For two days, poker's biggest names battled one another in the 2014 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge. The tournament has a rich history, but this year it was taken to a whole different level as 39 unique players accounted for 37 re-entries for a total field of 76 entries! That was up considerably from the 22 entries the year before.
It took two full days of play, but eventually Yevgeniy Timoshenko defeated Mike "Timex" McDonald from Waterloo, Ontario to capture the title and AU$2,000,000 first-place prize.
Here's a look at the final table results:
|2||Mike "Timex" McDonald||$1,500,000|
Day 2 began with 29 players, then 10 more players joined the fun, bringing the total field size to 76. Isaac Haxton, who fired his sixth and final bullet, was the first player to bust on the day, losing a race with against Patrik Antonius' . Scott Seiver and Gus Hansen, who also entered at the start of the day, busted soon after Haxton.
The eliminations continued to be fast and furious as Tobias Reinkemeier, Viktor Blom, Justin Bonomo, and Marvin Rettenmaier all busted during the first level of play.
The German high-stakes pros normally crush these big buy-in events, but on this day they were unable to secure so much as a min-cash. Ole Schemion was eliminated by Timoshenko; Igor Kurganov was done in by his fellow countryman Fabian Quoss; Philipp Gruissem ran pocket fours into Erik Seidel's pocket kings; and Quoss stone bubbled.
Quoss, who won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller, called a five-bet shove from Doug "WGCRider" Polk. Quoss' was racing against Polk's , and the American took the lead on a flop of . Gruissem received no help on the turn () or the river (), and exited the tournament empty handed.
It took two hours at the final table for there to be an elimination, and it happened when Martin Jacobson was eliminated in eighth place. The Swede was all in and at risk preflop with , but was dominated by by Timoshenko's and couldn't improve.
David Steicke exited soon thereafter, getting his short stack in preflop with against Seidel's , and he was followed out the door by Daniel Negreanu in sixth place.
After getting crippled with against Antonius' , "Kid Poker" moved all in for less than two big blinds with , and McDonald called with . The board ran out and Negreanu "earned" AU$550,000 for his performance, though the Canadian was in for five bullets.
Antonius was the next to go. The Finn moved all in on a flop of with , and McDonald called with . The turn and river bricked , respectively, and Antonius was eliminated in fifth place.
Polk entered the final table with the chip lead, but as the hours passed he was unable to maintain his big stack and was eliminated in fourth place. On his final hand he three-bet all in from the small blind with , and Seidel, the original raiser, called with . The wired pair held up, and Polk was off to collect the largest live tournament score of his career.
Seidel, an eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, lost a massive race in Level 21, leaving him with around six big blinds. A few hands later his money went in with , and he actually dominated Timoshenko's . However there was a six on the flop, Seidel found no help on the turn () and river (), and he was eliminated from the tournament in third place.
Timoshenko and McDonald began heads-up play nearly even in chips, and it proved a back-and-forth affair. Eventually Timoshenko doubled in a massive hand, and a short time later he finished off his opponent.
Mike McDonald will add the $1.5 million to his lifetime earnings of just under $7 million, which brings him a little closer to Sorel Mizzi in 3rd in the Canadian all time money list. However Mizzi is still in the Aussie Millions Main Event with only seven players remaining, and will widen his lead on McDonald with his cash there.