Posts Tagged ‘Rides’

Mike Del Vecchio Rides Chip Lead to Championship at WPT Rolling Thunder

 Mike Del Vecchio Rides Chip Lead to Championship at WPT Rolling Thunder

After seizing the lead during the previous night’s action, Mike Del Vecchio refused to be denied. Taking the sizeable chip lead he had earned, Del Vecchio would never look back as he rumbled through the remaining five men to capture his first major championship at the World Poker Tour’s Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley Casino outside of Sacramento on Wednesday night.

Del Vecchio (4.27 million) held a healthy advantage over two difficult players, John Hadley (2.978 million) and Sorel Mizzi (2.283 million), when the cards hit the air on Wednesday afternoon outside the Golden State’s state capitol. In the bottom half of the ladder, Connor Drinan (1.349 million) and Steven Tabb (1.075 million) were looking to draw themselves back into the fight while WPT Champions’ Club member Olivier Busquet sat on the short stack (676,000) to start the day’s action. Just after High Noon, the sextet of poker warriors headed into the fray to determine the next champion on the circuit.

The combatants would shuffle chips around for two dozen hands before the first significant action of the final table. After a raise from Drinan, Hadley three bet the action only to see Drinan go for it with an all in four bet. Pondering his position, Hadley finally came up with a call and the race was on, Hadley’s A-J off suit against Drinan’s pocket tens. In the window of the flop came an Ace to push Hadley into the lead and, when neither of the remaining tens in the deck came out on the turn or river, Hadley had secured his double up while Drinan fell to just over a million chips.

The situation would get even worse for Drinan on Hand 27. After Busquet moved all in from the button, Drinan moved all in “over the top” from the small blind and Hadley, in the big blind, called both bets to put Busquet and Drinan in danger of elimination. Hadley had the goods as the cards were turned up:

Hadley – pocket Jacks
Drinan – K-J off suit
Busquet – Q-10 off suit

But the flop didn’t cooperate with either Hadley. Coming down Q-10-3, Busquet went from the “outhouse to the penthouse” in flopping Queens up, but Drinan also was in good shape with his open-ended straight draw as Hadley’s Jacks shriveled. A six on the turn and an unnecessary Queen on the river kept Busquet in the lead and gave him a massive triple up while eliminating Drinan in sixth place.

While the battling lower on the leaderboard raged onward, Del Vecchio quietly moved further into the lead. He cracked the five million chip mark by Hand 31 and kept it at that point for the next 20 hands before doubling up Hadley. On Hand 57, Tabb would take over the chip lead from Del Vecchio, but only ten hands later Del Vecchio would retake the lead from Tabb.

Although Tabb would momentarily take the lead back when he eliminated a short-stacked Busquet in fifth place on Hand 76, Del Vecchio would fight back. Del Vecchio would take down Hadley in fourth place to put some distance between him and Tabb but, just as quickly, Tabb reemerged as the chip leader on Hand 84. The duo fought back and forth, but they were also keenly aware of the dangerous Mizzi in their midst, who was staying viable with a mixture of timely all ins for doubles against his well-stacked opponents.

Mizzi’s patience paid off as, over the course of the next 70-plus hands, he found himself in second place and it was Tabb who was in the basement. On Hand 157, Del Vecchio kicked up the action in a “blind versus blind” battle and Tabb made his stand with an all-in. Del Vecchio made the call, turning over an A-8 off suit, while Tabb chose the Royal Court (K-Q) to stake his tournament life. When the nine-high board came with no paint, he was out in third place and Del Vecchio moved to heads up play against Mizzi with slightly less than a 2:1 lead.

Try as he might, Mizzi could never seem to wrest the lead from Del Vecchio. He came close on Hand 167, when he pulled within 120,000 chips of Del Vecchio, but Del Vecchio would reestablish his advantage (and then some) in winning a nearly 3.4 million pot on Hand 172. It would take another ten hands of action, but the end was nigh.

