Thursday at the 2011 Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia, was action packed, as the Main Event drew closer to a final table, the world's biggest buy-in tournament soared past expectations, and more.
The Main Event saw 76 players come back for play on Thursday, and all but four made the money. The bubble burst with the simultaneous elimination of Carter Phillips and Julius Colman, meaning they would spilt a min-cash of AUD$15,000. After the bubble burst, the action flowed freely at the tables and by the dinner break, there were 36 players left, and Randy Dorfman, chip leader at the start of the day, had been overtaken by Team Full Tilt's Patrik Antonius. Although he didn't hold on to the chip lead the whole night, he will go into play on Friday in seventh place on the chip leaderboard with 958,000.
At the top spot is Chris Moorman, with 1,643,000. Just behind him is Mark Vos with 1,200,000. Dorfman still looms, sitting in the fourth spot. One player who is no stranger to this event is Sorel Mizzi, who final tabled this very event last year, finishing third. Mizzi is taking 965,000 into Friday's play.
Play begins at 12:30 local time inside the Crown Poker Room, so if you're in Melbourne, stop by and rail the action, and if you're not, you can rail the action on the PokerNews Live Reporting Blog.
$250,000 Super High Roller
Will it or won't it? There were rumblings at the beginning of the 2011 Aussie Millions that a $250,000 Super High Roller tournament would happen, but nothing was for sure. The format changed a number of times and just a day before the event, four players were confirmed. On Thursday, those four were multiplied — five times. Yes, 20 players ponied up $250,000 to buy into this historic tournament. Among those were Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Daniel Cates, the three Chinese businessmen who took part in the Million Dollar Cash Game, Paul Phua, Richard Yong and Wang Qiang, and $100,000 Challenge winner, Sam Trickett.
One by one the field thinned, thanks in part to a super fast structure meant to ensure the trio of Phua, Yong and Qiang would be able to catch a flight Thursday night, but also thanks to the amazing run-good and skill of Trickett.
After what felt like a final table massacre, thanks to the handy work of Trickett, only poker's newest hall of fame inductee, Erik Seidel and the young Trickett were remaining. Trickett held a sizable chip lead, and it looked like he would go back-to-back in two of the biggest tournaments in poker history. Seidel, however, would not relent finding one timely double-up after another. Soon, the players were even, yet Seidel had all the momentum, chipping away one pot at a time at Trickett who was clearly getting frustrated.
After about 45 minutes of heads-up play, the stacks were firmly swapped, with Seidel holding the chip lead. Trickett picked his spot, attempting to double, but unfortunately for him, Seidel was firmly in front with top-pair, and was able to hold, eliminating Trickett in second place, and earning Seidel the $2.5 million first prize.
If you want to check out all the action from the $250,000 Super High Roller, head on over to the PokerNews Live Reporting Blog. Lynn Gilmartin caught up with Seidel shortly after his win, and you can watch that interview below.
Event #15: $10,500 8-Game Mixed Event
This year is the first time that the $10,500 8-Game Mixed event was added to the schedule at the Aussie Millions. In all, 28 players entered the event, including Jeffrey Lisandro, David Oppenheim, Eli Elezra, Daniel Alaei, David Steicke, Maria Ho, Andy Bloch, and Justin Smith.
After 12 hours of play, a final table was reached, but only five of them made the money. While a winner was supposed to be crowned on Thursday night, after Mike Watson was eliminated in fifth place, the final four players decided to call it a night at 4 a.m. and resume play Friday afternoon. Headlining the final four is Maria Ho, bagging 187,100 at the end of the night. Just behind her is Andy Bloch with 163,700. Robert Campbell sits in third with 122,000 and Justin Smith rounds out the final four with 87,200.
Play gets under way on at 2:15 local time, and you can bet that PokerNews will be there covering all the action.
Remember to follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.
Want to rail the biggest games in the world? Not only will you get a $600 sign-up bonus at Full Tilt Poker, new depositors also get to play in a $100,000 First Deposit Freeroll. — so you can play while you watch!