2014 Aussie Millions - Event #9: $25,000 Challenge Live Updates

Max Altergott wins Event 9: $25,000 Challenge ($241,785)!

Max AltergottAs soon as Dan Shak was eliminated in 6th place, the 2014 Aussie Millions $25K Challenge turned into an absolute party. The five remaining players did a deal which left no money left over for the winner, then changed all the blind levels at will and it was all over within just a few hands. In the end it was Max Altergott who will go down in history as the official champion, but as you can see in the winner’s photo, all five players sort of considered themselves winners – they did all take a very similar amount of money.

Entrants: 65
Prize Pool: $1,560,000
Players Paid: 8

1st: Max Altergott - $241,785*
2nd: Dan Smith - $278,414*
3rd: Jason Mercier - $265,538*
4th: Martin Jacobson - $285,921*
5th: Scott Seiver - $265,538*
6th: Dan Shak - $100,000
7th: Marvin Rettenmaier - $70,000
8th: Tobias Renkemeier - $55,000

* denotes five-handed deal

Dan Smith Eliminate in 2nd Place ($278,414), Max Altergott Wins!

It’s all over.

We didn’t get to count the heads-up stacks on this unique occasion as the heads-up battle literally lasted five seconds. 

The blinds had been raised to 80,000/160,000 and as soon as Jason Mercier was eliminated in 3rd place, Dan Smith (pictured, below) and Max Altergott had all the chips in.

Altergott ultimately had Smith covered, with Smith at risk holding 6 spades6 clubs against Altergott’s A spades2 spades.

The board ran out A diams8 diams8 clubsK diams9 diams and Smith mockingly slammed his cards down in faux anger as Altergott was crowned the champion!

Smith pockets $278,414, while Altergott was the short stack when the deal was made and so he takes home $241,785. What a crazy ride!

Dan Smith

Jason Mercier Eliminated in 3rd Place ($265,538)

Jason MercierJason Mercier has been eliminated in 2nd place.

The players decided to move the blinds up to 80,000/160,000 with a 20,000 ante.

Mercier moved all in from the button holding 10 hearts8 diams and was up against Max Altergott who held A hearts9 hearts. The board ran out 10 diams4 diamsJ heartsA clubs3 spades and Altergott had sent Mercier home.

As per the deal, Mercier takes home $265,538.

Dan Smith and Altergott for the title!

Martin Jacobson Eliminated in 4th Place ($285,921)

With blinds at 40,000/80,000 – remember they were 10,000/20,000 just five minutes ago, Martin Jacobson has been eliminated in 4th place.

 He was all in preflop holding K clubsJ diams against the K hearts3 hearts of Dan Smith, and despite ahead, was eliminated when a 3 clubsK diams6 diamsA spades4 hearts board was spread on the felt.

Jacobson takes home $285,921.

Jacobson Down

Martin Jacobson has just fallen to around 100,000 in chips after being all in preflop holding A clubs7 clubs against the A diams10 spades of Jason Mercier. The board ran out A hearts5 heartsJ diamsJ hearts3 hearts and that was that. 

Scott Seiver Eliminated in 5th Place ($265,538)

Scott Seiver is the first player eliminated following the deal and the crazy changes to the structure.

Blinds were at 20,000/40,000 for Seiver’s final hand and he was all in holding J spades6 diams against the 2 hearts2 spades of Jason Mercier. The board ran out 7 hearts8 spades3 spades4 hearts7 clubs and Seiver was out in 5th place.

He picks up $265,538 as per the earlier deal.

Oh and after Seiver was eliminated that players decided to up the blinds to 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 ante. 

First Hands of Current Level

There were a couple of hands played out with blinds at 8,000/16,000 –the current level before the deal was made and the blind structure was changed.

Max Altergott was in the cutoff and opened it up with a raise. Jason Mercier called out of the big blind and the dealer flipped over a J clubs3 hearts6 spades flop. Mercier check-called a bet of 38,000 and then check-folded to a bet of 77,000 on the J spades turn.