On Hand 182, Mizzi called a Del Vecchio bet to see an innocent 7-4-2 flop and called another bet to head to the turn. Another four didn’t seem to change things, but Mizzi’s check-raise to 1.75 million of Del Vecchio’s 600K turn bet seemed to indicate differently. Del Vecchio didn’t back down, going all in and putting Mizzi to the test, which Mizzi would respond by calling off his chips. With a 6♠ 5♠ for the open-ended straight flush draw, Mizzi would need at least another spade to complete his flush or a card to complete his straight, but Del Vecchio was asking for a red card as his 5-4 hit trips on the turn to have the lead. The final card would come down in favor of Del Vecchio as the J helped nobody, sending the chips and the championship of the WPT Rolling Thunder to Mike Del Vecchio.

Mike Del Vecchio, $ 284,638
Sorel Mizzi, $ 190,105
Steve Tabb, $ 122,296
John Hadley, $ 81,930
Olivier Busquet, $ 63,013
Connor Drinan, $ 52,222

With the completion of the WPT Rolling Thunder, the WPT staff and players can take a bit of a break. The next stop on the Season XV schedule is the season ending three tournament swing at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown begins on March 31, while the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale begins on April 2 and the WPT Tournament of Champions begins on April 7. This trio of events will close out the Season XV schedule and Mike Del Vecchio will be a part of it as the champion of the WPT Rolling Thunder.

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James Romero Rides Chip Lead to Championship at WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

 James Romero Rides Chip Lead to Championship at WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

After coming into the final table action, James Romero didn’t let much slow him down as he rode his chip lead to his first major championship, the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas Saturday night.

Romero had a dominant lead to start the action on Saturday afternoon. With 9.855 million in chips, his closest competitor, Ryan Tosoc (4.46 million), was behind by more than a 2:1 deficit. Nearly three times behind Romero was Justin Bonomo (3.385 million) while Igor Yaroshevskyy (2.565 million), Alex Condon (2.26 million) and Jake Schindler (1.205 million) all had a tough road to hoe if they were going to climb into contention. Thus, everyone in the WPT arena at the Bellagio thought that it was Romero’s tournament to lose, usually the kiss of death to most players.

Perhaps because of the stakes they were playing for (sixth place earned $ 258,545; the champion took down $ 1,938,118) or perhaps because of their deep stacks (even the short-stacked Schindler had 24 big blinds to work with), the early action was a bit tepid. On Hand 17, Tosoc would take down a 2.7 million chip hand against Bonomo, his Big Slick flopping two pair, to firm up his hold on second place at the table, but other than that the six men were content to shuffle chips around the felt. On Hand 25, Romero and Bonomo clashed and, after a flop bet on a K-6-3 rainbow, Bonomo mucked his cards to send Romero over the 12 million mark in chips.

It wasn’t until Hand 59 that the first player was eliminated. After Yaroshevskyy moved all in for almost 1.5 million chips, everyone looked to the table captain, Romero, to look him up. Romero did, but it also helped that he had the goods to go to battle; his pocket Queens were in very good shape against Yaroshevskyy’s A-10 off suit and, when the board ran out nine-high, Romero was the “executioner” of the first elimination in the sixth place Yaroshevskyy.

Only two hands later, another soldier fell. Schindler pushed out an opening bet from the cutoff and Bonomo not only wanted to see the flop with him but wanted to play for all his chips out of the small blind. Schindler decided to play along and was in dominant shape with his pocket sevens over Bonomo’s pocket fives. A seven on the flop all but sealed the hand and, after the turn card didn’t have a five on it, Bonomo was drawing dead and out of the tournament in fifth place.

