Andrew “good2cu” Robl Wins 2013 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge

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Super high buy-in poker tournaments have been getting more and more popular over the last couple years as poker festival organizers look for ways to make the fields dense with the world’s strongest players. One of the first and most popular of the mega buy-ins was the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge. The 2013 version of the Challenge wrapped up Monday with Andrew “good2cu” Robl besting 20 other players to take the title and the A$1,000,000 paycheck.

While there were 21 total players in the field, there were actually 22 buy-ins, making the prize pool A$2,167,000. That is because one bold player was knocked out early and decided to re-buy. That player? Andrew Robl, naturally. It was a big risk to take, even more so because the tournament would pay to just four places.

Seven players sat down at the final table Monday, one fewer than the standard eight because Igor Kurganov eliminated both Winfred Yu and Chris Lee on the final hand of Day 1. That hand allowed Kurganov to go into final table play second in chips with 563,000. Masa Kagawa had a solid lead, ending Day 1 with 695,000. Here is a look at all of the chip counts to start Monday:

Masa Kagawa – 695,000
Igor Kurganov – 563,000
Dan Shak – 435,000
Tobias Reinkemeier – 160,000
Vanessa Selbst – 136,000
Andrew Robl – 129,000
Niklas Heinecker – 85,000

Robl had a steep hill to climb if he wanted to even make a profit after his double buy-in. He started early, chipping up slightly then knocking out Tobias Reinkemeier less than 20 minutes into play. He stagnated for an hour or two after that, though, falling to 135,000 chips before doubling through Kagawa to get back to 200,000.

His big move came a couple hours later. He first got into a pre-flop raising war with Kurganov, getting it in bad with A-Q against K♠-K. A beautiful Ace appeared in the window right away when the flop was dealt and that pair held, allowing Robl to survive and move his stack up to 544,000 chips. He then busted Dan Shak in 4th place to grow his stack to 850,000, just 90,000 behind Kurganov. Then, just before a break, he won another big hand against Kurganov to take the lead for the first time with 1.1 million chips. All of a sudden, Robl was in control, as he had just over half the chips in play.

His surge continued after the break when he grabbed another couple hundred thousand from Kurganov and over a hundred grand from Kagawa. Just like that, Robl had 1.62 million while his opponents had less than 600,000 combined. He fell back a bit, giving some back to each player, but then got lucky to turn a straight with J-T versus K-T to eliminate Kagawa.

Robl went into heads-up play with a gigantic chip lead on Kurganov, 1.754 million to 446,000. It looked like it was going to be smooth sailing, as Robl continued to widen the lead, but Kurganov actually came back to pull within 350,000 chips.

But just as it appeared as though Kurganov might be able to make it all the way back…he didn’t. On a board of 9♣-4♣-2-3, Robl bet 60,000, Kurganov raised to 190,000, and Robl put him all-in. Kurganov made the call, trying to double-up with 4-3♠, good for two pair. Robl, though, had A♠-5♣ and a wheel. The Q♠ on the river did not give Kurganov the boat he needed and Andrew Robl was crowned the 2013 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge Champion.

2013 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge – Final Table Results

1.    Andrew Robl – A$1,000,000
2.    Igor Kurganov – A$610,000
3.    Masa Kagawa – A$320,000
4.    Dan Shak – A$237,000

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