Aussie Millions Main Event Won for AU$1.6 Million
The Main Event of the annual Aussie Millions poker tournament has been won by Alan “Ari” Engel who walked away with $1.6 million Australian dollars in prize money yesterday. His victory came after a tense heads-up battle with Tony Dunst, who has to settle for a second place prize of AU$1 million.
The event was the pinnacle of the Aussie Millions tournament, the most prestigious and lucrative poker series in Asia-Pacific which attracts an average of two thousand players every year, both professional and recreational, all hoping to win a share of the huge prizepool. It’s held every January at the Crown Casino in Melbourne as a series of 26 official events and it concludes today. The 2016 series had a total prize pool of AU$7,320,000 and created two poker millionaires.
Engel’s win is undoubtedly the biggest of his career so far. According to his player profile on the Hendon Mob Database, the professional poker player from Brooklyn has built up winnings of around USD$2.5 million though online poker rooms, and a live tournament record of over half a million US dollars in cash outs. His Aussie triumph now earns him almost 600 points on the Global Player Index, a massive boost to his ranking. He’d already been performing well at this year’s Aussie Millions, with cash outs of $23,427 and $2,658 before moving on to scoop the big prize at the main event. Engel can now confidently add his Aussie Millions gold bracelet to his trophy cabinet.
Going into the Main Event, Engel was holding a fairly big advantage, with a chip lead on the seven remaining players. He had an 8.1 million stack, far larger than the combined stacks of the five shortest players going into the final table. The finale came down to a hard-fought tête-à-tête between Engel and Dunst, after the remaining competition had been knocked out. The game began with seven players, who outlasted a field of 732 others to win a spot at the table. It was the fourth largest Aussie Millions Main Event in the tournament’s history. The first player to go was Australian John Apostolidis who took home a respectable AU$210,000. He was followed by Kitty Kuo, who scored AU$270,000 and then by Dylan Honeyman who cashed out with AU$340,000. Fourth place was taken by Australian Alexander Lynskey who won AU$445,000 for his efforts, and in third place was another female player, Samantha Abernathy who walked away with $625,000. After she lost out to Engel’s ace-nine, she admitted defeat and this left Engel and Dunst as the final two. Dunst tried his hand to double up but his fourth pair was no match for Engel’s top pair and he had to settle for a second-place finish worth AU$1 million. Not a bad result for a player who almost didn’t enter the main event game at all – Dunst joined the $10,000 buy-in game late as discovered that he’d misplaced one of his $5k chips when he tried to register. However, his friend paid the remainder of the buy-in for him in the end for a percentage of his final winnings, a fortuitous decision which clearly worked out well for both of them.
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