The floodgates continued to spew out players as, only two more hands after Bonomo’s departure, another player would hit the exits. Condon never seemed to get anything going throughout the day and, when he tried to make a move, it would prove to not be the opportune moment. Moving all in from the button, Condon saw the chip leader Romero make the call and turn up pocket fives. Condon was on a move with his Q♣ 9♣, but he was alive and actually improved on the K-J-8 flop. An Ace continued to tease Condon – but Romero was still in the lead – and, after the board completed with an innocuous seven, Condon’s straight dream was dead. He shipped his chips to Romero and exited to the darkness surrounding the WPT final table in fourth place.

Now down to three players, Romero still had a sizeable lead with his 11.435 million in chips, but both Tosoc (7.14 million) and even Schindler (5.155 million) could take a massive chomp out of his chip stack if he made the slightest mistake. Romero didn’t make that mistake, however, instead lengthening his lead over the next 20 hands to the point that his chip stack was larger than the chip stacks of Tosoc and Schindler added together. It would take another 37 hands before Romero vanquished Schindler in third place but, when his K-J nailed a King on the flop against Schindler’s pocket sixes to knock him out in third, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Romero (20.95 million chips) was going to win the heads up against Tosoc (2.775 million) to win the title.

Tosoc didn’t go quietly, fighting back over 16 hands, but it was too much in the end. After Tosoc moved all in from the button, Romero immediately made the call and slapped pocket Kings on the table. Tosoc could only shake his head as he tabled his pocket fives and, once the A-J-9-4-6 board rolled off, the championship was Romero’s.

1. James Romero, $ 1,938,118
2. Ryan Tosoc, $ 1,124,051
3. Jake Schindler, $ 738,579
4. Alex Condon, $ 494,889
5. Justin Bonomo, $ 345,272
6. Igor Yaroshevskyy, $ 268,545

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Mike Sexton Rides Rollercoaster to Earn Championship at partypoker WPT Montreal Main Event

 Mike Sexton Rides Rollercoaster to Earn Championship at partypoker WPT Montreal Main Event

After starting the day as the chip leader – and then finding himself in a 10-1 hole during heads up competition – Poker Hall of Famer and World Poker Tour announcer Mike Sexton earned the championship of the partypoker WPT Montreal Main Event early this morning in Quebec.

From the start of the day’s action on Thursday, there was a buzz of anticipation on the rail. Could Sexton (6.215 million in chips), who for years was denied the ability to play in any WPT events, finish off the deal against a youthful field. Or would it be the last remaining woman in the field, Ema Zajmovic (second in chips with 5.385 million), who would break the curse of no woman ever winning a WPT open event on the Main Tour.

Then there were the contenders behind them in the form of World Series of Poker 2013 “Millionaire Maker” champion Benny Chen (2.48 million), veteran international pro Ilan Boujenah (2.29 million) and an on-a-roll professional in Jake Schwartz (1.55 million), who had made deep runs in the last two WPT tournaments. Only businessman Nadir Lalji (1.52 million) seemed to be a bit of a “soft spot” and that would have been a misconception; Lalji has cashed in tournaments stretching from his native Hungary to Las Vegas.

It was Lalji who drew the first blood in the tournament in a clash with Schwartz. The two shortest stacks from the start of the day clashed in a “blind versus blind” battle after Schwartz moved all in from the small blind and Lalji looked him up. Schwartz had chosen the wrong moment to push with his J-9 off suit as Lalji’s Big Slick was in good shape. The ugly (for Schwartz) A-K-J flop squarely hit Lalji for Aces up and Schwartz could never catch up. After a deuce and a Queen finished out the board, Schwartz found the cage to collect his sixth-place prize.

It would take more than 30 hands for the next contestant to be eliminated and surprisingly it came between the start of day chip leaders. After Sexton raised out of the cutoff, Zajmovic (who had doubled up Chen to put a dent in her stack) moved all in off the button and, after the blinds got out of the way, Sexton was more than happy to call with his pocket Aces. Zajmovic was caught with her K-Q off suit and, once the board ran out nine-high, the misstep cost Zajmovic her tournament life in fifth place.

