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 and found he was racing against the of Abernathy. The board ran out 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 while Kuo showed . After the flop Ari was still ahead. Neither the turn or 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 and Dunst had . The flop was a good on for Honeyman. The turn was of no help for Dunst but the 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 while Lynskey was drawing thin wiht . 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 while Abernathy showed . The flop gave Engel two pair but also gave Abernathy an open-ended straight draw. The turn missed her as did the 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 . Engel bet 825,00 and Dunst called again. Engel bet again, 1,700,000 this time, after the the turn. Dunst called to see the river. Engel announced he was all in, sending Dunst into the tank. After a few minutes Dunst called all in and showed only to see Engel turn over for top pair, good enough to take the the title and the A$1.6 million top prize.
Final Table Payouts
- Ari Engel – A$1,600,000
- Tony Dunst – A$1,000,000
- Samantha Abernathy – A$625,000
- Alexander Lynskey – A$445,000
- Dylan Honeyman – A$340,000
- Kitty Kuo – A$270,000
- John Apostolidis – A$210,000