Sontheimer Leads Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge, ‘Recreational’ Player Holz in Second


Day 1 of the 2017 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge attracted a small but high caliber field of 18 entries, including reentries by Mikita Badziakouski and David Peters. That created an A$1,764,000 (~$1.33 million USD) prize pool that will be distributed among the top three players with the eventual winner taking home AU$882,000 (~$667,744 USD).

The player best positioned to take down the top prize is Germany’s Steffen Sontheimer, who leads the final seven with a stack of 451,000. Sontheimer has already cashed twice at the 2017 Aussie Millions with a 39th place in the AU$1,150 Opening Event and a 17th place finish in the AU$1,150 Six Max Event.

The six others still in contention for the title include high-stakes specialist Fedor Holz – widely regarded as one of the best online and live tournament players in the modern game – Nick Petrangelo, Sam Trickett, Mike Watson, David Peters and David Steicke.

Seat Player Country Chip Count Big Blinds
1 David Steicke Australia 78,500 15.7
2 Fedor Holz Germany 394,500 78.9
3 Steffen Sontheimer Germany 451,000 90.2
4 Mike Watson Canada 146,000 29.2
5 Nick Petrangelo United States 381,000 76.2
6 Sam Trickett United Kingdom 265,000 53
7 David Peters United States 96,000 19.2

The start of the day saw eight entrants begin play on a single table, though the arrival of Mike Watson and Alexandros Kolonias saw play pause for a redraw as the field was split over two five-handed tables. This increased to 13 players as Germans Fedor Holz, Rainer Kempe, and Steffen Sontheimer arrived shortly before Level 2, all of whom saved themselves AU$1,000 in rake for joining early.

Despite Rainer Kempe taking an early hit at the hands of Holz after a set over set cooler shortly after the first break, it would be Dan Shak who would become the first casualty. Shak got all his chips in with king-queen suited against Greece’s Alexandros Kolonias. Unfortunately for Shak, Kolonius had spiked a set of nines to send the US player crashing out.

Kempe followed Shak to the rail shortly afterward when his short-stacked shove with queen-jack suited ran into Fedor Holz’s ace-jack on a jack-high board.

The field climbed back up to 12-strong with the late arrival of Sam Trickett. However, this was whittled down to a single eight-handed table with the eliminations of Mikita Badziakouski, Charlie Carrel, David Peters and Stephen Chidwick in quick succession shortly before the dinner break.

Both Peters and Badziakouski chose to re-enter following the break, with US player Bryn Kenney and Hong Kong-based Australian David Steicke also joining to bring the field back up to 12.


Mikita Badziakouski busted for a second time after moving all in with a queen-high flush draw on the turn over the top of a Sam Trickett double barrel on a ten-high board. Trickett time banked twice before calling with ace-ten, which held to bring play down to a single nine-handed table once more.

Trickett busted Bryn Kenney shortly afterward when his king-jack out-flopped Kenney’s ace-queen after the latter moved all in from the cutoff for his last 33,000. Alexandros Kolonias followed Kenney to the exit not long afterward when his pocket deuces lost a race to David Peters’ ace-nine off-suit to take play seven-handed. When action resumes all remaining players receive three brand new time breaker chips, though any left over from the previous day’s play do not carry over.

To allow for the players to participate in the Aussie Millions Main Event, the final table will be on hiatus until Saturday, Jan. 28. On that day, the final seven will return at 2:10 p.m. local time to play down to a winner. Of course, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to capture all the action, which will also be live-streamed on Jason Somerville’s