Koren Continues to Lead Biggest Ever Southern Hemisphere 1K at Aussie Millions

Artur Koren

From the 1,752 entries in the 2019 Aussie Millions Opening Event - a record for a $1,000 tournament in the southern hemisphere - just 15 remain after ten levels of play here on Day 2.

Artur Koren came into the day as the overall chip leader from the five starting flights and still sits atop the pile despite almost 250 eliminations over the course of the day.

"I think this is my first cash in a side event at the Aussie Millions in like four years or so," said Koren. "I just always bust final three tables in the Main which is ok, I guess. It saves the trip for sure.

"I ran pretty well in my opening flight, and I ran pretty well today. I think I played pretty good too."

Aussie Millions Opening Event Final 15 Table Draw

Table 1NameChip CountBig BlindsTable 2NameChip CountBig Blinds
1Sean Eichendorf548,000181Artur Koren1,978,00066
2   2Josh McCully1,667,00056
3   3Matt Edwards638,00021
4Vishal Maini867,000294Jason Pritchard903,00030
5Ning Zhang770,000265Justin Bernstein1,840,00061
6Kim Macnaught1,780,000596Danny Ayoub1,400,00047
7Muhammad Asad1,180,000397Didrik Mantok1,200,00040
8Tou Ta Wei1,140,000388   
9Pierce McKellar1,658,000559Alan Schubert110,0004

Aussie Millions Opener Day 2 Recap

262 players started the day, and within the first level, we lost former WSOP APAC champion Scott Davies, Australian Jonathan Karamalikis and Josip Simunic.

Deaf Poker World Champion Alisha Wormald was also sent to the rail when she three-bet jammed king-ten over a small shove. A third player in the hand picked up sevens, and they held to send Wormald to the rail.

Also exiting the tournament early in the day was defending champion Benedikt Eberle.

"There will be other tournaments," Eberle explained to PokerNews after telling us he shoved with ace-jack for his last 14 big blinds, only for the big blind to wake up with queens. "I'm going to have a day off and go to the Australian Open. Then I'm refreshed for the Six Max on Tuesday!"

Tournament Director Joel Williams and defending champion Benedikt Eberle
Tournament Director Joel Williams and defending champion Benedikt Eberle

The bubble burst towards the end of the second level of the day, with 171 players ensuring themselves a min-cash of AUD$2,873.

Notable eliminations in the money included Heidi May (165th - AUD$2,873), 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Toby Lewis (120th - AUD$3,591), Sorel Mizzi (83rd - AUD$4,309), Justin Liberto (61st - AUD$4,669) and Joshua Abady (45th - AUD$5,566).

The eliminations continued to come thick and fast throughout the day, and by the time the players went on dinner break just 26 remained. Leading the way was Justin Bernstein with close to 1.5m in chips, but there were plenty of big names still in contention.

Koren: "I think here you have to be very patient and understand how the dynamics are."

They included start of day chip leader Koren, 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event runner-up Stefan Huber and seventh-place finisher Johan Schumacher, along with Julien Sitbon, Michael Dyer, Starting Flight 1 Chip Leader Fedon Phaedonos and Starting Flight 3 chip leader Sean Eichendorf.

Huber (26th - AUD$7,542), Sitbon (24th AUD$8,799), Schumacher (23rd - AUD$8,799), Dyer (20th - AUD$10,056) and Phaedonos (19th - AUD$10,056) were all eliminated before the final 15 players bagged up at the end of the night.

"I saw a bunch of familiar faces busting," said Koren after play had finished. "Some of them in some weird fashion. But I think here you have to be very patient and understand how the dynamics are, how people play and then with a little bit of luck you can go deep."

The remaining 15 players have all guaranteed themselves AUD$11,672 but will be gunning for the top prize of AUD$350,464 when they return tomorrow at 12:30 pm.

Remaining Payouts Aussie Millions Opening Event

PlacePayout (AUD)Payout (USD)

Tomorrow looks like an action-packed day with the conclusion of the Opening Event and several others kicking off. PokerNews will bring you highlights, interviews and more live from the Crown Casino.

  • Koren leads final 15 from 1,752-entry field in the Opening Event at Aussie Millions, playing for US$252,334 top prize.

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European Executive Editor

Will Shillibier is based in the United Kingdom. He started working for PokerNews as a freelance live reporter in 2015 and joined the full-time staff in 2019. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German. He also holds an NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism.

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