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$25,000 Challenge

Level Info

Level 24
Blinds 30,000 / 60,000
Ante 5,000

Players Info

Prize Pool 3,192,000 AUD
$25,000 Challenge
Day 2 Completed

James Chen Wins Biggest-Ever Aussie Millions $25,000 for A$861,840

Webjoker • Level 24: 30,000-60,000, 5,000 ante
James Chen
James Chen

The year couldn't have started any better for James Chen from Taiwan. Coming from a High Roller win in the Macau Poker Cup September last year, he was heading for Australia with a good feeling and some cash in his pocket. He played the $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. event last week and won it for A$39,700 ($29,322). He parlayed that win into a ticket for the $25,000 Challenge and turned it into a straight out win worth a massive A$861,840. His name will go into the record books as the winner of the biggest ever $25,000 poker tournament on Australian soil.

PositionPlayerCountryPrize
1James ChenTaiwanA$861,840
2Brandon AdamsUnited StatesA$590,520
3Antoine SaoutFranceA$383,040
4John JuandaIndonesiaA$287,280
5Ryan D'AngeloUnited StatesA$207,480
6Nick PetrangeloUnited StatesA$143,640

The second day of the $25,000 Challenge of the 2017 Aussie Millions saw 25 players out of 133 entries return to the poker room at Crown Casino. With just 14 players finishing in the money, it promised to be an exciting day. The day lived up to the highest of expectations with plenty of action right from the get go when the tournament director announced the shuffle up and deal at 2:30 p.m.

Dan Shak, Jason Pritchard and Sam Higgs were just some of the early exits. Another player to head to the rail well before the money stage of the tournament commenced was defending champion Chance Kornuth. He got it in with ace-three against ace-king and did not get any help from the board.

As familiar high rollers like Stephen Chidwick and Martin Kozlov hit the rail, the bubble got closer and closer. Cate Hall found herself getting short and made several short trips to other tables to see if there were others with just as few chips. Every time, she returned to her seat disappointed as no one was in such dire straits as she was.

But help sometimes comes from unexpected sources, and for Hall it was Claas Segebrecht who brought solace. The German player jammed for 26 big blinds over Antoine Saout's small blind open. Big stack Saout had been active and him raising didn't necessarily mean much of anything, but the Frenchman had kings this time and wasn't laying them down. Segebrecht had ace-seven and was drawing dead on the turn as Saout hit a king on the flop. The ace on the river only added insult to injury for Segebrecht who was officially the last one to go before the cheques were getting handed out. "stonecold bubbling 25k's isnt fun." tweeted Segebrecht who's twitter handle fittingly is '@livetourneysfml'.

Local favorite Jeff Rossiter was the first to go in the money, busting with ace-king to Nick Petrangelo's pocket kings. Rossiter, who announced his retirement from poker a couple of months ago and might be playing his last tournament series here in Melbourne this week, took home the min-cash worth A$63,840.

Cate Hall had been patient but ended up on the rail for the same min cash Rossiter had just collected. She got it in with jack-ten against queen-jack and did not make a miraculous escape.

Manig Loeser (12th, A$79,800), David Yan (11th, A$79,800), Rajkumar Ramakrishnan (10th, A$95,760), Tomas Jozonis (9th, A$95,760) and Pratyush Buddiga (8th, A$119,700) followed in quick succession to get the event down to a final table of seven.

Ryan D'Angelo pulled a Houdini after getting it in with top pair and top kicker against the set of start of day chip leader James Chen, making runner runner flush. Chen won those chips back when he busted Mustapha Kanit with queens to jack-ten. Kanit, just about the biggest regular on the high roller circuit these days, had to settle for seventh place, worth A$119,700.

Colleague high roller Nick Petrangelo followed him to the rail just eight minutes later as he rivered a flush and moved in with it. Unfortunately for him, Brandon Adams had rivered a full house with queen-five and Petrangelo went to the pay-out for his sixth place money (A$143,640).

Five-handed play lasted for quite some time. Ryan D'Angelo was chipleader for some time but went out in fifth anyway after some pots that didn't go his way. In the end, it was ace-queen against ace-king that did him in. The player known as 'g0lfa' online collected A$207,480 for his fifth place finish.

John Juanda followed not much later. The poker veteran was short for quite some time and had to go with it when he got ace-eight suited. He got most of his opponents to fold but big blind James Chen had nines and called. A nine on the flop resulted in Juanda being drawing dead on the turn and he had to settle for A$287,280.

Three-handed play lasted for well over 3.5 hours. The only remarkable hand played in that time period was a double up by Brandon Adams who turned a straight and caught James Chen bluffing. Other than that double, it was mostly small pots and a lot of hands that saw no turns or rivers. Antoine Saout would eventually be the next to go as he got short and made a move with ace-nine. James Chen was once again the executioner, this time holding ace-king and turning a king. Saout, third in the WSOP Main Event back in 2009, now third in the $25,000 Challenge for A$383,040 - the second biggest score of his poker career.

