Cary Katz Wins 2019 Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge for AU$1,481,760

Cary Katz Wins 2019 Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge for AU$1,481,760

The 2019 Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge has concluded with Cary Katz defeating Johannes Becker heads-up for the AU$1,481,760 first prize and ANTON Championship Ring.

Katz held the overnight chip lead heading into Day 2 and managed to ride that momentum through the long day of play to not just reach the final table, but then dominant short-handed play before clinching victory over the 42-entrant field.

"Feeling pretty amazing. I got remarkably lucky, so I'm very grateful."

With records being smashed all week long at the 2019 Aussie Millions, the AU$100,000 Challenge set it's third highest attendance over its 14-year history only trailing 2014 and 2015 with 76 and 70 entrants respectively.

Following his victory in the AU$100,000 Challenge, Katz now sits with over $18.3 million in tournament lifetime earnings and has now leaped over Jonathan Duhamel, Dominik Nitsche, and Tom Marchese to sit in 25th place on the All-Time Money List.

For Katz, this isn't just his first victory on Australian shores, but his first ever result Down Under. Speaking about it, Katz stated, "Feeling pretty amazing. I got remarkably lucky, so I'm very grateful."

Speaking of the Aussie Millions, Katz added, "I think the Aussie Millions is an amazing event and the turnout is going to be even better next year. My guess is that they will add some more high rollers next year, so I think the turnout is going to be huge."

Event #20: AU$100,000 Challenge Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (AUD)Prize (USD)
1stCary KatzUnited States$1,481,760$1,066,867
2ndJohannes BeckerGermany$946,680$681,610
3rdAbraham PassetGermany$617,400$444,528
4thRainer KempeGermany$452,760$325,987
5thJack SalterUnited Kingdom$329,280$237,082
6thKristen BicknellCanada$288,120$207,446

Final Day Action
With registration open for one more level once play began, Michael Addamo, Jack Salter, Sam Higgs, and Bryn Kenney were new arrivals while the likes of Kristen Bicknell and Koray Aldemir reentered. The action was fast from the first card as several players were eliminated and re-entered immediately before registration closed with the 42-entrant field creating a prize pool of AU$4,116,000 to be the third largest AU$100,000 Challenge ever at the Aussie Millions.

As the field was reduced down to the final table of nine, it would be Johannes Becker holding a sizeable chip lead on the back of several big hands. However the biggest one that he wish went his way was when Katz limp-shoved all in holding kings and ran headfirst into Becker's aces. Fortunately for Katz, the flop brought a king, and when no help arrived for Becker, Katz now held the chip lead for the first time since the start of play.

Final Table
Final Table

Last year's runner up Manig Loeser would fall in ninth-place when he flopped two pair but ran into a set. Soon after that, Michael Soyza took a stand with ace-jack suited but couldn't outdraw Katz' pocket queens. With action now on the money bubble, it would only take a few hands before Alex Foxen was eliminated in seventh-place. Foxen shoved all in from the big blind holding ace-deuce off, but Becker called him with pocket eights and held to leave the remaining six players in-the-money.

Kristin Bicknell was eliminated in sixth-place shoving ace-deuce from the button and being called by Rainer Kempe's king-queen. A king on the turn ended the Canadian's run for an AU$288,100 payday. Jack Salter was the next to fall in fifth place when his pocket eights were outdrawn by Katz' ace-queen to see the Brit collect an AU$329,280 payday.

"To win, it's worth all the agony that it takes to get to this spot."

With play now four-handed and Becker claiming back the chip lead, the German dominance at the final table would be reduced as Kempe ran his ace-queen into Abraham Passet's kings. A queen on the river wasn't enough to help Kempe, and he collected AU$452,760 to go along with his first-place finish in the AU$25,000 Challenge earlier in the week.


As Passet now held the chip lead, he continued to win the three-handed war heading into the break. Katz then managed to double through Passet with aces versus sixes, and from there it would be his show. Katz put on a dominant display of poker as he grinded away at his two opponents. Eventually, Passet would fall in third-place when his ace-ten couldn't connect against Becker's pocket queens.

Although Katz held only a two-to-one chip advantage over Becker, from the get-go, Katz edged further and further ahead. Katz entered the break with a better than five-to-one chip advantage, and after a few back-and-forth hands, he would eventually eliminate Becker. Katz shoved the button with nines and Becker called with just under six big blinds holding king-deuce suited. Becker would find a deuce on the turn, but nothing more, and he would be eliminated in second-place for an AU$946,680 payday as Katz was crowned the 2019 Aussie Millions Event #20: AU$100,000 Challenge winner, and recipient of the ANTON Championship Ring.

YearEntriesPrize PoolWinnerCountryPrize
201476AU$7,486,000Yevgeniy TimoshenkoUkraineAU$2,000,000
201570AU$6,860,000Richard YongMalaysiaAU$1,870,000
201942AU$4,116,000Cary KatzUnited StatesAU$1,481,760
201641AU$4,018,000Fabian QuossGermanyAU$1,446,480

When asked about why he likes to play in high roller tournaments, Katz concluded, "It's just an amazing adrenaline rush. And to play against the best players in the world, you have got to get lucky. And I got really lucky today. To win, it's worth all the agony that it takes to get to this spot."

Congratulations to Cary Katz, winner of the Event #20: AU$100,000 Challenge and recipient of the ANTON Championship Ring and the AU$1,481,760 first prize.

Stay tuned to for continued coverage of the 2019 Aussie Millions with the AU$10,600 Main Event final table starting on Sunday, February 3, along with the AU$25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event.

  • His first-ever cash "Down Under" is a win for Katz!

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