Live Events 2
AU$25,000 Challenge

Event Info

Buy-in 25,000 AUD
Prize Pool 3,624,000 AUD
Players 151

Level Info

Level 23
Blinds 25,000 / 50,000
Ante 30,000



AU$25,000 Challenge
Day 2 Completed

Rainer Kempe Wins 2019 Aussie Millions AU$25,000 Challenge for AU$826,465

will_shill • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 30,000 ante
2019 AU$25,000 Challenge Champion Rainer Kempe
2019 AU$25,000 Challenge Champion Rainer Kempe

Rainer Kempe has won the 2019 Aussie Millions AU$25,000 Challenge for AU$826,465 after a heads-up deal. Kempe battled to the top of a record 151-player field to clinch victory in the event shortly before 4 a.m. local time.

Kempe chopped with 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event winner Toby Lewis after they got past 2019 PCA champion Chino Rheem three-handed.

A little over four years after finishing second to Michael Soyza in the 2015 Accumulator event, Kempe finally has his hands on an Aussie Millions ANTON championship ring of his own.

Here's how the final table finished:

PlaceNameCountryPayout (AUD)Payout (USD)
1Rainer KempeGermany$826,465*$595,055*
2Toby LewisUnited Kingdom$786,214*$566,074*
3Chino RheemUnited States$416,760$300,067
4Guillaume NoletCanada$308,040$221,789
5Gautam DhingraAustralia$217,440$156,557
6Luke MarshUnited Kingdom$154,020$110,894
7Jack SalterUnited Kingdom$117,780$84,802

*denotes heads-up deal

Kempe moved over $19,000,000 in total live earnings in the process.

"It's really cool," remarked Kempe shortly after his win. "I was kind of close to winning an Aussie Millions ring in one of my first live deep runs so it's nice to close this one out, so that's awesome.

"I'm going to play the AU$50,000 tomorrow most likely. Then there's the Main Event. My whole family is here having a delayed Christmas so I might be fine with maybe not making a Main Event deep run, but I'll try."

Rainer Kempe wins his first ANTON Championship Ring at the Aussie Millions

Final Day Action

Play resumed on Day 2 with 29 players remaining and only 17 places paid. Big names were heading to the exit early, including Alex Foxen, Sorel Mizzi, Vojtech Ruzicka, Robert Heidorn and Koray Aldemir.

However, the eliminations slowed to a trickle as the money bubble approached, with several players nursing short stacks in the hope of locking up a min-cash worth AU$63,420.

There were doubles for Kempe, Rheem, Sosia Jiang and Jack Sinclair before the bubble eventually burst — in two places.

Bubble Boys Najeem Ajez and Jack O'Neill
Bubble Boys Najeem Ajez and Jack O'Neill

Najeem Ajez ran top pair into the pair and flush draw of Salter, with the Brit rivering trips while Jack O'Neill shoved with ace-king, only to get called by the pocket kings of Kempe, rejuvenated from his previous double. The pair split the min-cash, each taking home AU$31,710.

With that, the floodgates opened. The first recipient of the full min-cash worth AU$63,240 was Matthew Wantman along with Elliot Smith. Kitty Kuo managed to sneak into the money with only two big blinds and was next to go in 14th place, followed by Sinclair.

Following the O'Neill elimination, it was Kempe who led the final two tables, followed by Gautam Dhingra and Salter.

Jiachen Gong, Jiang and Martijn Gerrits were all eliminated before the dinner break, with Dhingra overtaking Kempe at the top of the counts with nine players remaining.

"For some reason at 10:30 to 11 just after the dinner break a lot of people were tired," Kempe told PokerNews. "They were talking about ending this early."

Kazuhiko Yotsushika
Start-of-day chip leader Kazuhiko Yotsushika bubbled the AU$25,000 Challenge final table

But play continued, as Japanese duo Hideki Izutsu and Kazuhiko Yotsushika busted in quick succession bringing the tournament to a final table of seven.

Salter came into the final table as the short stack, and failed to run it up, eventually shoving his last 12 big blinds into Luke Marsh who sent his fellow Brit to the rail.

However, Marsh would be on the receiving end of another pivotal pot as Rheem scored a huge double with pocket threes to jump into the chip lead and leave Marsh short. He wouldn't recover and would bust shortly thereafter taking home AU$154,020.

Long-time chip leader Dhingra had been sitting pretty for long periods but suffered a disastrous series of pots, including doubling up Lewis before losing out to Guillaume Nolet. Getting it in with ace-king, Dhingra flopped the nut straight, but his opponent rivered a backdoor flush to eliminate Dhingra in fifth for AU$217,440.

All four remaining players had periods in the chip lead, but it was Nolet who would bust next with Rheem cracking pocket nines with ace-ten to wrestle the chip lead back his way.

Chino Rheem Eliminated in Second Place

"Once it got short-handed it didn't feel like anyone was looking back," Kempe explained afterwards. "They just wanted to win this thing. I felt fairly comfortable the whole way. Clearly three-handed with 50 big blinds a lot of the cards are going to play themselves and I'm just glad I won the big flip against Chino."

And it was a big flip, pocket nines cracked for the second elimination in succession by Kempe's ace-queen.

