Mon, Feb 10, 12:47pm by Brad McGrath
CANADIAN Ami Barer bagged his biggest-ever live pay cheque when he took out the Aussie Millions Main Event in the early hours of Monday morning.
The 22-year-old held his nerve in front of a 100-strong crowd, with many more following online, as he defeated Sorel Mizzi heads-up at 4am Melbourne time.
Barer, who has over $6.5 million in online poker winnings, pockets $1.6 million for winning the tournament while Sorel earns a $1 million consolation prize for his efforts.
The Main Event proved a war of attrition with 668 players whittled down to just seven after eight days, with the final table full of experience and skill.
Fellow Canadian Mizzi was runner-up after becoming the first player to make the final table of the Main Event twice.
Barer said he knew the final table was going to be a gruelling event and it didn’t disappoint with players in competition for 12 hours.
“I knew it would be a long day, we started with a lot of chips on the table and there were a lot of very talented young players and I was the luckiest one,” he told Pokernews.com.
“The heads up match was pretty short and sweet and I managed to get hands when I needed them and I didn’t have to face the wrath of Sorel.”
Barer began the final table with a commanding chip lead which he extended further as the night progressed. By the time it got to the final hand Barer was leading five to one and it almost seemed a matter of when, not if he would defeat his country man.
Barer opened for a minimum raise as he had several times previously, Mizzi three-bet all in and Barer showed his pocket Aces (heart and spades) and realised he was in the box seat to claim the Main Event.
Mizzi had a Queen and Eight of diamonds but it wasn’t enough as the table played out K (spades), 2 (clubs), 2 (hearts), 3 (hearts), A (diamonds).
Andrew Phaedonos was the sole Australian at the final table and he began the day cautiously, picking the correct hands to make in-roads.
After Rabinowitz minraised and Phaedonos called for a large sum of his stack. Mizzi then three-bet to $450,000. Rabinowitz then folded and Phaedonos re-raised all-in and Mizzi called him with K (hearts), K (clubs) with Phaedonos in trouble with his Queen (clubs), Jack (clubs). The flop delivered K (spades), 5 (clubs) and 3 (spades) leaving Phaedonos in more trouble. The A (diamonds) turned to give give Phaedonos four cards to hit. But a 5 (hearts) sent the last Australian to the rail.
Phaedonos pockets $250,000 for his trouble.
1st) Ami Barer ($1.6 million)
2nd) Sorel Mizzi ($1 million)
3rd) Jake Balsiger ($650,000)
4th) Darren Rabinowitz ($450,000)
5th) Vincent Rubianes ($335,000)
6th) Andrew Phaedonos ($250,000)
7th) Scott Seiver ($170,000)
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