The 2016 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge attracted 100 of the game's best to Crown Melbourne on Friday.
In the first eight levels, 22 of them took advantage of the single reentry option, which brought the total field up to 122 entries, up from 104 the year prior.
The huge turnout created a AUD$2.928 million prize pool that will be distributed to the top 14 finishers with the eventual winner taking home AUD$790,560. After 12 levels of play, just 26 players remained in contention for the top prize, with Steve O'Dwyer and his stack of 519,000 leading the way. O'Dwyer is looking for yet another high roller score after winning the PCA $50,000 Singe-Day High Roller for $945,495.
"It went good almost the whole way," O'Dwyer said after bagging. "One bad hour, but now I'm at my peak."
Others who bagged on Day 1 were Jason Les (406,000), who sits in second place; Australian big stacks Alexander Lynskey (346,000) and Michael Egan (326,000), online stars Ben Tollerene 263,500 and Daniel Cates (221,000); former champ Igor Kurganov (314,000), and Team PokerStars Pros Eugene Katchalov (399,000) and Yaxi Zhu (219,500).
Of course not everyone was so lucky. Among those to take a shot only to bust – in some cases twice – were Brian Rast, Antonio Esfandiari, John Juanda, 2014 Aussie Millions champ Ami Barer, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, and defending champ Alex Trevallion.
The surviving players will return at 2:30 p.m. local time on Saturday with the plan of playing down to a winner. Be sure to join us then as the PokerNews Live Reporting Team brings you all the action straight from the tournament floor.
|2||Jason Les||United States||406,000|
The $1,150 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator Heads To Day 2
Event #8 $1,150 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator drew 656 entries over three starting days with 85 players moving forwards to Saturday's Day 2, led by Aussie Francesco Sergi. This unique event allowed players to enter multiple starting flights and combine the stacks they built heading into the event's second day.
The final 62 players will make the money with $147,930 and an LK Boutique Aussie Millions Championship ring up top. Day 2 will get going at 12:10 p.m. local time in Melbourne.
|2||Ronnie Bardah||United States||185,900|
|3||Wing Sang Lee||China||181,800|
The 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Continues
The 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship continues Saturday January 23, 2016 with the second day of Event #9 $25,000 Challenge beginning at 1 p.m.
Saturday will also see the second day of Event #8 $1,150 No Limit Holdem Accumulator just after 12 p.m. and the start of Event #10 $1,650 No Limit Holdem Bounty at 2:10 p.m.
Event #10 will see a $1,000 bounty put on the head of one player at each starting table. The field will play down to 32 and be seeding according to chip count at four Shootout tables. The top two finishers at each table will return Sunday to the final table.