James Chen Wins 2017 Aussie Millions A$25,000 Challenge

James Chen has clearly had enjoyable time at the 2017 Aussie Millions as the Thai has won two championship rings so far. Chen scored his latest victory hours ago. The player entered the popular Australian live poker tournament series’ history as the winner of the largest ever A$25,000 Challenge.

Over two days of play, Chen faced some of the world’s most prominent high rollers. Even though he had to play against a good number of poker celebrities, the player did not seem starstruck even for a second. He maintained excellent composure to emerge as the chip leader by the end of Day 1 and to march his way toward the title on Day 2.

Chen himself is turning into a poker celebrity in the Asia-Pacific region. Last September, he topped the field of the Macau Poker Cup 25 HK$80,000 High Roller for HK$2,273,000 ($293,044). A few days ago, the player captured his first Aussie Millions championship ring for winning the A$2,500 H.O.R.S.E. event, an accomplishment that really draws attention as it demonstrates proficiency in other poker variants aside from Texas Hold’em.

As for the A$25,000 Challenge that took place over the past two days, it was the biggest one in the history of the Aussie Millions festival. It drew 133 entries, improving last year’s record of 122 entries. The large interest in the event produced a large prize pool, one of A$3,192,000, to be precise.

The top 14 places were paid and the bubble bust on Day 2. The event’s second day actually kicked off with 25 hopefuls, led by none other but Chen. Although the player lost his lead several times, he did not really moved down from the top half of the chip counts chart.

Poker celebrities like Dan Shak, Chance Kornuth, and Stephen Chidwick left the tournament without a payout. Germany’s Claas Segebrecht was the unfortunate bubble boy. From that point on, the players fought fiercely for one of the seven final table seats.

The official seven-handed final table eventually included players like Mustapha Kanit, Nick Petrangelo, and five-time WSOP gold bracelet winner John Juanda. Eventually, it was Brandon Adams whom Chen faced heads-up. Over the course of the two-handed match, the players exchanged the chip lead multiple times.

It took around an hour and a half before Adams lost his momentum and allowed Chen to start amassing a larger stack. On what turned out to be the final hand in play, the Thai had five times more chips than his last remaining opponent.

Here is how action unfolded in this very last stage of the tournament. Adams moved all in from the big blind and Chen called. Adams tabled [Js][4s] against Chen’s [Ac][3h]. The flop ran out [5s][2s][10d], which brought shine on Adams’ face. The [3d] on the turn paired Chen and the [9d] on the river was of no help to any of the two players. Adams received A$590,520 for his runner-up finish in the high roller tournament.

As for Chen, he captured his second championship ring within the span of several days and a hefty first-place prize of A$861,840.

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