The heads up between Brandon Adams and James Chen lasted another two hours. Adams, who's last two cashes have been in the WSOP Main Event in 2016 and 2015, and Chen both were in the lead multiple times but could never hold it for long. After some 90 minutes of heads up play, Adams' momentum seemed gone. He started bleeding chips and Chen nibbled on his stack, grinding him down bit by bit.

In the last hand of the tournament, Adams made a move with jack-four suited being down 5-to-1 in chips. Chen called with ace-three and despite Adams picking up a ton of outs on the flop and turn, the river blanked and Adams had to settle for second place. Adams's deep run was worth A$590,520, by far the biggest score of his career.

The Aussie Millions Ring, designed by ANTON Jewellery, and A$861,840 went to James Chen. His last three cashes are wins now, let's see if he parlays this win again and signs up for the $100,000 Challenge tomorrow.

Besides the $100,000 Challenge tomorrow, it's also time for the $10,000 Main Event. PokerNews.com is on the floor at Crown Casino for live coverage of both events, so be sure to check the live reporting to stay up to date on all the poker action from Down Under.

Tags: Antoine SaoutBrandon AdamsJames ChenJohn JuandaNick PetrangeloRyan D'Angelo

Brandon Adams Eliminated in 2nd Place (A$590,520)

Webjoker • Level 24: 30,000-60,000, 5,000 ante
Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams

James Chen limped in from the button and big blind Brandon Adams shoved all in. Chen asked for a count and contemplated what to do for a bit when the dealer told him it was 815,000 total.

After about a minute or so, Chen called. The look on Adams' face told bystanders enough, he didn't have much of a hand.

James Chen: {A-Clubs}{3-Hearts}
Brandon Adams: {J-Spades}{4-Spades}

Adams was a small dog in the match up but the {5-Spades}{2-Spades}{10-Diamonds} flop certainly brought him some outs. The {3-Diamonds} on the turn paired Chen but it increased the amount of outs Adams had to double up.

The river, however, was the {9-Diamonds} and that meant the end of it for Adams. He had to settle for second place, worth A$590,520.

James Chen TW 6,650,000 1,050,000
Brandon Adams US Busted

Tags: Brandon AdamsJames Chen

The Crowd Goes Wild

Webjoker • Level 24: 30,000-60,000, 5,000 ante

Brandon Adams may be the shorter stack now, but at least he had the crowd on his side. They are singing "We love you Brandon, we do! We love you Brandon, we do! Ow Brandon we love you!"

The fact that Adams has opened a tab for the rail to have some drinks might have helped him get the fan vote.

Tags: Brandon Adams

Chen Fights Back

Webjoker • Level 24: 30,000-60,000, 5,000 ante

James Chen raised to 150,000 from the button and big blind Brandon Adams three-bet to 450,000. Chen called in position and the flop came {K-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}. Adams bet 400,000 and Chen called. The {3-Diamonds} hit the turn and Adams checked. Chen bet 700,000 and Adams folded.

James Chen TW 4,150,000 850,000
Brandon Adams US 2,500,000 -850,000

Tags: Brandon AdamsJames Chen

Level:
24
Blinds:
30,000/60,000
Ante:
5,000

Adams Grabs the Lead

Webjoker • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Brandon Adams limped in from the button and James Chen checked his option. Chen lead out for 50,000 on {4-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{8-Hearts} only to face a raise to 175,000 by Adams. Chen called and check-called another 325,000 on the {A-Clubs} turn.

The river {8-Spades} paired the board and Chen checked again. Adams bet 700,000 and Chen went deep into the tank. He took apart the 700,000 to call, played around with it for a bit, before eventually sliding the tower of chips over the line.

Adams showed {5-Hearts}{6-Clubs} for the flopped straight and Chen mucked.

Brandon Adams US 3,350,000 1,550,000
James Chen TW 3,300,000 -1,550,000

Tags: James ChenBrandon Adams

Back and Forth

Webjoker • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Small pots dominate the heads up so far, with no bigger hands than just a couple of big blinds have played out. Chen has increased his lead by a couple big bets.

James Chen TW 4,850,000 300,000
Brandon Adams US 1,800,000 -300,000

Antoine Saout Eliminated in 3rd Position (A$383,040)

Webjoker • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante
Antoine Saout
Antoine Saout

Antoine Saout raised to 100,000 from the button and was soon facing a three-bet to 325,000 from small blind James Chen. Brandon Adams folded his big blind and action was back on Saout. The Frenchman shoved for exactly 1.2 million and Chen immediately asked for a count.

As the tournament director counted out Saout's stack, Chen repeatedly said: "I'm probably going to call."

In the end, Chen did call and it turned out to he was the heavy favorite.

James Chen: {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}
Antoine Saout: {A-Hearts}{9-Spades}

The {3-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{5-Diamonds} flop gave Saout some chop outs on top of his live nine, but the {K-Spades} on the turn and {J-Diamonds} on the river weren't cards he was hoping for.

After having finished third in the WSOP Main Event back in 2009 for $3,479,670, now third in the $25,000 Challenge at the 2017 Aussie Millions for A$383,040.

James Chen TW 4,550,000 2,000,000
Brandon Adams US 2,100,000 -250,000
Antoine Saout FR Busted

Tags: Antoine SaoutJames Chen