Dan Smith was in the cutoff and opened it up to 36,000. Altergott was involved in another hand, this time calling from the big blind. The two players checked the K diams2 diams10 spades flop and a Q spades hit the turn. This time Altergott check-called a bet of 70,000 and a 8 clubs hit the river. Altergott checked to Smith, who bet 180,000. Altergott folded and Smith showed a 5 clubs.

Deal Done and New Blind Structure

The deal has been done.

This is what the players are taking home each, with no money left aside for the winner.

Martin Jacobson - $285,921
Dan Smith - $278,414
Scott Seiver - $265,538
Jason Mercier - $263,342
Max Altergott - $241,785

Interestingly, after the deal was done the players obviously decided that they didn’t want to play another five hours for effectively nothing.  They had a couple of different ideas. Below is a list of the ideas they had to make the tournament go faster, but decided against.

-          Making the blinds ten times what they should be

-          Everyone going all in every hand (This was apparently going to take too long due to side pots)

-          Two-minute blind levels

In the end the decision was made that they would do a level up every orbit. So while there are five players remaining, the levels will go up every five hands. When four remain, they will go up every four hands and so on. 

Deal Chatter

The five remaining players have paused the clock to talk a deal.

These are the current chip counts.

Martin Jacobson – 787,000
Dan Smith – 722,000
Scott Seiver – 635,000
Jason Mercier – 621,000
Max Altergott – 495,000

Dan Shak Eliminated in 6th Place ($100,000)

Dan Shak (pictured) was in the cut off when he jammed for 145,000.

Dan Smith, from the button, shoved his stack of around 400,000 in the middle and the rest of the table quickly got out of the way as Shak was at risk.

Shak: Q spades10 hearts
Smith: A diamsK spades

The board ran out 8 hearts6 spades2 spades4 diams7 spades and Shak was sent out in 6th place, collecting $100,000.

Five players remaining!

Dan Shak

Level Up: Blinds 6,000/12,000, Ante 1,000

Dan Doubles Dan

Dan Smith has just doubled up through Dan Shak.

Martin Jacobson opened the action to 22,000 from the hijack. Shak was on his direct left and three-bet to 100,000. Smith then moved all in for 269,000 from the button. Jacobson quickly folded and it was back on Shak. He confirmed the amount then shrugged and called.

Shak: 7 spades7 hearts
Smith: Q heartsQ spades

The board ran out A diams5 hearts2 spadesK heartsJ spades and Smith moved up to around 575,000.

Shak is down to 170,000 and that makes him the short stack. 

Marvin Rettenmaier Eliminated in 7th Place ($70,000)

Marvin RettenmaierThen there were six!

Folded around to Marvin Rettenmaier (pictured) in the small blind and he would move all in for 105,000. Scott Seiver made a fairly quick call from the big blind, tabling A clubs5 clubs as he did so.

Rettenmaier wasn’t in great shape with 4 clubs3 clubs considering Seiver had a couple of the outs Rettenmaier could have used.

The board ran out 6 hearts10 diams8 diams10 spades2 spades with barely a sweat for Rettenmaier.

He takes home $70,000 for his 7th place finish.

Next player out picks up $100,000.

Seiver Takes One

It wasn’t a big pot, but this hand took more than five minutes to play out.

Marvin Rettenmaier opened it up to 23,000 and Scott Seiver called from the button.

Both players slowly decided to check the J diams2 clubsK clubs flop and a 2 hearts hit the turn. Rettenmaier, again slowly, bet 32,000. Eventually Seiver called.

The river was a 5 spades and Rettenmaier once again checked.

Seiver asked to get a better visual of Rettenmaier’s stack and then decided to bet 48,000.

Rettenmaier folded and the pot went to Seiver. 

Tobias Renkemeier Eliminated in 8th Place ($55,000)

Tobias RenkemeierThe first player to finish in the money is Tobias Renkemeier (pictured).

