The Aussie Millions crowned a new champion and the winner walked away with at least a cool million dollars. The Main Event Championship concluded at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. British pro Toby Lewis outlasted 800 runners, or the largest field in Aussie Millions history, to win $1,458,198 AUD (or approximately $1.1 million USD). Lewis was the chipleader when he made a deal with the final three players. Lewis picked off Stefan Huber from Switzerland heads-up for the victory.
The Aussie Millions final table started with seven players. After the first four eliminations, the final three players agreed upon a deal to chop up the remaining money and play out for $75K AUD and the title. The original first-place prize was $1.8M AUD with $1.1M set aside to the runner-up. Third place initially got $645K. At that juncture, big-stacked Lewis locked up $1.3M in the deal as the chipleader. Espen Solaas from Norway was second overall in chips and scored a little more than $1.1M in the deal. By default, the short stack Stefan Huber got $909K in the deal... which was significantly more than the original $645K.
In one of those odd twist of events, Solaas busted in third place when he ran into Lewis' pocket cowboys. Due to the terms of the deal, third place took home slightly more than the runner up's share.
When heads-up began, Huber trailed Lewis by nearly 2-1. The hotly-anticipated battle between the U.K. and Switzerland only lasted 15 hands. Huber fell behind early and could not pull off a comeback. On the final hand, Huber's Ace-eight lost to Huber's Queen-ten suited. Lewis flopped trips, which held up.
Stefan Huber bowed out in second place and earned $909,699. Back in 2010, Huber won a $5K NL side event at the PCA in the Bahamas for almost $300K. That was his largest cash to date before his Aussie Millions final table.
Lewis picked up an additional $75K for the win, so his final tally was $1,458,198 in Aussie bucks, or approximately $1.1M USD. Any way you cut it... Lewis walked away with a seven-figure score. Not a bad trip down under, eh?
Lewis now has $4.5M USD in total tournament winnings. His largest cash to date before he binked the Aussie Millions occurred in 2010, when he took down the EPT-7 Vilamoura in Portugal for a $595K score. Lewis defeated Martin Jacobson heads-up for his first major win. In 2016, Lewis final tabled the PCA Main Event but only finished in fourth place for a $267K score.
On Sunday afternoon, Lewis began the 2018 Aussie Millions final table with the chip lead. Johan Schumacher from Belgium was the first player to bust when he got picked off in seventh place. Ben Richardson, one of two Aussie at the final table, was dunzo in sixth place. American pro Mike Del Vecchio, saw his deep run come to a halt in fifth place. Australia's Chul-Hyon Park won the Aussie last longer, but his remarkable run ended in fourth place. Once Park busted, the final three discussed a deal.
2018 Aussie Millions Main Event
Prize Pool: $8,000,000 AUD
Final Table Results:
1. Toby Lewis (United Kingdom) $1,458,198 **
2. Stefan Huber(Switzerland) $909,699 **
3. Espen Solaas(Norway) $1,177,103 **
4. Chul-Hyon Park (Australia) $470,000
5. Mike Del Vecchio (USA) $370,000
6. Ben Richardson (Australia) $300,000
7. Johan Schumacher (Belgium) $235,000
** Three-handed deal
Toby Lewis became the fourth non-Australian player to win the Aussie Millions since 2012, when the Aussies rattled off four straight victories before Mercin Chan broke the streak in 2012. Lewis became the first British player to win the Aussie Millions since Tony Bloom won the title in 2004. The Brits had won back-to-back titles after Peter Costa shipped the big one in 2003. Australia was on the cusp of their own poker boom and online revolution at the start of the 2000s. Costa faded a field of 122 runners, while Bloom outlasted a field of 133. The total number of entrants jumped from 418 to 747 in 2007, the year that Gus Hansen defeated Jimmy 'gobboboy' Fricke heads up for the title.
The previous high-water mark for entrants was back in 2008 when the Aussie Millions attracted 780 runners. The field that year was bolstered by online satellites. The 2018 Aussie Millions saw the Main Event field rise to 800 players, or the biggest Aussie Millions in its storied history.
Aussie Millions - Champions
2018: Toby Lewis (U.K.) $1,458,198 AUD*
2017: Shurane Vijayaram (Australia) $1,600,000
2016: Ari Engel (Canada) $1,600,000
2015: Manny Stavropoulos (Australia) $1,385,500
2014: Ami Barer (Canada) $1,600,000
2013: Mervin Chan (USA) $1,600,000
2012: Oliver Speidel (Australia) $1,600,000
2011: David Gorr (Australia) $2,000,000
2010: Tyron Krost (Australia) $2,000,000
2009: Stewart Scott (Australia) $2,000,000
2008: Alexander Kostritsyn (Russia) $1,650,000
2007: Gus Hansen (Denmark) $1,500,000
2006: Lee Nelson (Australia) $1,295,800
2005: Jamil Dia (Australia) $1,000,000
2004: Tony Bloom (U.K.) $426,500
2003: Peter Costa (U.K.) $394,870
2002: John Maver (Australia) $150,000
* Prize money in Australian Dollars (AUD)