Down to four-handed action with Sexton the dominant stack, the players were still very deep and very deliberate with their play. Almost 40 hands of action elapsed before Boujenah found pocket sixes and pushed all in over Chen’s bet in another “blind versus blind” situation. Much like Sexton, Chen was happy to call with his pocket Aces and head to the flop with a 4-1 advantage over Boujenah. An Ace on the flop virtually ended the sweat for Boujenah and, once a blank came on the turn, he was drawing dead and out of the tournament in fourth place.

Chen and Sexton were now about even in chips as Lalji looked to make himself relevant in the tournament. Using flopped trips that turned into a boat, Chen would take a big hand off Sexton to open some space, but Sexton would close back up in eliminating Lalji when his pocket eights flopped a set against Lalji’s Big Chick. As the duo went to heads up play, Chen was about 1.7 million chips in the lead for what would turn out to be an epic battle.

Over 148 hands of action, Chen played outstanding heads up poker as Sexton attempted to patiently wait for a moment to strike. Over 40 hands into heads up, Chen had worked his way out to a monstrous 17.35 million-to-1.825 million (almost a 10-1 advantage) over Sexton, but he just couldn’t seem to put the Poker Hall of Famer away. Even very late in the event, Chen seemed to have the tournament in his grasp but, when the end came, it came in rapid fashion.

On Hand 262, Sexton rivered a Jack-high straight to best Chen and wrest the lead from him and, two hands later, would end the tournament. On Hand 264, Chen moved all in for over eight million chips with K-J and Sexton, waking up with pocket Queens, immediately called. The Queen on the flop improved Sexton but, along with a nine, presented outs to the straight for Chen. An Ace didn’t do the trick and, once a deuce peeled on the river, Chen’s excellent play would fall short as he finished runner-up to Sexton.

1. Mike Sexton, $ 317,896 (U. S.)
2. Benny Chen, $ 213,515
3. Nadir Lalji, $ 136,806
4. Ilan Boujenah, $ 99,067
5. Ema Zajmovic, $ 76,127
6. Jake Schwartz, $ 61,000

With the victory, Sexton adds to what is already a legendary career. Sexton adds the WPT title to the two WSOP bracelets he has won (a 1989 Seven Card Stud championship and the 2006 WSOP Tournament of Champions) and the plaque for his induction into the Poker Hall of Fame. While the money won for the WPT Montreal might not be his biggest score (his ninth-place finish in the 2012 WSOP “Big One for One Drop” earned him a $ 1,109,33 score), it is probably one of the more satisfactory ones for Sexton after years of not being allowed to play in the tournaments offered by the WPT.

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2016 EPT Dublin Main Event: Dzmitry Urbanovich Rides Chip Lead to Championship

 2016 EPT Dublin Main Event: Dzmitry Urbanovich Rides Chip Lead to Championship

After dominating Day 5 in seizing the chip lead, Poland’s Dzmitry Urbanovich solidified his position as a player to potentially watch for at this year’s World Series of Poker in dominating the final table on his way to the European Poker Tour Dublin Main Event championship earlier on Saturday.

The 20-year old Urbanovich’s lead wasn’t as secure as he might have liked when the tournament kicked back into action on Saturday afternoon at the Royal Dublin Society. Hometown hero Patrick Clarke was roughly 800K in chips behind Urbanovich at the start of play and about 900K behind him was the United Kingdom’s Kully Sidhu. There was a chance for a “wire-to-wire” winner as Day 1A chip leader Gilles Bernies was still in the mix, but he had some work to do with slightly more than half of what Urbanovich held in his stack. Both Ilios Kamatakis and Rhys Jones were on the short stack and needed some help if they were going to work their way into contention.

