Aussie Millions Day 5: And then there were two
The clock was ticking on into the wee hours of the morning and many in media row were having nervous flashbacks to last year where play was halted at an ungodly hour, before returning the next day to finish the job.
We looked our our watches and saw it approaching 3am local time with no signs of anything breaking among our final four. Then, almost out of nowhere, we went bang, bang, to reduce four into two in a matter of moments.
First to go was Darren Rabinowitz. He raised from under the gun, Ami Barer three-bet and Rabinowitz committed his entire stack. Barer made the call and tabled pocket nines to leave the pocket fives of Rabinowitz in bad shape.
By this stage, the rail of Rabinowitz, which included fellow pros Joe Kuether, Bryan Campanello and reigning world champ Ryan Riess, were in a frenzy as the yelled for a five with all their might.
The flop was a bare J♥4♥2♠, but the volume increased when the 6♣ appeared on the turn to give Rabinowitz a gutterball straight draw. However the river was the A♦ to leave Rabinowitz to depart in fourth place for AU$450,000.
That bust out certainly got the blood pumping, but that was only a teaser for the dramatic elimination of Jake Balsiger.
Balsiger opened with a min-raise to 240,000 before Barer three-bet to 575,000. Balsiger make it 1.175 million to go but Barer five-bet for all the biscuits with A♦T♥ only to find Balsiger snap it off with K♣K♦.
Balsiger was all set for a big double but the 9♣8♥7♣ was one of the worst he could see. Suddenly Barer picked up an open-ended straight draw to go with his ace as outs.
The turn was the 5♣ - a good card for Balsiger who held the only club. Barer would need to find some offsuit magic on the river.
The dealer burned a card and revealed the...6♥! A straight to the ten for Barer would leave Balsiger to fall in third place for AU$650,000. The former WSOP Octo-Niner already knew what it was like to finish third in a big tournament as he misses out on the title once again.
With that the last American hope had fallen as we're now in an all Canadian battle for the 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event crown. It's Ami Barer, a man with over $6 million in online winnings, against Sorel Mizzi, one of the premier players in the world with almost $9 million in live tournament earnings. Wow! This should be fun. Barer will carry a two-to-one chip advantage over Mizzi.
The bricks of Aussie cash have been loaded onto the table and the players are ready to play for it all! It's go time!
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.