Ari Engel Wins 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event


Ari Engel won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event.

Ari Engel, the former #1 ranked online poker player in the world, made big noise Sunday in Australia, beating Tony ‘Bond18’ Dunst heads-up to win the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event and A$1,600,000 ($1,133,650 US).

The final table began with Engel holding 37% of the chips in play with just six other players between himself and the first major win of his career.

It didn’t take long for the first elimination. On just the third hand of the day John Apostolidis raised from UTG to 205,000. Action folded to Samantha Abernathy in the small blind and she moved all in. Apostolidis called and turned over AhKc and found he was racing against the QhQc of Abernathy. The board ran out Jd8c5d4h7c to keep Abernathy ahead and send Apostolidis out in seventh place.

It took nearly a full hour before another player was eliminated. Engel raised to 135,000 from the button and Kitty Kuo moved all in for 690,000. Engel called and flipped over 9d9h while Kuo showed AsJd. After the Qc7s4d flop Ari was still ahead. Neither the Qs turn or 6c river were any help for Kuo and she was eliminated in sixth.

Despite starting the final table with the shortest stack Dylan Honeyman managed to make it past two pay jumps before his tourney came to an end. Dunst raised to 125,000 from UTG, Engel called from the button and Honeyman made it 380,000 to go. Dunst four-bet to 800,000 forcing Engel to fold. Honeyman then moved all in for 1,500,000 and Dunst called. Honeyman had JhJs and Dunst had AdKd. The JdTh3c flop was a good on for Honeyman. The Kc turn was of no help for Dunst but the Qs river gave Dunst Broadway and eliminated Honeyman in fifth place.

Following Honeyman’s exit, Alexander Lynskey spent nearly 90 minutes as the short stack before running into a monster. Engel limped from UTG and Lynskey moved all in for 1,600,000. Engel called and turned over AcAd while Lynskey was drawing thin wiht Ah7h. The community cards provided absolutely no relief for Lynskey and he was out in fourth place.

While Engel and Dunst continued to build their stacks it came at the expense of Abernathy. Dunst folded from the button and Abernathy moved all in from the small blind. Engel snap-called from the big blind and table Ah9d while Abernathy showed Th8d. The AcJd9c flop gave Engel two pair but also gave Abernathy an open-ended straight draw. The Jh turn missed her as did the 8s river and Abernathy was eliminated, leaving Engel and Dunst to play heads-up for the title. Abernathy’s third place finish is the highest by a female in the history of the Aussie Millions.

Engel and Dunst played heads up for nearly four hours with the chip lead swinging back and fort between the two players. On the last hand of the night Dunst raised to 325,000 from the button before Engel re-raised to 925,000. Dunst called and the two saw a flop of Ts4d2h. Engel bet 825,00 and Dunst called again. Engel bet again, 1,700,000 this time, after the the Jc turn. Dunst called to see the 9s river. Engel announced he was all in, sending Dunst into the tank. After a few minutes Dunst called all in and showed Ac4c only to see Engel turn over Js7c for top pair, good enough to take the the title and the A$1.6 million top prize.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Ari Engel – A$1,600,000
  2. Tony Dunst – A$1,000,000
  3. Samantha Abernathy – A$625,000
  4. Alexander Lynskey – A$445,000
  5. Dylan Honeyman – A$340,000
  6. Kitty Kuo – A$270,000
  7. John Apostolidis – A$210,000