Steve O'Dwyer walked away with the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge title and AU$951,960 in prize money from Crown Poker Room in Melbourne on Monday night.
The 2016 Aussie Millions' showcase event attracted 16 entries this year, including one reentry, creating an AU$3.92 million prize pool, and in the end it was O'Dwyer who defeated a field comprised of some of the best players in the world, including David Peters (2nd - AU$889,236), Connor Drinan (3rd - AU$1.022 million), and Fabian Quoss (4th - AU$956,896).
Originally just three were slated to be paid with the winner to take home AU$1.96 million, but a four-way deal did away with the bubble and ensured everyone took home close to AU$1 million.
O'Dwyer's win comes less than a month after he took down the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $50,000 Single-Day High Roller for $945,495. Both scores were just the latest on a Poker Hall of Fame-worthy résumé that includes wins in the EPT9 Grand Final Main Event, PCA 2015 (EPT11) $100,000 Super High Roller, EPT12 Malta €10,000 One-Day High Roller, and the EPT12 Prague €50,000 Super High Roller. It also comes less than week removed from O'Dwyer's fourth-place finish in the $25,000 Challenge here at the Aussie Millions, which saw him take home AU$263,520.
Late registration was open until the start of Day 2, and Mike "Timex" McDonald was the only player to take advantage of it, meaning 13 players returned to action on Monday. Fedor Holz, the only player to reenter, was the first to fall, meaning the Triton Super High Roller $200,000 Cali Cup champ was out AU$500,000.
The next to go was none other than Phil Ivey, who has actually won the title three out of the last four years. Ivey began the day as the extreme short stack, and despite getting an early triple up to get back to a six-figure stack, he fell in the first level of the day.
From there, both McDonald and Brian Rast took their leave in 11th and 10th places, respectively, to set up the final table of nine. However, that wasn't much of an accomplishment considering only a third of them would get paid. After Sam Greenwood and Ben Tollerene exited in ninth and eight places, respectively, Igor Kurganov followed them out the door in seventh, three-betting all in with ace-four only to come up short against start-of-the-day chip leader Byron Kaverman.
After the dinner break, a short-stacked Paul Newey bowed out in fifth, and then Kaverman was crippled after losing a big flip to Quoss. The 2015 Global Poker Index Player of the Year then busted to O'Dwyer a couple of hands later.
At that point the final four players struck a deal, one that saw them leave AU$100,000 and the LK Boutique championship ring on the table. From there, action picked up considerably — including a big three-way all in — and Quoss, just two days removed from winning the $100,000 Challenge for AU$1,446,480, became the first in-the-money casualty.
Drinan was the next to go after his eight-seven failed to get there against Peters' ace-four, and that set up a heads-up match between Peters and O'Dwyer. The duo battled back and forth, but in the end Peters had to settle for runner-up after his queens and sevens were bested by O'Dwyer's queens and tens.
Dion Mavrangelos Wins $1,500 Deep Freeze
Adelaide, Australia's Dion Mavrangelos took down the 2016 Aussie Millions Event #20: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Deep Freeze title inside Crown Poker Room on Monday.
Mavrangelos earned AU$83,620 in prize money and an LK Boutique Aussie Millions championship ring, ultimately defeating a field of 323 entries over three days.
The final table kicked off just after noon Melbourne time Monday and German Dietrich Fast was the first to exit, running a big ace into Elliot Smith's kings.
Michael Wang ran nines into Andy Chong's jacks to go out ninth and short stack Milton Trickey busted eighth getting it in with king-high and failing to improve versus Smith's ace-high.
Wing Sang Lee started the final table with the chip lead, but seemed determine to bluff it off, first handing heaps to Sarah Bilney when he called off a five-bet shove with king-high versus ace-queen, then ultimately getting unlucky with eights versus Smith's rivered set of sevens to say goodbye seventh.
Bilney couldn't hold on to those chips, however, busting fifth after Chong was eliminated in sixth.
Smith flirted with the lead at several points throughout the final, but could do no better than fourth and although Japan's Takuya Yamashita had about half the chips in play three-handed, he paid off Graham Jamieson in a big pot and got trapped by Mavrangelos in another, eventually busting third.
Heads-up play between Jamieson and Mavrangelos started about even and they chopped up the prize money, taking AU$78,000 each and leaving $5,620 and the ring to play for.
Mavrangelos took a 2-1 lead winning a battle of full houses, but Jamieson struck back, taking a 2-1 lead of his own with a full house over a flush. Mavrangelos soon evened things up and kept the pressure on, chipping away at Jamieson with big bets and all-in raises until he had a better than 5-1 lead.
Although Jamieson doubled once, getting it in bad with five big blinds and finding a flush, he couldn't manage it a second time bowing out with queen-high versus king-high to give Mavrangelos the title.
Final Table Results
|7||Wing Sang Lee||Hong Kong||$14,700|
Daniel Demicki Wins $5,000 PLO
The final event of the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, exceeded all expectations and attracted a field of 78 entries that created a $366,600 prize pool.
Konstantin Buecherl was the first out at the nine-handed final table after having previously lost most of his chips in a three-way all in. Fabian Geisel's kings with ace-six double suit then made the nut flush and sent the German to the rail.
8-Game Mixed Event winner Stephen Chidwick followed next after defending his big blind with an ace and flopping top pair, Michael Tomeny made two pair and turned a flush to bust the dangerous Brit. Next, Kiwi Gareth Pepper's pocket kings were cracked by Daniel Demiki, who had plenty of outs with a gutshot and wheel draw before spiking an ace on the river.
Tomeny's jacks were no good against the kings of Douglas Corning to bust in sixth place. Corning's joy didn't last long, however, as he got it in with pocket aces on a four-high flop and Demiki's flopped full house held up. Pocket kings were no good for 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific bracelet winner Sam Higgs either, Geisel made a set with pocket nines to bust the Aussie.
Geisel followed next after turning top pair, a gutshot and the nut flush draw only to see Demicki's set of sevens hold strong. The heads-up battle between Demicki and Daniel Sequenzia was dominated by the Pole, but Sequenzia staged a comeback with two double ups in a row before flipping it in with an open-ended straight draw. Demicki's flopped two pair claimed the victory for a payday of AU$98,980 wrapping up the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship.
Final Table Results
|7||Gareth Pepper||New Zealand||$21,995|