Jones tried to do just that only six hands into the day’s play. After a raise from Urbanovich, Jones pushed all in from his big blind and Urbanovich made the call. Not only was it the correct decision from the price but it was also the correct decision by the cards; Urbanovich’s A-10 was in the lead over Jones’ A-9 and, after a ten hit the flop, Jones was indeed drawing thin. A nine brought some hope on the turn but the Ace only gave Jones a worse two pair than Urbanovich, sending Jones home in sixth place.

It would take more than 30 hands for the next elimination to take place and it was the other unfortunate short stack at the table, Kamatakis. After Kamatakis made a raise, Bernies would three bet the action and Kamatakis made the call. A Q-9-5 rainbow flop saw Kamatakis fire another salvo at the pot and Bernies again raised the betting. This time, however, Kamatakis chose the wrong moment to push as he dumped his chips in the center. Bernies called and showed his A-Q for the flopped top pair/top kicker, while Kamatakis could only muster a K-9 for the second pair. Running treys finished off the turn and river, not cards that the Greek was looking for and sending Kamatakis home from the tournament in fifth place.

Now only 900K in chips behind Urbanovich, Bernies began to get a bit frisky. Although he would double up Sidhu soon after eliminating Kamatakis, Bernies would get his own double up through Urbanovich to take over the chip lead on Hand 49. Bernies continued the stampede and, by Hand 77, he eclipsed the 10 million chips mark (10.355 million, to be exact), more than the three other competitors – Clarke (2.865 million), Urbanovich (2.555 million) and Sidhu (2.45 million) – by a long shot. Bernies only grew more powerful when he eliminated Clarke in fourth place to creep ever closer to 13 million in chips and busted Sidhu in third place to bring the fight to heads up.

With the stunning quickness of the race to the final twosome, it was thought that Bernies (14.84 million) would make quick work of the young Urbanovich (3.285 million). Eight hands into heads up play, however, Urbanovich was able to get paid on all three streets – including an all-in on the river – after he flopped a Jack high straight and Bernies turned two pair. Even with the double up, Urbanovich was still nearly four million chips in arrears to Bernies.

Another seven hands later, Urbanovich and Bernies would play the hand of the match, one that many critics said that Bernies misplayed badly. After a raise from Urbanovich and a three bet from Bernies, Urbanovich called to see an 8 J♠ K♠ flop. Bernies continuation bet more than half the pot but, after some deep thought, Urbanovich came back at him with a raise himself. Bernies immediately pushed his leading stack in and, nearly beating him into the pot, Urbanovich called.

Bernies was on a stone bluff, showing a 4-2 that had completely missed the flop, while Urbanovich had an 8♠ 5♠ that had bottom pair and a flush draw going for it. With scant chance of winning the hand, Bernies saw a 7♣ come on the turn to leave him drawing dead. After the formality of the 6♣ on the river, the 15 million chip pot – and the chip lead – went to Urbanovich.

Bernies was able to climb back to even as the players went to the dinner break and the twosome would swap the lead between each other for more than two hours before Urbanovich began to pull away. On the final hand. Bernies pushed all in from the button and Urbanovich, after a quick scan of his hole cards, immediately made the call. Bernies turned up the “computer hand” – Q-7 off suit – which would have looked great against anything else but Urbanovich’s pocket Kings. A seven would come on the flop but that was it; after running nines finished the board, Dzmitry Urbanovich emerged as the champion of the EPT Dublin.

1. Dzmitry Urbanovich, €561,900
2. Gilles Bernies, €349,800
3. Kully Sidhu, €250,300
4. Patrick Clarke, €193,650
5. Ilios Kamatakis, €152,600
6. Rhys Jones, €119,450

Urbanovich, who allegedly has a prop bet with Vanessa Selbst that he will win a WSOP bracelet on his first visit to Las Vegas this summer, has now won over €4 million in tournament poker since this point last year. Most of those winnings, however, had come in finishes in High Roller events, not wins on major tournament circuits. Now Urbanovich is a major tournament champion and he can concentrate on that second jewel of poker’s “Triple Crown” …especially if he wants to take some prop bet money from Selbst!

