Two major scheduling changes were announced during Day 15 of the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship. The first was that an extra day would be added to the $10,000 Main Event, meaning the final table would be pushed back to Sunday. The second announcement regarded the start of the $250,000 Challenge being postponed until Saturday.
The biggest story on Thursday, though, was Phil Ivey's deep run in the Main Event. Here’s a look at the action from Day 15 of the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship:
Event #8: $10,000 Main Event Day 3
Day 3 of the Aussie Millions Main Event came and went much faster than most everyone anticipated. From the starting field of 659 runners, the final 75 returned to the Crown Casino Thursday for five scheduled levels of action. Instead, play was cut short after three levels as the field was dashed all the way down to 26 players. When the bags game out, Matthew Turk had worked his stack up to the top of the leaderboard with nearly double the chips of his nearest challenger.
With 75 players returning and only room for 72 on the payout sheet, three unlucky souls were sent off empty handed. As anticipated, the bubble arrived early in the day, but it took nearly two hours to find the next knockout and lock up a payday for the remaining 72. Frank Paul was all the way down to 11,000 chips — barely two big blinds — when he pushed the last of it in with . Kenna James didn't have much of a decision in the big blind, and his was drawing live for the knockout. Sure enough, the board ran out and Paul was sent away with only a wooden spoon to show for his AUD$10,000 investment.
Once the soft stepping on the bubble was out of the way, the doors were thrown open and the march to the payout desk began in full force. Tom Grigg was one of the first to bow out with a small cash and was quickly followed out the door by Daniel Botta, James, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Alexander Roumeliotis, Michael Tureniec, Dominykas Karmazinas, and Michael Pedley. Australia's newest bracelet winner Andrew Hinrichsen was eliminated toward the end of the evening after running his pocket queens into Turk's two kings — an unfortunate end to his day.
It was a game of leapfrog at the top of the chip counts on Day 3, and a handful of players passed the top spot around for a few hours. That included Ivey, who plugged along steadily to bag up 1,107,000 at night's end. He was in contention for the overall lead until a monster pot unfolded on the final hand of the night.
It happened on Table 32 with 280,000 pulled into the pot. Jason Koon had 89,000 out in front of him, meaning some sort of raising war had taken place. Turk took about 40 seconds before moving all-in, and a visibly stunned Koon make the call to create a pot worth around 2 million!
"Let's flip for all the chips," Koon said when he saw his opponent's cards. "Whoever wins this wins the tournament." It was a huge hand that would essentially guarantee the winner a spot at the final table. As the railbirds surrounded the table, the dealer burned and the was in the window! Koon's excitement vanished instantly when the full flop rolled out . Turk had flopped a set to take a commanding lead.
Koon, clearly dejected, pleaded for a sweat card on the turn, but the left him drawing dead. The river sent Koon home in 27th place while Turk ended the night as the massive chip leader with 2.675 million.
The remaining field includes with a couple bracelet winners and a former champion of this event still in the mix. Lee Nelson won this thing in 2006, and he'll be returning Friday with an above average stack of 878,000. Daniel Idema bagged up 1.033 million to end the night, and eight-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey is just out of the overnight top five with 1.107 million. Other notables still in the mix include Yann Dion, Oliver Speidel, Danny Chevalier, Grant Levy and David Steicke.
Day 4 kicks off at 12:30 pm in Melbourne, and the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand capturing all the action.
Event #16: $2,500 H.O.R.S.E.
On Thursday, the final table of eight in Event #16: $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. returned to battle down to a winner. The tournament had attracted 39 entrants the day before, creating a prize pool of $87,750. Here is how things stacked up at the start of the final table:
With only five spots being paid, the players were eager to turn on the aggression. Matt Woodward and Tom Koral were the first two to go, and Jarret Bullock followed them out the door as the unfortunate bubble boy. David Bach, former winner of the World Series of Poker $50,000 Poker Players Championship, then took over the chip lead and rode it all the way to victory.
Event #16: $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Payouts
For more on the H.O.R.S.E. tournament, be sure to check out the following video with Australian Poker Hall of Famer Marsha Waggoner.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand for the duration of the 2012 Crown’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event on Friday. In addition, Event #19 $2,500 NLHE Six Handed and Event #21 $1,100 8 Game Mixed Event will get under way. Unfortunately, anyone who was looking forward to updates from the $250,000 Challenge will have to wait an extra day because that event has been rescheduled for Saturday.