2011 Aussie Millions Event #5 Day 1: Daniel Ospina Mixing Things Up; Blanner Takes Gold in Event #4

Daniel Ospina

On the seventh day of the 2011 Aussie Millions, an event kicked off and another closed the books. Event #5, $1,100 8-Game Mixed Event, got under way with 68 players testing their skills in various disciplines of poker. This event was a new addition to the Aussie Millions schedule, replacing both the $1,100 and $10,500 H.O.R.S.E. events.

The international brigade was led by Joseph Serock, Mike Watson, Maria Ho, Jarred Solomon, David Steicke and Harry Demetriou in a field that was dominated by local and regional talent such as the likes of old-schoolers Joe Cabret, Mel Judah, Gary Benson and Graeme Putt, along with youngsters James Obst, Tim Marsters, Mark Furniss, Trung Tran and Rob Campbell.

Just over nine hours after play began, a final table was set and Daniel Ospina, from the United States, was the one leading the charge. Ospina bagged 186,700 in chips at the end of play and his closest competitor, Australia's Bruno Portaro, sits with 104,400. For Portaro, this marks his fifth Aussie Millions cash and fourth time he has secured a seat on the final table. Two of Australia's best mixed game players - Oliver Gill and Dane Coltman - sit next, and the final seven are rounded out by international tournament circuit veteran Casey Kastle, long-time Australian poker supporter Paul Ravesi and England's Richard Ashby.

Play kicks off at 4:00 p.m. local time in Melbourne and so you won't want to miss any of the action as each player is guaranteed at least AUD$2,040, with first place taking home AUD$23,800.

Event #4: $1,100 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout

Denmark's Soren Blanner went into the final table of Event #4 holding the chip lead and though there were some ups and downs, he came out on top, besting the field in and taking home AUD$37,920.

Within the first few minutes of play, the table was already reduced by one. John Eames made his exit in tenth place when his pocket tens couldn't hold up to the ace-queen of fellow countryman James Keys. Daniel Neilson was the next player to be sent to the payout desk. He moved all in with {q-Spades}{j-Hearts} and was called by Justin Walch who was holding pocket queens. Though Neilson flopped a gutshot straight draw, he didn't get there, leaving the table eight-handed.

Next to go was Chris Yea, in eighth place, followed by the back-to-back-to-back eliminations of Andrew Teng in seventh, James Keys (who was crippled in Teng's bust out hand) in sixth, and Justin Walch in fifth.

Blanner disposed of Charlie Combes in fourth place, but it wasn't without a sweat. After a raise from Blanner preflop, Combes moved all in and was called by Blanner, only to see he was in trouble. Blanner tabled {a-Hearts}{10-Hearts} and Combes showed {k-Diamonds}{q-Spades}. The flop may have paired both players, coming down {7-Hearts}{k-Spades}{10-Spades}, but Combes was in the lead and looking for a double up. The {2-Spades} on the river gave Combes more hope, but it was the {10-Clubs} that sealed his fate and sent him to the payout desk to collect his AUD$14,220.

After Barry Drysdale's exit in third, (by Blanner) a short break was taken. Jack Powell and Soren Blanner were virtually even in chips when heads-up play began. It didn't take long however for all the chips to move to one side of the table. Powell was crippled after the first few hands of heads-up play. Powell min-raised to 40,000 from the button before Blanner reraised to 120,000. Powell moved all-in and Blanner snap-called, tabling {a-Clubs}{j-Clubs} but found himself flipping for his tournament life against Powell's {6-Spades}{6-Clubs}.

Blanner paired his ace on the flop and if that wasn't enough, improved to the nut flush on the river, leaving his opponent with a mere 93,000 in chips. It was over in the very next hand when Blanner moved all in with pocket kings and the reluctant Powell said, "All right, let's do this," making the call and showing {4-Hearts}{2-Hearts}.

Jack Powell was awarded AUD$28,120 for his efforts, and Blanner took home the lion's share of the prizepool along with the Aussie Millions gold ring.

"I think there were a lot of good players at the final table so I was just trying to get short handed, win a couple of flips and take it from there," Blanner said after winning.

There are plenty of events left at the Aussie Millions, so keep it locked to PokerNews as the Live Reporting Team will be bringing you all the action that comes out of the Crown Poker Room, and as always, follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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