Ari Engel bags the Aussie Millions 2019 Title at Mix Max Event for 2nd Ring and A$65,400
Ari Engel, the Canadian pro won the Aussie Millions 2019 title at the Mix Max event for A$65,400 in prize money. He missed winning the same title 3 years ago but this time Engel didn’t back down at the fifth event of the series that attracted 284 entries and was played through three different formats at different stages – full ring, six-max and finally heads-up.
Engel defeated Charlie Hawes to win his 2nd Aussie Millions ring in the final match of the eight-player heads-up bracket. Aussie Millions has, in Engel’s own words, proved to be ”by far his most profitable venue in the world to play.” He had, in 2016 won his first Aussie Millions title in the A$10,600 NLHE Main Event (A$1,600,000).
Engel talked about his win: “Just being at the Crown there’s automatically a sense of deja vu. It feels good, but I’m too tired to feel much.”
“Charlie played really well. There’s a good chance if the cards were reversed he would have won.”
The 2-day tournament started out as a full-ring tournament but once the field narrowed down to 60 players, the seats were redrawn and play commenced six-handed. When only Engel and Hawes were left in the field, the duo discussed the possibility of postponing the final match until later, but then decided to go ahead and play down for the title.
Only 35 were left standing with Engel towards the end of Day 1, leading the lot with close to 200,000 in chips.
Usman Siddique, Russell Thomas, Jan Suchanek, Jesse Sylvia, Jack Sinclair, Maria Lampropulos, and Shootout Champion Justin Liberto, sadly didn’t find bags to carry forward.
Day 2 saw notables like Dzmitry Urbanovich (31st for A($2,330), Kenny Hallaert (32nd for A$2,330), Andreas Klatt (33rd for A$2,330) and Julien Sitbon (35th for A$2,330) hitting the rail early. Later, Marc Macdonnell (14th for A$3,345) and Aymon Hata (13th for A$3,345) were also eliminated.
The six-handed play continued only until the eight finalists remained in contention. The eight-handed play then continued in heads-up format.
Quarterfinal draw of the Shot Clock Shootout had Casey Kastle versus Alex Lee, Jack Salter versus Ari Engel, Charlton Hawes versus Friedrich Martin and Sarah Bilney versus Hwan Park.
Quarter Final Matches
The first 2 matches saw upsets as the top 2 seeds in the heads-up bracket were eliminated. Sarah Bilney joined the rail in 8th place in the Hwan Park vs Sarah Bilney match. Engel booked his spot in the semi-finals in the second match as the quarter-final matches played out between Engel and Jack Salter. Salter got eliminated in 7th place.
Engel talked about his contender: “He had all the pressure because I was the short stack. I got it in bad first hand and doubled up, and from then on it was kind of a match. It was really cool to be able to play a guy that play High Rollers heads-up and not for too much money at that stage. It was a weird experience!”
Friedrich Martin collected 6th place when Hawes defeated Martin. The biggest stack collector among the 8 finalists was of Casey Kastle’s ie. 706,000 but eventually, he got eliminated by Lee in 5th place. The final four contenders were Lee, Engel, Hawes, and Park who entered the semi-finals.
Semi-Final Match Chip Counts
- Alex Lee – 804,000
- Ari Engel – 731,000
- Hwan Park – 672,000
- Charlie Hawes -636,000
Engel quickly won his heads-up match, eliminating Hwan Park in 4th place. Although the second match between Alex Lee and Hwan Park was longer, Hawes called an all-in move from Lee on the river with top pair and Lee turned over a rivered pair that took him out of the tournament.
Engel entered the heads-up clash with Charlie Hawes very close in chips. He pocketed the title late at night, along with his Aussie Millions ANTON Championship ring. After his win, Engel stated, “I feel really good here. I have friends here railing so it’s really good.”
Final Results (AUD)
- Ari Engel – A$65,400
- Charlie Hawes – A$53,800
- Alex Lee – A$23,665
- Hwan Park – A$23,655
- Casey Kastle – A$9,835
- Friedrich Martin – A$9,835
- Jack Salter – A$9,835
- Sarah Bilney – A$9,835