Aussie Millions Main Event, Day 2: LaGarde Leads as Bubble Looms
338 survivors from three 'first' days of the 2008 Aussie Millions Main Event gathered at Melbourne's Crown Casino for Day 2 of the year's biggest tourney to date. 2007 third-place finisher Andy Black started Day 2 with a slight chip lead over Phil Ivey, and ended up facing Ivey at the same starting table. Joining the fray was 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem, who had also finished Day 1 with a big stack. Other notable players returning for Day 2 were Tony G, Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow, Kenna James, Raymond Rahme and Terrence Chan.
Clonie Gowen's Day 2 was short and less than sweet. Gowen pushed all in preflop with and ran into pocket kings. No ace appeared on the board, and she was eliminated early. Joe Hachem went to the rail early when he got into a big hand with Peter Ling. Hachem raised from the button, and Ling defended his big blind. The board came down 7-3-3 with two spades, and Ling bet out. Hachem raised, Ling moved all in over the top, and Hachem called with 5-3 for trips. Ling revealed , but caught a runner-runner four-flush to eliminate the world champ. Other early eliminations included JJ Liu, Ari 'BodogAri' Engel and Graeme 'Kiwi G' Putt.
Team Full Tilt had a rough run in the middle of Day 2, with several of their players hitting the rail in a short span. Howard Lederer came to the Aussie Millions and immediately won over a million dollars by capturing the top prize in the $100,000-buyin Event #9 earlier in the series. Lederer's luck ran out when Raymond Rahme outflopped him with A-9 to Lederer's A-K to eliminate poker's 'Professor'. John Juanda was the next Full Tilt pro to bust when he ran pocket fives into Kofi Farye's pocket tens and failed to improve.
Phil Ivey's day ended when he got it all in with Richard Teatum on a board of . Teatum led out, and Ivey raised. Teatum went all in over the top with , and Ivey called with . No ace appeared for Ivey, and he was eliminated. More notable Day 2 exits included Michael Binger, cricket star Shane Warne, Jon 'Pearljammer' Turner, Tony G and Allen Cunningham.
Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow played tight all day until he made a key double-up late in the action. After complaining earlier about his lack of quality cards, Matusow doubled up with pocket aces against pocket queens to finish the day with a decent chip stack. Matthew LaGarde finished the day with the chip lead among the final 98 players, in sight of the money bubble of 80, as the top ten chip counts looked like this:
Matthew LaGarde – 490,000
Alexander Kostritsyn – 445,000
Dale Townsend – 420,000
Dusan Stoevski – 410,000
Kevin 'BeLOWaBOVe' Saul – 400,000
Con Angelakis – 376,000
Erik Seidel – 330,000
Adriano Cendron – 280,000
Jason Potter – 279,600
Andy Black – 271,000
Other notable survivors of Day 2 included Kenna James, Erick Lindgren, Max Pescatori and Jeff Lisandro.