It was an action-packed day at the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship on Sunday with the $10,600 Main Event and $100,000 Challenge kicking off.
Plus, the $1,150 Terminator event also began and two more Aussie Millions titles were captured.
The First of Three Main Event Starting Flights Draws 180
The first of three starting day in the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event drew a crowd of 180 players, and it was top Australian pro James Obst who came out on top with a massive 212,100 chip stack. On one of the last hands of the night, Obst grabbed the lead when a player six-bet shoved on him holding ten-jack suited, while Obst held pocket aces.
After a word from defending champion Manny Stavropoulos the action got underway, with Stavropoulos taking a seat as well. The man who won nearly $1.4 million last year didn't have a very spectacular day, but he still managed to bag up 19,500 chips.
Plenty of familiar faces played on Day 1a and Philipp Gruissem was among those that did very well, bagging up 97,900. Other top pros that advanced include Max Silver (84,300), Michael Egan (133,600) and Jonathan Karamalikis (70,000).
Things didn't go as well for Jack Salter, who was among the first players go get knocked out, and the same could be said for Leo Boxell. Christopher Frank and Oliver Gill were also among the early casualties, while former WSOP Europe Main Event winner Kevin MacPhee ran pocket tens into aces, making sure he wouldn't make a deep run in this one.
Last year's Day 1a chip leader, Jan Suchanek, had another successful day and will take 104,800 to Day 2, putting him in contention once again.
Play will continue with the second starting flight tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. local time.
The $100,000 Challenge Draws 37 Entries
While the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event kicked off on one side of the Crown Poker Room, Day 1 of the prestigious $100,000 Challenge took place on the other. The first day of play attracted 29 players who accounted for eight reentries, which brought the total field up to 37 – down from last year's 70.
However, late registration and reentries are open through the end of Level 9 on Day 2, so that number is sure to grow. As for Day 1 action, which encompassed eight one-hour levels, two players thrived as Stephen Chidwick and Brian Rast tied of the chip lead with 378,500 among 18 survivors.
Others who bagged big were Connor Drinan (372,000), Jeff Rossiter (297,000), and Fabain Quoss (235,000).
The day started off rough for online pro Ben Tollerene, who lost a big pot to Phil Ivey early on and failed to recover. Tollerene was the first player to fall, but he promptly reentered and ended up bagging a healthy 275,500.
One player who did not survive was Antonio Esfandiari, who had a short and not at all sweet stay after he bluffed away his stack in Level 3. Esfandiari did not return. Others who had a rough go included Andrew Lichtenberger, who busted two bullets, and Ivey, who fell in the last level of the night after a big flush-over-flush hand.
In the meantime, Russia's all-time money winner Igor Kurganov, who finished runner-up in the $25K Challenge the night before for AU$541,680, ended up firing four times. Nothing went right in the first three, but the fourth got him through Day 1 with 120,500.
Day 2 will commence at 2 p.m. local time on Monday with plans to play down to the final table. Late registration is open through the first level of the day, and chances are that Ivey, and some of the other fallen players, will take another crack at the title.
Christopher Soyza Wins Back-To-Back Accumulator Titles
Malaysian Christopher Soyza made it back-to-back Aussie Millions $1,150 Accumulator titles on Sunday, dominating the final table on the way to winning the 2016 Aussie Millions Event #8: $1,150 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator.
Soyza ultimately defeated a field of 656 players over three days, defending the title he won in 2015, capturing the event's $147,930 first-place prize and the LK Boutique Aussie Millions championship ring that comes with it.
The final table began just after 1 p.m. Sunday with Soyza holding a slim lead over former WSOP November Niner Jacob Balsiger. Senthil Kumar Subramaniam ran a weak ace into Soyza's strong one to bust tenth on the first hand and allow Soyza to create some space at the top.
He maintained the lead sending Don Mishra home ninth, but Dyan Garland snatched it away, sending last woman standing Jessica Dawley out eighth. Kevin Andriamahefa said goodbye seventh and Ronnie Bardah allowed Garland to increase his lead, when he shoved short and missed to bow out sixth.
Jason Brown cooled off Garland and moved into the lead himself, making a bigger straight than Garland's, but when Brown got it in with big slick against Soyza's queens and the pair held, Goyza took a commanding lead he would not relinquish.
Goyza then eliminated Park Yu Cheung, Brown, and Balsiger in quick succession, getting it in with the best of it every time.
He started heads-up play with Garland holding an almost 5:1 chip lead and made quick work of the Aussie to capture his second Aussie Millions title, in back-to-back Accumulator events at that.
|4||Jason Brown||New Zealand||$43,040|
|5||Park Yu Cheung||Hong Kong||$29,585|
|10||Senthil Kumar Subramaniam||Australia||$11,430|
Brendon Rubie Wins The Bounty
Aussie Brendon Rubie captured the 2016 Aussie Millions Event #10: $1,650 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty title inside the Crown Poker Room early Monday morning.
Rubie won $116,680 in prize money and an exclusive LK Boutique Aussie Millions championship ring getting the best of a 349-player field over the course of two days.
A total of 32 players returned in the money Sunday, competing at four shootout tables with the final two at each advancing to the eight-handed final.
The final table then began just after 5 p.m. with China's Xixiang Luo holding a slight lead over Rubie.
Short stack Brian Payne was soon eliminated in eighth when Rubie turned a dominated ace into a pair against him. Rubie took the lead when Luo tried to bluff him off a pot and failed before Stephen Woodhead bowed out seventh and Joris Ruijs said goodbye sixth.
The final $1,000 bounty on the head of Dennis Huntly was collected by Shivan Abdine, sending him home fifth, before the final table devolved into a series of all-in pots between Luo and Michael Dix.
The two kept doubling each other up until Lou finally jammed the a weak ace and Dix woke up with two aces. With Lou out fourth, Abdine was the next to go, getting his hopes and dreams flushed by Rubie, who then took a healthy lead into heads-up play.
The final heads-up match was a back and forth affair that saw each player take a stranglehold at different points over the course of two hours until Rubie took the lead for good in the third, finally getting it in with ace-high versus king-high and holding on to capture his second Aussie Millions title.
The Terminator Draws 316
Event #13 $1,150 Terminator No Limit Holdem drew 316 entries Sunday creating a prize pool that will pay the final 36 players. A minimum cash is worth $1,080 and the winner will take home $39,000.
The event played down to approximately 24 players remaining Sunday and will return to play down to a winner Monday.
The 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Continues
The 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship continues Monday January 25, 2016 with the second of three starting flights for the $10,600 No Limit Holdem Main Event kicking off at 12:30 p.m.
Monday will also see the start of Event #14 $1,150 Australian Poker Hall Of Fame Classic featuring $500 bounties on the heads of any Hall of Fame members in the field starting at 2:30 p.m.
The second day of the $100,000 Challenge will begin just after 2 p.m. and play down to a final table while Event #13 $1,150 Terminator No Limit Holdem will play down to a winner starting at 1 p.m.