A field of 266 players was on hand for Friday's opening day of action in Event #14 of the 2009 Aussie Millions Poker Championship – $2,200 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em. Among the entrants were WSOP bracelet holder Jennifer Tilly, Phil Laak, online stars Michael Guzzardi, James Obst and Tony Dunst, plus former World Champion Joe Hachem. Even with the fast pace of six-handed play, it took more than 16 hours for the bubble to burst, and play was finally halted for the night with 24 players remaining and Obst the runaway chip leader. Obst finished Day 1 with nearly twice the chips of Noah Schwartz, his nearest competitor.
The popularity of six-handed play meant a full tournament and an alternate list for Event #14. In addition to the poker stars, celebrities Michael Vartan, Shane Warne and Jeff Fenech also joined the field. The fast pace brought numerous early eliminations, including Steve Topakas, Dan Shak, Lee Nelson and Ben Delaney.
Michael "TheBigSiCkO" Guzzardi logged three final tables at the 2009 Aussie Millions, but missed a fourth when he lost a coin flip to bust well short of the money. Guzzardi got all his money in with pocket queens, and busted to Jonathan Dull's A-K when Dull made top pair on the flop and trips on the turn. Other notable departures on Day 1 included both of the Hachem brothers (Joe and Tony), Michael Binger and Michael Vartan.
James "Andy McLEOD" Obst got his game on track early in the day and never fell off the pace, leading the pack for most of Day 1. Obst bounced an opponent early in the day when his flopped a straight against his opponent's pocket nines. His opponent pushed all in on a board of , and Obst quickly called. Nothing good happened for his opponent on the turn or river, and Obst moved up near the 200,000-chip mark. Later in the day he took a monster pot off of Paul Foltyn to move over 350,000, then cracked the 400,000 mark when he busted Ali Khalil. Khalil raised from the button with , and Obst three-bet from the big blind. Khalil four-bet, and Obst raised enough to put him all in. Khalil called, and Obst tabled to leave Khalil in jeopardy. Khalil made a pair on the flop, but the turn and river blanked out to send him home just off the money bubble as Obst stacked a veritable mountain of chips.
It was only fitting that Obst burst the money bubble when he added Paul Foltyn to his list of Day 1 victims. Foltyn moved all in from the small blind with and Obst snap-called from the big blind with . Obst hit his set on the flop and left Foltyn drawing to two outs. The turn and river ran out and Foltyn was the bubble boy.
Tournament staff halted the action with 24 players remaining, and the four remaining tables were all in the money. Join PokerNews at 2PM Melbourne time on Saturday for all the live updates from Event #14. The complete chip counts for the remaining players:
James "Andy McLEOD" Obst - 449,000
Noah Schwartz - 266,300
Alexander Roumeliotis - 205,800
Sam Higgs - 204,700
Sherif Derias - 168,600
Michael "Timex" McDonald - 162,900
Alexander Debus - 154,600
Arif Mehmet - 150,700
Kristian Lunardi - 130,400
Grigory Terpelyuk - 116,000
Thomas Lindbjerg - 90,000
Jason Mednis - 87,900
Jonathan Dull - 87,600
Jacob Lysemose - 78,600
Wesley "tEh_R3aLde4L" Whybrew - 69,100
Phillip Peters - 62,800
John Joannou - 45,700
Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt - 37,400
Dylan Linde - 23,500
Lauren McIver - 22,100
Alexander Vercherkovski - 20,200
Manuel Romualdo - 14,800
Nick Binger - 14,000
Niclas Dymling - 10,300