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  1. [caption width="640"] Marti Roca De Torres takes down the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for €1,115,207. Photo: Alin Ivanov[/caption] Former economics teacher turned poker professional, Marti Roca De Torres, outlasted the 529 runners and marathon final table to become the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Champion, taking home his first WSOP bracelet and a massive €1,115,207 ($1,297,552) first place prize. Roca De Torres’ “dream come true” was made in part by winning his way into the €10,350 Main Event through a €220 satellite on 888poker. From there the Spaniard seized the opportunity, showed incredible resolve, and grinded his way through a grueling final table to end up with a career score that will be tough to top. The Final Table After the elimination of Stepan Osinovski in ninth place on Day 5 the official final table of eight players was set to begin. The remaining field included popular UK pro Jack Salter, live poker Triple Crown winner Niall Farrelland one of the most recognizable names in poker, Maria Ho, holding the chip lead and looking for her first World Series of Poker bracelet. Just after the dinner break, on the 10th hand of the official final table, Spaniard Luis Rodriguez, having had his stack crippled on a previous hand, was forced to push his remaining four big blinds in holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="6d"]. Farrell, holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ac"], reshoved, isolating the short stack. The board came clean for the aces, [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="th"][poker card="3s"], and Rodriguez walked with €97,344. Roughly 30 minutes later, a classic flip helped decide the fate of Jack Salter. With similar sized stacks, Salter and Gianluca Speranza would find themselves all in. Salter, covering Speranza, had the slightest of leads holding [poker card="js"][poker card="jc"] against the Italian’s [poker card="Ad"][poker card="kc"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="2d"] flop put Speranza in great position to double through. Salter would get no help from the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="6s"] river, leaving him with just a few blinds to try and grind back. The very next hand would be the end of Salter as his shipped [poker card="ks"][poker card="js"] would fall to Roca De Torres’ [poker card="ac"][poker card="7c"]. Salter books a €129,121 cash in seventh place, his second six-figure score of the week after min-cashing the €111,111 High Roller For One Drop earlier in the series. With Salter’s exit, play was suspended for the night. The remaining six returned on Saturday for Day 6 to play down to a winner with Maria Ho still in the chip lead. Unfortunately for Ho, after running hot and playing well over the course of five days, her fortunes changed dramatically on the final day. A couple of key hands made major dents in her chip lead, including a hand in which she shipped [poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"] from the big blind against a Niall Farrell open raise. He snapped with [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"], which held, and allowed him to double up and Ho to sink down to the bottom of the chip counts. While this seemed to send Farrell and Ho's future at the table in opposite directions, the fate of both would be decided just ten hands later. The short-stacked Ho, open shipped roughly 10 big blinds, holding [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"]. The largest stack at the table, now belonging Roca De Torres, made the call in the small blind. Farrell, second in chips and in the big blind, peered down at [poker card="kd"][poker card="kc"]. Farrell reshipped. Roca De Torres snapped. Both Farrell and Ho saw the bad news as the online qualifier tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="ac"] for a three-way set-up hand. No one improved as the innocuous board of [poker card="9d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] gave Roca De Torres the double knockout and a massive chipl ead with four remaining. Ho and Farrell, the two most prominent players of the final table were eliminated on the same hand. Ho took home €174,365 in sixth and Farrell finished in fifth for €239,639, just shy of his second WSOP bracelet. Play evened out four-handed and Roca De Torres lost multiple