2019 Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge: Cary Katz Bags AU$1,481,760 And Championship Ring
Cary Katz beat Johannes Becker heads-up for the first prize of AU$1,481,760 and ANTON Championship Ring in the 2019 Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge. Katz held the overnight chip lead heading into Day 2 and managed to ride that momentum through the long day of play to not just reach the final table, but then dominant short-handed play before clinching victory over the 42-entrant field.
The AU $100,000 Challenge set its 3rd highest attendance over its 14-year history only trailing 2014 and 2015 with 76 and 70 entrants respectively with records being smashed all week long. Katz now sits with over $18.3 million in tournament lifetime earnings and sits in 25th place on the All-Time Money List beating Jonathan Duhamel, Dominik Nitsche and Tom Marchese.
Katz spoke about his victory – “Feeling pretty amazing. I got remarkably lucky, so I'm very grateful. I think the Aussie Millions is an amazing event and the turnout is going to be even better next year. My guess is that they will add some more high rollers next year, so I think the turnout is going to be huge."
Event #20: AU$100,000 Challenge Final Table Results
Final Day Action
Michael Addamo, Jack Salter, Sam Higgs and Bryn Kenney were new arrivals with registration open for one more level once the play began, where Kristen Bicknell and Koray Aldemir reentered. Several players got eliminated and they re-entered quickly before registration closed with a field of 42 entries creating a prize pool of AU$4,116,000 that happens to be the third largest AU$100,000 Challenge ever at the Aussie Millions.
Johannes Becker was seen holding a sizeable chip lead on the back of several big hands once the field was reduced to the final table of nine. Katz limp-shoved all in holding kings and ran headfirst into Becker’s aces. The flop brought a king and Katz now held the chip lead for the first time since the play began.
Manig Loeser, last year’s runner-up would fall in 9th place when he flopped two pair but ran into a set. Michael Soyza took a stand with ace-jack suited but couldn’t outdraw Katz’ pocket queens. It would only take a few hands before Alex Foxen was eliminated in 7th place. Foxen shoved all in from the big blind holding ace-deuce off, but Becker called him with pocket eights and held to leave the remaining 6 players in the money.
Kristen Bicknell shoved an ace-deuce from the button, being called by Rainer Kempe’s king queen and got eliminated in 6th place. A king on the turn ended the Canadian’s run for an AU$288,100 payday. Jack Salter’s pocket eights were outdrawn by Katz’ ace-queen to see the Brit collect an AU$329,280 payday.
Becker claimed the chip lead once again with now a 4-handed play. Kempe ran his ace-queen into Abraham Passet’s kings. A queen on the river wasn’t enough to help Kempe, and he collected AU$452,760 to go along with his first-place finish in the AU$25,000 Challenge earlier in the week.
Passet now held the chip lead. He continued to win the war heading into the break. Katz managed to double through Passet with aces vs sixes, and from there, it was his show. Katz played his best of poker as he grinded away at his 2 opponents. Passet would end in 3rd place when his ace-ten couldn’t connect against Becker’s pocket queens.
Katz held only a two-to-one chip advantage over Becker, from the get-go, he edged further and further ahead. Katz entered the break with a better than five-to-one chip advantage, and after a few back-and-forth hands, he would eventually eliminate Becker. Katz shoved the button with nines and Becker called with just under six big blinds holding king-deuce suited. Becker would find a deuce on the turn, but nothing more, and he would be eliminated in second-place for an AU$946,680 payday as Katz was crowned the 2019 Aussie Millions Event #20: AU$100,000 Challenge winner, and recipient of the ANTON Championship Ring.
Katz concluded – “It's just an amazing adrenaline rush. And to play against the best players in the world, you have got to get lucky. And I got really lucky today. To win, it's worth all the agony that it takes to get to this spot."