World Series of Poker Europe

Aussie Millions: Event #1, $1,100 NLHE, Day 1

Aussie Millions: Event #1, $1,100 NLHE, Day 1 0001

537 players gathered at the Crown Casino in Melbourne Australia for Event #1 of the Aussie Millions tournament series, a $1,100 No-Limit Hold'em tournament featuring poker stars from Australia and around the world. Among the big names that joined the field for Event #1 were Kenna James, Mel Judah, Jeffrey Lisandro and 2007 PokerNews Cup Main Event Champion Dory Zayneh. Local stars included Tony Hachem, Sarah 'Aussie Sarah' Bilney, Lee 'Final Table' Nelson and Billy 'The Croc' Argyros. The star power of the field was increased as actor Michael Vartan ("Alias") joined the field in his quest for poker stardom and the AUD $142,302 first prize.

Tony Hachem got his series off to a rough start, busting very early in Day 1. After folding pocket kings on an ace-high flop in one hand, Hachem's {a-Clubs}{k-Clubs} was outflopped by his opponent's {a-Spades}{3-Clubs} on a board of {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts}{3-Spades}. After those hands left him crippled, he got his last few chips in with pocket sixes, and promptly ran into an opponent holding pocket sevens. No help came for Hachem, and Australia's favorite poker brother was eliminated.

Lee Nelson also made an early exit when his {a-Hearts}{9-Spades} ran into an opponent's {a-Spades}{j-Spades}. The Jack-high flop left Nelson drawing thin, and he was eliminated when he got no help on the turn or river. 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro lost a coin flip with {9-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} against Alex Luck's {a-Spades}{k-Spades}. An ace came on the flop, and Lisandro was eliminated. Other notable eliminations in the early rounds included 2007 Aussie Millions runner up Jimmy 'gobboboy' Fricke, Gary Benson, Emad Tahtouh, 'Aussie' Sarah Bilney and Billy 'The Croc' Argyros.

The field had thinned to 113 by the dinner break, and the rapid pace of eliminations held after dinner. 17 players busted in the first 20 minutes after play resumed, including Anna Wroblewski, who ran pocket eights into aces with her short stack. Michael 'Timex' McDonald went on a tear after dinner, sending several players to the rail and accumulating a massive chip stack. In one big hand, McDonald raised preflop from middle position and found one caller from the button. McDonald led out on the flop of {8-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}, and the button quickly raised. McDonald re-raised all in, and the button called with {6-Hearts}{6-Clubs}, for a pair and an inside straight draw. McDonald was ahead with his {j-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}. No six or five showed for his opponent, and McDonald took the chip lead after that hand. He would later surrender the chip lead, but finished Day 1 with a healthy stack.

Mel Judah was eliminated near the money bubble when he raised preflop with {a-Hearts}{3-Clubs} and found one caller in Nikki Rainbird. The flop came {2-Hearts}{a-Clubs}{8-Spades}, and both players checked. The turn brought the {7-Clubs}, which brought a bet from Judah. Rainbird check-raised all in, and Judah went into the tank before finally calling off the last of his chips. Rainbird was ahead with {a-Diamonds}{5-Spades}, and the {5-Clubs} on the river put the final nail in Judah's coffin, making two pair for Rainbird and sending Judah to the rail.

The bubble burst a few hands later when Jovan Scekic sent Ben Hoang to the rail in 51st place. Scekic was well ahead of Hoang preflop with {a-Clubs}{q-Clubs} to Hoang's {a-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds}, but a jack on the flop gave Hoang the lead. Scekic picked up the nut flush draw, and the river brought the club flush to send Hoang to the rail and burst the money bubble. After Hoang's elimination, the standard rush to elimination happened, with five players busting out in the first few minutes after the bubble burst.

Van Marcus was eliminated in 32nd place when he flopped the second-nut flush with {k-Hearts}{q-Hearts} on a board of {8-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{2-Hearts}, but Mark Saber had outs to the nut flush with {a-Spades}{a-Hearts}. The {6-Spades} on the turn gave Saber more outs, and the {a-Diamonds} on the river made his full house and sent Marcus to the rail. Dean Rogers was the last player eliminated on Day 1, as the field narrowed to 20 for Day 2. Rogers' {a-Spades}{7-Hearts} was outflopped by his opponent's {2-Hearts}{8-Diamonds} when an eight came down, sending him to the rail with $2,685 for his 21st-place finish.

Jovan Scekic finished the day with the chip lead, followed closely behind by Peter Pratis. The final 20 chip stacks when play resumes tomorrow will be as follows:

Jovan Scekic - 240,000

Peter Pratis - 234,500

Mark Saber - 218,500

Yevgeniy Timoshenko - 188,500

Alex Luck - 183,500

Michael McDonald - 150,500

Dale Townsend - 147,000

Damien Oborne - 106,500

John Georges - 92,500

Justin Gendle - 89,000

Jamie Pickering - 82,500

Vincent Chua - 67,500

Paul Schembri - 60,000

Vince Wan - 52,000

Roy Vandersluis - 50,000

Kalan Shuttlewood - 49,000

Brett Hartley - 45,500

Chris Wood - 43,000

Barry Long - 36,000

Con Cotsomitis - 32,500

What do you think?

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