Play resumed and a hand was dealt, but the hand lay dormant as the numbers were crunched. After the deal was agreed, which saw chip leader Kempe walk away with the majority of the prize pool, the hand that had been dealt was run out and Kempe emerged victorious.

Stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage of the 2019 Aussie Millions, with our coverage of both the AU$50,000 Challenge and AU$10,600 Main Event starting tomorrow

Tags: Alex FoxenChino RheemChristoph VogelsangElliot SmithGautam DhingraGuillaume NoletHideki IzutsuJack O'NeillJack SalterJack SinclairJiachen GongKazuhiko YotsushikaKitty KuoKoray AldemirLuke MarshMartijn GerritsMatthew WantmanMichael SoyzaNajeem AjezRainer KempeRobert HeidornSorel MizziSosia JiangToby LewisVojtech Ruzicka

Toby Lewis Eliminated in 2nd Place (AU$786,214)

will_shill • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 30,000 ante
Toby Lewis
Toby Lewis

Following the deal, both Toby Lewis and Rainer Kempe agreed to go all in blind on the following hand, which had been laying dormant during the discussions.

"Imagine if this is a cooler!" said Kempe as the cards were turned over.

Rainer Kempe: {k-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}
Toby Lewis: {j-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}

The board ran out {6-Spades}{3-Hearts}{5-Spades}{4-Clubs}{5-Clubs} with Kempe turning a pair to seal the victory shortly before 4 am in the morning. Last year's Main Event champion Lewis takes home AU$786,214 in prize money.

"Ok - you win," said railbird Kitty Kuo. "Now we sleep!"

Toby Lewis gb
Toby Lewis
gb Busted

Tags: Kitty KuoRainer KempeToby Lewis

Deal Agreed

will_shill • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 30,000 ante

The remaining two players have agreed the following deal:

NameChip CountICM Payout (AUD)Revised Payouts (AUD)
Rainer Kempe4,240,000$826,465$831,465
Toby Lewis3,260,000$786,214$781,214

Chino Rheem Eliminated in 3rd Place (AU$416,760)

will_shill • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 30,000 ante
Chino Rheem
Chino Rheem

Chino Rheem opened to 175,000 and Rainer Kempe three-bet to 460,000. Rheem four-bet all in for 1,900,000 and Kempe called.

Chino Rheem: {9-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}
Rainer Kempe: {a-Diamonds}{q-Clubs}

There was an ace on the flop {8-Hearts}{a-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} and a {q-Diamonds} on the turn meaning Rheem would have to hit a nine on the river. The river was the {6-Hearts} and he was eliminated in third place for AU$416,760

Rainer Kempe de
Rainer Kempe
de 4,240,000 1,740,000
Toby Lewis gb
Toby Lewis
gb 3,260,000 360,000
Chino Rheem us
Chino Rheem
us Busted

Tags: Chino RheemRainer Kempe

Lewis Picks Off Kempe's Bluff

tRaMSt0p • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 30,000 ante

Toby Lewis raised to 125,000 on the button and Rainer Kempe called in the big blind.

The flop landed {5-Hearts}{Q-Spades}{10-Hearts} and both players checked to reveal the {2-Clubs} on the turn.

Kempe bet 220,000 and Lewis called as the {9-Hearts} completed the board on the river.

Kempe bet 420,000 and Lewis called. Kempe tabled his {7-Spades}{6-Spades}, but it would be Lewis' {J-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} that would earn him the pot.

Toby Lewis gb
Toby Lewis
gb 2,900,000 750,000
Rainer Kempe de
Rainer Kempe
de 2,500,000 -900,000

Tags: Rainer KempeToby Lewis

Lewis Back in Business

will_shill • Level 23: 25,000-50,000, 30,000 ante
Toby Lewis
Toby Lewis

On a {4-Spades}{3-Spades}{q-Hearts}{8-Hearts} turn, Toby Lewis checked and Chino Rheem bet 125,000. Lewis check-raised to 425,000 and Rheem called. The river was the {5-Hearts} and Lewis moved all in for 1,150,000.

"You must be scared of the flush," said Rheem. "Unless you got there...

"If you got it you should have checked," continued Rheem. "I only have one pair Toby. That's all I have."

Eventually, Rheem folded.

"You made me sweat that one," said Lewis.

"I almost called you with one f*cking pair," said Rheem.

"I believe you!" replied Lewis.

Rainer Kempe de
Rainer Kempe
de 3,400,000 10,000
Toby Lewis gb
Toby Lewis
gb 2,150,000 450,000
Chino Rheem us
Chino Rheem
us 2,000,000 -375,000

Tags: Chino RheemToby Lewis


Two Pair for Kempe

tRaMSt0p • Level 22: 20,000-40,000, 30,000 ante

Toby Lewis raised the button to 90,000 and Rainer Kempe called from the big blind.

The flop landed {8-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{5-Hearts} and both players checked to reveal the {10-Spades} on the turn.

Kempe led out for 135,000 and Lewis called as the river of the {10-Diamonds} went check, check.

Kempe tabled his {7-Hearts}{5-Diamonds} and Lewis mucked.

Rainer Kempe de
Rainer Kempe
de 3,390,000 140,000
Toby Lewis gb
Toby Lewis
gb 1,700,000 -200,000

Tags: Rainer KempeToby Lewis