With a buyin as big at $250,000 one would expect plenty of the most recognizable names in poker to both take part and go deep, but the final table of the LK Boutique $250k Aussie Millions Challenge was one of the most star-studded lineups in recent memory.
In the end though it would be one of the biggest superstars in the game, Phil Ivey, that would prove, once again, why he is considered the very best. After a back and forth heads up match with Team PokerStars Online Pro, Issac Haxton, Ivey finally emerged victorious earning the prestigious high roller victory and the $4 million AUD first place prize.
While Issac Haxton did not notch the win, he takes home $2.82 million for his second place effort, the finish was likely a vindication for Haxton who had spent the week notoriously firing multiple bullets at the Aussie Millions super high roller action.
It was reported that Issac reentered the Aussie Millions $100k Challenge 6 times and took two shots in the $250k. In total, before this score, Haxton had invested more than a million dollars in high roller tournaments on this tour stop alone. Now all of that is behind him as the runner-up payday finds him swinging in the other direction, able to leave Australia with a more than $1 million AUD profit in the big money tournaments.
While Ivey had to get through Haxton heads up, the rest of the table was one of the toughest anyone could ever fear to face. With six players making it in the money, Ivey had to fade a who’s who of top tier poker pros. Tom “Durrrr” Dwan, German phenom Fabian Quoss, EPT Champion Mike “Timex” McDonald and the 2013 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu all stood in his way.
Falling in 3rd place was Mike “Timex” McDonald who with the showing solidified that no player on the planet is running better. His $1.9 million AUD payday is his 3rd 7-figure payday of 2014 in which he has earned over $4 million this year so far. McDonald finished 2nd in the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, 2nd in the 2014 Aussie Millions $100k Challenge and now 3rd in the $250k. With all of his previous success, the 3rd place finish marks a career score for the young Canadian.
Ivey’s good friend, Daniel Negreanu fell in 4th place for $1.25 million AUD helping “Kid Poker” turn his trip down under into a massive profit. Like Haxton, Negreanu reportedly fired multiple shots at the $100k Challenge. Unlike Haxton, Negreanu cashed in that event, recouping his losses and this score can be enjoyed as a top 3 career cash for the veteran. Right behind Negreanu was Quoss ($800,000 AUD) and Dwan ($500,000 AUD).
The $250,000 event offered unlimited reentries which helped propel it to a total of 46 entries, more than double the previous record of entries. The action generated a prize pool of over $11 million AUD with $4 million of that carved out for first place.
This is Phil Ivey’s second victory in this event, which was first introduced in 2011. Back in 2012 when Ivey bested the first of 16, the total prize pool was $4 million AUD, the same as his own payday here. The over $3.5 million USD cash is far and away a career best for Ivey, according to The Hendon Mob, and pushes his career earnings to over $20 million.