It wasn’t easily earned, but Ari Engel came out on top of the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event last weekend, taking home a whopping AU$1.6 million first prize – roughly USD$1,131,856. Tony Dunst, who faced Engel in heads-up play, had to settle for a second-place finish in the final hand when Engel’s top pair won out.
Engel, a professional who regularly travels worldwide to compete, adds this remarkable win to a long list of poker successes. The Canadian is currently tied with Valentin Vornicu and Chris Reslock for the second-most World Series of Poker rings (seven).
The final day of play in the Aussie Millions saw only seven competitors return from the starting field of 732. John Apostolidis was the first to go in the fourth-largest Aussie Millions Main Event in history. Next out the door was Kitty Kuo, one of two women to make the final table.
Dylan Honeyman and Alexander Lynskey, both native Aussies, were the next two to go, earning AU$340,000 and AU$445,000, respectively, for their fifth and fourth-place finishes.
The other woman at the final table, Samantha Abernathy, made it to the final three but wasn’t able to overcome to the huge stacks of Engel and Dunst. She eventually fell when she put a 10, 8 up against Engle’s A, 9.
Going into heads-up play, the American Dunst had the lead. Play between the final two lasted for 123 hands – almost 30 hands more than the first five eliminations combined. Engle effectively ended the affair when he called with fourth pair against Dunst’s five-high bluff. It wasn’t long thereafter that Dunst was down to the felt.
The second-place winner still scored a cool AU$1 million payday.
“Thanks so much,” Engel told PokerNews after the win. “It feels awesome!”
Final table results:
(Photo credit: Martin Howard, Creative Commons).
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