Day 2 completed
|Prize Pool||2,736,000 AUD|
|Blinds||15,000 / 30,000|
Day 2 completed
The 2018 Aussie Millions has crowned yet another champion at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, the largest casino complex in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world, and it was Ben Lamb that claimed the ANTON Jewellery championship ring and A$647,114 (~$524,764) in Event #9, the $25,000 Challenge.
Lamb cut a deal with Jan-Eric Schwippert that saw the duo take home the lion's portion of the A$2,736,000 prize pool before flipping blind for the victory. Two-time World Series of Poker Main Event finalist Lamb, with more than $8.3 million in cashes, and Schwippert, one of many young Germans that made a name for themselves in the High Roller scene in the last few years with $4.2 million in tournament cashes, both dominated throughout the day and it came as no surprise that they'd be the last two standing. It was Lamb that won the flip and sat down for the winner pictures at half past midnight local time.
“It’s my first time at the Aussie Millions,” said Lamb immediately after his win. “Normally I go to the Bahamas for two weeks, and then go straight home because I’m just tired after playing every day.”
For 2018, there was a change of plans and that turned out to be a wise decision. “This year I decided to only go for a week. All my friends (Chance Kornuth and Sam Panzica among them and on the rail for the final table) were coming to the Aussie Millions. I’ve had a blast.”
“Every time you win it’s fun, but six-handed tournaments are something that I really enjoy. I only play 15 tournaments a year. I enjoy them, but sometimes I think cash is more lucrative most of the time. I don’t think I’m going to change my tournament schedule too much … but then again it was a lot of fun, so maybe I’ll try and add a few more in!”
Kitty Kuo, who led the final 19 hopefuls into the second and final day, narrowly fell short in her bid to win the first major title after first-place finishes in smaller events in Macau, Manila and Las Vegas, but the 4th on Taiwan's all-time money list still recorded a career-best payday of A$246,240 (~$199,454) for her 4th place finish.
Final Result Event #9 $25,000 Challenge
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (AUD)||Prize (USD)|
|1||Ben Lamb||United States||A$647,114*||$524,764*|
|5||Jack Salter||United Kingdom||A$177,840||$144,050|
|6||Roger Teska||United States||A$123,120||$99,727|
*denotes deal of the last two players
The money bubble was looming when the action got back underway with the top 14 spots being paid and Jordan Westmorland was the first casualty. After losing a big portion of his stack flush-under-flush, his ace-king failed to hold up against the jack-eight suited of Rory Young as the Aussie hit running cards for a straight. Marius Gierse and Danny Tang followed to the rail and two of the remaining three Aussies in the field were ousted without anything to show for.
Jonathan Karamalikis fell short of the money by two spots and Michael Addamo's hero-call with queen-jack suited for second pair was no good, as the very aggressive Ben Lamb had flopped top pair with ace-king. Once the bubble had burst, the initial eliminations in the money came at a quick pace and Stefan Huber, Yury Zinkevich and Kazuhiko Yotsushika all ran out of chips a few minutes apart from each other.
Claas Segebrecht failed to get there against Jack Salter and the two three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winners Michael Gathy and Brian Yoon had to settle for 10th and 9th place respectively. Rory Young was the last of the local heroes to try and keep the title on home soil, but his pocket kings were cracked by Jan-Eric Schwippert's ace-queen to set up the unofficial final table with Schwippert and Lamb dominating at the top of the counts.
Unofficial final table line-up
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|2||Jack Salter||United Kingdom||400,000||33|
|4||Roger Teska||United States||300,000||25|
|6||Ben Lamb||United States||1,490,000||124|
Mustapha Kanit missed out on the final table group shot after his flushdraw with jack-four suited didn't get there to crack the slow-played pocket aces of Wayne Yap.
Before the dinner break, Roger Teska got his remaining chips in with king-nine suited and top pair on a nine-high flop only for Jan-Eric Schwippert to snap-call with pocket tens.