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Ari Engel Rides Start of Day Chip Lead to Aussie Millions Main Event Championship; Byron Kaverman Leads $250,000 Challenge

 Ari Engel Rides Start of Day Chip Lead to Aussie Millions Main Event Championship; Byron Kaverman Leads $250,000 Challenge

After riding his start of day chip lead to heads up action, Ari Engel had to endure an epic battle against Tony Dunst to emerge as the champion of the Aussie Millions Main Event. As that mano y mano war played out, guys with plenty of money to toss around were taking part in Day One of the LK Boutique $ 250,000 Challenge.

Aussie Millions Main Event

Coming to the final table after a day to rest and reflect, Engel and Dunst held the 1-2 positions on the leaderboard. Engel’s 8.155 million chips massively dominated Dunst’s 5.99 million and Dunst likewise dominated the remainder of the field. His closest competitor was Samantha Abernathy, who sat behind a 2.485 million stack, and Alexander Lynskey’s 2.39 million in play. Kitty Kuo (1.005 million), John Apostolidis (960K) and Dylan Honeyman (885K) would have to find a double up quick to get their names back in the championship quest.

As she had been on Day 4, Abernathy continued to be active at the final table. She was responsible for eliminating Apostolidis in seventh place when his Big Slick failed to catch up with her pocket ladies and his chips pushed her closer to Dunst. Abernathy was saved, however, when she tried to knock off Honeyman after he moved all in. That time, her Big Slick ran up against Honeyman’s pocket Aces, but the board ran out with a straight (5-8-9-7-6) to chop up the pot.

With three players – Kuo, Lynskey and Honeyman – all under a million in chips, it became apparent there was going to be some early clashes at the final table. Honeyman got his double first through Engel, his pocket sevens surviving from the small blind against Engel’s all-in move out of the cutoff pre-flop with a suited 5-2. Next was Lynskey, whose pocket Aces survived an open-ended straight and flush draw sweat against Abernathy to capture more chips. Kuo, however, was not so fortunate.

On the button, Engel would push out a bet and Kuo, in the small blind, responded with a shove of roughly 700K in chips. After Honeyman pondered in the big blind but eventually released his hand, Engel made the call and it was off to the races:  Engel’s pocket nines were in the lead against Kuo’s A-J off suit. There was paint on the flop, but it was a Queen rather than a Jack and another Queen came on the turn. When the river six failed to hit Kuo, she was done for the Aussie Millions in sixth place.

With Engel now over the 10 million mark, Dunst had to catch up. He did that by dumping Honeyman from the tournament in dramatic fashion. Under the gun, Dunst raised the betting to 125K and saw danger in Engel making the call from the button. In the small blind, however, Honeyman looked down, liked what he saw and pushed a three-bet to the center of the baize. Undaunted, Dunst fired right back with a four-bet of 800K, which was enough for Engel to release his hand. Honeyman didn’t slow down either, putting the remainder of his stack. After Dunst called off the few more chips to make up the difference, the cards came up.

Dunst’s aggression with the A-K from under the gun short-handed was expected, as was Honeyman’s aggression with pocket Jacks from the small blind. Honeyman’s Jacks got better with a Jack on the flop, but it was joined by a ten that gave Dunst a gut shot draw at Broadway. A King on the turn didn’t change anything, but the lightning bolt of a Queen on the river completely reversed the fortunes. In making his straight, Dunst knocked out Honeyman in fifth place and drew right behind Engel in the hunt for the championship.

Now down to four-handed play, no one wanted to take the long walk out of the Crown Casino. It would take almost 40 hands (the previous three eliminations had occurred within the first 35 hands of the tournament) before Engel sent Lynskey out of the tournament in fourth place and approximately another 20 before a valiant Abernathy dropped in third place at the hands of Dunst. Down to heads up, the top two at the start of the day – Engel and Dunst – were squaring off for the title, with Dunst now in the lead by almost three million chips.

