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aussie_millions-header.jpgAlexander Kostritsyn of Russia defeated Erik Seidel in heads-up play to win the Aussie Millions Main Event, held in Melbourne, Australia at the Crown Casino. For his efforts, Kostritsyn won $1.65 million.

Seven players made it to the final day of play, with Michael Christanthopoulos holding a large chip lead over the rest of the field, holding close to 7 million chips when his next nearest competitor held not quite two million in chips. However, he would only make it as far as third place, falling at the hands of Kostritsyn, who went on a tear at the final table, eliminating all but one of the remaining players on the final day.

With the chip leader’s stack making all the other stacks seem insignificant, several players had the idea of trying to double up quickly and gain momentum with which to challenge Christanthopoulos. Peter Mobbs exchanged raises with Kostritsyn until he was all-in with [As][Js]. Kostritsyn held [Ad][Ks], but the flop gave Mobbs hope as it fell [Jc][8d][6c], giving Mobbs a pair of Jacks. This hope was quickly crushed, though, as a king fell on the turn, sending Mobbs to the exit after a blank on the river.

Kostritsyn continued his rush to the top when his pocket aces eliminated Antonio Casale and his pocket jacks. Casale exited in sixth place, and Kostritsyn took the chip lead in this hand as well. The next elimination would come soon, as Nino Marotta took his shot at doubling up off of Kostritsyn. Marotta went all-in with his hand of [Qs][10c] on a flop of [Jd][10h][3s], holding middle pair. However, Kostritsyn held [As][Jh] for top pair. With no help coming on the turn or river, Marotta was eliminated in fifth place.

The tournament slowed down for a while, with the next elimination not coming for a couple of hours. Then, Peter Ling moved all-in on a flop of [Ac][Kc][10h] while holding [As][5s] for a pair of aces. Michael Christanthopoulos called with two pair, holding [Ad][Kh]. Peter Ling’s day would end with Ling exiting in fourth place.

Christanthopoulos would be the next to leave, going all-in preflop with [Ac][6c] only to be called by Kostritsyn who was holding pocket tens. The community cards were dealt, with a flop of [5s][5d][3c] a turn of [3s] and a river of [10h] , Kostritsyn’s pocket tens making a full house on the river. Now only two players remained.

Kostritsyn would go into heads-up play as the chip leader, holding 9,925,000 chips compared to Erik Seidel’s stack of 5,685,000. Kostritsyn held the chip advantage, but heads-up play would not be easy facing Seidel, winner of eight WSOP bracelets. After almost two hours of heads-up play, the tournament reached its conclusion. Kostritsyn flopped top pair with his hand of [Jh][9h] improving on a flop of [Jd][8s][7s]. Kostritsyn checked to Seidel, who bet out, and Kostritsyn then proceed to check-raise Seidel, a move that would force Seidel all-in if he called. Seidel did make the call, turning over [As][Qc]. The [3h] on the turn and the [Kh] on the river sealed Seidel’s fate and delivered the tournament and the $1.65 million first prize into the hands of the young Russian, Alexander Kostritsyn.

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