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Ari Engel Wins 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event

American Poker Pro Tops 732-Player Field To Win $1,600,000 AUD


The 2016 Aussie Millions $10,600 AUD no-limit hold’em main event drew a healthy field of 732 entries, the fourth largest turnout in the event’s storied history. In the end it came down to an exciting final table that featured three Australians, two top female players and two of the game’s young stars who got their start on the internet. When the dust settled it was Ari Engel who came out on top, emerging victorious with the title and the first-place prize of $1.6 million AUD ($1,120,110 USD).

The final day of the main event resumed with Engel holding a massive chip lead with seven remaining. His 8.1 million stack was larger than the combined stacks of the five shortest players going into the final table. Tony Dunst had the second most chips to start the day with just under six million, with American pro Samantha Abernathy coming into the day in third position with 2.5 million.

Abernathy picked up the first knockout of the day to close the gap a bit, but she was only able to hang on as Engel and Dunst did all of the eliminating to get it down to three-handed play. Abernathy eventually shoved 15 big blinds from the small blind with 10Heart Suit8Diamond Suit and Engel called with the AHeart Suit9Diamond Suit. The flop brought plenty of sweat with the AClub SuitJDiamond Suit9Club Suit giving Engel two pair and Abernathy an open-ended straight draw. The JHeart Suit on the turn and the 8Spade Suit on the river did not fill Abernathy’s straight and she was eliminated in third place, earning $625,000 AUD ($437,543 USD).

Heads-up play began with Dunst holding roughly a 4-to-3 chip advantage. The two ended up battling for more than four hours, playing 121 hands together before the final cars were dealt. With blinds of 80,000 – 160,000 Dunst raised to 325,000 from the button and Engel three-bet to 925,000. Dunst called and the flop brought the 10Spade Suit4Diamond Suit2Heart Suit. Engel bet 825,000 from out of position and Dunst called. The turn brought the JClub Suit and Engel fired again, this time for 1.7 million. Dunst called and the river brought the 9Spade Suit. Engel moved all-in, putting Dunst to the test for his last 6 million or so in chips. After plenty of thought Dunst made the call with the AClub Suit4Club Suit for fourth pair, only to see Engel reveal the JSpade Suit7Club Suit for a turned pair of jacks. With that Dunst was sent to the rail, earning $1 million AUD ($700,069 USD) for his deep run.

In addition to the title and the prize money, Engel also scored 2,280 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win down under, enough to catapult him into the outright lead in the POY race. This was his second final table of the year, having finished eighth in a small prelim at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

Dunst climbed into third overall based on this deep run alone, while Abernathy moved into fourth place in the overall standings after adding the 1,840 points she earned from this event. Earlier in the Aussie Millions festival she finished third in a $1,100 AUD prelim event. With these two scores she now has 1,536 total points and year-to-date earnings of $448,575. Dunst moved into fifth on the POY leader board as a result of his runner-up showing.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Ari Engel $1,120,000 2280
2 Tony Dunst $700,000 1900
3 Samantha Abernathy $437,500 1520
4 Alex Lynskey $311,500 1140
5 Dylan Honeyman $238,000 950
6 Kitty Kuo $189,000 760
7 John Apostolidis $147,000 570