His final hand began when Martin Jacobson opened it up to 22,000 from middle position. A flurry of cards went into the muck from around the table and it was on Renkemeier in the small blind. He shoved for 180,000 and Jacobson snap-called.

Jacobson: Q diamsQ spades
Renkemeier: A clubsK clubs

It was a race!

The board ran out 3 clubs7 diams5 hearts9 hearts5 clubs and it was all over in 8th place for Renkemeier.

The next player eliminated collects $70,000. 

Mercier Shows No Mercy

Tobias Reinkenmeier opened from early position to 20,000 and Jason Mercier defended his big blind with a call to see a flop of 10 hearts2 diams5 diams.

Mercier check-called for 20,000 before the 9 diams hit the turn. Mercier tapped the table again and Reinkenmeier upped the price to 45,000. Mercier casually splashed out calling chips before the 9 clubs dropped on the river. Mercier checked for a third time and Reinkenmeier took his time before making the bet 75,000 to go. This time however Mercier changed things up as he declared himself all in. Reinkenmeier quickly released to save his last 190,000 as Mercier climbs to 650,000.

Back to Action

The players are back from their break and the cards are back in the air!

Blinds are now 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante. 

Break Time

The eight players here at the Aussie Millions $25K Challenge are on a 10-minute break.

Check back soon for more action!

Small Seiver Shove

Scott Seiver was on the button when he opened it up to 18,000. Martin Jacobson made the call from the big blind and the dealer spread out a 10 spades10 hearts5 spades flop. Jacobson check-called a bet of 20,000 here and a 2 hearts was dealt on the turn. Jacobson led for 45,000 and Seiver called.

The river was a J hearts and Jacobson once again led, this time for 100,000. Seiver thought for a few moments, then shoved all in for 152,000. It was only a little more for Jacobson to call, but after some thought he gave it up and the handy pot went to Seiver. 

Benny Bubbles

Benny SpindlerBenny Spindler (pictured standing) had managed to triple and then double to stay alive in this contest but in the end it was for nought as he has now been eliminated on the money bubble.

Action folded to Spindler on the button and he moved all in for his last 88,000 chips - or eleven big blinds. The small blind folded but Max Altergott committed the call in the big blind.

Spindler: 6 hearts4 hearts                                                 
Altergott: K spades10 diams

The board ran out J clubs7 diams6 diamsQ diams9 spades to see Spindler flop a pair, only to be run down by the straight of Altergott. Spindler goes home with nothing as our eight remaining players will be feeling far more relaxed now that they are safely in the money.

Spindler survives

Benny Spindler moved all in from under the gun for his last 45,000 and action passed around to Tobias Reinkenmeier in the big blind. He pulled in the chips to see the raise amount, took another glance at the pot, and then made the call.

Spindler: K diamsJ clubs
Reinkenmeier: Q clubsJ hearts

The board bricked out A diams5 hearts8 hearts9 clubs3 diams to see Spindler double through and our bubble continue!

Benny Triples

The extremely short stacked Benny Spindler has just tripled up his stack after being all in for just 14,000 and managing to flop a straight holding J hearts9 spades on a 10 diams8 spades7 hearts flop. Jason Mercier and Scott Seiver were involved in the hand, but they checked it down to the river and Seiver scooped the side pot against Mercier.

Spindler is back up to around six big blinds.

Benny Almost Bubbles

Benny Spindler has almost bubbled very quickly at the final table. He’s down to just 15,000 in chips after a blind versus blind situation with Tobias Reinkemeier.

It was Spindler’s 9 clubs9 spades against Renkemeier’s 10 diams10 hearts. The board ran out 6 clubs2 clubs7 diamsA hearts7 spades and Spindler was left extremely short.

Renkemeier is up to around 400,000 in chips.

Cards in the Air

The drama has subsided and the cards are in the air!

There are around 25 minutes remaining in the current level – blinds 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 ante.

