Welcome to the 2015 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event! For the past week and a half, many of the series' 21 events have been playing out at the Crown Melbourne, and there have been some notable winners including Vic Spadavecchia, who topped a massive field of 1,211 entrants to win AU$1,150 Opening event for AU$215,000, and the talkative Oliver Gill, who won Event #3: $2,500 8-Game Mixed for $38,815.
Today's Day 1a field marks the first of three starting flights, and if history is any indication it will be the smallest. Despite that, we're expecting a solid mix of amateurs and pros from around the world. Some of the big names that are in the "Land Down Under" are recent PCA $100,000 Super High Roller champ Steve O'Dwyer; German pro Tobias Reinkemeier; the UK's Stephen Chidwick; the red-hot Pratyush Buddiga; and Australian Alex Trevallion.
In fact, all of those players found themselves at last night's $25,000 Challenge final table. That tournament attracted a massive 104 players and created a prize pool of AU$2,496,000. In the end, it came down to Reinkemeier and Trevallion, who struck a deal heads up. They left AU$40,000 to play for, and in the end it was Trevallion who walked away with the title for AU$645,150 while Reinkemeier had to settle for runner-up and a AU$614,850 consolation prize. It proved to be a great event – up from 68 entries last year – and an excellent stepping stone into the Main Event.
Others currently at the 2015 Aussie Millions are defending champ Ami Barer, who defeated a field of 668 entrants last year to win AU$1.6 million; Mike "Timex" McDonald; Scott Seiver; Erik Seidel; Jackie Glazier; [Removed:17]; Dan Smith; Connor Drinan; Patrik Antonius; Dan Heimiller; Xuan Liu; and many more.
There's also a rumor we'll see last year's AU$250,000 Challenge champ Phil Ivey in action at some point in the Main Event, though it might have to wait until Day 1c. That's because also starting today is the AU$100,000 Challenge, an event sure to attract some of the bigger names. Of course PokerNews will be bringing you live updates from that event as well.
The plan for the day is to play seven 75-minute levels with a 15-minute break after each. There will also be a 75-minute dinner break at the end of Level 4.
2005 World Series of Poker Main Event champ and Australia's pride and joy Joe Hachem is slated to give the traditional "Shuffle up and deal" at 12:30 p.m. local time, which is a few hours from now. Be sure to check back then as we bring you all the action and eliminations straight from the floor of the 2015 Aussie Millions Poker Championships.