Event #12: $100,000 Challenge

Ben "Ben86" Tollerene Leads Final Six; Final Table to Resume Saturday

Chad_Holloway • Level 16: 10,000-20,000, 3,000 ante
Ben "Ben86" Tollerene

Day 2 of the 2016 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge saw 18 players from a 37-entry field return to action, but thanks to late registration and reentries open until the end of the Level 9, four more jumped in to bring the total field up to 41 entries (30 unique + 11 reentries). That created a $4,018,000 prize pool that will be distributed to the top six players, with the eventual winner taking home AU$1,446,480 (~$1 million USD).

The player best position to make a run at the top prize is the online pro Ben "Ben86" Tollerene, who leads the final six with a stack of 1.522 million. Interestingly, Tollerene, who has won countless millions online, is guaranteed the largest live score of his career no matter where he finished (his previous best was $112,663 for 10th in the EPT12 Barcelona Super High Roller).

Others still in contention for the title include Connor Drinan, Fabian Quoss, Sam Greenwood, Fedor Holz, and Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier.

At the start of the day, everyone was wondering if Phil Ivey, who busted in the last level of Day 1, would opt to reenter. He had an hour to do so, but there was no sign of him in the Crown Poker Room on Monday. Meanwhile, Igor Kurganov, who busted four times on Day 1, exited early and rebought for a fifth time, falling shy of Isaac Haxton's record of six entries in this event set two year ago.

Unfortunately for Kurganov, who was two days removed from finishing runner-up in the $25,000 Challenge for AU541,680, the fifth time was not the charm as he soon found himself on the rail. Others joining him there in the early goings were Steve O'Dwyer, Erik Seidel, and Pratyush Buddiga.

Not long after, a surprise turn of events saw both Brian Rast and Stephen Chidwick – who began the day tied for the chip lead – hit the rail. The former ran ace-king into Tollerene's pocket kings to bust, while the latter was crippled after losing a big flip to Martin Jacobson.

Jacobson had a big stack, but before too long picked a fight with Holz, who won a monster flip to bust the 2014 World Series of Poker champ and vault into the chip lead. From there, Jeff Rossiter, Byron Kaverman, Paul Newey, and Mike "Timex" McDonald all hit the rail before the final table of nine was established.

Play was originally scheduled to stop at that point, but the players opted to play to the money, which led to the eliminations of David Peters and former champ David Steicke in ninth and eighth place respectively.

The bubble lasted for quite some time, but eventually Jason Koon was the last to leave empty handed, the result of running ace-king into the pocket aces off Drinan.

The Final Table

1Connor DrinanUSA943,000
2Fedor HolzGermany192,000
3Jason MercierUSA508,000
4Sam GreenwoodCanada458,000
5Fabian QuossGermany478,000
6Ben TollereneUSA1,522,000

To allow for the players to participate in the Aussie Millions Main Event, the final table will be on hiatus until Saturday, Jan. 30. On that day, the final six will return at 2:10 p.m. local time to play down to a winner, and of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to capture all the action, which will also be live streamed on Jason Somerville's runitup.tv.

Tags: Ben Tollerene