The 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event continued on Wednesday as the surviving players from the three starting flights combined into a single field in Crown’s Poker Room. The day began with 355 players, but after six 90-minute levels of play just 109 remained with Phillip Willcocks, Sorel Mizzi, and Gareth Dwyer topping the counts.
Others who bagged big stacks were Martin Rowe (463,900), Darren Rabinowitz (368,000), Antonio Esfandiari (349,800), Heinz Kamutzki (336,000), and Julian Track (209,100). Team PokerStars Pros Angel Guillen, Randy Lew, and Jonathan Duhamel all advanced as well.
We caught up with Duhamel late on Day 2 to see how he was doing. He also offered his thoughts on Joe Hachem’s belief that recent World Series of Poker Main Event champs haven’t lived up to their responsibilities.
Nine players took advantage of the late registration before the start of Day 2, which brought the total number of entries up to 668 – the biggest turnout in the last three years. That created a prize pool of AUD$6.68 million, which will be distributed to the top 72 players with the eventual winner receiving AUD$1.6 million.
One player who registered late was Gus Hansen, who won the Aussie Millions back in 2007. Hansen got off to a quick start by doubling his stack, but he was eliminated shortly thereafter. Likewise, 2004 Aussie Millions champ Tony Bloom fell early on Day 2, as did 2012 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge winner Dan Smith.
In Level 8 (400/800/100), Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Tom Grigg opened for 1,800 only to have Smith three-bet to 4,600. Not to be outdone, Grigg four-bet to 10,200 and then called when Smith five-bet all in for roughly 40,000.
It was a classic race, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator Smith was a slight 56.65% favorite while Grigg would score the elimination 42.95% of the time. The flop was safe for Smith, and he pulled out to a 3-to-1 lead. Unfortunately for him, the dealer burned and turned the . Grigg paired his ace to become a massive 95.45% favorite, which meant Smith needed to catch a jack to survive. He had a 4.55% chance of doing it, but in this particular hand it didn't come as the blanked on the river.
As the day progressed many others fell including Joe Hachem, Sam Cohen, Philipp Gruissem, Barry Woods, Elliot Smith, Ana-Maria Cosma, Andrew Hinrichsen, Liam O'Rourke, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Patrik Antonius, and Billy "The Croc" Argyros.
Argyros fell in Level 12 (1,000/2,000/300) when he shoved his last 20,700 and his opponent, Team PokerStars Online's Randy Lew, called an additional 10,400 to put him at risk.
Argyros was ahead, but there was a king in the window when the flop came out . Neither the turn nor river helped "The Croc," and he wished the table luck before taking his leave from the tournament.
While hundreds fell, some notables managed to punch their ticket to Day 3 including Mike Watson (149,200), Jarod Ludemann (91,500), Annette Obrestad (87,100), Marco Johnson (81,500), Paul Klann (64,400), and Paul Newey (47,200).
Day 3 is set to begin at 12:15 local time on Thursday, and the plan is to play six more 90-minute levels. During that time the money bubble will burst and the field will be reduced to approximately 30 players. As always the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to bring you all the action, so be sure to check back then.
In the meantime, have a look at Kristy Arnett’s interview with Patrik Antonius: