Kurganov Wins The Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge

The Aussie Millions 2013 has seen some of the best poker this year and who else, but Igor Kurganov to be involved at a final table along with Philipp Gruissem.

Kurganov smashed the tournament for his second cash of this year and his first tournament victory of 2013 after beating down Philipp Gruissem in a heads up battle that saw an end to what was an awe inspiring show of poker still leaving Gruissem in search of his first tournament victory since June 2012.

Gruissem has already cashed this earlier this January winning $400,700 in the Caribbean Adventure on Paradise Island coming 5th in the $98,000 No Limit Hold’em Super High Roller tournament. In the same event Igor Kurganov also cashed for $26,260 coming 4th in the $5,000 No Limit Turbo tournament.

This was a sweet match up for the last 2 and it was Kurganov who spiced it up for the last hand of the tournament with a pre-flop raise of 32,000. Gruissem obviously spotted a weakness and thought a 3 bet would give him strength from the big blind and this seemed to have worked with Kurganov only calling from the button obviously playing his position.

The flop was Ks-10h-4d rainbow giving each player a potential straight draw to consider. Gruissem was the first to represent strength c-betting his pre-flop re-raise with 70,000 chips at the same time as digging for an answer whether or not Kurganov was possibly on a draw.

Right now Kurganov had in fact hit second best hand by pairing with the 10s from his Qh-10s hole card hand and he called Gruissem’s bet probably having felt he was being muscled out of the hand. The call made his hand look the weakest of the 2 and rightly so as Gruissem was holding Kd-Qd with top pair, but with the call Gruissem must have suspected Kurganov was on a draw.

The turn card came 10d and at this stage of the hand there was 234,000 in the middle with 1.5 million the total number of chips on the table. Gruissem knew he needed to tread carefully as he was on thin ice with Kurganov having him covered. Even so he more than likely had Kurganov on a missed straight draw with the 3h not helping, so he fired in an all-in bet with his last 235,000 chips possibly trying to represent the trip 10s while on a flush draw.

Unbeknown to Gruissem it was Kurganov who had improved his hand from a pair of tens to trip tens. Kurganov naturally called and as the cards were on their backs Gruissem suddenly realised he was behind. Right now only one of nine diamonds or two king outs could save him giving an 11% chance on the river, but it wasn’t to be as the river card flipped out an unhelpful 3h.

The Final Standings!

Igor Kurganov – $275,000

Phillip Gruissem – $187,000

Erik Seidel – $125,000

Miklas Heinecker – $85,000

Fabian Quoss – $51,000