For nine hours on Sunday at the 2015 Aussie Millions Main Event, Lennart Uphoff did all of the heavy lifting. In the end though Uphoff couldn’t overcome Manny Stavropoulos, a Crown Casino cash game regular, who went on to win the title.
Uphoff, the 20-year-old German, was responsible for four of the first five eliminations and found himself heads up against Stavropoulos with nearly a 2-1 chip lead. But, just over 90 minutes into heads-up play, with Stavropoulos turning the tables and holding a significant chip advantage, the pair struck a deal.
Leaving AU$100,000, the championship bracelet and title of Aussie Millions Main Event champion to play for Stavropoulos locked up AU$1,285,500 while Uphoff guarnateed himself AU$1,214,500. First place was scheduled to pay AU$1,600,000 with second paying AU$1,000,000.
Uphoff, who began the day third in chips, picked up the first elimination nearly three hours into play. After Uphoff raised, Richard Lyndaker three-bet to 385,000 only to have Uphoff four-bet all in. Lyndaker called and turned over A A while Uphoff showed 6 6. After the 8 7 6 flop gave Uphoff bottom set, Lyndaker could do nothing but watch as the 4 turn and K river failed to improve his hand and he was out in seventh place.
It took another two hours for the next elimination. Anthony Legg moved his last 575,000 in from under the gun and Joel Douaglin called from UTG+1. Legg showed K 9 and found himself behind the A J of Douaglin. The board ran out J J 3 2 T and Legg was out in sixth place.
Then Uphoff went back to work. First up was the last American standing, Brian Rast. From the button Rast opened to 240,000 and Uphoff called from the big blind. After the 8 3 2 flop, Uphoff checked, Rast bet 295,000 and Uphoff called. After the 2 turn, Uphoff checked again and Rast moved all-in and Uphoff snap called. Rast revealed K T for a flush draw while Uphoff showed A A. The river was the 4, eliminating Rast in fifth spot. That hand pushed Uphoff past the 11 million chip mark.
Play slowed over the next 3.5 hours before Uphoff got yet another victim. Action folded to James Rann on the button and he moved all-in for 2,200,000. Uphoff called from the big blind and flipped over J J which put him well ahead of Rann’s 2 2. The board ran out A Q Q 6 6 leaving Rann nothing to do but shake hands and head to the cashier’s cage to collect the winnings from a fourth place finish.
Just a half hour later Uphoff eliminated Douaglin in third place. From the small blind Douaglin raised to 560,000 and Uphoff called from the big blind. After the T 8 7 flop Douaglin moved all-in for 2,105,000 and after a short time to think things over, Uphoff called. Douaglin showed 8 2 for second pair but Uphoff was ahead with K T. Neither the K turn or A river were of any help and the final table was down to heads-up.
When heads-up play began Uphoff held 64.5% of the chips in play. Just 90 minutes later however, Stavropoulos had flipped the script and had his opponent down 2-1. That’s when the two players agreed on a chop that saw both players earn the biggest score of their live tournament careers.
Once the deal was finalized, Stavropoulos and Uphoff played 30 minutes before Stavropoulos picked up his first elimination of the day. Down nearly 4-1 in chips, Uphoff limped from the button and Stavropoulos checked his option. The flop came A 9 8 and Stavropoulos checked, allowing Uphoff to bet 650,000 and Stavropoulos called. The turn was the 7 and Stavropoulos bet 650,000 and Uphoff called. The river was the 8 and Stavropoulos fired 850,000 into the pot before Uphoff announced he was all-in for nearly 2,750,000. Stavropoulos called and tabled J T for a turned jack-high straight while Uphoff showed T 6 for only a turned ten-high straight and a second place finish.
Final Table Payouts
- Manny Stavropoulos – $1,385,500*
- Lennart Uphoff – $1,214,500*
- Joel Douaglin – $630,00
- James Rann – $430,000
- Brian Rast – $315,000
- Anthony Legg – $235,000
- Richard Lyndaker – $160,000
*Numbers reflect heads-up deal between final two players.
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