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Karamalikis Leads $100k Challenge Final Table!

Posted at 01:45 2010-01-24

All the big names are in town and Melbourne is buzzing as the 2010 Aussie Millions rounds the corner and into the home stretch. With parties galore and millions of dollars to be won, the Aussie Millions is the place to be!

Today saw a much-hyped final table come together in the $1,150 No Limit Holdem with Rebuys Event. The tournament started with 108 players and entered the final day with online phenom James “Andy McLEOD” Obst holding a commanding chip lead. The talk of the town was with spin king and 888 Poker representative Shane Warne reaching his first Aussie Millions final table. However it wasn’t to be Warney’s day as Gary Benson hit him for six when Warne’s pocket queens ran into Benson’s pocket kings and he was the first to be eliminated.

2009 Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott fell in 5th place while Obst would depart in 4th. Florian Langmann was next to go to leave Benson and Mike Watson to battle it out for the title. The final hand was a classic race with Watson taking a pair of eights to war against Benson’s ace-jack and it was all over when Watson spiked a set on the flop.

Final Table Results:
1st Mike 'SirWatts' Watson - $129,920
2nd Gary Benson - $92,800
3rd Florian Langmann - $64,960
4th James 'Andy McLEOD' Obst - $46,400
5th Stewart Scott - $37,120
6th Manny Stavropoulos - $27,840
7th Antonio Fazzolari - $23,200
8th Stanley Hou - $18,560
9th Nicolas Faure - $13,920
10th Shane Warne - $9,280

However the big boys were in town for one reason only and that was the prestigious $100,000 Challenge. Yes, that’s right folks – a lazy 100k to enter this one with a first place prize of $1.2Million!

A field of 24 players entered the event and all the greats were on show including Dwan, Ivey, Guoga, Lederer, Greenstein, Seidel, Hansen, Lisandro, Ferguson, Juanda, Steicke and also a couple of Australian young guns taking a shot at glory with Jarred “FlopNutsOnYou” Graham, David Eldar and Jonathan “xMONSTERxDONGx” Karamalikis mixing it up with the best in the world.

Karamalikis got off to a good start and his day just snowballed from there while it was a rough day in the office for Graham. After losing a large chunk of change with pocket queens against pocket aces, Graham departed after making a move with {Ad}{7h} into Tony Bloom’s {As}{Qh}.

Eldar bluffed off his stack into the top set of Dani Stern, while defending champion David Steicke and four-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro were also early casualties.

Karamalikis on the other hand, maintained his position with the leaders until late in the day when the biggest pot of the tournament went his way. In a raised pot, Karamalikis and Hansen saw a {Ah}{8s}{5s} flop. Karamalikis bet 50,000 before Hansen min-raised to 100,000. Karamalikis moved all in and Hansen used both of his time bank buttons before making the call with {Ax}{9x} but he was in bad shape against Karamalikis’ {Ax}{Qx}. The turn and river bricked and Karamalikis stormed to the chip lead as the final table took shape.

After nine levels, play was halted for the evening and will resume at 12pm on Monday due to the Million Dollar Cash Game being filmed tomorrow. With only five of the eight to finish in the money, it will be a nervous wait for some! Here’s how they will lineup:

Seat 1: Bill Jordanou - 195,000
Seat 2: Phil Ivey - 328,000
Seat 3: Tony Bloom - 227,000
Seat 4: Jonathan Karamalikis - 508,000
Seat 5: Howard Lederer - 141,000
Seat 6: Dan Shak - 453,000
Seat 7: Tony G - 200,000
Seat 8: Barry Greenstein - 388,000

Tomorrow is the start of the big one, the 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event! We’re expecting around 250 players to hit the Crown Poker Room tomorrow at 12:30pm for Day 1a with PokerNetwork and PokerNews there to bring you all of the live action as it unfolds!

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Jonathan Karamalikis leads the Aussie Millions 100k Challenge! Jonathan Karamalikis leads the Aussie Millions 100k Challenge!

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