Glitz And Glamour As Aussie Millions Starts
The Southern Hemisphere's biggest poker event has
attracted the world's top players
With all the splash and the cash of a showbiz
extravaganza and to the strains of Cool and the Gang's
"Celebrate" the Aussie Millions Main Event started over the
weekend at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
Personalities including Australia's own World Series of
Poker champ Joe Hachem and ace Aussie cricketer Shane Warne
welcomed the competitors, dancing girls pranced and gold
confetti showered down before the traditional "Shuffle up
and Deal" call was made.
The tournament program commenced with seven 90 minute levels
in Day 1, Flight one and was followed today (Monday) by
another seven levels in Day 1, Flight 2.
On Tuesday the elimination process will continue through
seven more levels in Day 2, and by Day 3 on Wednesday there
will be 6 X 90 minute levels. Thursday as Day 4 will produce
six levels and will end early if the final 7 players are
reached, with Day 5 moving forward to allow a 1.00 pm start
for the Final Table.
The total starter field is well up from last year's 418
contestants. Official figures show a 747 player,
star-studded entry field that includes almost every big
poker name in the book. 358 players started the action in
Day 1 Flight 1 yesterday, and today 389 lined up for Day 1
At stake is a winner's prize of $1.5 million, whilst the
runner up will get a million; the remaining cash flows down
to 80 of the most successful players in the event.
Well known players sitting down at the tables on the first
action-packed day included: Dan Alspach, Billy the Croc,
Gary Benson, Scott Fischman, Melissa Hayden, Matt Hilger,
Mel Judah, Jesse Jones, Lee Nelson, JJ Liu, Patrik Antonius,
Jeff Lisandro, Jack McClelland, Daniel Negreanu, Paul "The
Virus" Ravesi, Joe Reina, Shane "Shaniac" Scheleger, Paul
Wasicka, Marsha Waggoner, and Haralbos Voulgaris. Several
Team Full Tilt were also in the fight… Andy Black,
Richard Brodie, Steve Brecher, Allen Cunningham, John
D'Agostino, Chirs "Jesus" Ferguson, Kristy Gazes, David
Grey, Carlos Mortensen, Greg FTB Mueller, Joe Sebok, David
Singer, Erik Seidel, Keith Sexton, Ram Vaswami, and Steve Z.
Aggressive Finnish player Patrik Antonius prevailed in Day 1
Flight 1and has an arsenal of over 300 000 chips ready for
his next encounters in Day 2. To get there he had to run the
gauntlet of some major names in a power-packed field that
saw Daniel Negreanu, Allen Cunningham, Joe Sebok, Huck Seed,
Zolotow, Jeff Lisandro, Roland de Wolfe, Vaswani, Negreanu,
Carlos Mortenson and Erik Seidel all sent packing early.
The Finnish player was clearly on a major roll, and as his
day ended was sufficiently fired-up to challenge all comers
to a $10 000 heads up extraneous game. There were no takers.
When we looked in on the round 4 action after several hours
play in Day 1 Flight 2 the eliminations included Elizabeth
Shannon, Ehyad Tatouh, Lee Watkinson, Mike Matusow, Perry
Friedman and John Juanda. Hanging in with a mere 7 500 chips
was WSOP champ Joe Hachem, well behind chip leader Brendan
Schaefer (42K) and Phil Ivey (23K)