Finally, at long last, we have our champion. Mel Judah has (quite literally) outlasted the field in a seventeen-hour marathon to take down 2009 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Event #3 - AU$1,100 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo.
Judah played strong poker coming into the final table, and used position, aggression and selective starting cards to ride the wave all the way to the heads up portion of the match. That's where he ran into the stonewall that was Rainer Quel. Several times it looked like one man had the other on the ropes, but neither could get the job done. Even as the limits got ridiculously huge, still nothing gave.
Finally came the hand that tipped the scales in Judah's favor -- he made a nut flush against Quel's second-nut flush, with no low possible. He took the crippled Quel out on the next hand.
For his epic victory, Judah earned AU$30,600 and an Aussie Millions gold ring. He's also earned himself a long morning of deep sleep.
Dueling flushes crippled Rainer Quel. He went to war with Mel Judah on a flop of . The turn brought the third diamond and more raises. On the river , Judah bet and Quel made crying call.
That left Quel with only 25,000 chips. They went in on the next hand with ; Judah called with . He finally brought an end to Quel's tournament life with . After an inspiring heads-up match that took more than two hours, Quel was finally eliminated in second place. He earned AU$21,420 for that achievement.
Mel Judah says he'd never seen two heads up players dealt the same hands in Omaha -- until just now. On a board of , Rainer Quel showed down to Judah's . Each held a suited ace-jack and an offsuit king-queen.
This is pretty amazing. With 500,000 chips total in play, the limits are now 16k/32k, for a total of less than 17 big bets in play. The average stack is now about 8 big bets and yet still we can't find a winner. The pots keep chopping, seventeen hours into the tournament.
There's only one more level left on the published structure chart.
...and so we start the third hour of heads up play. Mel Judah has voiced his frustration to a few onlookers on the rail who suggested he should be enjoying being heads up in an Aussie Millions event more than he is.
"Not this one," complained Judah. "Not like this. You have no idea what's happened to me today."
A few double-fisting lads have joined the rail, trading joking barbs with Mel Judah. They were considering beating a hasty departure before "we make c*nts of ourselves," but they seem content to stick around for now.
Meanwhile, the two remaining players are once again dead even in chips.
Whammy. Mel Judah and Rainer Quel got a total of 216,000 chips in a single pot by the river, but they wound up chopping. Quel took the high by making a nine-high straight; Judah had the nut low. Judah threw his hands into the air at the end of the hand, clearly frustrated by a battle that seems to have no end.
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