The $1 Million Guarantee for the opening event of the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship has been laid to waste after a huge turnout for the tournament's fourth and final flight at the Crown Entertainment Complex Saturday.
Day 1 Flight 4 of Event #1 $1,150 No Limit Holdem drew a massive total of 617 players, bringing the total up to 1,320, and creating a $1,353,000 prize pool.
From that, 126 players will get paid, with a minimum cash worth $2,975. Of course, the big money is all up top and the winner will earn $275,300, an exclusive LK Boutique Aussie Millions Championship ring and Australian poker glory.
While big names like Australian Poker Hall of Fame members Gary Benson, Leo Boxell and 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia came to Crown hunting a big score, they failed to get things going, busting out before the day was done.
Others thrived, however, with fellow Australian Poker Hall of Fame member Van Marcus flirting with the chip lead all day and European Poker Tour Season 12 Malta Main Event winner Niall Farrell taking that lead deep into the day.
In the end, it was German Christian Nolte who bagged the biggest stack, collecting 166,500 by the time 12 levels of play wrapped up. However, Flight 2 chip leader Ferenc Riech will take the over lead into Day 2 with 205,700.
A total of 112 made it through the final flight and will join the 110 survivors from the first three starting days in returning to play down to a final table of nine Sunday at 12:15 p.m. local time in the main poker room.
From late position, Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell moved all in for 22,900 and John Thomson called from two seats over. All other players folded and Boxell was in bad shape with the . The river was the and initially let Boxell celebrate, but he had already been drawing dead to outright win the pot until the turn.
Once he realized what had happened, Boxell tapped the table and wished everyone good luck.
In half an hour from now, at 12:10 p.m. local time, the fourth and final flight of the A$1,150 No-Limit Hold'em Opening Event of the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship gets underway. So far, the tournament has generated 703 entries in the previous three flights and the event is well on its way to meeting its guarantee of A$ 1 million.
A bumper field of more than 400 entries is expected and all players that have been eliminated in any of the previous flights can reenter the competition. So far, the fields were mostly filled with local players, but more and more international pros are heading to the Crown Casino in Melbourne for one of the early highlights on the poker calendar.
All participants receive 10,000 in chips and a total of 12 levels of 40 minutes each will be played. There is no dinner break scheduled. Day 1b leader Ferenc Riech still holds the overall lead with 205,700 chips.
Due to the large number of players expected, two locations will be used: Tables 1-23 are located in the Exhibition Hall and all higher numbers can be found in the Crown Poker Room. Up to 57 tables will be in play.
The PokerNews live reporting will be on hand to provide updates from the event until a winner is crowned on Monday, so make sure to tune back in regularly to find out who wins the next LK Boutique ring at the Aussie Millions.