Aussie Millions

Men Behaving Badly

The final table was reached but the drama had only just begun. Our nine high rollers have caused a bit of a scene as they took their seats on Table 10 in the Crown Poker Room for the final table of this event.

It seems that Tobias Reinkenmeier, who drew the one seat, wasn’t happy to be sitting so close to the rail, despite this table being used for the entirety of this tournament, and also for many tournaments earlier this year and in previous Aussie Millions years.

The decision was made to relocate to the adjacent Table 14 which was a little more angled away from the rail. As they were taking their seats, Scott Seiver in the three seat realised that he was now going to be closest to the rail, and he wasn’t happy with that.

Seiver grabbed his chips and went back and sat down at Table 10 by himself. His argument was that why should Tobias just get his way and he couldn’t. It was a Mexican stand off between these international stars that had the rail rather amused.  Meanwhile Dan Shak was sitting in the middle of it all trading stocks on his laptop – he didn’t have time to waste on this nonsense.

The floor staff were also a bit muddled by the players seemingly moving to where they please, but eventually they came up with a compromise. They would move back to the original Table 10 but there would be another rail setup, behind the first rail, to give the players a buffer of an additional two metres or so. Eventually the players accepted this solution and they sat down to play some cards.

Final Table Set; On the Bubble

The 2014 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge is down to a final table of nine! It was Ole Schemion who fell to the rail in 10th place after his short stack was in preflop with 8 clubs7 spades against the Q diamsQ spades of Jason Mercier.

That also means we are on the bubble. Next player eliminated gets nothing but a story, while the final eight lock up $55,000. The top prize is $460,000. Check out the final table lineup below.

Final Table Lineup
Seat 1: Tobias Reinkemeier – 190,000
Seat 2: Benny Spindler – 210,000
Seat 3: Scott Seiver – 285,000
Seat 4: Max Altergott – 395,000
Seat 5: Martin Jacobson – 710,000
Seat 6: Dan Shak – 370,000
Seat 7: Dan Smith – 310,000
Seat 8: Jason Mercier – 530,000
Seat 9: Marvin Rettenmaier – 180,000

The cards will be in the air at around 9:35pm local time. Join us for all the action!

Approaching Final Table

Aussie Millions

The $25,000 Challenge attracted a huge field of 65 entrants which was more than double the number from last year with the best players in the world landing in Melbourne to take part.

Only the top eight players will finish in the money, however the final table will form at nine players which means that there will be some nervous moments in the early stages of final table play.

We're currently on the final table bubble with the following ten players remaining: Martin Jacobson, Dan Shak, Dan Smith, Scott Seiver, Jason Mercier, Marvin Rettenmaier, Max Altergott, Ole Schemion, Tobias Reinkenmeier and Benny Spindler.

Stay tuned as we bring you all the live action from the final table as these guys compete for the Aussie Millions gold ring and $460,000 in prize money! Don't go anywhere!

Time for the $25,000 Challenge!

Welcome to our coverage of the 2014 Aussie Millions from the Crown Poker Room in Melbourne, Australia.

The Aussie Millions is the most prestigious tournament series in the Southern Hemisphere with 20 championship events this year highlighted by the $250,000 and $100,000 High Rollers Challenges and, of course, the $10,600 Aussie Millions Main Event which this year forms part of the the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT).

Event #9 of the series is the $25,000 No Limit Holdem Challenge. Traditionally, this event has been held towards the end of the schedule, so it will be interesting to see if we get an increase in numbers this year as it moves forwards to the middle of the schedule. Last year it was the German invasion who dominated, filling four of the top five finishing positions. Igor Kurganov came out on top of the 30-player field to receive the gold ring and $275,000 in prize money.

We're likely to see an even bigger field this year but will the Germans again have it their own way? Stay tuned to Poker Asia Pacific as we bring you live updates of all the action, include chip counts and photo, from the final table of Event #9 of the 2014 Aussie Millions.

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