The final day of the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship came to a close on Monday evening with Steve O’Dwyer adding yet another accolade to his blossoming poker career as he was crowned the champion of the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge Event.
A field of 16 entrants included the biggest and best players in the world to form a massive AU$4,000,000 prize pool. O’Dwyer returned to the final day sitting fourth in chips and survived a tough final table before a four-way deal would see him lock up AU$951,959. When play reached short-handed, O’Dwyer picked up the momentum as he defeated David Peters heads-up to grab an extra AU$100,000 and the Aussie Millions gold ring.
13 players returned to the felt for the start of play on Day 2 of the event and it didn’t take long for the action to heat up. Fedor Holz was the only player in for two bullets in the tournament and he had the second-largest stack at the start of the day, yet he somehow managed to be the first casualty within 30 minutes of play. Holz was joined on the rail by Phil Ivey, Mike McDonald and Brian Rast before the players combined for the final nine on the feature table.
Only the top three would finish in the money, so the battle was intense in the early levels of play. Sam Greenwood, Ben Tollerene and Igor Kurganov would be the first to fall, before things tightened further with six players left. Bryon Kaverman and Connor Drinan surged into the chip lead while Paul Newey was digging in his heels as the short stack.
The players were eyeing off a long night on the felt but a break for dinner seemed to rejuvenate spirits as the chips started flying following the break.
The short-stacked Paul Newey shoved with K♥5♣ but that was no match for Fabian Quoss’ A♦Q♠ before Byron Kaverman crashed and burned in fifth place. Kaverman got a little too aggressive with A♥10♥ at the wrong time to double up Fabian Quoss’ pocket aces. That left Kaverman short and he moved all in next hand from the button with Q♠10♦. Steve O’Dwyer called with K♦3♥ and when the board bricked out, king-high was enough to take us to our final four.
With the elimination of Kaverman, the final four were quick to enter into deal discussions. With almost even chips between Fabian Quoss, Connor Drinan, Steve O’Dwyer and David Peters, the players agreed to an ICM chop, leaving $100,000 and the gold ring in the middle to play for.
Fabian Quoss had already had a great week in Australia after winning the $100,000 Challenge, but he would be the one to be bundled out in fourth place. Quoss got into trouble in a tournament-defining three-way all-in that also included Steve O’Dwyer and Connor Drinan.
O’Dwyer opened with J♥J♦ before Quoss made a big shove with 6♥6♠. Drinan committed with K♥Q♥ and O’Dwyer made the call with his jacks. The board double-paired but there was no help to Drinan or Quoss, giving O’Dwyer the triple up and crippling both opponents.
Two hands later and the big blind rolled around to eat up half of Quoss’ stack. He was forced all in with 3♣6♣ but received no help against Steve O’Dwyer’s A♣9♣. The four-handed deal worked out well for Quoss as he took home AU$956,896 for his efforts.
Moments later and Connor Drinan was also on the rail. He moved all in from the button with 7♦8♦ and David Peters made the call with A♥4♥. Again the board was no help for the short stack to see Drinan depart for a seven-figure return of AU$1,021,099 for his third place.
Steve O’Dwyer would take a near two-to-one chip lead into the heads-up battle with David Peters with AU$100,000 left to play for.
Peters would chip away with a series of small pots where the cards were falling his way and briefly snuck into the chip lead, however a successful triple-barrel bluff by O’Dwyer would change the momentum before the final hand unfolded.
In the end, it was a bit of a cooler that separated the two titans. With a board reading Q♥6♥3♠10♦7♦ O’Dwyer moved all in on the river with Q♣10♠ for top two pair. Peters snapped it off with Q♦7♣ but saw the bad news as his two pair was not enough to get past O’Dwyer.
It’s another incredible High Rollers victory for O’Dwyer. Over the last 12 months, O’Dwyer has recorded huge six and seven figure scores in Europe, the Bahamas and Macau and just last week he finished fourth in the $25,000 Challenge event here at the Aussie Millions for over a quarter of a million Australian dollars. Today’s winnings will boost his career earnings to almost US$15 million and jump him ahead of Michael Mizrachi into 14th place on the all-time tournament money earners list.
2016 Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge
1st Steve O’Dwyer (Ireland) – AU$1,051,959
2nd David Peters (United States) – AU$889,236
3rd Connor Drinan (United States) – AU$1,021,909
4th Fabian Quoss (Germany) – AU$956,896
That concludes our coverage of the 2016 Aussie Millions. Thanks for following along and we look forward to you joining us again at the next major event! Until then, it’s goodnight from Melbourne!