bids to knock out his fellow competitors as his stack fall back to the pack. Hours passed with all four men jockeying for position. Then, finally, over 80 hands later, the next elimination would take place. Finding himself short once again, after being at the bottom of the chip counts for much of the final table, the UK’s Robert Bickley made his last stand by shipping his [poker card="3d"][poker card="2c"] from the small blind. Mathijs Jonkers quickly called showing down the [poker card="as"][poker card="7s"]. Bickley, behind but with two live cards, found no help on the flop of [poker card="qs"][poker card="th"][poker card="9d"]. When the [poker card="2s"] fell on the turn, it looked like Bickley would survive his seventh all in of the final table. But with spades and two overs as river outs, Jonkers ended Bickley’s gritty run when the [poker card="9s"] completed the board. Bickley finished in fourth for €335,089. After a short break, Jonkers own time would come. Speranza, holding a commanding chip lead at this point, put in a raise with [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"], Jonkers, who had folded a suited ace to him in the big blind just a few hands prior, decided that he could not fold a second time. Jonkers put in a re-raise with a dominated [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"], effectively committing his short stack to the hand. Speranza put Jonkers all in and the Dutchman placed his few remaining chips in the middle. After seeing the situation, Jonkers began to beg for a seven to keep his dream alive. The flop of [poker card="js"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4c"] not only didn’t provide any help to Jonkers, but it pulled an out away. When the [poker card="7s"] dropped on the turn, Jonkers, drawing dead, tapped the table, congratulated his fellow competitors and moved to his rail for comfort, collecting €476,585 for his efforts. Nine and a half hours after the six-handed final table started, heads-up play began between Speranza and Roca De Torres. Speranza began the heads-up battle holding the chip lead, but the tides turned in favor of the Roca De Torres as what looked like could be a quick finish turned into a four-hour heads-up battle. The final hand came down to, essentially, a coin flip, as the pair were nearly equal in chips when Roca De Torres shoved with the almighty [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"] and Speranza called hoping to close it out called with two overs, [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"]. The [ah[p9d][poker card="3c"] put the Italian way in front but the [poker card="5h"] turn sealed the deal for Roca De Torres and the [poker card="9s"] completed the board. Speranza, with less than two blinds left, stuck it in with [poker card="ts"][poker card="8d"] the very next hand. Roca De Torres’ [poker card="qh"][poker card="5d"] held as the final board of the tournament read [poker card="ks"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ad"][poker card="3s"]. Speranza’s consolation prize is a hefty €689,246 while Roca De Torres, who won his way into the tournament for €220, wins €1,115,207 and the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event gold bracelet. Final Table Payouts Marti Roca De Torres - €1,115,207 Gianluca Speranza - €689,248 Mathijs Jonkers - €476,585 Robert Bickley - €335,089 Niall Farrell - €239,639 Maria Ho - €174,365 Jack Salter - €129,121 Luis Rodriguez - €97,344
  2. The 2019 Aussie Millions recently wrapped up, and it was another record-setting festival of events Down Under. In the heat of the Australian summer, while tennis fans from around the world enjoyed another edition of the famed Aussie Open, the Aussie Millions was packing the house at Crown Casino in beautiful Melbourne. The Aussie Millions Main Event generated its largest turnout ever with 822 entries, besting last year’s record attendance of 800 entries. Bryn Kenney captured the Aussie Millions Main Event title and A$1.272 million ($914,617) after a three-way deal, Cary Katz won the $100,000 Challenge for A$1.481 million ($1.074 million), and plenty of other big scores were had. Here's a look at the biggest winners from the 2019 Aussie Millions. Top 25 2019 Aussie Millions Money List 1. Toby Lewis - A$1,607,654 ($1,149,064) 2. Cary Katz - A$1,481,760 ($1,074,908) 3. Rainer Kempe - A$1,284,225 ($919,258) 4. Michael Del Vecchio - A$1,275,852 ($916,936) 5. Bryn