2018 Aussie Millions Main Event Sets New Attendance Record
When the third and final starting day of the 2018 Aussie Millions A$10,600 Main Event got underway, there were already more players registered than in both previous flights and the numbers continued to climb throughout the day. After the dinner break it was official that the previous record of 781 entries, set back in 2008, had been surpassed and the efforts of the entire Crown Casino Melbourne team had paid off.
Satellites for the Main Event started as early as March 2017 and more than 400 players won their entry through the various qualifiers in the biggest casino of the Southern hemisphere. Aussie Millions Tournament Director, Joel Williams said “We knew we would get close to breaking the record but to actually do it well before the registrations close tomorrow at 2:15pm AEST is incredible. The team has worked hard to make this year’s tournament the biggest and best yet and this proves that we are well on our way to achieving that as we expect to confirm even more entries overnight.”
Thanks to the 212 entries on Day 1a, 196 entries on Day 1b and astonishing 379 participants in the final flight, the total number entries currently stands at 787 unique players. The registration remains open until the end of the first level and following break on tomorrow's Day 2 at approximately 2.15 p.m. local time on January 31st, 2018, and Fedor Holz is expected to be among those to join the action before the end of the registration period.
Australian cricket legend Shane Warne got the action underway at lunch time and the poker room of the Crown Casino was buzzing with almost all of the tables in use, as will be at the start of Day 2 with approximately 370 hopefuls still in contention.
Three former Aussie Millions champions took to the felt on Day 1c including defending champion Shane Vijayaram, Ami Barer and Ari Engel. One year ago, Vijayaram's cinderella story of winning a seat via a $130 satellite and turning that into a $1.6m score had inspired many locals. This time, it wasn't meant to be for the Aussie as Vijayaram limp-shoved pocket jacks into the pocket queens of former WSOP Main Event finalist Federico Butteroni to bow out in the penultimate level.
Engel was in early trouble and quickly found himself with just one third of the starting stack in level one. The Canadian never lost his cool and more than doubled with middle set against a straight and flush draw to bag up 61,900. Barer consistently built his stack throughout the seven 90-minute levels and advanced to Day 2 with 117,500.
At the top of the leader board, it was a close race for the chip lead and Frank Pezzaniti claimed the overnight spotlight with a stack of 199,000. Close behind are Ludovic Riehl (194,600) and Kitty Kuo (190,000) after scooping big pots in the last levels of the night. Kuo flopped best with pocket queens to send Felix Schulze with pocket kings to the rail and also dispatched Craig McCorkell with aces versus queen-jack on a jack-high flop. Riehl's nut flush took care of Jan Suchanek, who held two pair and ended a wild roller coaster ride not far away from bagging and tagging.
Other big stacks and notables that survived the final flight include three-time WSOP bracelet winner Benny Glaser (153,000), Ludovic Geilich (136,900), Matt Affleck (130,600), Jarred Graham (129,100), Artur Koren (92,800), Federico Butteroni (91,500), Antonis “Toothpick Tony” Kambouroglou (91,000), Bart Lybaert (88,700), Martin Kozlov (88,300), Stevan Chew (74,900) and Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell (55,500). Tony Hachem will join his brother Joe and his two nephews Anthony and Daniel on Day 2 after bagging up 57,800.
The sun wasn't shining for all big names Down Under at the poker tables today, though. Among those to run out of chips on Day 1c were former $25,000 Challenge champion Chance Kornuth, Sam Greenwood, Mustapha Kanit, Felipe Ramos, Kevin MacPhee, Michael Addamo, Allen Kessler and Dzmitry Urbanovich.
The survivors of all three starting flights will combine and the action in the Crown Casino poker room recommences at 12:30 p.m. local time with level 8 and blinds of 400/800 with a running ante of 100. A total of five levels of 90 minutes each are scheduled on Day 2 and the PokerNews live reporting team will be back on the floor to provide exclusive updates.
Aussie Millions Field Size History
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*Late registration still open
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