Luke Abolins and Mick Norton were the first two to go soon after the start of the final table, taking home $10,670 AUD for eighth and $16,005 for seventh respectively. Brian Payne was the next to go when his pocket eights ran into Steve Friedlander's pocket kings. Payne walked away with $21,340 for sixth place.
Karamalikis eliminated Grant Levy in fifth place when he turned an ace to beat Levy's kings. After quite a few battles at the final table, David Steicke finally fell to Karamalikis when he moved all in preflop with and was called by Karamalikis with . Steicke picked up a gut-shot straight draw on the flop, but Karamalikis turned an ace and the river king was no help to Steicke who was sent to the rail in fourth place taking home $42,680 AUD.
David Lacchia finished in third place, good for $53,350 AUD, and it was Karamalikis and Steve Friedlander who went into heads-up play. It didn't take long for Karamalikis to finish the match. Friedlander called from the small blind and Karamalikis checked his option. The flop came down . Karamalikis checked the flop and Friedlander made a bet of 75,000. Karamalikis then raised it up to 175,000. Friedlander answered with an all-in and Karamalikis made the call. Friedlander showed for middle pair and Karamalikis showed for top pair. Karamalikis' jacks held and Friedlander was eliminated in second place, taking home $80,025.
Mostly an online player, this is Karamalikis' first major live win. He took home $122,700 and the championship ring. Just two days earlier, he had made a deep run in the Full Tilt Sunday Brawl. It's been a good week for the guy they call "the Dong." We're sure to hear much more from him in the future.
Event #6 - $1,100 AUD H.O.R.S.E
Just 91 players entered the $1,100 AUD H.O.R.S.E. event Thursday. Play was scheduled for two days. At the dinner break there were only 15 players remaining from the field and that's when the tournament staff decided to play down to the winner. John Joannou came away with the win at around 4:30 a.m., taking home $27,300 AUD.
Matt Grapenthien was eliminated in eighth place ($2,275 AUD) in an Omaha hi-lo hand against Andrew Brown. Shortly thereafter, Rob Campbell (seventh place, $4,095 AUD) fell at the hands of Rostislav Tsodikov, also in an Omaha hi-lo hand.
Tim Marsters was next to go when his went up against John Joannou's in a hold'em hand and the board paired Joannou's four, , sending Marsters to the rail in sixth place, good for $5,915 AUD. Just minutes later, Andrew Brown headed out the door in fifth place ($7,735 AUD).
At his second final table in as many days, Oliver Gill took fourth place in a stud hand against Paul Ramondetta. Tsodikov fell in third place, also to Ramondetta who rivered broadway to best Tsodikov's busted draw.
Ramondetta's streak was soon over when, in a stud hand, Joannou tabled nines full to best Ramondetta's pair of jacks. Ramondetta's second-place finish was good for $20,020.
There are still plenty of events to be played and plenty of championship rings to be won. Be sure to follow the Live Reporting Team for all the action from the felt and follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.