After eleven previous cashes including four final-table finishes, Michael Addamo has finally broken his Aussie Millions duck with victory in the A$50,000 Challenge, topping an 82-player field for A$1,073,790 ($738,234) and his first ANTON Jewellery Championship ring.
He defeated last year's A$100,000 Challenge winner Cary Katz heads-up, stopping the American going two for two in Aussie Millions High Rollers in back-to-back years.
Orpen Kisacikoglu picked up his first-ever Aussie Millions cash, finishing third for A$477,240.
2020 Aussie Millions A$50,000 Challenge Results
|Place||Player||Country||Payout (AUD)||Payout (USD)|
|2||Cary Katz||United States||A$715,860||$492,156|
|5||Ben Lamb||United States||A$318,160||$218,736|
|8||Erik Seidel||United States||A$198,850||$136,710|
After finishing third in 2017 and then second in 2018 in the Aussie Millions Opening Event, Addamo said it felt great to get the monkey off his back.
"It feels great, you know, to get my first Aussie Millions ring," Addamo told PokerNews. "I'm pretty happy about it.
"I came into the festival just wanting to play the big buy-ins and try and play well. I knew it was important to rest-up between them, and I'll definitely be back for the A$100,000 in a couple of days."
There was always going to be a long day in store for players in the A$50,000 Challenge, which ended up attracting 82 players, breaking last year's record by 20.
The payouts were confirmed with ten places paid, as A$25,000 Pot Limit Omaha Challenge winner Jorryt van Hoof, Dan Smith, Tsugunari Toma, George Wolff, Koichi Haruta, Matthias Eibinger, Shan Huang and Stephen Chidwick were all eliminated short of the money.
Start-of-day chip leader Kahle Burns had a rollercoaster day, also busting short of the money, with Orpen Kisakicoglu moving into the lead. However, Michael Addamo, Sam Greenwood and Timothy Adams were all among the big stacks, as the tournament went on dinner break four eliminations off the money.
Michael Soyza Bubbles A$50,000 Challenge
There seemed to be no let up in the pace of the action, despite the A$119,310 pay jump, as Peter Jetten, Mikita Badziakouski and Elio Fox all bust in the space of half an hour
In the end, it was Michael Soyza who bubbled, rivering two pair against Addamo only for the Australian to have turned a flush and eliminate Soyza.
Short-stacked Kristen Bicknell was next (10th - A$119,310) with the remaining nine players all now seated around one table.
Final Table Action
It wasn't long before Erik Seidel sent Yong Wang to the exit in ninth (A$159,080), but Cary Katz soon finished off Seidel (8th - A$198,850) to become the first player over a million in chips.
Sam Greenwood came into the final table third in chips, but scored a massive fillip when he sent both Rainer Kempe (7th - A$238,620) and Timothy Adams (6th - A$278,390) to the rail in the same hand, spiking a set on the turn to crack the jacks of Adams and leave Kempe drawing dead with king-queen.
Addamo had been sitting comfortably so far, and added an elimination for himself, fading the straight and flush draws of Ben Lamb (5th - A$318,160) to join Katz with over a million in chips.
However, that million soon became two million after the elimination of Greenwood in 3rd (A$397,700). He five-bet jammed king-queen suited into the aces of Addamo, and despite flopping a flush draw and turning a straight draw, Addamo spiked a set on the river to bust Greenwood and take a stranglehold on proceedings that he would never relinquish.
Kisacikoglu stuck around gamely as the short stack before succumbing to Addamo, and although Katz did his best to elongate the heads-up portion of the tournament to two hours, he never gained any traction and would have to settle for second place and A$715,860.