If you ever have the chance to go to Australia, especially for this event, I highly recommend it.
Australia is a great place to vacation and the Crown does a great job of running the tournament. Not coincidentally, the tournament continues to grow each year.
The Aussie Millions main event, with an AUD $10,500 buy-in (approximately USD $9,200), attracted 780 entrants this year.
We had $20,000 starting stacks at 50/100, and levels were 90 minutes long with a pretty good escalation structure. They spread the field across three starting days to accommodate the number of entrants.
I arrived at my table on the second Day 1 feeling great. Although the Crown spreads several preliminary tournaments, I was enjoying the vacation so much I had decided to spend the week before the main event relaxing and played almost no poker at all. Ironically, this can sometimes be the best way to prepare for a tournament.
I had a favorable table draw, as there was only one familiar face at my table. It was Yevgeniy Timoshenko (aka Jovial Gent/atimos), an exceptionally good online player whom I also happen to be friends with. Although he would certainly make my job tougher, the rest of the table seemed to be comprised of relatively weak locals and European online qualifiers.
My tournament didn't get off to quite the start I had envisioned, though. I picked up AA in the first level and went heads-up to a K-K-8 flop... against an opponent who held A-Ko. I lost a few thousand chips there, and my stack hovered around $12k-$16k until late in Level 4 when the following hand occurred.
Eight-handed, with the blinds at $150/$300 and a $25 ante, I opened for $800 in early position with 8♦ 9♦. Yevgeniy asked for a count of my stack, which was approximately $12k after the raise, which he had covered by about $10k.
He elected to flat-call me from the button. The big blind defended, also with a larger stack than me, and we saw an 8♥ 4♣ 3♦ flop three ways.
With $2,750 in the pot, I decided to bet $2,000 after the BB checked to me. Once again, Yevgeniy just called my bet, and the big blind folded. At this point, I believe his most likely holding is an overpair to the board.
With this information, I'm ready to give up on the hand on the turn if I don't improve. The 2♦ falls on the turn, giving me a flush draw and creating straight possibilities. I check to Yevgeniy, with the hope of getting a free card and with the possible intention of check-raising or even check-folding, depending on his bet size.
He bets $2,800 into a pot of $6,750. Assuming all of my outs (eights, nines and diamonds) are live, I knew I was about 32% to make the best hand. I was getting 3.4-1 to make the call, and was about a 2-1 underdog to make the best hand (again, assuming all of my outs are live).
So how did it turn out?
In the second part of this blog, I'll explore all three options I now have in this hand. I'd also like to hear what you, the reader, would do in this situation, so feel free to comment below.
I'll then, of course, post the conclusion.
-- Matt Stout
"All In At 420"
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