Aussie Millions: Rishabh Vekaria & Paawan Bansal Make Top 50 Finish in the Main Event

Rishab Vekaria & Paawan Bansal
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  • Namita Ghosh January 23, 2020
  • 2 Minutes Read

Undoubtedly, Australia’s most popular live tournament series, the Aussie Millions, has been the epicenter of poker action Down Under since January 4. The 23-event series underway at the Crown Resorts in Melbourne is now just a day away from winding up, and all eyes are on the A$10,600 buy-in Main Event. The tournament ran three starting flights, attracting a giant field of 820 runners – falling just two entries shy of last year`s turnout.

Only 388 players could qualify for Day 2, which ended with 158 bagging chips for Day 3. Thirty-seven of them returned for Day 4 on January 22, and by the time the dust settled on the day, the final table was formed. Germany’s Nino Ullmann (5,500,000) leads the seven-handed final table, which will play down to a new Aussie Millions Champion on January 24.

The Indian poker circuit had two back-to-back live stops playing out in Goa, and this kept the majority of the domestic talent in the country. While there was a motley group of players who played the APT Kick-Off in Vietnam, likewise a few players have made the trip to the Aussie Millions.

The Aussie Millions Main Event, in fact, saw three Indians making Day 2, namely, Rahul Melwani, Rishabh Vekaria, and Paawan Bansal. While all three of them were able to cross the money line, Melwani (81st for A$15,580 – ₹7.58 Lakhs) busted shortly after the bubble.

Vekaria and Bansal were the two Indians who reached Day 4. This is the first international outing for Vekaria, who had famously championed the DPT August ₹35K Main Event last year. The Gujarat-based player who primarily plays cash games made the most of this outing and was one of the frontrunners at the start of Day 4 placed second in chips behind Ullmann with 1,380,000. He eventually sailed his way into the top 20 and finished his run in 18th place to collect an A$82,000 (~₹39.94 Lakhs) place payout.

Bansal, who has an excellent record of live scores dotted with deep runs at the WSOP, Asian and domestic events, had placed 77th in the Aussie Millions Main Event in 2018. Carrying forward a stack of 289,000 to Day 4, Bansal improved upon that effort this time. He eventually placed 32nd to earn A$36,080 (~₹17.58 Lakhs) in prize money.

The final 88 finishers were paid from the A$8,200,000 prize pool, and among those who failed to earn a payout was defending champion Bryn Kenney. Kenney had made it as far as Day 3 but busted well before the bubble round.

The final table will begin at 12.30 PM (local time) on January 24, with the blinds resuming at 25,000/50,000 and a running big blind ante of 50,000.


Day 4 Recap

Day 4 of the A$10,600 buy-in Main Event began with 37 runners returning to play. Germany’s Nino Ullmann was in pole position with India’s Rishabh Vekaria in hot pursuit.

Indian-origin player Ashish Gupta was the first elimination on Day 4 and collected a 37th place payout amounting to A$31,160 (~₹15.20 Lakhs) after his pocket queens were coolered by Fabian Quoss’ cowboys.

Around an hour later, Paawan Bansal three-bet all-in for 276,000 from the small blind and was called by big blind Nino Ullman. Bansal tabled against Ullmann’s and the latter’s pocket pair held through the rundown, eliminating Bansal in 32nd place. Bansal pocketed A$36,080 (~₹17.58 Lakhs) for his deep run.

Paawan Bansal
Paawan Bansal


On the third level of the night, Rishabh Vekaria lost his tournament life in 18th place. The action saw Michael Sideridis open to 50,000, and Vekaria called on the button. Small blind Ngoc Tai Hoang and big blind Goran Mandic also called. The flop was checked to Vekaria, who bet 70,000. Hoang check-raised it to 250,000, and both Mandic and Sideridis folded. Vekaria asked for a count before moving all-in with . Hoang called with . Hoang had flopped trips, and the turn and the river didn`t further Vekaria`s cause. The Indian challenger banked A$82,000 (~₹39.94 Lakhs) for his efforts.

Rishabh Vekaria
Rishabh Vekaria


Some of the other notables who finished ITM on Day 4 include, Bryce Yockey (9th for $178,080), Mike Del Vecchio (10th for A$123,000), Jack Wu (14th for A$82,000), Manig Loeser (16th for A$82,000), Randy Lew (28th for A$41,000) and Pete Chen (34th for A$36,080).

The chips were bagged for the final day after the elimination of Nick Pupillo (8th for A$178,080).

Start-of-day chip leader Ullmann has retained his dominance and will be returning for the final table play with a stack of 5,500,000. Following Ullmann in chips are Oliver Weis (4,475,000) and Vincent Wan (4,150,000). Also in contention is Erik Seidel (4,050,000), who already has an eighth-place finish at the A$50,000 Challenge to his name.

Nino Ullmann
Nino Ullmann


Final Table Chip Counts

1. Nino Ullmann – 5,500,000

2. Oliver Weis – 4,475,000

3. Vincent Wan – 4,150,000

4. Erik Seidel – 4,050,000

5. Gareth Pepper – 2,465,000

6. Nicolas Malo – 1,975,000

7. Ngoc Tai Hoang – 1,875,000


Content & Images Courtesy: PokerNews

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