One of the most popular poker events that isn’t the part of a major tournament “tour” or schedule – the Aussie Millions – has been underway for the past few days. On Sunday at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, the $10,000 buy in Main Event took to the stage with the first of three-Day Ones for the international poker world to dive into.
With registration in the tournament lasting until Level 8 in the tournament, the players were relaxed about making their way to the tables. Add in the fact that there will only be seven levels of play (at 90 minutes per level) for each of the Day One flights (and, doing the math, latecomers could register up until the start of action on Day 2), the pace of the players dropping their cash at the cage was almost glacial. Still, there were some of poker’s brightest icon stepping up to take part in the venerable Australian tournament.
At the call of “shuffle up and deal,” the tournament floor was replete with top notch professionals and those celebrities who have some poker skills. 2016 World Series of Poker “November Niner” Kenny Hallaert, former WSOP-Europe champion Annette Obrestad, actress Jennifer Tilly, cricketeer Shane Warne, Phil Laak, James Obst, Chance Kornuth and Rainer Kempe were all in place when the gun sounded and, for the most part, these players did well. Laak was an early departure, joined by such luminaries as Sylvain Loosli, Jonathan Karamalikis, Martin Finger and Obrestad, who all were out by the time the dinner break arrived.
By the time the final level for the evening arrived, 212 players had entered the tournament. This is significant because it is the first time a Day 1A for the Aussie Millions has cracked the 200-player mark since 2011 (for a $10,000 tournament, an outstanding outpouring of players). It also bodes well for the overall numbers for the Aussie Millions Main Event as, with the penchant of poker players, the later days (Days 1B and 1C) are expected to have even larger fields for action.
After Sam Higgs, who was quite busy throughout the day on his patch of felt, took a decent pot off Jason Gray in the final hand of the night, the remaining 120 players bagged up their chips and prepared for the wringer of Day 2 on Wednesday. Of those 120 players, Sam Ingham will be atop the leaderboard with a hungry mob behind him.
1. Sam Ingham, 160,100
2. Pascal Pflock, 115,000
3. Patrick Crivell, 110,000
4. Sam Higgs, 107,900
5. Oliver Weis, 103,000
6. Andrew Bassat, 93,000
7. Erik Seidel, 86,000
8. Jennifer Tilly, 85,000
9. Jay Prasad, 85,000
10. Barry Woods, 81,300
$100,000 Challenge Delayed Until Monday
Scheduled to start at the same time as the Aussie Millions Main Event, one of the top Super High Roller tournaments in the poker world – the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge – was postponed until Monday to clear the schedule. In all honesty, the reason for the postponement was because some players who wanted to potentially take part in the Challenge were already in the Day 1A action for the Main Event and they didn’t want to “table-hop” between the two events.
Such players as Fabian Quoss, Dan Shak, Sam Trickett, Erik Seidel and others who are staples of High Roller tournaments were all in the Main Event while players such as Stephen Chidwick, Ben Tollerene, David Peters and others were waiting to see if it would be worth putting up their $100,000 (at least…the tournament allows for multiple rebuys) for action. Late Sunday afternoon, Crown Melbourne officials decided to postpone the event and make it a two-day tournament instead of the three-day event as previously planned. Those officials also announced that the rake for the event would be chopped in half, essentially giving the “high rollers” a discount to play in the tournament.
Thus, Monday’s action will be a bit crowded. Along with Day 1B of the Aussie Millions Main Event, the $100,000 challenge will take place with all the above-mentioned characters and surely a few more. It is just the continuation of one of the finest tournament poker events in the world, the Aussie Millions.