Dan Smith Wins 2012 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge

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January 24 2012

Written to Australian poker news by PokerNetwork

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The 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship continued on Monday with Day 1b of the $10,000 Main Event, the completion of the $100,000 Challenge, and an assortment of preliminary events like a $5,000 Chinese Poker tournament.

Here’s a look at the action from Day 12 of the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship.

$100,000 Challenge

The 2012 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge wrapped up after two exciting days of poker in Studio 3 at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. The lion's share of the $2.2 million prize pool (AUD$1.012 million) was awarded to Dan Smith after he defeated Mikhail Smirnov heads up for the title. For his runner-up finish, Smirnov took home $616,000.

The second six-figure buy-in of the year kicked off Sunday with 22 players taking command of 100,000 in starting chips. At the end of Day 1, the field had been whittled to the final table of eight, but no one was guaranteed any money just yet. On Day 2, four more players hit the rail — Nam Le, Sam Trickett, Sorel Mizzi and Gus Hansen — without making any money, because only the top four spots were being paid out.

Finishing in fourth place and earning $242,000 was Tony G. He fell at the hands Smith when his {A-Hearts}{6-Hearts} couldn't outrun the {A-Spades}{Q-Hearts} for the eventual champion. Then in third place it was Joe Hachem, who exited earning $330,000 and his largest-ever live tournament score in his home country, Australia. Hachem got the last of his money in with the {A-Clubs}{9-Clubs} against Smith's {A-Spades}{10-Spades}. Although the 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event champion flopped a nine and turned trips, Smith made a spade flush on the river.

Quickly into heads-up play, Smith found a big double through Smirnov when his {J-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} held up against the {10-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} for his Russian counterpart. Smirnov battled back, though, and things became a pretty evenly matched tug-of-war battle for a long while.

Eventually, after several swings back and forth and exchanging of the chip lead, the final hands came up during the 15,000/30,000 level. First, Smith took a commanding lead when his pocket sixes held up against Smirnov's {A-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds}. Then on the final hand, Smith eliminated Smirnov in second place with pocket deuces. The ducks held up against Smirnov's {Q-Hearts}{6-Hearts} and Smith walked away with the title.

$100,000 Challenge Results

Place Player Prize
1 Dan Smith $ 1,012,000
2 Mikhail Smirnov $ 616,000
3 Joe Hachem $ 330,000
4 Tony G $ 242,000

Event #8: $10,000 Main Event Day 1b

The 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event continued on Monday with Day 1b. The second of three starting flights attracted 187 players, and combined with Day 1a’s 153 entries, the total field for two days is 340. Many pros are waiting until Day 1c to enter, which is expected to be the biggest of the three starting days, but there were plenty of notables in action on Day 1b.

Jonathan Karamalikis, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Masa Kagawa were the three pros eliminated from the $100,000 Challenge the day earlier who opted to give the Main Event a go on Monday. Karamalikis and Dwan will be heading into Day 2. They were joined by notables David Bach, Annette Obrestad, Kenna James, and James Dempsey, all of whom made it through to Day 2, as well.

Dempsey had an up-and-down day, dropping to just 6,000 chips at the dinner break; however, things turned around for him shortly thereafter as he ran it up to over 100,000 in the next level. "Just printing. Just Printing!" he said when asked how he did it. By the end of the night, Dempsey claimed the chip lead with 189,000.

Dwan was another player who had some post-dinner success. It occurred when Ryan Hong moved all-in with {A-Clubs}{Q-Spades} and was up against Dwan who was holding {4-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}. The board ran out {7-Hearts}{3-Spades}{9-Spades}{5-Hearts}{j-Clubs} and Dwan chipped up to over 80,000.

In addition to Dempsey and Dwan, two former champs were in action on Day 1b, including 2009 Aussie Millions champ, Stewart Scott, and 2010 victor and recent Tournament of Champions winner, Tyron Krost. Both managed to survive the day — Krost finished with 56,400, while Stewart bagged 38,400.

Dempsey emerged as the Day 1b chip leader with 189,000 but still trails Brett Watson who finished Day 1a with 257,400. Others who finished toward the top of the chip counts included Ilir Belului (182,700), Kenna James (151,400), Nabil Edgtton (148,300), Paul Wilde (146,500), Octavian Vogele, Emad Maaree (112,500), and Tom Dwan (107,400)

Not everyone was did so well on Day 1b. Tom Koral, Jackie Glazier, Jamie Pickering, Marvin Rettenmaier, Simon Watt, Mel Judah, and Shawn Buchanan were among the players who hit the rail throughout the seven levels of play.

Jeff Rossiter, who finished third in the Main Event last year, was eliminated in heartbreaking fashion with just 20 minutes left in the evening. It happened when the board read {8-Hearts}{8-Spades}{2-Hearts}{10-Hearts} and Rossiter bet 6,700 from middle position. His opponent in the hijack then raised to 17,000. Rossiter then moved all-in for about 30,000 total, and his opponent made a reluctant call.


Rossiter {K-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}
Opponent {A-Hearts}{J-Spades}

Rossiter had turned the king-high flush and needed to dodge a heart on the river to survive. Unfortunately, the {4-Hearts} spiked to put an end to his run.

By the time players bagged and tagged for the night, 92 had survived. They, along with the 68 who survived Day 1a, will move on to Day 2 on Wednesday, but there is still one more starting day to get through.

Action is set to kick off at 1230 EST, and of course PokerNews will be on hand to capture all the action.

Event #10: $1,100 Teams Event

Day 1a of the Main Event began on Sunday and crossed into the early morning hours Monday, but there was one event that went even longer — Event #10: $1,100 Teams Event. Seventy-eight teams entered the event, creating a $78,000 prize pool. Here's a look at the results:

Event #10: $1,100 Teams Event

Place Player Prize
1 Mark Segal & Paul Ravesi $24,960
2 Julian Dieckhaus & Daniel Ratcliffe $16,380
3 Danny Chang & David Yan $10,140
4 Aleks Lackovic & Tony Tartaglia $7,020
5 Naseem Ajez & Denis Jankovic $5,460
6 Richard Allen & Jaqueline Flint $4,680
7 Azusa Maeda & Toma Tsugunari $3,900
8 Warren Lewis & Anthony Barry $3,120
9 Ali Ghezelbash & David Ghezelbash $2,340

Upcoming Events

The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be live reporting Day 1c of the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event. Also, be sure to check back for daily recaps from Event #14: $550 NLHE Terminator, and the rest of the events at the 2012 Aussie Millions.


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