You walk into the Crown Poker Room and slowly but surely you begin to hear the ruffling of chips, the dealers crying “all-in” and the chatter of dozens of excited railbirds. You look to your left, you think, “Ah everyone is watching the final 18 of the Aussie Millions Main Event.” You join the rail and immerse yourself in the action. Scott Seiver, Sorel Mizzi, Erik Seidel, Jeff Rossiter, Jason Mercier.
Then, from behind you hear another “all in” cry from a dealer on a table on the other side of the rail. There is a gasp from what appears to be another group of railbirds altogether, what they are watching is blocked by dozens of bodies.
What could they be seeing? You turn back around and the count the tables in the Main Event. The entire 18 are exactly where you saw them moments ago. It can’t be the Main Event. So you push your way through the crowd and find Phil Ivey, Mike McDonald, Dan Smith, Tom Dwan, Dan Shak, Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu and the list goes on.
In fact, what you see is Negreanu, Ivey and Esfandiari on the very same table.
Now you are torn.
Which tournament should you watch?
The calibre of players is similar. Both feature excitement machines and prominent pros.
Luckily the Crown Poker Room is unique. All that separates the Main Event and the $100K Challenge is a pathway of familiarly patterned casino carpet.
Now you realise you can watch both.
Turn left and watch the Main Event of one of the biggest tournaments in the world, featuring some of the best players in the world. Turn right and find the $100K Challenge, characteristically filled with an eclectic mix of sharks, pros, businessmen and shot takers.
Poker fans in Melbourne are very lucky right now. An embarrassment of riches.
It’s not often that two tournaments like this, and with such good players still remaining in the Main Event, would be running at the same time, in the same room, with only a few metres separating the action.
Right now there has been 31 entries in the $100K Challenge and with re-buys unlimited, it’s going to be a massive prize pool. It may have even been bigger considering Main Event players Erik Seidel, Sorel Mizzi, Jeff Rossiter, Jason Mercier and Scott Seiver were all pretty much certainties to play the $100K Challenge. Registration is open until all night though, so if at any stage they are eliminated from the Main Event, they will be able to jump in.
However, one of those players doesn’t look like he will be eliminated any time soon because he is well and truly the chip leader. Scott Seiver has recently eliminated Ying Kit Chan in 19th place when Seiver held 10♥10♠ and flopped set on a 10♦J♥6♠ flop. Chan held K♠K♦ an couldn’t get away from his hand. The turn and river were bricks and Seiver moved up to around 2.8 million in chips. To put that into perspective, the average stack is currently around 1 million.
With such a big stack, a chance at the Aussie Millions Main Event title and a $1.6 million top prize, we are sure Seiver won’t mind missing one high roller tournament.