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Aussie Millions -- Sam Trickett Wins $100,000 Challenge

Trickett Takes Home $1.5 Million to Grow his Career Haul to $3 Million after a Tough Three-Handed Battle against Tony Bloom and Erik Seidel


Sam Trickett WinsThe variance that exists in poker makes an all-encompassing dominant performance in a tournament highly unlikely. Add 37 of the best players in the world who have put up $100,000 to buy in to the tournament and that task comes close to impossible. But that is nearly what Sam Trickett accomplished to win the $100,000 Challenge at the 2011 Aussie Millions at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.

He took the chip lead early on the first day of the event and by the time the final table was set at the end of day 1 he had grown his stack to 961,000 to pace the field. His victory wasn’t a wire-to-wire win though. He suffered a big setback near the start of the final table when fellow Englishman Tony Bloom doubled up through Trickett and he saw his stack fall to 400,000.

That misstep didn’t stop Trickett from eventually climbing back to the top though, surviving and growing his stack while big names like Erik Seidel, David Benyamine, and Jeffrey Lisandro hit the rail. A three-handed battle with Seidel and Bloom was a particularly competitive stretch at the final table, but by the time heads-up play began Trickett held the lead once again. It took a short time for him to top Bloom in the heads-up final and the young professional grew his career earnings above $3 million thanks to the $1,525,000 payday for first place in this prestigious event.

Card Player TV caught up with Trickett shortly after his victory:

Here is a look back at all of the action that took Trickett to the top on the final day of the event:

Final-Table Chip Counts:

1st Sam Trickett 961,000
2nd David Steicke 622,000
3rd James Obst 571,000
4th Jeffrey Lisandro 454,000
5th David Benyamine 363,000
6th Erik Seidel 169,000
7th Tony Bloom 148,000
8th Chris Ferguson 89,000

Ferguson became the first of two unlucky players who didn’t garner any prize money at the final table when his A-8 was dominated by the A-J of Bloom a half hour into play. There was no help on the board and Ferguson was out in eighth place. Lisandro was the other player to go home empty handed, busting in seventh place. His pocket tens were no match for the pocket aces of David Steicke.

Benyamine became the first player to walk away with prize money, taking home $150,000 in sixth place. His A-J was dominated by the A-Q of Trickett preflop, and the eventual champion found a second queen on the flop. Australian James Obst was on the short stack after that and it didn’t take long for him to fall in fifth place, which was good for $200,000. His K-10 in the hole was unable to catch up to the pocket jacks of Bloom after Obst committed the last of chips preflop.

David SteickeSteicke, the high-stakes specialist, was the next player to fall. The board read JDiamond Suit 5Diamond Suit 2Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit when Steicke decided to move all in and Seidel made the call. Their cards:

Steicke: KClub Suit 4Club Suit
Seidel: 5Spade Suit 3Club Suit

River: 9Spade Suit

Steicke was eliminated in fourth place and he took home $325,000 in prize money. He now holds $2 million in career earnings thanks in large part to his consistent success at high-roller tournaments. The Hong Kong resident won the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge back in 2009.

Three-handed play lasted for two hours, with an hour-long dinner break sandwiched in the middle. The standoff came to an end when Seidel decided to move all in with a flop of JDiamond Suit 9Club Suit 3Diamond Suit sitting on the table. Bloom made the call and the two players flipped over their cards:

Seidel: JHeart Suit 8Heart Suit
Bloom: ADiamond Suit JSpade Suit

Turn and River: 2Heart Suit and 4Spade Suit

Tony BloomBloom won the hand to grow his stack heading into the heads-up final and Seidel was eliminated in third place. He took home $625,000 in prize money. Even with the knockout punch he scored Bloom still faced a 2-1 chip disadvantage when cards got into the air in the final against Trickett, who scored a straight early in the final to grow his chip lead above 3 million while Bloom was below 1 million.

On the final hand, Bloom got the last of his chips into the middle preflop and Trickett made the call. Their cards:

Bloom: QDiamond Suit 9Diamond Suit
Trickett: AHeart Suit KDiamond Suit

Board: 8Heart Suit 3Club Suit 2Club Suit 8Club Suit 4Club Suit

Bloom was eliminated in second place and the former Aussie Millions champion took home $975,000 in prize money. Trickett completed a strong run in the competitive tournament and he was awarded $1,525,000 in prize money

Final-Table Results:

1 Sam Trickett $1,525,000
2 Tony Bloom $975,000
3 Erik Seidel $625,000
4 David Steicke $325,000
5 James Obst $200,000
6 David Benyamine $150,000