The 2015 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event began with 648 runners, but today the final seven returned to the Exhibition Hall at Crown Melbourne to battle down to a champion. Like the Australia Open match between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic being played across town, there were many ups and downs, but in the end it was hometown hero Manny Stavropoulos who took home AU$1,385,500 and a shiny gold bracelet.
The first elimination of the day came in Level 29 (40,000/80,000/10,000) when Richard "nutsinho" Lyndaker got his stack all in holding the and was up against the of German Lennart Uphoff. The flop delivered Uphoff a set, and the bad beat ended up sending Lyndaker home in sixth for AU$160,000.
One level later, Anthony Legg was crippled after losing a big flip to Joel Douaglin, and then a short time later he shoved his last 575,000 all in under the gun holding the and was called by the of Douaglin. The flop left Legg in need of a miracle, but any chance of that happening went out the door when the turn left him drawing dead.
The next player to go was two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Brian Rast, who began the day as the short stack. In Level 31 (60,000/120,000/20,000), Rast opened for 240,000 from the button and Uphoff called from the big blind to see a flop of . Uphoff check-called a bet of 295,000 and then checked the turn. Rast shoved all in and Uphoff snap-called with the , which was ahead of his opponent's . Rast needed a spade on the river, but it wasn't in the cards as the blanked. Rast took home AU$315,000 for his fifth-place finish.
After dinner, James Rann fell when his failed to overcome the of Uphoff in an all-in preflop situation, and then Douaglin busted when he got his stack of 2.105 million all in on a flop holding the only to run into the of Uphoff. Neither the turn nor river helped Douaglin, and he finished in third place for AU$630,000.
Uphoff began heads-up play with a nearly 2-1 chip lead over Stavropoulos, who had played a snug game up to that point. Before long, Stavropoulos, a well-known player at Crown Melbourne often found at the $5/$10 no-limit hold'em cash game tables, was able to assume the lead, and it was at that point the two agreed to a deal. Stavropoulos locked up AU$1,285,000, Uphoff AU$1,214,500, and AU$100,000 was left on the table to along with the gold bracelet.
The two jostled back and forth for a bit, but eventually Stavropoulos pulled out to a chip lead before finishing the job in Level 33 (100,000/200,000) in a straight-over-straight hand. Uphoff finished as runner-up for AU$1,214,500, while Stavropoulos earned AU$1,385,500 and the title of Aussie Millions champions.
As Stavropoulos' supporters, of which there were many, cheered after the win: "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi! Oi! Oi!"
Main Event Final Table Results
*Denotes heads-up deal
That does it for PokerNews' live coverage from the Aussie Millions Main Event, but our Live Reporting Team will return on Monday at 2:30 p.m. local time for the conclusion of the AU$250,000 Challenge, which you can follow in our live blog.