The 2015 Aussie Millions Poker Championship kicked off in style last week as a massive 1,211 entrants took to the felt over four starting flights for the AU$1,150 Opening Event. In the two years leading up to the event, a foreigner took the title – Rupert Elder did it in 2013 and Mustapha Kanit in 2014 — but this year it was destined to stay put as local player Vic Spadavecchia emerged victorious to take down the AU$215,000 first-place prize, a championship gold ring, and a Rolex watch courtesy of LK Boutique.
While Spadavecchia took down the top prize, the tournament did pay the top 108 players, and some notables earned a payday including Dean Blatt (105th), Leo Boxell (104th), reigning Aussie Millions champion Ami Barer (88th), Australian Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson (62nd), Tino Lechich (56th), Jesse McKenzie (51st), and WSOP APAC Main Event champion Scott Davies (35th).
Final Table Results
According to Poker Asia Pacific, 15 players returned to action on the third and final day of play with 2011 WSOP Europe bracelet winner Andrew Hinrichsen leading the way. Action resumed with the blinds at 15,000/30,000/5,000, and it didn't take long for the eliminations to mount. Among those to make an early exit were Michael O'Grady (15th), Jason Pritchard (14th), Michel Bouskila (13th), Angelo Scicchitano (12th), and Reda Moutawakkil (11th).
On the final table bubble, well-known Australian player Brendan Rubie went from a big stack to out in 10th. It happened after he three-bet all in for 1.13 million from the big blind over the top of a Spadavecchia open. Spadavecchia made the call and it was off to the races.
Rubie was looking to hold, but that didn't happen as the flop paired Spadavecchia's ace. Neither the turn nor river helped Rubie, and he exited in 10th place for AU$13,375 to set the official final table.
From there, Robert Spano bowed out in ninth followed by Camil Debsia in eighth. At that point a raising war resulted in Don Mishra getting his stack all in preflop holding the , but it was no good as Derek Wolters held the . The board ran out a clean and Mishra was felled in seventh place for AU$44,000.
With the blinds at 50,000/100,000/10,000, Robert Raymond called off his stack with the and was looking to improve against the of Wolters. That didn't happen though as the board ran out a dry and Raymond was out in sixth for AU$57,000. Soon after, Wolters opened for 200,000, George Tang called from the small blind, and Amer Akkari came along from the big to make it three-way action to the flop. Tang led out for 300,000, Akkari folded, and Wolters raised all in. Tang called off for roughly 1.5 million and the cards were turned up.
Tang flopped top pair and an open-ended straight draw, but it was no good as Wolters held an overpair. The turn was no help to Tang, and neither was the river. Wolters' kings held and Tang hit the rail in fifth place for AU$72,000.
After the dinner break, Hinrichsen fell in fourth when his pocket sevens ran into Spadavecchia's queens, and then Akkari followed him out the door in third when his failed to overcome the of Spadavecchia, who began heads-up play with a more than two-to-one chip lead over Wolters.
In what would be the final hand of the tournament, the blinds were 70,000/140,000/20,000 when Spadavecchia raised to 520,000 on the button and was met by an all-in three-bet to 2.54 million from Wolters. Spadavecchia made the call and the cards were turned on their backs.
Wolters was ahead, but not after the flop paired Spadavecchia. The turn meant Wolters needed an ace and an ace only on the river to stay alive, but it wasn't in the cards as the blanked. Wolters had to settle for runner-up and an AU$152,000 consolation prize, while Spadavecchia notched the first win and biggest score of his career.
Congratulations to Vic Spadavecchia, winner of the 2015 Aussie Millions Opening Event for AU$215,000.
Here's a little more information from the first event of the 2015 Aussie Million:
|1||184||26||Liam O'Rourke (198,900)|
|2||171||21||John Apostolidis (178,000)|
|3||303||34||Heinz Kamutzki (175,500)|
|4||553||72||Rob Raymond (232,700)|
For the ninth year in a row, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to capture the action from the series’ most prestigious events including the AUD$10,000 Main Event from Sun. Jan. 15 through Sun. Feb. 1; $100,000 Challenge from Sun. Jan 25 through Sat. Jan. 31; and $250,000 Challenge from Sun. Feb. 1 through Mon. Feb. 2. For more information head on over to our Live Reporting Section.
*Photos courtesy of @CrownPoker on Twitter.