With a stack of 187,400 in chips, Tony Mladenovski finished atop the final starting day's leaderboard at the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event in Crown Casino Melbourne.
He isn't the player to catch heading into Wednesday's Day 2 of the Southern Hemisphere's most prestigious poker tournament as that position belongs to Mustapha Kanit, who bagged up 215,000 on Day 1b.
Day 1c was a day that saw the largest group of competitors take to the felt. A total of 322 players signed up, pushing the total number of entries up to over 700 again.
After seven levels of action, the final starting flight came to a close in the very early hours of Wednesday morning at Crown Melbourne. David Peters, Alex Keating, Connor Drinan, Fatima Moreira de Melo and Winfred Yu hit the rail.
Meanwhile, Jay Tan (136,300) Sam Grafton (111,400) Joel Douaglin (110,900) Artur Koren (83,600), Craig McCorkell (82,300), Charlie Carrel (34,300 - who was down to under one big blind) and Mike Watson (16,600) advanced.
Ami Barer had to give up all hope of becoming the first two-time champion ever.
High roll crusher Connor Drinan was eliminated in Level 5 by Tony Dunst when he committed all his chips in preflop holding pocket kings and found himself in front against Dunst’s ace-king.
However, an ace would flop, sending the American pro to the rail. Dunst, last year's runner-up, advanced with 71,300 in chips. The sole player that beat him, 2016 Aussie Millions champion Ari Engel, also made it through and will commence Day 2 with 60,000 in chips.
2014 Aussie Millions champion Ami Barer played his last hand when he called off his short stack preflop with pocket queens and found himself up against ace-queen. Two aces would flop and that would be the end of Barer’s day and he had to give up all hope of becoming the first two-time champion.
Of the 337 that entered on Day 1c, around 177 survived the day. Those survivors will combine with the 195 total remaining entrants from Day 1a and Day 1b to form the complete Day 2 field for Wednesday. More names could be added to the mix because late registration will remain open until the end of the first level of play on Day 2.
Day 2 will begin at 12:30 p.m. local time and we here at PokerNews will happily see you then.
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