Kahle Burns almost won the Global Poker Index Player of the Year title in 2019. On Wednesday, the 31-year-old Australian took a step towards being a contender in 2020 by beating Igor Kurganov heads-up to win the partypoker UK MILLIONS $25,000 High Roller and $350,000.
The first day of the two-day event ended with 23 entries and registration still open. By the time registration closed on Day 2, the field had swelled to 37 to produce a total prize pool of $925,000.
Once down to a final table of nine players, Burns was in pole position with the chip lead. Rainer Kempe was eliminated in ninth, Yair Bitoun went out in eighth, and Leon Tsoukernik busted in seventh to leave players on a $75,000 bubble. Luke Reeves, who started the day as the chip leader and came to the final table second in chips, was eliminated by Kurganov on the bubble.
Five minutes later, Kurganov sent Steve O’Dwyer packing. Action folded to O’Dwyer in the cutoff and he moved all-in for 2,540,000 with and Kurganov called from the button with . The board ran out to eliminate O’Dwyer in fifth place and prevent him from defending the title he won in 2019.
Preben Stokkan was the next to go. From the cutoff, Stokkan moved all-in for 1,280,0000 with , Kurganov folded his button before Ben Heath moved all-in over the top for . Burns folded in the big blind leaving Stokkan and Heath to see a runout of . Preben was unable to improve and was sent hom in fourth place.
Winning that pot offered Heath no real momentum and he started three-handed play as the shortest stack. Just 20 minutes later, his tournament was over after a blind vs blind battle. Burns folded his button, and Kurganov raised to 5,000,000 with . Heath took his time before calling all-in with . The flop was no help and neither the turn or river failed to save Heath from a third-place result.
Kurganov started heads-up play with a 2.7-1 chip lead over Burns. Over the next hour-and-a-half, Burns battled back to take a nearly 3-1 lead of his own before finishing Kurganov off for good. On the final hand, Kurganov called from the button with and Burns raised to to 1,400,000 with . Kurganov moved all-in for 9,875,000 and Burns called instantly. The flop gave Burns more outs. He found one of those on the and made Broadway to eliminate Kurganov and win his first title of 2020. The inconsequential river was the .
partypoker MILLIONS UK High Roller Final Table Payouts
- Kahle Burns – $350,000
- Igor Kurganov – $222,250
- Ben Heath – $150,000
- Preben Stokkan – $100,000
- Steve O’Dwyer – $75,000