Over the span of 30 hands, Engel whittled away at the lead, drawing it down to only 1.9 million and took the lead after another 20 hands. Both players made excellent laydowns – Dunst’s laydown of a top pair of Aces after Engel turned a set of Queens was especially noteworthy – but gradually Engel began to increase his lead. After 120 hands of heads-up action, the end would finally come.

Looking at an A-4 on the button, Dunst opened up with a 325K bet that was three-bet by Engel to 925K with a J-7 off suit. After making the call, the 10-4-2 kept Dunst in the lead but Engel fired again, this time for 825K. Dunst made the call with his middle pair to a turn that would spell his demise. A Jack fell, pushing Engel into the lead and he fired another bullet. Behind for the first time, Dunst called again and, after a nine fell on the river, Engel moved all in. Dunst pondered the board, Engel’s actions and his decision, eventually determining that Engel’s story didn’t make sense. Once Engel showed his J-7 for the best hand, Dunst could only muck his cards as Engel captured the Aussie Millions Main Event title.

1. Ari Engel, $ 1,600,000
2. Tony Dunst, $ 1,000,000
3. Samantha Abernathy, $ 625,000
4. Alexander Lynskey, $ 445,000
5. Dylan Honeyman, $ 340,000
6. Kitty Kuo, $ 270,000
7. John Apostolidis, $ 210,000

LK Boutique $ 250,000 Challenge

If you had an extra $ 250,000 burning a hole in your pocket, then the Aussie Millions had an event for you. The LK Boutique $ 250,000 Challenge, now in its sixth year of play, brought together some of the most well-heeled players who decided they wanted to stick around for a few more days of poker in Melbourne. Day One kicked off alongside the Aussie Millions Main Event and, as the day wore along, there was surprisingly some confusion about just how the tournament was going to be run.

As the day started, only four players were in their chairs for the battle. Igor Kurganov, Paul Newey, Ben Tollerene and Fedor Holz were passing chips around between each other, waiting for the field to grow. One player that was pretty much ensured to show up was two-time defending champion Phil Ivey, who came in a bit late but ready to defend his crown. He would be joined by Brian Rast and Jason Mercier as the end of the first level passed.

Holz would bust out to Rast but, after Erik Seidel and Byron Kaverman bought in and Holz rebought, the first problems arose. The 10 men divided themselves into two tables of five, but how eliminations would be handled was complex. If a player immediately reentered, he would be able to draw from seats at either table. However, if the player didn’t reenter immediately, the field would collapse to one table. If another new player (or a reentry) came, then there would be a redraw to go back to two tables. Furthermore, the tournament would pay three players unless there were 20 entries in the tournament, at which point a fourth payout would kick in.

The gentlemen on the felt didn’t really care about this, they simply went about the task of playing the tournament. Steve O’Dwyer, Connor Drinan, Sam Greenwood, David Peters and Fabian Quoss all came to the fray, driving the unique entries up to 14 (15 entries overall). With only Seidel and Mercier being eliminated on Day One, there are 12 players still active:

1. Byron Kaverman, 705,000
2. Fedor Holz, 440,500
3. Paul Newey, 395,500
4. Steve O’Dwyer, 388,500
5. David Peters, 365,500
6. Brian Rast, 278,000
7. Ben Tollerene, 263,000
8. Igor Kurganov, 262,500
9. Connor Drinan, 238,000
10. Fabian Quoss, 223,000
11. Sam Greenwood, 133,000
12. Phil Ivey, 52,500

Late registration for this tournament is open until the start of action on Day Two at 2:30PM in Melbourne on Monday (10:30PM Sunday night Eastern Time) and it is possible that Seidel, Mercier and a few others might jump into the game. If five more entries are received, four players will be paid. If not, then the top prize will be $ 1,837,500, a nice way to depart Australia after another outstanding Aussie Millions festival.

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