“Congratulations to Phil Ivey for winning the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge!” Crown Poker TD Joel Williams announced over the speakers of the feature table here at Crown in Melbourne, Australia.
The declaration was followed by feelings of déjà vu.
Had daydreaming sent our minds back to 2014, or had Phil Ivey just won the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge for the second year in a row?
Or maybe we were stuck dreaming about Ivey winning this event in 2012.
Surely Ivey hadn’t just won his third LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions?
After all, they have only ran five of these in the history of the Aussie Millions.
Nope, we weren’t dreaming.
For the third time in four years, Phil Ivey had claimed the title of one of the largest poker tournaments in the world.
He picked up $2,205,000 for this year’s victory which brings the grand total of Ivey’s results to $8,205,000 in this event alone.
Ivey had to defeat a tough field to claim his back-to-back victory and ultimately overcame Mike McDonald heads-up to win the title.
The final hand of the tournament saw McDonald open the button to 100,000. Ivey moved his big stack all in and McDonald called off his 1.3 million in chips.
McDonald was in front with A♠Q♥ against Ivey’s K♣Q♣, but any hopes of doubling up were squashed when the dealer spread out 10♠10♣K♠8♥9♥ board.
While he may not have posted an amazing back-to-back victory like Ivey, McDonald still took home $1,592,500 which is added with the $1,900,000 he claimed for finishing 3rd in this event last year.
The final table began with rapid-pace action as Dan Smith was the first eliminated.
Smith was the short stack and three-bet all in for 250,000 after Ivey had opened to 45,000. Ivey snapped it off with K♦K♣, which dominated Smith’s 4♥4♣.
The 9♦7♠7♣Q♥8♣ board wasn’t what Smith needed and so it was all over three spots away from making the money. Smith would have felt this one a little more than normal too considering he ston-cold bubbled the $100,000 Challenge just a few days ago.
Following Smith’s elimination, Team PokerStars Pro Online Isaac Haxton was quickly all in on two occasions. One of those saw him double up, but unfortunately the other was his demise.
Haxton looked down at K♣K♠ and was happy to get his chips in preflop against Ivey with A♥K♥. The A♣6♠J♠A♦6♥ was not so great for Haxton and so he was eliminated in two spots off the money.
Next out would be the bubble boy and on this occasion it was recent $100,000 Challenge champion, Richard Yong.
Once again it was Ivey dealing the blow, this time with his Q♣J♣ trumping Yong’s A♠2♠ as the board ran out K♣8♦3♦Q♠5♦ to five Ivey a pair of queens.
With Yong on the rail, the five remaining players had guaranteed themselves $551,000 and that’s what former champion of this event Erik Seidel would take home for the 5th place finish.
Seidel was short stacked and moved all in for around 280,000 from under the gun. Doug Polk called from the big blind and once again a player tabled cowboys as Polk held K♥K♦. Seidel, meanwhile, had just A♦3♣ and wasn’t able to improve on a 8♠6♦7♥J♦J♠ board.
Not too long after Seidel was eliminated and Scott Seiver would join him on the rail.
Seiver’s final hand saw him defend in the big blind against an open from Mike McDonald.
On the A♠7♠6♥ flop, Seiver check-shoved after McDonald had led for 50,000.
McDonald snapped it off with K♠8♠ for the flush draw, while Seiver was at risk with 7♥4♠. McDonald made his flush on the 5♠ turn and left Seiver drawing dead.
Seiver claimed $735,000 for the 4th place finish, meaning he still won a little less than it cost him to buy into the tournament three times. Seiver did also finish 3rd in the $100,000 Challenge a few days ago for $1 million.
Once Seiver was gone, the three remaining players fought for just a few minutes before Doug Polk was eliminated in 3rd place.
Polk was the short stack and three-bet all holding A♣5♣ and ran into McDonald’s A♥Q♦. The 5♥Q♣8♣ gave both players a piece and a big flush sweat for Polk, but the 3♥ turn and the 9♠ river meant Polk was on the rail with a large $1,041,500 score.
Ivey began the heads-up battle with 3,610,000 in chips, while McDonald had 2,640,000 after having dealt the fatal blow to Seiver.
It would take only half an hour of heads-up before Ivey managed to win the final hand of the 2015 LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge and the final event of the 2015 Aussie Millions Poker Championship.
That made it back-to-back victories in this event for Ivey and his third in four years!
LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge – Results
1st: Phil Ivey – $2,205,000
2nd: Mike McDonald – $1,592,000
3rd: Doug Polk – $1,041,000
4th: Scott Seiver – $735,000
5th: Erik Seidel – $551,000
The 2015 Aussie Millions Poker Championships is all over!
It was a memorable few weeks as Melbourne’s hometown hero Manny Stavropoulos won the Main Event and Phil Ivey added to his mystique with another amazing victory. Thanks for tuning into our Aussie Millions coverage here at the PokerStarsBlog. The next event to be held in this region is ANZPT Perth and you will be able to follow along with the action of that event right here from February 11th.