The 2013 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge recommenced on Monday with the final seven players of a 22-entry field. After just six hours of play, Andrew Robl emerged victorious to capture the A$1,000,000 first-place prize and the title of champion.
The tournament began on Sunday when 21 players took to the felt for nearly 10 levels of play. Robl was the first to bust from that field, and became the only person to exercise his re-entry option. Obviously it proved a wise decision for Robl, who was recently featured in the new poker book Ship It Holla Ballas!.
Seven players began the final table as opposed to the traditional eight thanks to a double elimination in the last hand of Day 1. With that said, only four spots were slated to be paid, which meant three players would leave empty-handed.
It didn't take long for the first elimination of the day, less than 20 minute in fact, and it happened when Vanessa Selbst opened the action with a raise to 16,000 from the hijack and Tobias Reinkemeier three-bet to 63,000 from the small blind. Robl then four-bet all in from the big blind for 123,000, Selbst folded, and Reinkemeier called off for roughly 115,000.
It was a terrible spot of the German, and it got even worse when the flop paired Robl's ace. The turn left Reinkemeier drawing dead, and after the was put out on the river for good measure, he exited in seventh place.
The next elimination came a short time later in Level 12 with the blinds at 5,000/10,000/1,000. It happened when start-of-the-day chip leader Masa Kagawa raised to 20,000, Robl flatted from the cutoff seat, and Selbst made the call from the big blind. On the flop, Selbst checked, Kagawa bet 36,000, and Robl folded. Selbst then check-raised all in for 79,000, and Kagawa called. Selbst showed the for middle pair, and she was behind the for Kagawa. The turn was the , and the river completed the board with the . Kagawa won the pot and sent Selbst home in sixth place.
With the elimination of Selbst, the remaining five players were left directly on the money bubble, and Niklas "ragen70" Heinecker was sitting on an extreme short stack. He made his move shortly thereafter when opened for 40,000 under the gun and was met with a three-bet to 70,000 by Kagawa in the small blind. After the big blind folded, Heinecker opted to just call the additional 30,000 and leave himself 24,000 behind. Kagawa proceeded to bet the and Heinecker committed his remaining chips while saying, "That's good enough for me."
Neither player had hit the flop directly, though Heinecker picked up an open-ended straight draw. According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Heinecker had a 34.54 percent chance of survival on the flop, but that dropped to 22.73 percent when the useless turned. Heinecker was on his feet as the dealer burned one last time and put out the . The German online star missed and took his leave in fifth place after shaking hands with the remaining four player, who were each guaranteed at least $237,000.
Four-handed play was an extended affair, and in Level 12 (6,000/12,000/1,000) Dan Shak managed to take over the chip lead when he flopped a straight to double through Kagawa. Unfortunately for him, he lost it back over the next couple of hands, and Shak was eliminated in fourth place not long after. It happened when Robl limped on the button for 16,000, and Shak raised to 72,000 from the small blind. Robl took a minute, eventually called, and then watched Shak fire 155,000 on the flop. Robl took his usual time, then announced that he was all in.
"I guess I call, but I'm behind," said Shak as he made the call for his last 144,000. He turned up the and was up against Robl's . "I need a queen ... or running diamonds," Shak added. He’d find neither as the appeared on the turn followed by the river. Shak was eliminated, but not before the tournament director reminded the crowd that it was the third time in four years Shak had cashed the event (he won it in 2010).
In Level 13, with the blinds at 10,000/20,000/2,000, Kagawa limped from the small blind and Robl checked his option from the big. Kagawa then moved all in for 338,000 on the , and Robl thought for a solid minute before making the call with , which was behind Kagawa's .
Both players had flopped a pair of tens, but Kagawa's kicker had him out in front. Robl could still take the lead with either a jack or nine, and one appeared when the dealer burned and turned the . Robl hit his straight and Kagawa was drawing to a chop, which didn't hit as the blanked on the river.
Heads-up play began with Robl holding a nearly 10-to-1 chip lead over Kurganov, but the Russian didn’t give up. A double saw him work his way up to 915,000, but he was still behind Robl’s 1.285 million. In Level 14 (12,000/24,000/2,000), what would be the final hand of the tournament occurred. It happened on a board reading when Robl bet 60,000 and Kurganov raised to 190,000. Robl then three-bet all in and Kurganov called off with . Unfortunately for him, Robl held for a wheel. The river was no help to Kurganov and he finished as runner-up for AU$610,000.
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Lynn Gilmartin spoke with Robl immediately after his win.
That does it for our coverage from the 2013 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge, but the PokerNews Live Reporting Team is currently providing updates on the A$10,000 Main Event. What’s more, later this week we’ll be covering the $250,000 Challenge, $25,000 Challenge and $1,000,000 Cash Game.