Toby Lewis came to the table as the chip leader and was the player with the most live cashes. The favorite role in the final table of the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event at Crown Melbourne was clearly divided.
The former EPT champion and successful online player did not want to miss this chance, but contrary to all expectations, the 28 year-old poker pro from UK did not feel the pressure before the final table.
“I’m probably as calm as never before a start of a major final table,” said Lewis. “I’ve worked hard on my game recently, more than ever. I feel just fine. I had a good feeling for the players I played against. “
Lewis was incredibly dominant on the big stage on Sunday, taking advantage of his chip lead to overrun his opponents and take A $ 1,458,198 home. 800 players had played the event, a record for the 21 year old tournament. The fact that the win bonus was slightly smaller than officially advertised, is related to a 3 way deal, which Lewis, Stefan Huber, and Espen Solaas had agreed. Lewis guaranteed second place prize money and another $ A75,000 and a bracelet for his victory.
Final Result Aussie Millions Main Event 2018
|Place||Player||Home Country||Prize in AU$||Prize in US$|
|1||Toby Lewis||United Kingdom||AU$1,458,198||$1,156,653*|
|5||Mike Del Vecchio||United States||AU$370,000||$293,486|
When the live stream with Jason Somerville and Co. started on the Run It Up Channel, Lewis hit almost all the time strong hands from the start on, what gaves him the possibility to put pressure on his opponents. Maybe that was already an indication of what awaited us.
The player who had the least to lose – Johan Schumacher – experienced the exact opposite. Twice he got his stack as a favorite in the middle, both times he dominated the hand of his opponent. He was rewarded with a chop and the retirement. On the second hand Solaas made a flush with seven five suited against Schumacher’s pocket fives.
PARK: “IT WAS THE MOST STRICT THING I HAVE EXPERIENCED IN ALL OF MY LIFE.”
Lewis was also able to put down a strong fold. On a seven high board, the Briton threw tens into the muck and was right, as Chul Hyon Park hit a set of seven on the turn. Lewis sailed around the minefield to maintain the chip lead, even though Solaas was still dangerous.
The Norwegian got pretty much all the hands you could want at a final table, but things did not always work out as intended. Although he could defend himself against Ben Richardson’s ace-queen, he lost two big pots afterwards. First, his kings were hit by Huber’s ace-four, after which he ran with Ass-King in Parks Aces.
Although he had come to the final table with a bigger stack, Richardson did not want to come together on matchday one.
“It was a pretty bad start,” he said. “I lost almost every hand I played.”
Lewis, on the other hand, was dealt ace-king a dream board against Parks Jack. On the flop he hit top pair, the turn brought him trips and on the river the full house. Park paid a big bet on the river and with this pot, Lewis set himself apart from the others.
Mike Del Vecchio, the only American at the final table, reached third place in the WPT Five Diamond for $ 750,000 in December. That was his biggest prize money for him till now and it should not change. With a flush draw, he ran against Lewis’ top pair, missed the draw and had to cancel in fifth place.
4 handed Lewis had a huge chip lead and the short stacks fought bitterly for survival to stay in the game. Nobody wanted to miss the big prize money jump, that called Lewis on the plan, who carefully steald every blind and Ante. Park was in the chip ranking just ahead of Huber and Solaas and obviously wanted to wait for the departure of his opponents. He consistently threw hands like pocket fives against Lewis’ open raises in the muck.
“He knew he had to act very tight,” said Lewis. “[Huber and Solaas] have both understood ICM very well. For both it is an absolute disaster to go all-in against me. It was one of those spots where somebody has to go all-in someday, but nobody wants to go all-in. “
Park was the player who finally had to leave. No Aussie Millions final table seems to work without a satellite player who succeeds in a madness run. Park took over this role in 2018, just one year after Shurane Vijayaram’s victory at the 2017 event. However, his queens was at the end not good enough to beat Solaas’ pocket-sevens.
“It was the most stressful thing I’ve experienced in my entire life,” Park said after leaving. “It was difficult to play against all these pros. I was clearly inferior and had the least experience. But I really enjoyed it and hopefully I can do it again. “
The three professionals started talking about a deal, and finally they came to an agreement. A $ 75,000 and the title should be played but after the deal they had A $ 1,383,198 (Lewis), A $ 1,177,103 (Solaas) and A $ 909,699 (Huber) for sure.
Lewis had already guaranteed the biggest cash.
“Of course I was overwhelmed,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for both players. These spots are not very common, so I wanted to make sure that I realized a lot of my equity. “
After that, the game became much more aggressive, players raised more and jams were looser than before. Solaas ran ace-nine against Lewis’s kings and was the first to disband the professional trio.
Although he was unlucky in major spots over the past two days – Solaas lost a monster flip to Lewis on Matchday 4, who would have given the Norwegian 40 percent of the chips at two tables, he claimed to have been lucky. He praised the staff for creating a great event with a great structure.
Lewis had a clear lead against Huber and it did not take long to get him out of the tournament.