The penultimate day of play here at the 2011 Aussie Millions Main Event has come to a close. When the day began at 12:30 P.M. local time, 18 players remained and heading them all was young superstar Chris Moorman.
Moorman was joined by plenty of big names including Full Tilt Poker Red Pro Mark Vos and last year's third-place finisher Sorel Mizzi. Right off the bat, Vos was involved in a bunch of pots that had his stack yo-yo'ing around. He eventually was the first player out the door and soon followed by Tobias Reinkemeier.
PokerNews Strategy's own Randy Lew fought as long as he could, but could never really get off the short stack. He finished in tenth place and earned himself a six-figure score. Following him in ninth place was last year's third-place finisher Mizzi. A couple pots failed to go Mizzi's way and then a sick beat sent him out the door.
Michael Ryan started things off with a raise to 35,000 from the cutoff seat. Mizzi flatted on the button and then action folded to James Keys in the big blind. He also called to bring action three ways to the flop.
The flop came down and first-up Keys passed the action to the preflop raiser Ryan. Ryan fired a continuation bet of 85,000 and Mizzi made the call. Keys folded and going to the turn, Mizzi had about 360,000 left in his stack.
The turn card was the to pair the board. Ryan wasted little time with his action and bet out 135,000. Mizzi didn't take too much longer either. He moved all in. Ryan didn't like it judging by the expression on his face, but the shove was too small that he couldn't fold.
Mizzi tabled the and Ryan the . "I just had to pay you off," said Ryan.
Mizzi was in solid position to double up and get things back on track in the tournament for him. He held a full house, but wasn't a complete lock. Ryan could still find an ace or an eight on the river to make a higher full house and win the hand.
The dealer burned one last time and then dealt a dagger on the river. The smacked the felt and was by far the most cold-blooded snowman Mizzi has ever seen in his life. That card gave Ryan the winning hand with a better full house and crushed Mizzi's hopes of repeating at the final table in back-to-back years.
When the final eight players went to dinner break, Team Full Tilt Poker's Patrik Antonius was on top of the pack. All eyes were on Antonius from the start of the day and he did nothing but impressive everyone watching all day long. That was, until, he came back from dinner.
Antonius lost a few large pots that sent his stack from a few million down to just a single million and he gave up the chip lead in the process. He was able to finish up with 1.3 million in chips and will come back in fifth place out of the final eight.
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Topping the final group is Randy Dorfman. He'll enter the last day with a whopping 3.895 million. That's exactly 1.5 million more than James Keys has in second place. Only two players sit with below one million, Michael Ryan with 960,000 and Chris Moorman with 955,000. Both of those two will be looking to dig themselves out of the hole their in and storm back.
Play resumes tomorrow at 12:30 P.M. local time when the final eight return. We'll have all the action for you here at PokerNews as only our Live Reporting Team can bring it to you. Everyone left has locked up at least AUD$130,000, but it's the big AUD$2,000,000 payday that everyone is salivating over. We'll see you then!