Ivey, Negreanu, Seidel, and Dwan Headline Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge Final Table
The 2014 Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge has reached a final table, and you can follow the live coverage of the event by clicking here. In preparation for the final table and in honor of just how big the event was this year, PokerNews is here to take a closer look at how the event compares to others in the world and what's at stake at the final table.
The event has clearly been an event for the ages, shattering the previous record for entries of 20 (2011). This year's field topped off at 46 entries, and there are now just eight players remaining heading into the televised final table.
How big is this event really, though?
With a prize pool of AU$11,270,000 (approx. $10,000,000) that was generated, this event ranks just outside of the top 30 for largest poker tournament prize pool ever. The AU$4,000,000 (approx. $3,575,000) first-place prize ranks 17th all time behind the 2006 World Poker Tour Championship that was won by Joe Bartholdi for $3,760,165. If you remove World Series of Poker events from the equation, this LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge first-place prize would be fifth on the all-time list.
The $250,000 Challenge was a brand-new event on the Aussie Millions schedule in 2011. Interestingly enough, two of the three previous winners of this event are here at the final table with Erik Seidel (2011) and Phil Ivey (2012). Last year's winner and the defending champion, Sam Trickett, did not participate in any events at the 2014 Aussie Millions.
With more than double the field size and a massive top prize going to the winner, let's take a look at how this year's event compares to the previous three:
|Year||Entries||Prize Pool||Winner||First Prize|
*Denotes no rake taken for the event.
There are several story lines that could emerge as the headline when this event comes to an end. First and foremost, Ivey or Seidel could become the first two-time winner of the event. If Ivey finishes second or better, he'll eclipse the $20,000,000 mark for career lifetime tournament winnings. If he does finish that high and both Seidel and Negreanu don't cash, he'll move into second on poker's all-time money list behind Antonio Esfandiari. Seidel passed $20,000,000 mark a couple days ago when he took third in the $100,000 Challenge for AU$1,076,000.
Isaac Haxton's story is one that involves him trying to get unstuck for the trip after having invested well over a million dollars here in Melbourne this year. The biggest hit to Haxton's pockets came when he fired six bullets in the $100,000 Challenge and left with nothing to show for it. In this event, Haxton is in for AU$500,000 after buying in twice. With a massive chip lead heading into the televised final table, it looks like Haxton will be recouping some of his losses, if not all of them, pending a massive failure.
Tom Dwan could return right into poker's spotlight if he is able to win the event. Dwan has been relatively quiet for about a year now, but a win here would put him right back in the poker spotlight.
Then you have the success of a couple players riding a current hot streak in Max Altergott, Fabian Quoss, and Mike McDonald. Altergott won the 2014 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge following a five-way chop, and Quoss is coming off a big January that saw him take down the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller for $1,629,940. McDonald also had a big PCA, finishing runner-up in the Main Event for $1,094,865 after a three-way deal was made.
Last, but certainly not least, is Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. Less than a year ago, Negreanu won the inaugural WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event for AU$1,038,825, and that ignited his run to a second WSOP Player of the Year title that was capped off when he won the WSOP Europe €25,000 High Roller. What's more, Negreanu was named the Player of the Decade by the Global Poker Index at the beginning of 2014 and is coming off a sixth-place finish in the $100,000 Challenge.
Finally, let's take a look at where each player ranks on poker's all-time money list.
|Rank||Player||All-Time Earnings||Largest Single Score|
While Seidel and Negreanu are both over $20,000,000 and very close in earnings, neither can catch Esfandiari, who tops the list with $26,219,676. Dwan is the lowest on that list, and will earn his single largest score simply by finishing in the money in this event.
Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for a recap from the final table, and don't forget that you can follow the live coverage of the event by clicking here.