The wait was finally over! The 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event had arrived with planeloads of interstate and overseas arrivals fresh into Melbourne town to plunder down under. The Crown Poker Room was pumping with all three events that were run today enjoying fantastic numbers that will leave tournament officials smiling when they go to sleep this evening.
While the Bounty Event ticked along on one side of the room (with Team Poker Stars Pro Celina Lin reaching the official final table!), a stacked field of 65 players took their seats for the $25,000 Challenge. The biggest names in the game were in attendance including Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Jonathan Duhamel, Ike Haxton, Jason Mercier and Angel Guillen. 30 players survived the day with Fabian Quoss the chip leader. That event will continue into tomorrow before a champion is crowned.
However the feature event of the day was undoubtedly Day 1a of the 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event where 176 players took their seats for chance at fame and fortune. Joining the Day 1a field were the likes of Matt Ashton, Paul Khoury, Jay Kinkade, Jeff Lisandro, Tino Lechich, Mel Judah, Daniel Laidlaw, Gary Benson, Jarred Graham, Eoghan O’Dea, Jale Balsiger, Full Tilt Ambassador Tom Grigg, Event #6 winner Sam Higgs, last year’s runner up Joe Cabret and the 2012 Main Event champion Oliver Speidel.
We also had two Team PokerStars Pros in the field with Liv Boeree and Naoya Kihara proudly wearing the red spade patches today. Both enjoyed solid days on the felt and survived the seven 90-minute levels that were played during the day.
Kihara was down a little early but was able to grind it out, with his elimination of the talented Jordan Westmorland helping to get his day back on track. Kihara bagged up 16,500 in chips so still has some work to do on Day 2.
Meanwhile Boeree flopped a set late in the evening to get herself through the day with an average stack of 49,200. Both will be looking to keep the momentum going into Day 2 on Wednesday.
While the APPT Aussie Millions journey came to an end for many, the light still shines bright for Jarred Graham, Matthew Wakeman, Daniel Laidlaw, Oliver Gill, Tom Grigg and Casey Kastle while David Malka, Edison Nguyen, Dave Heskin and Antonio Fazzolari (pictured below) are among the chip leaders as 86 survived the day.
Top 10 Chip Counts
David Malka – 205,400
Antonio Fazzolari – 190,500
Michael O’Grady – 184,300
John Nelson – 145,500
Srdjan Brkic – 130,700
Tom Grigg – 124,300
Connor Burrowes – 116,100
Jake Balsiger – 110,400
Guillaume Rivet – 106,700
Louis Salter – 99,200
A new batch of faces will escape the Melbourne heat to try their luck inside the comforts of the Crown Poker Room tomorrow as Day 1b of the Aussie Millions Main Event kicks off at 12:30pm Monday (GMT+10). We’ll be here to bring you all of the action so we look forward to your company once again!
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.