The opening event of the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship played into the money and down to the final two tables at Crown Entertainment Complex Sunday.
The 126-player money bubble burst early in the day when chip leader Hon Cheong Lee made a straight on the river to crack Stephen Boots' top pair.
But Lee would not hang onto the lead, Aussie Daniel Neilson ran hot and took control at the midway point of the day before Lee handed the lead to Aditya Rao in a massive cooler with queens against kings.
Rao became the first player over and above the one-million chip mark, but others would catch up. By the time they got down to three tables remaining, Kevin Blackwood, Louis Salter and Phachara Wongwichit had all pushed over one million with Rao joing an ever growing group of players just below that mark.
While they got into the money today, recognizable names like 2012 World Series of Poker November Niner Rusell Thomas (106th Place $3,245), Two-time European Poker Tour Main Event finalist Xuan Liu (86th Place $3,515), Australian Poker Hall of Fame member Van Marcus (58th Place $3,790), EPT Season 12 Malta winner Niall Farrell (26th $6,495), and US Television Writer and Producer Matt Salsberg (23rd Place $7,575) could not manage a truly deep run.
Once ten 60-minute levels were through just 17 players remained with Canadian Sean Giesbrecht holding the chip lead.
The entire group will come back to play down to a champion inside the Crow Poker Room beginning at 12:30 p.m. Monday with a $275,300 first-place prize and a coveted Aussie Millions title hanging in the balance.
The PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand for all the action, so stay tuned to follow it all until another Aussie Millions winner is crowned.