Day 1b of the 2015 Aussie Millions Poker Championship AU$10,600 Main Event attracted 173 players – 20 more than the year before and up from Day 1a's 183. After seven 90-minute levels, approximately 91 remained with Ian Wassell and his stack of 229,500 leading the way.
Others who bagged up big stacks were online legend Dan "jungleman12" Cates, Corey Kempson, Mustapha Kanit, and Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang.
Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
|3||Calvin Ho Kwok Sze||135,200|
Cates was involved in perhaps the biggest pot of the day, during Level 6 (250/500/75) against Kanit. There was around 30,000 in the pot when action exploded on a flop and a series of raises resulted in Cates getting his remaining stack of 75,275 all in and at risk against Kanit.
It was an interesting spot for both players. Kanit won two massive pots earlier in the day courtesy of aces, while Cates busted the $100,000 Challenge twice on Sunday holding kings only to be shown aces on both occasions.
With approximately 180,000 on the line, the dealer slowly burned and put out the turn. It was a safe card for Cates, but there was still one more card to come. The dealer burned a third and final time and revealed the . Safe again.
"Finally won one of those," Cates said as smile beamed across his face. Kanit, who at one point was the chip leader with nearly 200,000 (nearly 40,000 more than the Day 1a chip leader), silently cut out chips from his stack and sent them across the table. Kanit and Cates continued to clash after that, but even so both finished with top-five stacks.
Others who managed to punch their ticket to Day 2 were Australian Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson (97,600); European Poker Tour regular Andrew Chen (88,200); Jesse "OnTheMac" McKenzie (87,000); long-time Aussie pro Grant Levy (78,700); a legendary sportscaster's son, Kane Kalas (74,000); the UK's Simon Deadman (28,700); and Macau "Big Game" pioneer Winfred Yu (18,000).
Of course, not everyone was so fortunate. Among those to hit the rail on Day 1b were David Steicke, Aaron Lim, Celina Lin, Sam Cohen, Chad Awerbuch, Tom Grigg, Jake Abdalla, Fabian Quoss, and Shiva Dudani, who actually fell after running aces full into a Royal Flush.
Day 1c, which is the third and final starting flight, will begin at 12:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday. It will be the largest flight thus far, and it'll be filled with plenty of big names including Patrik Antonius, Sorel Mizzi, and Phil Ivey, just to name a few. Players will once again play seven 90-minute levels, and of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there every step of the way to bring your all the action and eliminations straight from the floor of the Crown Poker Room.
While you wait, check out our video on Australia Day: