On the week that Jorryt van Hoof got engaged to his fiancée Sophie, the Dutchman now has a second reason to celebrate after victory in the 2020 Aussie Millions A$25,000 Pot Limit Omaha Challenge for A$467,280 (~US$322,400).
He defeated start-of-day chip leader Hun Lee heads-up to notch the second-biggest cash of his career. Meanwhile, Lee, who had dominated proceedings all day, came unstuck three-handed and would have to settle for second place and his biggest live score to date as well.
2020 Aussie Millions A$25,000 Pot Limit Omaha Challenge Results
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (in AUD)||Prize (in USD)|
|1||Jorryt van Hoof||Netherlands||A$467,280||$322,400|
|5||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||A$113,280||$78,158|
Van Hoof, who moved atop his country's all-time money list in mid-December, was overjoyed with happiness shortly after the victory.
"I mean the engagement is probably more important for me," Van Hoof told PokerNews. "I'm very happy and I totally love her!"
The 37-year-old is most known for his third-place finish in the 2014 WSOP Main Event, but says he only recently switched to tournaments a few months ago.
"I've switched to playing tournaments, and I'm running pretty good. So I can't complain!"
The dynamic throughout the tournament was a strange one, with Lee holding a commanding lead for much of the contest.
"Preferably you have the chips yourself," said Van Hoof. "But if you can't have them yourself, in general, it's just really good to have a big chip leader.
"It's because in the process he's busting out players, of course, so there's huge value if he continues to do that. But also I guess it certainly created a strange situation. I like to think I have a fairly good plan when I'm playing and pay a lot of attention to different stack sizes.
"But this was new territory for me. I liked it, because it's where people aren't used to it."
Reaching the Final Table
Sylvain Loosli, Marc Rivera and Xue Wu all departed before the first break, with Lee moving even further ahead. The final table would be reached in the third level of the day, with Stephen Chidwick picking up his second elimination of the day, eliminating Tam Truong in tenth.
This elimination boosted Chidwick into second in the counts, but Lee still led with more than double Chidwick's stack.
Don't Stop Lee Now
That wasn't enough for Lee though, who eliminated Benjamin Pockett and bubble boy Miroslav Sheynin in quick succession. Sheynin had flopped the nut straight on a three-heart board, but Lee had flopped the nut-flush to send him to the rail.
Another flopped nut-flush for Lee was enough to send 2019 runner-up Farid Jattin to the rail in seventh for A$84,960, and he made it four in a row with the subsequent elimination of Fabian Brandes in sixth, rivering two pair to crack the Austrian's aces.
The remaining players at the final table were hamstrung in the face of such an onslaught but knew they would need to make a move if they were to close the gap to Lee. Despite coming into the final table second in chips, Chidwick crucially failed to pick up any momentum and was eliminated by Jorryt van Hoof.
After dinner, both Najeem Ajez and Kozlov would double through Lee, but he would once again take a hold on proceedings with the elimination of Kozlov.
Ajez and Van Hoof Battle Back
However, what had seemed like a stroll for Lee suddenly looked in doubt after two doubles from Ajez saw Lee relinquish his hold on the chip lead. Suddenly, the three-handed dynamic was more fluid, with both Ajez and Van Hoof enjoying spells in the chip lead.
Lee would double back through Ajez, with Van Hoof then finishing Ajez off, bringing the tournament to heads-up. Van Hoof held the lead, but a "sick cooler" where Lee turned a full house after Van Hoof flopped trips saw Lee move into the lead.
Not for long though, as Van Hoof battled back into a 2:1 chip lead of his own, and at the second time of asking finished things off after flopping a set and turning a full house to leave his opponent drawing dead.
This concludes the PokerNews coverage of the first High Roller Challenge tournament at the 2020 Aussie Millions, but there are still plenty more tournaments still to be covered here in Melbourne!