Event #2 of the 2013 Aussie Millions has been completed after the 233 players who bought into the $1,100 Pot Limit Omaha event were reduced to just one, champion Sam Vakili.
Vakili, a native of Sydney, makes the trip to Melbourne each year and competes in the Aussie Millions. He has a good record in it too, having cashed in at least one event in each festival since 2010. Until this outright win, Vakili's largest Aussie Millions cash topped the scales at AUD$20,000 which he was awarded for his fourth place finish in last year's AUD$5,000 no limit Hold'em heads-up tournament. Now his largest Aussie Millions cash -- and his largest career cash of all -- is a most impressive $53,600.
When the eight-handed final table got under way, Vakili found himself in the welcomed situation of being the overall chip leader. His 857,000 stack (85.7 big blinds) containing 211,000 more chips than his nearest rival Giovanni "John" Messina. between them, Vakili and Messina held almost two-thirds of the total chips in play, so it was no real surprise to see that particular pairing reach the heads-up stage of the tournament.
Although pot limit Omaha is a game that promotes loose-aggressive play, nobody expected the eliminations to come as quickly as they did. Within 45-minutes the final table had been reduced from eight players down to the final two, a situation created by the fact Vakili and Messina held so many of the chips.
First to bust out was Graeme Putt who started the finale with only two big blinds in his stack. He was followed to the rail first by Minh Nguyen then by Vadim Pinsky, Simon Thwaites, Nick Nicolaou and Trung Tran.
Going into heads-up, Vakili held a 1,300,000 to 1,025,000 chip advantage over Messina but both players were relatively deep stacked as the blinds were still in the 6,000/12,000 level. The duo battled it out through to the 12,000/24,000 blind level, the chip lead being claimed by Messina after a fortunate run of cards, but Vakili never let the beats faze him and he started to drag his way back into contention. Then, after winning a number of small pots in a row, the chip lead was firmly in Vakili's court and he was on the verge of victory.
That victory came when he limp-called a 64,000 raise from Messina from the button. Messina then fired a 100,000 bet, which accounted for almost half of his remaining stack, on a 4h-5s-Kd flop. Vakili called and the dealer placed the 10h onto the turn. Now Messina checked, but then called off his remaining chips when Vakili put him all-in.
Messina was in front with his pair of aces but Vakili could catch any heart, deuce or king to win. The dealer burned a card before placing the 7h onto the river, completing Vakili's flush and resigning Messina to the runner-up position.
2013 Aussie Millions Event #2 Final Table Results
1st Sam Vakili - AUD$53,600
2nd John Messina - AUD$37,300
3rd Trung Tran - AUD$29,125
4th Nick Nicolaou - AUD$22,125
5th Simon Thwaites - AUD$17,440
6th Vadim Pinksy - AUD$13,950
7th Minh Nguyen - AUD$10,500
8th Graeme Putt - AUD$7,000