The 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship kicked off inside the cool confines of the Crown Poker Room in otherwise steamy Melbourne, Australia Wednesday.
Veteran Australian Poker Commentator Paul Khoury was joined by Aussie Millions Tournament Director Joel Williams and English Cricketer and Australian Reality TV Star Freddie Flintoff to make the call to shuffle up and deal for the first of four starting flights scheduled for Event #1 $1,150 No-Limit Hold 'em just after 6 p.m. local time.
Registration for the flight was open for the first six 40-minute levels with a total of 160 players buying in and putting the event well on the way to meeting its $1 million prize pool guarantee.
Australian Poker's most famous face lasted all of one hand today, with 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe Hachem registering late, then promptly running a turned straight into a rivered full house.
He was joined on the rail by several other well known players who busted before Wednesday's flight was through, including 2013 WSOP bracelet winner Jarred Graham, Two-time European Poker Tour Main Event finalist Xuan Liu, World Poker Tour television personality Tony Dunst and 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event champion Scott Davies.
By the time twelve 40-minute levels were through just 26 remained with Brent De Jong leading the pack. The Aussie managed to grab the lead in the late levels thanks to a hot run of cards that included picking up aces against Tho Nguyen's kings.
2014 November Niner Felix Stephensen also bagged a top ten stack.
|1||Brent De Jong||Australia||159,600|
|4||Gary Di Paola||Australia||101,700|
This group of 26 will return to battle for a seat at the nine-handed final at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday with survivors from the next three flights set for Thursday through Saturday also joining them.
As a repechage event, players who bust out from previous flights may reenter any of the remaining flights.
The 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship continues Thursday January 14 with the start of the first mixed game event on the schedule. Event #2 $2,500 H.O.R.S.E will begin at 12:10 p.m. local time Thursday with several players already winning their way in through live satellites at Crown.
Event #1 $1,150 No-Limit Hold'em will also continue Thursday with Day 1 Flight 2 kicking off at 6:10 p.m. local time and the PokerNews Live Reporting Team on hand to follow all the action.