Mervin Chan takes Aussie Millions main event; Hwang wins WPT Borgata


aussie-millions-mervin-chan-wpt-borgataMervin Chan has won the 2013 Aussie Millions main event following a grueling final table that capped off eight days of play at the Crown casino in Melbourne. Malaysian player Chan defeated Joseph Cabret heads-up to earn AU$1.6m (US $1.66m) and a Chrysler 300C ride. Chan’s previous best live performance was a mere $3.5k for placing 65th in a $1.1k NLHE earlier at this year’s Aussie Millions. Melbourne native Cabret earned a career-high $1m for his runner-up spot.

jay-tan-bodog-aussie-millionsBodog-sponsored pro Jay Tan (pictured left) went into final table play holding the short stack, and the sole remaining female player at this year’s main event fell victim to Patrik Antonius’s kings. Tan’s seventh-place finish earned her $150k, not enough to top the $1m Tan’s boyfriend ‘Hong Kong’ Kenny Wong earned for finishing second at last year’s main event, but much more than the $35k Wong earned for his 28th-place finish on Friday. Either way, an impressive performance and a reminder that Vanessa Selbst isn’t the only female player kicking ass on the live poker circuit in 2013. New Zealand’s David Yan earned $220k for finishing sixth, Jarrod Glennon went down in fifth spot to collect $290k, and Dan Shak earned $400k for finishing fourth. (Shak also finished fourth at this year’s $100k Challenge.)

Final table play was halted after 15 hours of play with just Chan, Cabret and Antonius still in the hunt. Play reconvened following a 12-hour break and just half an hour in, Chan’s jacks reduced Antonius to a single big blind. Antonius bowed out soon after in third place, earning $600k, leaving just Chan and Cabret to duke it out, and you know how that ended.

Andy Hwang has won the World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open. The 27-year-old poker pro from Texas overcame a 1,042-strong field over five days of play in Atlantic City to earn a healthy $730k, a WPT trophy and a $25k seat at the WPT World Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas this May. James Anderson earned $438k for being the last to fall at Hwang’s hands, while the rest of the six-handed final table finished thus: Mike Gogliormella ($265k), Matt Haughen ($222k), Jeremy Druckman ($182k) and Matthew Salsberg ($147k). Next up for the WPT stateside is the Lucky Hearts Poker Open starting Feb. 8 in Hollywood, Florida, while over in Europe the WPT Vienna kicks off Feb. 19.

The UK & Ireland Poker Tour will kick off its fourth season at the Casino Marbella in Spain of all places, which sort of makes a mockery of the Tour’s name. The Spanish event, which runs June 13-17, will be a joint effort with the Estrellas Poker Tour, so think of it as an exchange program. The other four announced UKIPT stops are Galway (Aug. 8-12), London (Oct. 2-6), Isle of Man (Oct. 31 – Nov. 4) and a 6-max in Nottingham (Nov. 28 – Dec. 2). Buy-ins have been raised from £770 to £1k, but PokerStars has put a £500k guarantee on each main event’s prize pool, meaning every winner will emerge clutching at least £100k to his or her sweaty bosom.

Online poker players are reminded that this weekend marks the kickoff of the online qualifiers for the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT). Enter now or forever hold your peace, because the troubled ISPT’s inaugural event could well be its last. Unless, it turns to have all been a dream