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Kostritsyn wins Aussie Millions
Once again the Aussie Millions came down to a well-known pro and a relatively unknown young player. Unlike Gus Hansen's win over Jimmy Fricke in 2007, however, this time it would be the unknown player who would wind up with the win.
That unknown player was Alexander Kostritsyn, who had to defeat Erik Seidel to claim his $1.65 million AUD prize. His road to that win, or even to heads-up play, was not an easy one.
Final-table play began on Sunday with Michael Chrisanthopoulos leading the pack with a $6.8 million chip stack. His nearest competitor was Antonio Casale, with $1,995,000 in chips, though the pack was pretty tight with Kostritsyn, Peter Mobbs, Seidel and Nino Marotta all somewhere between $1.4 million and $1.6 million in chips.
The underdog coming into the table was Peter Ling, who was barely clinging to life with $877,000 in chips. He would miraculously manage to chip up and survive until the fourth place as Mobbs would fall victim to Kostritsyn and became the first to hit the rail from the final table.
Casale was the next to leave. He too ran into Kostritsyn, and when his pocket jacks couldn't improve over Kostritsyn's pocket rockets, he was out in sixth place.
Kostritsyn also saw to the next player. Marotta moved all-in with Q-T and ran into Kostritsyn's A-J. Unable to improve, Marotta headed out in fifth place.
Finally it was Ling's turn to leave the table. This time it was Chrisanthopoulos who played the bad guy and took him out. Ending up all-in after a flop of A-K-T, Ling turned up A-5 against Chrisanthopoulos' A-K. The turn and river brought no help for Ling, and he takes the fourth-place spot.
It wasn't to be for Chrisantopoulos either though. He would end up trading some chips back and forth with Seidel and Kostritsyn before Kostritsyn finally took him out with pocket tens versus A-6.
Heads-up play would prove to be just as exciting as the rest of the final-table play had been. The battle between Kostritsyn and Seidel lasted for more than two hours before the 21-year-old Muscovite could finally put away the eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner.
The final hand saw Erik Seidel raise it up to $300,000 pre-flop, with Kostritsyn making the call. After a flop of J-8-7, Kostritsyn checks to Seidel, who bets $550,000. After asking Seidel how much he has behind ($2.2 million), Kostritsyn raises $2 million more.
Seidel ends up moving all-in, and flips up A-Q versus Kostritsyn's J-9. With a three on the turn and a king on the river, Kostritsyn has the hand and the Aussie Millions win.
The final-table payout was as follows:
Read all about the tournament and more hands and details in the PokerListings.com Live Tournaments Section.