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Trickett Captures Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge Crown
Englishman Sam Trickett took on 37 of the best poker players in the world in the biggest buy-in tournament in the Southern Hemisphere and came out on top this weekend.
The 24-year-old from East Retford, UK took down the 2011 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, banking $1,525,000 and proving the huge year he had in 2010, including a runner-up finish in the World Series of Poker $5k No-Limit Hold'em event and a win at the PartyPoker World Open, was obviously no fluke.
"I really wanted that crown, that major title," he said. "I had a massive year last year and obviously just missing the bracelet was a bitter dissapointment. I thought I played better in that final than I did in this one, I just had the luck of the cards this time and it all went my way.
"Its a big, big relief to me."
A total of 38 players, including big names like Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius, coughed up the $100k buy-in for a shot at Aussie Millions glory Saturday and watched Trickett rush out to an early lead.
The Team Titan Poker pro took that lead into a final table Sunday that included 2000 WSOP Main Event champ Chris Ferguson, 2004 Aussie Millions winner Tony Bloom, 2009 WSOP Player of the Year Jeff Lisandro, 2010 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Erik Seidel, Hong Kong high roller David Steicke, French high-stakes pro David Benyamine and Australian online poker phenom James Obst.
Trickett fell from the lead, but never panicked, working his way into the lead again three-handed and crushing Bloom heads-up.
Although he credits a much more aggressive approach to the game for helping him earn $1,071,356 in live tournaments in 2010, Trickett said he altered his approach for the quality of the field in this event.
"I had to do things differently," he said. "I've been playing a lot faster the last six months, really aggressive, a lot of river bluffs. But in this final table I didn't take that line. I had to play a little tighter than I have been just to try to get heads-up where I'm really confident."
Now, having already surpassed last year's earnings and booked a major title, Trickett will suddenly be among the first names mentioned when pundits discuss all the success English poker players have enjoyed lately.
"We're all just on a massive heater," he laughed. "I think everyone is just playing really well and making good decisions. We're a big threat now. There are a lot of top players in England and it's good to keep winning these major titles and show the world England has some great poker players."
The $100,000 Challenge paid the final six players. Here's how it finished up:
1 Sam Trickett AUD$1,525,000
2 Tony Bloom AUD$975,000
3 Erik Seidel AUD$625,000
4 David Steicke AUD$325,000
5 James Obst AUD$200,000
6 David Benyamine AUD$150,000