2016 Aussie Millions

Sponsored by: pokerstars
Event #9: $25,000 Challenge
Days:
12
Event #9: $25,000 Challenge
Day 1 Completed

O'Dwyer Seeks Another High Roller Title; Leads Surviving 26 Players

• Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
Steve O'Dwyer
Steve O'Dwyer

The 2016 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge attracted 100 of the game's best to Crown Melbourne on Friday. In the first eight levels 22 of them took advantage of the single reentry option, which brought the total field up to 122 entries, up from 104 the year prior.

The huge turnout created a AUD$2.928 million prize pool that will be distributed to the top 14 finishers with the eventual winner taking home AUD$790,560. After 12 levels of play, just 26 players remained in contention for the top prize, with Steve O'Dwyer and his stack of 519,000 leading the way. O'Dwyer is looking for yet another high roller score after winning the PCA $50,000 Singe-Day High Roller for $945,495.

"It went good almost the whole way," O'Dwyer said after bagging. "One bad hour, but now I'm at my peak."

Others who bagged on Day 1 were Jason Les (406,000), who sits in second place; Australian big stacks Alexander Lynskey (346,000) and Michael Egan (326,000), online stars Ben Tollerene 263,500 and Daniel Cates (221,000); former champ Igor Kurganov (314,000), and Team PokerStars Pros Eugene Katchalov (399,000) and Yaxi Zhu (219,500).

Of course not everyone was so lucky. Among those to take a shot only to bust – in some cases twice – were Brian Rast, Antonio Esfandiari, John Juanda, 2014 Aussie Millions champ Ami Barer, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, and defending champ Alex Trevallion.

The surviving players will return at 2:30 p.m. local time on Saturday with the plan of playing down to a winner. Be sure to join us then as the PokerNews Live Reporting Team brings you all the action straight from the tournament floor.

Tags: Steve O'Dwyer

Official End-of-Day Chip Counts (full)

• Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
Steve O'Dwyer ie 519,000 79,000
Jason Les us 406,000 66,000
Eugene Katchalov ua 399,000 99,000
Rainer Kempe de 357,500 47,500
Alexander Lynskey au 346,000 8,000
Michael Egan au 326,000 26,000
Oliver Price gb 318,000 -12,000
Igor Kurganov ru 314,000 -6,000
Jason Koon us 268,000 62,000
Ben Tollerene us 263,500 -6,500
Dominik Nitsche de 258,000 -24,000
Dean Spagnuolo AU 257,500
Phanlert Sukonthachartnant th 239,000 15,000
Daniel Cates us 221,000 2,000
Yaxi Zhu CN 219,500 -60,500
Chance Kornuth us 204,000 -46,000
Sam Greenwood ca 162,500 42,500
Brian Roberts us 159,000 -21,000
Michael Weiss AU 153,000 36,000
Benny Spindler de 148,500 -53,500
Daniel Neilson au 129,000 48,000
Byron Kaverman us 123,000 53,000
Niall Farrell gb 109,000 9,000
Philipp Gruissem de 98,000 3,000
Erik Seidel us 80,000 -15,000

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Sam Higgs Eliminated in the Last Hand

Webjoker • Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante

Chance Kornuth raised from first position and Sam Higgs shoved from the small blind. Cates folded his big blind and Kornuth instantly called with {J-Hearts}{J-Spades}. Higgs tabled {A-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} and failed to improve on {3-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}. The last hand of the night proved disastrous for Higgs, no Day 2 for the home town player.

Sam Higgs au Busted

Tags: Chance KornuthSam Higgs

Two More Hands

Webjoker • Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante

The clock was paused with 4:59 left for the night, and it was announced just two hands would be played for the night. Almost time for bagging and tagging, we'll be back with all the chip counts right after.

Kaverman Finishes Off Smith

• Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante

Elliot Smith got his short stack all in preflop holding the {a-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} only to run into the far superior {a-Clubs}{j-Spades} of Byron Kaverman.

The {3-Clubs}{k-Clubs}{q-Hearts} flop gave both players a straight draw, meaning Smith was now looking for a jack. The {9-Clubs} turn wasn't it, and neither was the {Q-Spades} river.

Elliot Smith ca Busted

Tags: Elliot SmithByron Kaverman

Smith Runs Kings Into Aces

Webjoker • Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante

Elliot Smith opened the button and Alexander Lynskey three-bet to 25,000 from the small blind. Byron Kaverman folded his big blind and action was back on Smith. He made it 48,000, and called the all in shove for 165,500 that followed by Lynskey instantly.

Alexander Lynskey: {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts}
Elliot Smith: {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}

The board ran out {10-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{7-Spades}{6-Diamonds} and Smith was left with just 5,000 in chips.

Alexander Lynskey au 338,000 193,500
Elliot Smith ca 4,500 -160,500

Tags: Alexander LynskeyElliot Smith

"I Really Don't Think You're Bluffing"

• Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante

Ben Tollerene raised to 9,000 from the cutoff and was met by a three-bet to 23,000 by Oliver Price on the button. Both blinds folded, Tollerene called, and then both players checked the {7-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{4-Spades} flop. When the {J-Clubs} appeared on the turn, Tollerene check-called a bet of 23,000 and then checked for a third time on the {3-Hearts} river.

Price slid out a stack of chips for a bet of 100,000, which had Tollerene covered. The online pro hit the tank and debated what to do with his remaining 85,000.

"I really don't think you're bluffing," he told Price. He guessed perhaps pocket fours, but eventually called off.

He was wrong because Price had been bluffing with the {a-Hearts}{2-Hearts}, which meant Tollerene's {a-Spades}{j-Spades} was good enough for the double.

Oliver Price gb 330,000 -130,000
Ben Tollerene us 270,000 205,000

Tags: Ben TollereneOliver Price

Rossiter Bows Out Late

• Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
Jeff Rossiter
Jeff Rossiter

After Elliot Smith opened under the gun, Jeff Rossiter three-bet all in for what looked to be 60,000. Smith made the call and Rossiter discovered he was in bad shape.

Rossiter: {q-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}
Smith: {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts}

The {3-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} flop made things interesting as Rossiter picked up a flush draw, but he was left wanting as the {8-Hearts} blanked on the turn followed by the {Q-Clubs} river.

Elliot Smith ca 165,000 30,000
Jeff Rossiter au Busted

Tags: Jeff RossiterElliot Smith

Smith Gets a Double

• Level 12: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante

After unknown action we saw Elliot Smith all in from the big blind for 66,000 and he was up against Sam Higgs, seated on the button.

Smith: {A-Spades}{7-Spades}
Higgs: {K-Hearts}{Q-Spades}

The board ran out {9-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}{2-Spades} and Smith received a late-night double up.

Elliot Smith ca 135,000 34,500
Sam Higgs au 42,000 -68,000

Tags: Elliot SmithSam Higgs