APPT9 Aussie Millions Day 3: Raw emotions of bubble excitement

January 29, 2015

The bubble is perhaps the tensest time in any poker tournament, with players scrambling to lock up a payday for their hours of effort at the felt.

With the bubble bursting today here at the Aussie Millions Main Event, we thought we’d first take a look at some of the more exciting bubble moments from previous years.


Cards go round and round on the bubble

Flash back to the 2010 Aussie Millions when top professional Peter Jetten sent Joseph Sevian home as the bubble in spectacular fashion.

Having put the money in preflop, Sevian’s chances of cashing looked thin, running K♣K♠ into Jetten’s A♦A♣. That was until he spiked top set on a flop of K♥10♦6♦, met by a roaring crowd.

Jetten explained why the flop almost surely meant a double up for Sevian: “I turned to the guy on my right and asked if he folded a king, trying to be an optimist, and he said no but I folded an ace.”

The turn J♣ rolled off giving Jetten additional straight outs and the river meant a nightmare situation for Sevian – the case ace A♥ landing to make him that year’s bubble boy.

Another classic bubble moment takes us to 2013 in a hand between Australian Poker Hall of Famer, Gary Benson, and perhaps the most notable player in the world, Phil Ivey.

Things looked grim for Benson when he moved all in preflop with 10♦10♥, only for Ivey to wake up with J♠J♦ and make a call behind him.

Again a flopped set delivered false hope as a board of 10♣Q♠K♦ vaulted Benson into the lead. He still had a serious sweat against Ivey’s open-ended straight draw but with the turn 4♥ bricking off his chances were looking good. It was the 9♦ on the river though that sealed Benson’s fate as Ivey administered the final blow, bursting the bubble and sending a wave of relief throughout the rest of the poker room.


Phil Ivey at this year’s Aussie Millions

As the bubble loomed in the Crown Poker Room today, however, Ivey remained as one of the 73 players all hoping for a payday. Fortunately for him it was instead James Kennedy who found the rail as the official ‘bubble boy’.

Kennedy was down to less than a big blind when he found himself all in from the small blind. He watched on as Victor Teng and Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang took to a A♠3♣2♦ flop. Teng bet and got Huang got out of the way, with Teng tabling A♥K♥, which was well ahead of Kennedy’s Q♥J♥.

Kennedy was not greeted with any help on the turn or river, instead greeted with the cheers and applause of those who had made it into the money, securing $15,000 each.


James Kennedy was a gracious bubble boy

No player was as noticeably happy as young Australian Billy Liapis who shed a tear and embraced his girlfriend after having secured a spot in the money.

The largest result on Liapis’ resume prior to today was for just $10,000 and now he has passed that in one swoop just for making the money of the 2015 Aussie Millions Main Event.

Now Liapis just needs to focus on making a run at the $1.6 million.


Great to see raw emotion in a poker tournament

With the bubble bursting it is expected that a few dozen players will be eliminated during the late stages of the night. To find out just how many, and who makes it through to Day 4, be sure to keep it locked on the live reports section of the APPT9 Aussie Millions page.

Brad Kain contributed to this article


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