It’s every poker players dream to enter their first major tournament and walk away with millions. On Sunday 29-year-old Mervin Chan lived that dream, winning the 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event, $1.3 Million, a gold bracelet and a brand new car.
“I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless,” said Chan, who started playing poker casually with his friends back in Malaysia. “This is great.”
Chan, playing only his sixth tournament ever, was one of three players to return to the final table on Sunday afternoon after play was stopped early Sunday morning after play had been going for 15 hours. At the time the momentum belonged to Patrik Antonius. When play resumed the Finnish superstar was unable to continue pushing around Chan and Joe Cabret around.
Despite his inexperience Chan did his best to not be intimidated by Antonius and chose to focus on the cards
“At times I was (intimidated) but I tried to treat us all as equal. Everyone is dealt two cards, everyone has the same opportunity. I just tried to run well, play well and don’t let him intimidate me at all,” said Chan. “That’s what I tried to do for the last two days.”
Antonius lasted only 30 minutes on Sunday. After losing a massive pot to Chan, Antonius was left with only one big blind and moved all-in on the next hand. Chan and Cabret called and the board ran out A K Q T J and when Cabret showed the 8 Antonius mucked and left with a third place finish, his second consecutive Aussie Millions Main Event final table finish.
Once Antonius was eliminated Chan and Cabret, who were nearly even in chips at the time, agreed to a chop that saw each receive 50% of the remaining prize pool ($1.3 Million each), leaving only the bracelet – valued at $40,000 – and Chrysler 300C – valued at $70,000 – to play for.
With the money out of the way it didn’t take long to play down to a champion. Less than 30 minutes after heads-up play began Chan raised to 320,000, Cabret made it 860,000 and Chan called. Both checked the 8 7 3 flop and saw the 8 turn. Cabret bet 1,200,000, Chan raised to 3,000,000 and Cabret responded by moving all-in. Chan called and tabled 8 6. Cabret showed A 3 and needed a diamond to stay alive. The river was the K and Cabret’s hope of being the fifth straight Australian winner of the Aussie Millions Main Event was over.
The event attracted a total of 629 players, a 4.5% drop over 2012 numbers that tournament organizers attribute to international players choosing to wait until World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific also at Crown in April. Notables who finished in the money include Brandon Adams (22nd – $40,000), Celina Lin (24th – $40,000), Phil Ivey (30th – $35,000) and 2010 Aussie Millions champ Tyron Krost (41st – $20,000).
Final Table Payouts
- Mervin Chan – $1,300,000
- Joe Cabret – $1,300,000
- Patrik Antonius – $600,000
- Dan Shak – $400,000
- Jarrod Glennon – $290,000
- David Yan – $220,000
- Jay Tan – $150,000
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