Speidel, Ivey earn Aussie Millions millions; Araya takes WSOP-C Choctaw

aussie-millions-ivey-speidelLocal lad Oliver Speidel has won the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship main event, outlasting a field of 659 at the Crown Casino in Melbourne to earn AUD $1.6m (US $1.7m). Melbourne banker Speidel is having the same kind of run that Jonathan Duhamel had at the PCA earlier this month — Speidel placed sixth in a $1,500 NLHE Bounty event and second at the $1k NLHE Shootout (and won the inaugural Manny Pacquiao World Poker Event in December). After seven days of play, the seven-handed final table took seven hours to crown a winner. Heads-up action was short and sweet, leaving runner-up Kenneth Wong holding the $1m consolation prize. The rest of the table cashed as follows: Mile Krstanoski ($610k); Mohamad Kowssarie ($405k); Patrick Healy ($300k); Bjorn Li ($230k) and Yann Dion ($170k).

Phil Ivey narrowly missed a final table Main Event spot, finishing in 12th place for $100k. But he made up for it by winning the $250k Super High Roller event, besting a field of 16 to earn $2m. That’s not only the largest cash of Ivey’s storied tournament career, it’s more than he allegedly received in two whole months of payments from Full Tilt Poker for doing, er, something. Patrik Antonius was runner-up, earning $1.2m, while Gus Hansen earned $800k for placing third. The other 13 entrants, including Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan, Jason Mercier, Erik Seidel, Sam Trickett, Sorel Mizzi, John Juanda and some deep-pocketed Macau businessmen, earned bupkis.

Stateside, Abraham Araya earned $270k for winning the $1,600 main event at the World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Durant in Oklahoma. The event attracted 978 entrants, a 21% bump from the previous year’s tally. After three days of play, it came down to Araya and Daniel Lowery, who earned $167k for finishing second. Michael Sanders took third and $123k. In Las Vegas, the WSOP-C Caesars Palace main event is currently underway, with 662 players each kicking in $1,600 over two Day 1’s. Jeff Fielder currently leads the chip count.

In other poker news, Sweden’s Entraction Network is to be rebranded as IGT Poker, following International Game Technology’s $115m acquisition of Entraction last year. PokerStars may launch the oft-delayed public beta of its rumored Rush Poker variant in “early March”, if a 2+2 post by rep “PokerStars Stefan” is to be believed. Stefan says development on the company’s “fast moving ring games” product, tentatively titled Zoom Poker, is “progressing.” And finally, Season X of the World Poker Tour will debut on FSN on Feb. 12.