Australia’s Najeem Ajez takes the Australian Poker Open Event #2 chip lead into Sunday’s PokerGO final table as he bagged up a whopping 2.5 million chips to lead a field that includes Event #1 winner Mike Watson, Poker Hall of Fame member Erik Seidel and top pros Sean Winter, Andras Nemeth, and Joni Jouhkimainen.

The second event of the 2020 Australian Poker Open was Event #2: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha held from inside The Star Gold Coast. After almost 17 full levels of play the field of 43 entrants was brought down to its final six. The final table of this event will stream live on PokerGO at 10pm ET on Sunday.

Follow Live Reporting of all Australian Poker Open events on Poker Central right here. Relive the Event #1 final table on PokerGO here or check out the full event recap on Poker Central here.

Breaking Down the Final Table Contestants

This AU$430,000 prize-pool event brought forward a mix of local players, and international high roller regulars looked to battle it out to claim the second Australian Poker Open title.

The money bubble was be reached in Level 16 when Jorryt van Hoof was eliminated by Sean Winter after his flopped set of queens was beaten by running straight cards. The remaining seven players would play just a handful of hands before Chino Rheem found himself all in against Andras Nemeth and running into an unfortunate river card to bust in seventh-place for AU$21,500.

Najeem Ajez
Najeem Ajez doubles up to jumpstart his run to become final table chip leader.

The final six players are all guaranteed AU$25,800 in prize money, but all eyes are set on the first-place prize of AU$146,200 and the title of Event #2 champion. The player best positioned to make a run at the title is chip leader Najeem Ajez. Ajez was the beneficiary of a big pot against then chip-leader Sean Winter that propelled him to more than half the chips in play seven-handed. Ajez has almost 500,000 in career earnings.

A win in this event would surpass Ajez’s previous best cash, which occurred last week when he finished third in the AU$25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha at the Aussie Millions pocketing AU$136,840 for his efforts. A first-place finish would also see him rocket up almost 30 places on the Australia All-Time Money list to 85th place.

Second in chips is Hungary’s Andras Nemeth with 500,000 in chips and fresh off a sixth-place finish in Event #1 to follow his two final table appearances at the Poker Masters. If Nemeth can win Event #2 and see Mike Watson eliminated in sixth-place, Nemeth will sit tied with Watson in the Australian Poker Open Championship.

Joni Jouhkimainen sits third overall with 415,000 in chips. The partypoker pro has amassed nearly $3.8 million in lifetime tournament earnings, and recently at the British Poker Open, Jouhkimainen collected a fifth-place finish in the equivalent of this event.

Sitting fourth overall is Sean Winter with 370,000 in chips. At the recent Poker Masters, Winter collected four cashes to see his lifetime tournament earnings currently sit at over $15 million. If Winter can take down Event #2, he will move to 42nd on the All-Time Money List.

Rounding out the final table is Mike Watson with 350,000 in chips, and Erik Seidel with 130,000 in chips. Watson won Event #1 and will be looking to extend his lead in the Australian Poker Open Championship – any result better then sixth-place will see him hold the lead heading into Event #3. With nearly $37.5 million in lifetime tournament earnings, Seidel recently added two big scores at the Aussie Millions with an eighth-place finish in the AU$50,000 Challenge and then a fifth-place finish in the Main Event.

Seat Name Country Chip Count
1 Mike Watson Canada 350,000
2 Andras Nemeth Hungary 500,000
3 Erik Seidel United States 130,000
4 Joni Jouhkimainen Finland 415,000
5 Sean Winter United States 370,000
6 Najeem Ajez Australia 2,540,000

The button is on Najeem Ajez (and there is a dead small blind), and there is 19:59 remaining in Level 17 with blinds at 15,000-25,000 and a 25,000-big blind ante.

The Event #2: AU$10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha final table begins at 12 p.m. (AEST) on Monday, January 27, with action continuing until the Event #2 champion is crowned. Follow every hand when the PokerGO coverage begins at 7 p.m. (PT) / 10 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, January 26. New to PokerGO? Subscribe right now.

Mike Watson, Sean Winter, Joni Jouhkimainen, Erik Seidel, Andras Nemeth, Najeem Ajez