On the Box: 2010 Aussie Millions Episode 2

Posted at 02:33 2010-11-11

The 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship television coverage is underway and PokerNetwork will be front and centre to bring you all the action from start to finish. So, whether you want to relive all the highlights, or need to catch up after missing an episode, be sure to watch out for our recap every week!

Last week, the 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship premiered on ESPN with the first of five episodes of this year’s $100,000 Challenge. Two dozen of international poker’s crème de la crème took to the felt and there was no shortage of action for the viewers in this week’s episode. Gus Hansen was up to his old tricks, Erick Lindgren was blessed by the poker gods and the Great Wall of David Steicke came crumbling down.

We also learned that Melbourne’s own David Eldar was a former professional Scrabble player before turning to poker and a quick glimpse of his Wikipedia page reveals that he won many major titles as a junior, including the 2006 World Youth Scrabble Championships, before turning his hand to poker. 

For someone who’s already amassed more than US$200,000 in tournament winnings in the last two years, including a final table finish at the 2009 EPT Monte Carlo High Rollers event, could we see the start of something bigger and better than a “bingo” on a double-word score? There’s only one way to find out!


Erik Seidel (USA) – 14,500
Erick Lindgren (USA) – 105,000
Gus Hansen (Denmark) – 250,000
Jeff Lisandro (Australia) – 35,000
John Juanda (USA) – 140,000
David Eldar (Australia) – 97,000
David Steicke (China) – 72,000
Chris Ferguson (USA) – 82,000
Dani Stern (USA) – 85,000
Dan Shak (USA) – 60,000
Tony Bloom (UK) – 115,000
Barry Greenstein (USA) – 160,000

*Note: the chip counts listed from each player are from the start of this episode.


Last week, Hungarian businessman Samdor Demjan was the one and only elimination from the 2010 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge and the action picked up again from that point, with 23 players remaining. For those who are unfamiliar with the tournament format, it’s a high-speed, high-voltage rock-and-or-roll affair. Each player started the tournament with 100,000 in chips, and the betting is pot-limit before the flop and then no-limit after the flop.

To add more pressure on the players, they are only given 30 seconds to act on their hand, but they may use one of their two time extension buttons for an additional 30 seconds. Sounds like fun? In the words of former US governor Sarah Palin, “You betcha!”

THE BIG STORY: The Great Dane Dominates

2007 Aussie Millions Main Event champion and Team Full Tilt Poker Pro Gus Hansen was the driving force at the feature table, showing us why he is one of the most eccentric, but most feared, players in international poker. Having started with the overall chip lead going into this episode, he built his stack up even further, taking chips off his opponents left, right and centre, including every last cent from both five-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro and fellow Team Full Tilt Poker Pros Erik Seidel and John Juanda.

In the first hand of the episode, the action folded around to Seidel who raised to 6,000 from the cutoff with {9h}{9d} before Hansen re-raised to 20,000 with {Ah}{Qh}. Seidel called all-in, but failed to win the crucial flip after the dealer gave Hansen “Broadway” on a board of {Jc}{7c}{Kc}{Ts}{Jd}.

Hansen went on to deliver a one-two KO to Lisandro. The Australian Poker Hall of Fame legend was first crippled by “The Great Dane” in a blind on blind battle after calling the preflop raise from the big blind holding  {Js}{8h} to see a flop of {Qd}{3s}{4h}, which both players checked. Hansen then checked the {As} on the turn, setting the trap for Lisandro, who led out for 6,000. Hansen called, then check-called Lisandro’s bet of 14,000 on the river of the {7d}. Lisandro didn’t even need to look at Hansen’s {ah}{9s} to know that he was beat.

Lisandro eventually surrendered the rest of his chips to him on the third-last hand of the episode, moving the last of his money into the middle on a flop of {3h}{Tc}{7c} holding {8h}{7h} but failed to improve against Hansen’s {Ts}{8c} when the dealer produced running nines on the turn and river.

Juanda was also felted by Hansen in a massive hand late in the episode. On a flop that read {3s}{8c}{Kd}, both players checked before Hansen led out for 19,000 on the {9s} turn. Juanda called, and then led out for 25,000 after Hansen checked his option on the river of the {Ah}. Hansen min-raised to 50,000, which was enough to put Juanda all-in. Juanda thought about it long and hard, even using both of his time extension buttons, but eventually he called with only seconds to spare, showing {Kc}{Jh} which was no good against Hansen’s {Ac}{8h}.

It wasn’t all wine and roses for Hansen though, as on the penultimate hand of the episode, he donated a 240,000-chip pot to Barry Greenstein after running his {7s}{6c} into Greenstein’s pocket queens, which held all the way down a board of {3d}{8h}{6h}{9d}{Kh}.


It was a nightmare day for the young online pros, with Australia’s Jarred flopnutsonyou Graham joining Lisandro on the rail when he moved all-in on one of the outer tables with A-7, but ran into 2006 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Tony Bloom’s A-Q. American phenom and Team Full Tilt Poker Pro Tom durrrr Dwan was also eliminated when he failed to improve with Q-T against Tony G’s K-Q, while the last remaining billionaire in the field, Michael Sampoerna, was busted by Roberto Romanello when he moved all-in with A-Q pre-flop, only to watch as Romanello spiked trip kings with his K-Q.

On the feature table, Hong Kong-based Australian and defending $100,000 Challenge champion David Steicke was felted at the hands of American poker pro Dani Stern. After Stern managed to first double up through Steicke, he eventually claimed the rest of his stack when Steicke moved his last 7,500 into the middle with {8d}{7d}, only to see Stern re-raise to 12,000 with {Ts}{Td}, forcing the rest of the table out of the way. Stern flopped quads – need we say more?

Team Full Tilt Poker Pro Erick Lindgren had an up-and-down session, but handed Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson a brutal beat early in the episode. Lindgren limped in from under the gun with {Th}{Tc}, as did Juanda with {7c}{5c} from the cutoff and Steicke with {Ac}{4c} before Ferguson raised to 14,000 from the big blind with {Ks}{Kd}.

All the others called and saw a flop of {8d}{7h}{8h}. Steicke checked to Ferguson who opened for 25,000. Juanda folded, but after throwing in a time extension button, Lindgren raised all-in. Steicke got out of the way before Ferguson called. The dealer produced a turn and river of {9s}, {6s}, giving Lindgren the straight and Ferguson his cue to depart.

Lindgren did recognise that there was a touch of divine (or should that be satanic) intervention after that hand: “I hope they’re not too religious down here (in Australia), but that was some Jesus-bashing right there!” he said.


Time (AEDST)

Wednesday, November 17


Tuesday, November 23


Tuesday, November 30


Tuesday, December 7


Tuesday, December 14


Tuesday, December 21


Tuesday, December 28


Due to the coverage of the 2010 WSOP Main Event final table, next week’s episode of the 2010 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge has been pushed back to Wednesday, November 17, starting at 10pm AEDST. Be sure to tune in then and don’t forget that satellites to the 2011 Aussie Millions are running right now – download Full Tilt Poker and win your seat today!

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2010 Aussie Millions coverage continues on ESPN 2010 Aussie Millions coverage continues on ESPN

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