Kenney - A$1,272,598 ($914,617) 6. Andrew Hinrichsen - A$1,102,408 ($792,305) 7. Manig Loeser - A$772,246 ($555,014) 8. Abraham Passet - A$617,400 ($447,878) 9. Jack Salter - A$541,660 ($390,523) 10. Anton Morgenstern - A$530,640 ($384,767) 11. Clinton Taylor - A$483,000 ($347,132) 12. Guillaume Nolet - A$451,069 ($322,640) 13. Tobias Ziegler - A$431,270 ($311,395) 14. David ‘Chino’ Rheem - A$416,760 ($296,137) 15. Thomas Mühlöcker - A$412,300 ($296,320) 16. Matthew Wakeman - A$380,300 ($273,322) 17. Farid Jattin - A$373,880 ($270,869) 18. Dominik Nitsche - A$350,385 ($251,999) 19. Gyeong Byeong Lee - A$311,985 ($224,207) 20. Kristen Bicknell - A$294,530 ($213,599) 21. Jason Pritchard - A$291,885 ($210,084) 22. Hamish Crawshaw - A$253,334 ($182,037) 23. Vincent Huang - A$251,865 ($180,431) 24. Gautam Dhingra - A$247,039 ($175,716) 25. Bjorn Li - A$235,600 ($169,326) Toby Lewis tops the list of winners, earning A$1.607 million ($1.149 million) thanks to four cashes in the series. Two of those four in-the-money finishes were for mega bucks, as Lewis placed second in the $25,000 Challenge for A$781,214 ($555,107) and first in the $50,000 Challenge for A$818,054 ($587,936). Lewis' performances moved him to more than $6.3 million in live tournament earnings and jumped him to sixth place on England's all-time money list, as ranked by The Hendon Mob. Katz, who was already mentioned as the winner of the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge, was the second-biggest money earner from the 2019 edition of the event. Katz only cashed once, but he won the A$100,000 buy-in event for A$1.481 million ($1.074 million). It was the fifth-largest score of Katz’s poker career, as he moved to more than $18.4 million in live tournament earnings and up to 25th on poker’s all-time money list, also according to The Hendon Mob. Ranking third was Rainer Kempe, who earned a combined A$1.284 million ($919,258) thanks to two big results. Kempe won the $25,000 Challenge that Lewis came second in and took home A$831,465 ($590,814). He also placed fourth in the $100,000 Challenge that Katz won for A$452,760 ($328,444). Kempe's success carried over from the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, where he won more than $1.2 million from three cashes and was the ninth-biggest winner to come out of that series. Just from the PCA and Aussie Millions, Kempe has won more than $2.1 million in prize money in 2019. You’ll notice that Mike Del Vecchio notched Kenney by a couple thousand dollars on the list. The two were involved in a three-way deal at the end of the Aussie Millions Main Event and took home just about the same amount of money. Del Vecchio had another cash at the Aussie Millions that allowed him to finish higher than Kenney on this list. In ninth place with A$541,660 ($390,523) won at the 2019 Aussie Millions was Jack Salter, and he’s the player who cashed the most times within the top 25. Salter cashed five times during the festival, but that wasn’t the most times a player finished in the money at the 2019 Aussie Millions. Justin Liberto and Travis Endersby each cashed six times and were the ones to cash the most times. Liberto earned a combined A$181,609 ($131,133) and Endersby scored a total of A$105,488 ($75,571). If you read our 'Biggest Winners from the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure' article, then you’ll notice there are a few more repeat names on the two lists, in addition to Kempe. Those players are David 'Chino' Rheem, Farid Jattin, and Dominik Nitsche. Rheem, who won the 2019 PCA Main Event for $1.567 million, finished third in the Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge to win A$416,760 ($296,137). He was the 14th-biggest money earner from this year’s Aussie Millions as a result of that. Jattin notably finished seventh in the PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship for $746,000 in the Bahamas. In Melbourne, Jattin finished 31st in the Aussie Millions Main Event and then took second in the A$25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, winning a combined A$373,880 ($270,869). Nitsche won $606,240 at the 2019 PCA festival and then won another A$350,385 ($251,999) at the 2019 Aussie Millions festival, placing 23rd and 18th on each series' earnings leaderboard. Down Under, Nitsche took fourth in the $50,000 Challenge for A$323,950 ($232,823) and sixth in the A$5,000 Six-Max NL for A$26,435 ($19,176).