Jack Salter, 3rd in England's all-time money list, won a ring at the Aussie Millions in 2014 in a A$5,000 No Limit Hold'em Six Max Event and recorded another three runner-up finishes in tournaments here at the Crown Casino. This time, Salter had to settle for 5th place when his queen-jack ultimately got rivered by Ben Lamb's ace-ten after the latter improved to a flush.
For Kitty Kuo, who led the field as chip leader into Day 2, it was yet another deep run that came to an end in 4th place. Jan-Eric Schwippert shoved with queen-five and Kuo called off her short stack with ace-nine to see a five appear on flop and river, giving Schwippert trips.
After having doubled his short stack several times on the final table, Wayne Yap eventually picked the wrong time to four-bet shove with king-queen. Ben Lamb almost beat him into the pot with pocket kings and Yap was left drawing dead on the turn of a ten-high board. Lamb and Schwippert checked possible deal numbers right after, shook hands and flipped blind for the ANTON Jewellery championship ring with the better end for Lamb.
The action in Melbourne is heating up and Day 1a of the A$10,600 Main Event gets underway at 12.30 p.m. local time, while the next highlight follows right after. As of 1.10 p.m. local time on Sunday January 28th 2018, the ANTON Jewellery $50,000 Challenge will attract some of the biggest names in poker and the PokerNews live reporting team will be on the floor to provide exclusive updates.
After the deal negotiations concluded, the pair decided that they were going to flip to decide who won the ANTON Jewellery championship ring.
Ben Lamb had moved a stack forward already before the cards were dealt.
"You have to say all in," said Lamb to Schwippert before his opponent looked at his cards.
"I'm all in," said Schwippert.
"I call," said Lamb, and the cards were turned over.
Cheered on by a boisterous rail which included 2018 ring-winner Chance Kornuth, Lamb's Queen-high held on a board and he took down the title and the Championship ring. Schwippert takes home A$597,765 (~$484,746), while the winner picture duties await momentarily for Lamb.
After just a brief discussion, Jan-Eric Schwippert and Ben Lamb agreed on a straight ICM deal and decided to flip blind for the ANTON championship ring. Here is what the duo has locked up in terms of cash:
Ben Lamb: A$647,114 (~$524,764)
Jan-Eric Schwippert: A$597,765 (~$484,746)
In ther first hand back from the break, Wayne Yap raised to 63,000 on the button and Ben Lamb in the small blind three-bet to 176,000. Back on Yap, he moved all in and Lamb almost beat him into the pot with the call.
The board of left Yap drawing dead on the turn and he was eliminated in 3rd place for A$328,320 (~$265,939). Lamb and Jan-Eric Schwippert asked for the clock to be stopped right after to check the counts and a possible deal.
Jan-Eric Schwippert open-shoved out of the small blind and Wayne Yap called from the big blind.
The board of stayed clear for Yap and his rail cheered while their favourite doubled for 273,000. Yap remains the far shortest stack, though, and will need another double up or two to have a shot at the title.
Wayne Yap limped from the small blind and called a raise by Ben Lamb in the big blind to see a flop of . Yap checked and Lamb bet 80,000, which Yap called. On the turn, Yap checked and called another bet worth 155,000 before checking the third street in a row when the river completed a possible flush draw.
Lamb didn't slow down just yet and bet 220,000. Yap eventually called for a decent portion of his remaining stack and mucked when Lamb turned over for two pair, aces and treys.
Three-handed play started without any bigger pots and Wayne Yap remains the short stack while Ben Lamb and Jan-Eric Schwippert are almost even at the top of the counts.
Yap raised to 53,000 on the button and Schwippert defended the big blind. On the flop, Schwippert checked and folded to a bet of 40,000.
Yap and Lamb then chopped a hand with versus before Schwippert opened to 60,000 on the button the next hand. Only Lamb in the big blind called and checked the flop, Schwippert's bet of 50,000 was called and the turn brought checks from both. Lamb bet the river for 121,000 and that was good enough to win the pot without showdown after the fold of Schwippert.