Tom Marchese has been crowned champion of the first ever partypoker LIVE event held on American soil after takig down the partypoker MILLIONS Vegas at the Aria Resort and Casino.
Just over ten hours from the start of play on Day 4, Marchese emerged as champion after defeating Jeremy Ausmus in a heads-up battle.
The pivotal hand came way back when play was nine-handed, after Marchese turned a set to eliminate Chris Moneymaker who held kings. He never really relinquished that chip lead and he emerged victorious for his first seven-figure score since December 2016.
"The field was a real mix of amateur and pro players," Marchese told PokerNews. "When it was down to like the finall three or four tables [yesterday] it's crazy how many good players were left. It had the feeling more like a High Roller field."
|1st||Tom Marchese||United States||$1,000,000|
|2nd||Jeremy Ausmus||United States||$650,000|
|4th||Freddy Deeb||United States||$319,200|
|6th||Conor Beresford||United Kingdom||$170,000|
|9th||Chris Moneymaker||United States||$80,000|
The day began slowly with a Sergi Reixach double, but ultimately it did not prevent him from becoming the first casualty of the day within the first level of the day. He was followed out the door by Fahredin Mustafov who got it in drawing dead against start-of-day chip leader Frank Stepuchin.
However, it was Tom Marchese who lead by the first break after taking chips off Stepuchin after turning a full house against a flopped flush.
"All the stacks outside of Frank were grouped together," Marchese told PokerNews shortly after his win. "I mean, I figured I would play a big pot against him at some point and that would kind of decide my fate.
"And I was lucky! I was on the right side of the cooler and that kind of propelled me all the way."
Another player making a run up the chip counts was a certain Chris Moneymaker, who sent Martin Mathis to the rail next to move up to just below nine million in chips.
Stepuchin finished off Day 3 by soaring up the leaderboard, but he was unable to recapture the form of yesterday and he lost the rest of his chips to Freddy Deeb after the latter had flopped top pair against Stepuchin’s pocket fives.
Marchese lead from Deeb and Moneymaker when the players were drawn around a single table, and there was quickly action as Sergio Aido doubled through Moneymaker with aces against ace-queen.
That saw Moneymaker plummet down the counts and he would bust in spectacular fashion, calling off a shove from Marchese with pocket kings only for his opponent to have turned a set. This gave Marchese a huge chip lead, holding 40% of the chips in play.
"That was just super lucky for me," said Marchese. "He just re-raised pre-flop and I was getting a good price all the way. Then I was super fortunate to hit the two outer."
Duthweiler went next, losing a flip against Ana Marquez with who was slowly creeping up the chip counts. In fact, after further pots, she moved into second in the leaderboard with almost ten million but remained a distant second behind Marchese. However, the American reinforced his chip stack with the elimination of Rainer Kempe.
Marchese Works the Big Stack
Marchese might have half the chips in play, but there were still other players at the table. Jeremy Ausmus put his chips to good use shortly after returning from a break with the elimination of Conor Beresford, his jacks holding against the tens of the Brit.
Now it was Ausmus hot on the heels of Marchese, breathing down the neck of a chip leader who didn’t look like slipping up in post-flop play.
And he excelled pre-flop also, opening and calling a three-bet shove from Sergio Aido to send him to the rail in fifth and following that up with the elimination of Deeb in a classic blind on blind confrontation.
Now with 70% of the chips in play, Marchese was eyeing the shorter stacks. One of those was Ausmus’, but he would secure a vital double with tens against the ace-king of Marchese to halt the runaway train.
"I was fortunate to be on the right side of all-ins today. I mean when you have a big stack you're really able to put on a lot of pressure on people, and they're kind of forced to just take shorts at you."
Deep Stacks Short-Handed
That double by Ausmus would ensure that both he and Marchese sat on 100 big blind stacks, with Marquez further behind. She stuck around gamely but eventually fell in third place bringing it to heads-up play.
"You're always going to be a little worried about it slipping away," said Marchese. "But when that happens you have to really think about your current position. But you're still going to have chips three-handed and it's a great spot, so I can just keep putting pressure on and playing my game."
Ausmus doubled once through Marchese, but he seemed determined to close this one out. And after grinding his opponent down once more to around a 20 big blind stack, he called off a shove with ace-jack; turning an ace to leave his opponent drawing dead and Marchese the latest partypoker MILLIONS champion.
"We'll see if this really lights the fire and motivates me to go to more stops!"