Australian Stewart Scott outlasted a talented field of 681 players to take down the Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event title and its AUD $2 million top prize on Saturday. The event, held at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, attracted many of the world’s biggest names in poker, but it was the amateur that brought the title back home to Australia.
Scott answered a challenge from fellow Aussie and 2005 WSOP Champion Joe Hachem for an Australian player to win the event. Former winners included Alexander Kostritsyn, Gus Hansen, Lee Nelson, and Tony Bloom, but no Aussies had claimed victory in the country’s biggest poker event since it went international in 2003. “I think it’s about time an Aussie took home the title,” Hachem said at the opening day festivities.
After hanging around in the middle of the pack for the first three days, Scott vaulted to the top of the leaderboard heading into the final day. The chip stacks looked this way as the final table began:
Seat 1: Zach Gruneberg – 1,355,000
Seat 2: Barny Boatman – 349,000
Seat 3: Elliot Smith – 1,120,000
Seat 4: Richard Ashby – 658,000
Seat 5: Stewart Scott – 4,520,000
Seat 6: Peter Rho – 2,420,000
Seat 7: Rajkumar Ramakrishnan – 2,050,000
Seat 8: Sam Capra – 1,161,000
After an epic final table that lasted more than 12 hours, Scott found pocket aces and got all of his chips in preflop against Peter Rho’s Ah-Jc just 13 hands into heads-up play. Rho’s tournament life was on the line and he was unable to improve when the board revealed 9d 8h 2s 4d 9s, sealing Scott’s fate as the 2009 Aussie Millions Main Event Champion.
“We congratulate Stewart Scott on his tremendous accomplishment,” said David Courtney, Crown Casino’s Chief Executive Officer. “He played superb poker over a prolonged period against a record field that included virtually every top professional and hundreds of talented amateurs from Australia and all over the world.”
Scott’s $2,000,000 cash was his first on the live tournament circuit. The Aussie amateur has a wish list hanging on the back of his bathroom door, and on the top of the list is the “Aussie Millions Championship Title”. His wife, who helped make the list, was in attendance cheering him on all week. “Dreams can come true,” Scott said to reporters following his victory.
Rho, a native of Long Beach, CA, earned AUD $1 Million for his runner-up performance. The cash was by far the biggest of his career. Here’s a look at how the others fared at the Aussie Millions Main Event final table:
3rd Place: Elliott Smith – $700,000
4th Place: Rajkumar Ramakrishnan – $400,000
5th Place: Sam Capra – $300,000
6th Place: Zach Gruenberg – $210,000
7th Place: Richard Ashby – $150,000
8th Place: Barny Boatman – $100,000