Crown Poker's 2012 Aussie Millions Championship continued on Friday with Day 1b of Event 1: $1,100 Opening Event. The first flight drew 274 players and saw 34 advance to Day 2. On Day 1b 251 players took their seats, bringing the total to 525 players, with one more starting flight to go. Of the 251 players who registered on Day 1b, only 32 survived, and Sam Youssef sits atop the leaderboard with 240,100 in chips.
Youssef made some moves in the last few levels of the day — the first on board showing . By the time all the action on the turn was over, Youssef and his opponent had all the chips in the middle.
When Youssef noticed that his opponent hit a set on the flop, he joked that he was drawing dead. That certainly wasn't the case by the time the river was dealt — the giving Youssef the straight.
Another player who was doing quite well was James Dempsey. He was involved in a big pot against Sorel Mizzi that began when Dempsey raised to 1,600 from the hijack only to have an unknown player three-bet to 3,750 from the cutoff. Mizzi, who was next to act on the button, then made it 7,700 to go. Dempsey responded by moving all-in for 40,875, the cutoff folded, and Mizzi called.
Mizzi was in great shape to eliminate a tough competitor, but the flop paired Dempsey to give him the lead. Neither the turn nor river helped Mizzi, and he was reduced to just 7,500. Dempsey took over the chip lead with approximately 100,000. A few hands later, Mizzi was eliminated from the tournament.
Unfortunately for Dempsey, he was unable to hold onto his big stack as he ran into the red-hot Youssef. In that hand, there was plenty of action between Youssef and Dempsey, with the former holding and the latter . The flop brought a along with two hearts and this is when all the chips went in. Dempsey needed a heart but it never came and Youssef's kings were enough to eliminate Dempsey.
The unique “repechage” format of the event means that both Dempsey and Mizzi will likely be back on Day 1c. There were plenty of other players like Mizzi who were eliminated in Flight 1 and opted to take advantage of the repechage format and reentered on Day 1b. They included Maria Ho, Simon Watt, Daniel Laidlaw, Benn Skendar, and Vesko Zmukic. Unfortunately, none of them survived the day, though we expect most will return on Day 1c for one last try.
The second starting flight of the Opening Event may have attracted the previous day’s eliminated players, but a slew of new players attended, as well, including 2010 World Series of Poker third-place finisher, Joseph Cheong; 2011 Aussie Millions Champ, David Gorr; local legend and 2011 Australian Poker Hall of Fame inductee, Leo Boxell; U.K. pro, Richard Ashby; world traveler, McLean Karr, and online stars Daniel “djk123” Kelly, Toby “810ofclubs” Lewis, and Jim “Mr_BigQueso” Collopy. Unfortunately, all of these players hit the rail by night’s end.
Joining Youssef on Day 2, along with the 34 survivors from Day 1a, are Bernard Beh, Mel Judah, Billy Jordanou, Brendon Rubie, and last year's winner of this very event, Martin Drewe, just to name a few.
Top 5 Chip Counts
The last Day 1 starting flight is set to begin at 1230 AEST Saturday (1730 PST Friday), so be sure to join us then as the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will bring you all the action and eliminations, live, from the floor of the Crown Poker Room.