It was as much a coronation as it was a final table, with one of the world's top mixed game players taking down the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championships Event #7: $2,500 8-Game Mixed inside the Crown Entertainment Complex on Thursday.
The UK's Stephen Chidwick, whose resumé boasts a ton of top finishes in mixed game events at the World Series of Poker and beyond, came into the seven-handed final with the chip lead and only fell out of the top spot briefly heads up, before defeating local tournament grinder Peter Aristidou to capture the title, an LK Boutique Championship ring and the $47,520 first-place prize.
The tournament began Wednesday, drawing 64 players and playing down to the seven-handed final. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Brian Yoon came in as the short stack and was quickly dispatched in seventh before Aussie Benjamin Benoit got short and bowed out sixth.
Chidwick ran over the table increasing his lead before Aristidou took most of Richard Ashby's chips playing Stud 8. Ashby soon said goodbye in fifth and play went three handed when Chidwick sent defending champion Oliver Gill home in fourth.
Chidwick also busted Aussie Jarryd Godena, who was making his second final table appearance of the 2016 Aussie Millions, after a seventh-place finish in Event #2 $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. Aristidou also made the H.O.R.S.E. final, ultimately finishing fifth.
Chidwick had the lead when heads-up play began, but Aristidou made a valiant effort, snatching it from him over the first hour of play. Chidwick would not be denied, however, winning his first Aussie Millions title after getting the best of Ariustidou in a series of No-Limit Hold'em pots that ended it all.
|1||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||$47,520|
|5||Richard Ashby||United Kingdom||$11,520|
|7||Brian Yoon||United States||$8,640|
The Game's Biggest Names Reach Melbourne
The 2016 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge will get going Friday and with the even bigger $100,000 Challenge and LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge just around the corner, some of Poker's biggest names have come to Crown.
Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier arrived in Melbourne Thursday as excited as he gets for any event on the poker calendar.
"Aussie Millions is one of my favorite stops of the year," he said. "Getting to play an awesome Main Event, a $25k, a $100k, and a $250k tourney all in a 12-day span is a real treat. It's really hard to top the overall experience here!"
Fellow Team PokerStars Pro and Twitch poker live stream star Jason Somerville is also on the ground here, and has added a Q&A session to his already busy schedule with the live stream set to start January 24.
Somerville's Q&A will go off inside Conference Hall 3 on the second level of the Crown Conference Centre Saturday January, 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Space is limited to the first 100 entrants.
"I'm so excited to play a role in showcasing the Aussie Millions, one of the premiere events on the poker calendar," Somerville said. "Crown Melbourne is a world-class venue offering an elite poker experience and I'm thrilled to help provide a window into the Aussie Millions for fans around the globe exclusively on Twitch."
The $1,150 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator Rolls On
The first flight of Event #8 $1,150 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator drew 182 entries with 26 surviving 12 levels of play Wednesday. This unique event allows players to enter multiple starting flights and combine the stacks they build heading into the event's second day.
The second flight began just after noon Thursday with the third set for Friday.
The 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Continues
The 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship continues Friday January 22, 2016 with the first day of the two-day Event #9 $25,000 Challenge beginning at 2:10 p.m.
PokerNews will have live coverage of the event from start to finish.
Friday will also see the third and final starting flight for Event #8 $1,150 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator just after 12 p.m.