The 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event attracted a record field of 800 players, which beat the previous record of 781 runners from 2008. In the end, 28-year-old poker pro Toby Lewis came out on top of the A$10,600 (US$8,540) tournament to win a career-high $1,178,513 first-place prize.
This year’s Aussie Millions hasn’t been without drama, which we highlighted last week. But while the high-roller fields may have been tiny, the Main Event saw the largest turnout in the event’s 21-year history, dating back to when it was the Australian Poker Championships.
Lewis, who in 2010 won the EPT Vilamoura, brought his lifetime earnings up to $4,379,236 with the win.
“The last time I won a big tournament was seven and a half years ago,” Lewis said after his win. “I’ve played a lot of poker in that time, with lots of fourth and fifth places over the years. So, once I got a big stack in this one, it seemed like a great spot to go on and win!”
Lewis actually made a three-handed deal with Stefan Huber and Espen Solass. The latter locked up A$1,177,103/$951,332 but wound up busting in third place, while the former got A$909,699/$735,217 before going on to finish as runner-up.
The final hand of the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event took place in Level 31 (80k/160k/20k), and on the 179th hand of the final table, Huber raised to 400,000 with A♠8♦ and Lewis called holding Q♦10♦. When the flop came Q♥8♥Q♠, Lewis checked and Huber bet 225,000.
Lewis check-raised to 625,000, Huber called, and the dealer burned and turned the 7♠. Lewis checked and Huber bet 700,000. Lewis then check-raised again, this time moving all in, and Huber called off for 3.26 million. Unfortunately for Huber, he was drawing dead headed to the river, which was the meaningless 5♠.
“Over the last few months I’ve been working on my game a lot harder than I ever have,” Lewis added. “Today I made sure my concentration was 100% no matter how tired I was, and it worked out.”
Another Deep Run for Engel
Another player to cash the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event was Ari Engel, who in 2016 won the Aussie Millions for a career-high $1,120,110. Engel busted on the fourth day of the tournament in Level 25 (20k/40k/5k).
Engel was first to act, raising to 90,000 holding J♠J♦. Huber three-bet to 300,000 on the button. Solaas then moved all in from the small blind with the K♣10♣ and Engel called off for roughly 1.5 million. Huber got out of the way and the board ran out 6♥10♥A♦K♠9♠ and Solaas made two pair to send Engel out the door in 10th place for A$120,000/$96,983.
Others to cash the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event were local favorite Aaron Lim (14th for A$80,000/$64,655), Artur Koren (15th for A$80,000/$64,655), former champ Ami Barer (36th for A35,000/$28,286), and Tony Hachem (39th for A$30,000/$24,245), the brother of 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Joe Hachem.
The 2019 Aussie Millions is set to run from Tuesday, Jan. 15 through Monday, Feb. 4. The schedule is three weeks long and includes 26 Anton Jewelry gold ring events ranging from A$1,150 to A$50,000 buy-ins.
Final Table Results
1 Toby Lewis (UK) A$1,458,198/$1,178,513
2 Stefan Huber (Switzerland) A$909,699/$735,217
3 Espen Solaas (Norway) A$1,177,103/$951,332
4 Chul Park (Australia) A$470,000/$379,853
5 Mike Del Vecchio (USA) A$370,000/$299,033
6 Ben Richardson (Australia) A$300,000/$242,459
7 Johan Schumacher (Germany) A$235,000/$189,926
8 Chen Lin (Taiwan) A$175,000/$141,434