After a dominant performance over seven hours of final table play, hometown favorite Oliver Speidel crushed the opposition to take down the championship of the 2012 Aussie Millions Main Event.
When the seven man final table reported for work on Sunday afternoon in the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, Bjorn Li held a 1.3 million chip lead over Speidel, but the chip counts of all the players were close enough together that any slight miscalculation would drop the leaders to the bottom of the pack. This is what happened in the early going to bring new blood to the top of the leaderboard.
After about an hour of play, Li raised the pot and both Kenneth Wong and Mohamad Kowassarie decided to come along for the ride. After a monochrome K-Q-7 all heart flop, Kowassarie and Wong would both call a 200K bet from Li to see a turn Ace. The fireworks went off with that card, with Kowassarie checking and Li betting 435K, inducing a fold from Wong. Surprising many in the Crown, Kowassarie check raised all in for nearly two million in chips and drew a call from Li.
After the cards were turned up, it was easy to see how each player believed he had the best hand (or at least a redraw to the best). Li’s pocket sevens had caught on the flop for a set, but Kowassarie had struck on the turn with his J-10 for the Broadway straight. After dodging the board pairing on the river, Kowassarie assumed the chip lead and Li sunk to the middle of the pack.
Soon after this battle, Speidel began his assault on the leaderboard that would bring him the championship. He knocked out Yann Dion in seventh place while Kowassarie and Li locked up again, with Li being eliminated in sixth place when his A-Q couldn’t catch Kowassarie’s pocket threes. With play five handed, Speidel held a nearly three million chip lead over Mile Krstanoski and he wouldn’t look back on his way to the title.
Over the final two hours of the tournament, Speidel would eliminate every one of his four remaining opponents. By the time heads up play was reached, Speidel would hold a commanding 3.5/1 lead over his opponent, Wong. In a brisk twenty minutes, Speidel would maintain control of the final table. On the last hand, Speidel and Wong entered into a raising battle which saw Wong’s stack hit the center of the felt. He was in bad shape, however, as Speidel tabled pocket Aces against Wong’s pocket nines. Once no nine came on the board, Oliver Speidel was crowned the champion of the Aussie Millions Main Event.
1. Oliver Speidel, $1,600,000
2. Kenneth Wong, $1,000,000
3. Mile Krstanoski, $610,000
4. Mohamad Kowassarie, $405,000
5. Patrick Healy, $300,000
6. Bjorn Li, $230,000
7. Yann Dion, $170,000
For those that may think Speidel could be a one hit wonder, think again. Along with winning the Main Event at this year’s Aussie Millions, Speidel also finished second in the $1000 Shootout event and sixth in the Bounty tournament. He also won the Manny Pacquiao World Poker Event championship in December of 2011.
While Speidel was dominating on his way to the Aussie Millions championship, sixteen men would put up the massive buy in to take part in the $250,000 Super High Roller championship. With such a small field, only three players would take down some cash from the tournament, but they would be some of the biggest names in the poker world.
The four men who would determine the champion read like a Who’s Who of the game of poker. Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius and Phil Ivey battled it out, with Negreanu eventually falling as the unfortunate “bubble boy.” After Hansen was dumped in third, Antonius and Ivey would slug it out over the span of an hour before a champion was determined.
On the final hand, Antonius pushed his stack to the center and was immediately called by Ivey, who tabled A-Q against Antonius’ K-3. Although a three came on the flop, a Queen came on the turn to switch the tables back to Ivey. Once a blank hit on the river, Phil Ivey emerged as the champion of the Super High Rollers.
1. Phil Ivey, $2,000,000
2. Patrik Antonius, $1,200,000
3. Gus Hansen, $800,000
Congratulations to Phil Ivey on his return to his championship form and further congratulations to the latest champion of the Aussie Millions, Oliver Speidel!