The $100,000 Challenge kicked off on Saturday in Melbourne, Australia, at the 2011 Aussie Millions. In addition to that, Event #7 crowned a winner, but we'll tell you about that later, on to the biggest buy-in event, as of now, in the Southern Hemisphere.
We’ve seen your poker tournament, and we’ve raised it.
That is the motto of the Aussie Millions, and in the case of today’s event, it nearly delivered! Just a few weeks ago in the sunny Bahamas, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure hosted their own $100,000 Super High Roller and managed to set a 38 player field. With numbers of twenty-three and four over the past two years here at the Aussie Millions, no one really expected that we would flirt with the number that turned out at the PCA. However, everyone underestimated the highly skilled – and highly bankroll heavy – players that were here in Melbourne, Australia, as a record-equalling 38 players lined up on the felt today.
Though this event and the PCA had the same number of players, thanks to the exchange rate, the AUD$3.8 million prize pool that was accumulated bested the PCA's by $20,000. The winner of this event will take home a whopping AUD$1,525,000.
The usual suspects were there, including Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Patrik Antonius, Erick Lindgren, and John Juanda. Also taking their seats at the felt were young guns Jonathan Karamalikis, Jay Kinkade, Andrew Feldman, Justin Smith, and Alexander Kostritsyn.
None of them managed to make it to Day two and the eight-handed final table. England's Sam Trickett leads those eight into play on Sunday. Right from the get-go, Trickett accumulated chips and once he obtained the chip lead, he never let it go, even crossing the one-million mark, before ending the day with 961,000.
His next closes competitor is David Steicke, with 622,000, with Erik Seidel close behind with 619,000. With such a star-studed field, it's no surprise that the final table is as tough as it is. Play gets under way at 2:00 p.m. local time and PokerNews will be there, covering all the action.
$100,000 Challenge Final Table Seat Draw and Chip Counts
|8||David Steicke||Hong Kong||622,000|
Event #7: $1,100 No-Limit Hold'em - Rebuys
Event #7 began on Friday and after the 86 players who entered, 255 rebuys, plenty of eliminations, a final table was set. Randy Dorfman led the way into the final table, but Oliver Speidel had other plans Saturday - he took down the final table, grabbing the elusive gold ring and AUD$100,595.
Jeff Chu was eliminated first, at the hands of Randy Dorfman. Then Andrew Scarf made his exit, thanks to JP Kelly. Next to go was John Zindo, who started the day as the short stack. He moved all in from early position and was called by Alexander Debus and Oliver Speidel. Debus and Speidel checked down the board of . Zindo turned over two black tens but they were no good, as Debus, holding , rivered an ace to send Zindo to the payout desk to collect AUD$13,640.
Debus was eliminated in seventh place, followed by Joey Lovelady in sixth in a hand that ended with a bit of controversy. After being check-raised on a flop of , Lovelady moved all in and Speidel called. Spediel showed for the second nut flush draw to Lovelady's straight draw with .
The two chip counts were close, so the tournament director instructed the dealer to leave the chip counts alone and finish running the board out, but Albert Minnullin decided to count the chips down for the dealer. There was a collective, "WOAH!" from the table and the tournament director said, "Sir, you can't do that." Minnullin backed away and the dealer proceeded to turn the and river the , eliminating Lovelady.
JP Kelly was sent to the pay out desk in fifth place when his failed to get their against his opponent's nines. Minnullin was next to go in fourth and Eoghan O'Dea exit in third place left Dorfman and Speidel heads-up for the title. The two were virtually even in chips at the start of heads-up play, but after a few back-and-forths Speidel began to take charge.
On the final hand, Dorfman raised from the button and Speidel moved all in. Dorfman made the call for all of his chips with and Speidel showed . The board ran out , giving Speidel the win and the seventh gold ring of the 2011 Aussie Millions.
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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