2021 World Series of Poker
Aussie Millions Highlights

Freek Scholten Wins Event #4: No-Limit Hold'em Mix Max (A$86,575)

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Freek Scholten Wins A$1,150 Mix Max

A stunning display of heads-up poker helped Freek Scholten to victory in Event #4: No-Limit Hold'em Mix Max here at the 2020 Aussie Millions.

The event attracted 342 players with just 35 advancing to the final day. With eight left, the tournament was redrawn into four heads-up matches depending on chip stacks. At that point, Scholten was the short-stack and was drawn against chip leader Karim Kamal who held almost a 6:1 chip lead over the Dutchman.

However, Scholten turned the tables to eliminate Kamal, and would go on to defeat Xiaqing Ji and then Nino Ullmann heads-up to win A$86,575.

Event #4: No Limit Hold'em Mix Max Results

PlacePlayerPayout (AUD)Payout (USD)
1Freek Scholten$86,575$59,737
2Nino Ullmann$56,955$39,299
3Xiaqing Ji$28,500$19,665
4Jaxon Byrne$28,500$19,665
5Nauvneel Kashyap$11,850$8,177
6Karim Kamal$11,850$8,177
7Keiron Laifoo$11,850$8,177
8Justin Capra$11,850$8,177

Winner's Reaction

After wrapping up the victory, Scholten told PokerNews that it was an "amazing feeling" to win his maiden ANTON Jewellery Championship ring.

"It's an amazing feeling. I mean, winning tournaments is such a good feeling, but especially when it's live with a special prize like a ring added. It's a good feeling."

Now living in Vienna, Scholten excelled at full ring, 6-max and heads-up poker to close out victory, battling back from a heavy chip deficit in the quarter final. Despite his strong showing in that portion of the tournament, he denied being a heads-up specialist.

"I wouldn't call myself a specialist in heads-up, I'm mostly just a tournament player. I feel like I had an edge on most players that were left, but with a 6:1 deficit to make up, there's some luck involved. We were flipping on the fourth hand and I could have busted in eighth place, but after I won that one the stacks were more even and it was more like a level playing field."

Freek Scholten against his final heads-up opponent Nino Ullmann
Freek Scholten against his final heads-up opponent Nino Ullmann

Approaching the heads-up portion of the tournament, Scholten said he was all to aware of the implications should he be the short stack with eight players remaining.

"You know if you're going to be in eighth place you're going to have to battle the chip leader, so you don't want to be there! But in this case the jump from ninth to eighth was quite big, so there was no room to gamble to get into eighth place.

"You just play things hand by hand. I wasn't happy that I was eighth against the big stack, but you can only hope to win!"

Freek Scholten Wins A$1,150 Mix Max
Freek Scholten Wins A$1,150 Mix Max

Final Day Action

The eliminations came thick and fast to start the final day, with the six-max format boosting the action at all tables. Players eliminated in the money included Sven McDermott (34th - A$2,800), Pierce McKellar (30th - A$3,150), Dylan Wilkerson (25th - A$3,150),Gautam Dhingra (23rd - A$3,500), Marc Macdonnell (17th - A$4,030) and Aymon Hata (13th - A$4,030)

Start-of-day chip leader Benny Glaser was eliminated one place short of heads-up after running jacks into tens to bust in ninth for A$7,010.

Quarter-Final Heads-up Matches

MatchPlayer (Seed)Chip CountPlayer (Seed)Chip Count
1Karim Kamal (1)863,000Freek Scholten (8)148,000
2Nauvneel Kashyap (2)581,000Nino Ullmann (7)215,000
3Jaxon Byrne (3)512,000Justin Capra (6)346,000
4Xiaqing Ji (4)381,000Keiron Laifoo (5)380,000

The story of the quarter-finals was the two short stacks who eliminated the two big stacks in the shame of Karim Kamal and Nauvneel Kashyap. Kashyap was the final player to bust at the quarter-final stage, with all players eliminated at this stage taking home A$11,850.

Nino Ullmann vs Nauvneel Kashyap
Nino Ullmann vs Nauvneel Kashyap

Semi-Final Heads-up Matches

MatchPlayer (Seed)Chip CountPlayer (Seed)Chip Count
1Freek Scholten (1)1,000,000Xiaqing Ji (4)761,000
2Jaxon Byrne (2)858,000Nino Ullmann (3)796,000

Scholten's reward for his upset was a chip lead against Xiaqing Ji who had emerged from a quarter-final match with just 1,000 chips between the two players at the start of play. Meanwhile, Ullmann again came in as the short stack but managed to eliminate opponent Jaxon Byrne before Scholten sent Ji to the rail with both players taking home A$28,500.

Ullmann was railed during most of the final heads-up match by fellow German Johannes Becker
Ullmann was railed during most of the final heads-up match by fellow German Johannes Becker

Final Heads-up Match

MatchPlayer(Seed)Chip CountPlayer(Seed)Chip Count
1Freek Scholten (1)1,770,000Nino Ullmann1,650,000

Again with the lead, Scholten looked in control for large portions of the heads-up match. On the final hand, Ullmann check-raised the turn on a board with two kings and shoved the river. Scholten called with a king for trips, picking off a bluff from Ullmann who missed a gutshot.

The German takes home A$56,955 for his runner-up finish as Scholten became the second Dutch player in three years to win the Mix Max after Bas de Laat's victory in 2018.

Tags: Aymon HataBenny GlaserDylan WilkersonFreek ScholtenGautam DhingraJohannes BeckerNauvneel KashyapNino UllmannPierce MckellarSven McDermottXiaqing Ji