Bryn Kenney Wins 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event After Three-Way Deal, Del Vecchio Second
In the largest Aussie Millions Main Event in history, Bryn Kenney defeated a field of 822 players and walked away with AU$1,272,598 (US$923,269) after a three-handed deal between him, fellow American Mike Del Vecchio and Australian Andrew Hinrichsen.
Coming into the final table as the short stack, Kenney scored two doubles within the first 50 hands of the day to steady the ship and when play was down to the final three players, Kenney scored another timely double to stay alive.
After over 100 hands of three-handed play, the trio returned from break and agreed to look at the numbers, with Kenney taking home the biggest slice of the remaining prize pool and with it the title, trophy and ANTON Jewelry bracelet.
Here are the revised payouts following the three-handed deal:
2019 Aussie Millions Main Event Final Table Payouts
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize ( in AUD)||Prize (in USD)|
|1||Bryn Kenney||United States||AU$1,272,598*||$923,269*|
|2||Mike Del Vecchio||United States||AU$1,272,162*||$922,953*|
|6||Gyeong Byeong Lee||Korea||AU$309,000||$224,180|
|7||Hamish Crawshaw||New Zealand||AU$242,000||$175,571|
*denotes amount determined in three-way deal
"I said that I wasn't interested in a deal unless I was going to win," Kenney told PokerNews. "If we were going to play to win, then I'm happy to play to win. But if I'm going to make a deal then I feel like the tournament is sort of over. They were big pay jumps; I've played for this much before, but this must have been the biggest pay jump that they've both ever been involved in."
Kenney: "I said that I wasn't interested in a deal unless I was going to win."
"It's strange for things sinking in. A lot of times I'll do some incredible feats and I won't think of it as incredible because I judge myself so harshly about playing the best and doing the best I can in every scenario.
"Now it'll be nice to relax, have a week's vacation and just relax a little bit. Just be the champion and not think about poker!"
Runner-up Mike Del Vecchio picked up second place in the deal despite holding the chip lead three-handed, and adds AU$1,272,162 to the AU$370,000 he won for his fifth place finish in the Aussie Millions Main Event last year.
"It's bittersweet," admitted Del Vecchio. "I wanted that trophy more than anything in the world. When we were doing the deal negotiations, he wanted the win and the money. I was like I'm not giving you both. So, in the end, I didn't give him a cent, but it feels bittersweet. I wanted the trophy really badly."
Finishing in third place was the best-performing Australian at this year's final table Andrew Hinrichsen who rounded out the top three with a seven-figure score of his own, taking home AU$1,097,739, over AU$400,000 more than third place.
"I'm not sure it's sunk in yet. Coming back from break I was expecting to continue battling three-handed. But when it comes to a complete halt like that, there's a bit of you that has this flat feeling.
"But I was very happy to lock up almost second place money as the short stack. I've not played many AU$500,000 poker games before and I don't plan on any time soon!"
Aussie Millions Final Table Recap
The seven players resumed play today with Mike Del Vecchio holding the chip lead following a big double late on Day 4. However, his lead was under threat as soon as the first orbit as qualifier Clinton Taylor pulled a ballsy check-shove with bottom pair forcing Del Vecchio to fold top pair.
Taylor was the player catching the eye early on, telling Del Vecchio that he would see the hand later on the stream and that he would find it "very entertaining." He also enjoyed chatting with Bryn Kenney at the table.
"I like to talk with people who I don't know about," said Kenney. "We've kind of been going in the wrong direction with players taking it too seriously and making it not fun for people who are here to have fun.
Del Vecchio: "It's bittersweet. I wanted that trophy more than anything in the world.
"All poker players have the same kind of lifestyle, just poker, poker, poker. I find it interesting talking with guys who can play for fun because maybe they didn't do the same route as us professionals. They have different skills, but a poker player is still a gamble. They're interesting people who play for fun."
This pot for Taylor shunted the Del Vecchio back into the middle of the pack, and it got worse for Del Vecchio when he ran ace-king into Gyeong Byeong Lee's pocket kings which saw the Korean double back into contention.
With Del Vecchio falling back, the position of chip leader was taken up by Andrew Hinrichsen who was also responsible for the first elimination of the day. The sole Kiwi at the final table was Hamish Crawshaw who called off a four-bet shove holding pocket queens against Hinrichsen who had ace-jack. An ace on the flop was a disaster and Crawshaw had to settle for seventh place and AU$242,000 in prize money.
"It would have been nice to take it down," said Crawshaw. "Sometimes you've just got to get it in and flip for your tournament life with huge amounts of money at stake. It was a surreal experience. Just happy to get this far. Unfortunately, the final table didn't go so well but that's how it is. You've just got to take what's given to you."
Kenney had enjoyed a quiet beginning to the tournament, and after laddering up one spot, he got his chips in the middle with pocket jacks and held against the ace-king of Lee leaving the Korean with four big blinds.
They went in against Hinrichsen two hands later with Lee holding ace-king and looking in good shape against Hinrichsen's jack-ten. That was until a ten appeared on the flop and with no further help, Lee was eliminated in sixth place for AU$309,000.
Crawshaw: "It was a surreal experience. Just happy to get this far."
This stretched Hinrichsen's chip lead to over ten million, as the other players battled for position. One of those players was Matthew Wakeman who was on the bad end of a couple of hands to drop down the counts.
But when he picked up queens he probably saw a route back into the tournament. That was until his shove was called by Clinton Taylor who had picked up aces. No help for Wakeman saw him eliminated in fifth for AU$380,300.
Four-handed it was Del Vecchio occupying the bottom rung on the chip counts, but he would score a fortuitous double through Taylor. Holding pocket deuces against pocket fours, Del Vecchio flopped a two to double up and send Taylor tumbling down the counts.
Taylor spied a way back into the contest when his ace-king came up against Hinrichsen's pocket nines, but the chip leader turned a straight to eliminate Taylor in fourth place for AU$483,000.
With Taylor's elimination coming in Hand #99 and over one hundred hands remaining until the players agreed to a deal, there was still a lot of poker to play despite Hinrichsen holding almost two-thirds of the chips in play.
Down to Three
"Three-handed you start feeling more emotions," explained Kenney. "You don't wanna come in third once the pay jumps start to get really big."
And boy were the pay jumps big, with almost AU$1,200,000 difference between first and third. But there was no rush to look at the numbers as the players seemed content to play it out.
The three-handed play was a masterclass both in limped pots and "taking it to the streets." Kenney scored a simple double through Del Veccio ace-five vs. king-seven as the two tussled for control between runaway chip leader Hinrichsen.
Kenney: "I've had bigger wins than this. But it's amazing to do it in this city."
The runaway Australian was finally pegged back in an exciting hand which saw Del Vecchio turn quads but Hinrichsen river the nut straight and pay off Del Vecchio to earn the American a full double, flattening the chip counts somewhat as the American found himself in the chip lead.
There was another level of play with no real breakthrough for any player, and after the trio returned from break, they agreed a deal which handed Kenney the win.
"I've had bigger wins than this," said Kenney, "But it's amazing to do it in this city. I've been having a good time with these people. It's by far the most I've ever been asked to take a picture. During the whole tournament every time I'm on a break maybe 2-3 people want to take a picture. That's how poker should be, watching and having a good time.
"It's the best tournament stop in the world. During the summer here you just walk outside on break and it's just nice here. I don't have a complaint about it so I'd recommend anyone to come here next year - every year! It's just a great stop!"
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