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Cary Katz Wins 2019 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge

American Outlasts Field of 43 Entries To Win $1,066,867 USD


The 2019 Aussie Millions $100,000 AUD ($72,799 USD) Challenge no-limit hold’em super high roller event drew a total of 42 entries, the third-largest field in the event’s 14-year history. The strong turnout built a prize pool equivalent to $2,963,520 USD, which was awarded to the top six finishers.

In the end, the largest share was awarded to Cary Katz, who earned $1,066,867 USD for his 19th live tournament title. The American businessman and founder of Poker GO now has $18,463,931 in lifetime live tournament earnings, enough to see him climb into 25th place on poker’s all-time money list.

In addition to the title and the money, Katz also earned 600 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it alone was enough to see him move into 79th place in the overall standings.

Katz made his way to the unofficial final table of nine players in fourth chip position, with Germany’s Johannes Becker as the runaway chip leader with more
than double the next largest stack. Katz and Becker got involved in a massive preflop confrontation not long after the final table was set, with Katz four-betting all-in holding KHeart SuitKClub Suit and Becker calling with the ASpade SuitAClub Suit. Katz was on the wrong side of the sick cooler but managed to spike a king on the flop to win the hand and double into the lead.

Alex Foxen was the last player eliminated outside of the money. He three-bet shoved for 12 big blinds with the ASpade Suit2Heart Suit over the top of the button raise of Becker, who called with pocket eights. Neither player improved and Foxen was sent to the rail empty-handed.

Kristen Bicknell was the next to go, with her ADiamond Suit2Diamond Suit losing to the KSpade SuitQHeart Suit of Rainer Kempe. The two-time WSOP bracelet winner took home $207,446 USD as the sixth-place finisher.

Katz won a preflop race to knock British poker pro Jack Salter out in fifth place ($237,082 USD). Katz’s AClub SuitQSpade Suit outran Salter’s pocket eights, making two pair on the flop and holding from there.

Despite having knocked out Bicknell, Rainer Kempe ended up as the fourth-place finisher. His ADiamond SuitQDiamond Suit could not outrun the pocket kings of fellow German Abraham Passet, and Kempe was sent to the rial with $325,987 USD. This was already his fifth final-table finish of 2019, with three titles won along the way. With 2,754 Player of the Year points and $2,123,802 in year-to-date earnings, Kempe currently sits in fourth place on the POY leaderboard.

Johannes Becker picked up pocket queens and called the all-in of Passet during three-handed action. Passet’s ADiamond Suit10Heart Suit was in trouble, and though he paired his ten on the river, it was not enough to win him the pot and he was awarded $444,528 USD as the third-place finisher.

Becker chipped up to 3,895,000 after that hand but was still well behind Katz’s 6,605,000. Becker closed the gap a bit early in the heads-up match, but Katz was able to regain control after making a straight against Becker’s two pair. By the time the final hand arose Katz had built roughly a 17-to-1 chip advantage. He moved all-in from the button with the 9Heart Suit9Diamond Suit and Becker called for his last 6 big blinds or so with the KClub Suit2Club Suit. The board ran out 8Spade Suit8Diamond Suit5Spade Suit2Heart SuitJClub Suit and Katz’s nines held up to earn him the pot and the title. Becker took home $681,610 USD as the runner up.

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

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Cary Katz $1,066,867 600
2 Johannes Becker $681,610 500
3 Abraham Passet $444,528 400
4 Rainer Kempe $325,987 300
5 Jack Salter $237,082 250
6 Kristen Bicknell $207,446 200

Photo credit: Aussie Millions.