  3. The prestigious Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge wrapped up on Saturday with Cary Katz adding another high roller title to his resume. Katz, the founder of Poker Central, bested the 42-entrant field to take home the AU$1,481,760 ($1,074,658 USD) prize and ANTON Championship ring. Although Katz would eventually end up with all the chips, he was in need of some serious help earlier in the tournament after limp-shoving pocket kings against eventual runner-up Johannes Becker’s pocket aces. A king hit the board and Katz doubled through. He then used that bit of good fortune to stay alive and press on to win the fifth seven-figure score of his career. The final table of nine needed three eliminations before players found themselves in the money. Germany’s Manig Loeser fell in ninth place, followed by American Michael Soyza in eighth. Then Alex Foxen, who celebrated his birthday just one day prior, received the unkind gift of being the official bubble boy, busting in seventh place when his [poker card="as"][poker card="2h"] couldn’t spike against Becker’s [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"]. With six players remaining, Kristen Bicknell shoved her 15 big blinds in from the button holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="2d"]. Rainer Kempe made the call from the small blind with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="qh"]. The flop came [poker card="js"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3s"] giving Kempe some backdoor outs plus two overs to bust Bicknell, who just needed to hold. The [poker card="kc"] turn left Bicknell in need of an ace however the [poker card="4h"] river was no help. Bicknell’s run ended in sixth place for AU$288,100. It wasn’t long before the next elimination. Katz opened from under the gun with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] only to be shoved on by Jack Salter who held [poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"]. Katz went into the tank, but eventually made the call. The [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"][poker card="6c"] flop gave Katz a commanding lead and left Salter searching for one of the final eights in the deck. The turn was the [poker card="3h"] and the river [poker card="js"] sending the UK pro to the rail in fifth place for AU$329,280. Four-handed play took place for nearly an hour before Kempe and countryman Abraham Passet clashed in a big hand. Passet raised small from under the gun with [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"] and was called by both Katz and Becker. Kempe, in the big blind, pushed all in with his [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"]. Passet then reshoved, forcing both Katz and Becker out of the hand. The pair of Germans saw a board of [poker card="9c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2s"][poker card="qh"] keeping it clean for Passet’s pocket kings. Kempe, the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl Champion, bowed out in fourth place for AU$452,760. The final three, eager to continue play, shortened their dinner break and pressed on with Passet in the chip lead and Katz sitting on the short stack. However, over the course of the next hour, Katz began chipping up and finally turned the tables. He found double through Passet holding pocket aces versus Passet’s pocket sixes, sending Katz into a chip lead he would not relinquish. Eventually, Passet’s tournament came to an end when Becker’s only called the small blind with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] prompting a shove from Passet with [poker card="ad"][poker card="th"]. The flop fell [poker card="9s"][poker card="2c"][poker card="3c"] giving Passet some backdoor straight options along with his single overcard. The turn was the [poker card="9c"] and the river was the [poker card="ts"]. Passet took home AU$617.400 for his third-place finish. Once heads-up play began, Katz went on a run that had him eliminating Becker in just under an hour of play. After winning a series of hands, Becker was crippled and the final hand had the pair get all the chips in the middle with Katz holding [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"] against Becker’s [poker card="kc"][poker card="2c"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="8s"] flop was clean for Katz. The [poker card="2h"] turn offered some extra outs for Becker but the [poker card="jc"] river sealed his fate and the German finished in second place for AU$946,680. Katz earned AU$1,481,760 for the victory, his first ever result at the Aussie Millions. It marks his second major $100K Super High Roller win having also taken down the 2018 PCA $100K for $1,492,340. Katz now sits at #25 on the All-Time Money List with over $18.3 million in earnings. Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge Payouts Place Player Payout AUD Payout USD 1 Cary Katz $1,481,760 $1,066,867 2 Johannes Becker $946,680 $681,610 3 Abraham Passet $617,400 $444,528 4 Rainer Kempe $452,760 $325,987 5 Jack Salter $329,280 $237,082 6 Kristen Bicknell $288,120 $207,446
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