It's time for Day 2 of the $25,000 Challenge, and none other than Steve O'Dwyer leads with 519,000 chips, as 25 other hopefuls trail him in the hunt for the $790,560 first-place prize. O'Dwyer recently won the €50,000 Super High Roller in Prague, finished fourth in the Triton Super High Roller and took down the $50,000 High Roller at the PCA.
This two-day event will see its conclusion today, and it's looking to be another very long one. Just 14 players will get paid today in this six-max tournament, and a lot of work needs to be done by short stacks Erik Seidel, Phillipp Gruissem, Niall Farrell and Byron Kaverman.
High stakes heads up player Jason Les currently sits in second place, followed by Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov and recent EPT Prague €25,000 High Roller winner Rainer Kempe. Locals Alexander Lynskey, Michael Egan, Dean Spagnuolo, Michael Weiss and Daniel Neilson are also still in contention in this stacked field at the 2016 Aussie Million.
Play will recommence at 2:30 p.m. local time, which is exactly one hour from now. Stay tuned for all the live updates.
Not too long after playing a small pot against each other where Kempe got one street of value with his second pair, Ben Tollerene and Rainer Kempe clashed again.
It was Ben Tollerene who opened to 11,000 from the hijack and Rainer Kempe three-bet to 31,000 from the button. Both blinds (Katchalov and Gruissem) got out of the way and action was back on Tollerene. He shoved for 227,500 (45 big blinds) and Kempe called just about instantly.
Tollerene seemed unfazed and his face didn't even change one bit after the appeared in the window. The board ran out and Tollerene doubled up, leaving Kempe short.
A short-stacked Daniel Neilson raised all in from the cutoff for 75,000 and Ben Tollerene called from the button. Both blinds folded and the cards were turned on their backs.
Neilson was a huge favorite to double, but not after the flop came down to give Tollerene a set. The turn gave Neilson a bunch more outs — a non-six spade would give him a winning flush — but the bricked on the river to send him to the rail.
Daniel Cates opened for 12,500 under the gun and got a call on his immediate left from Yaxi Zhu. Phanlert Sukonthachartnant came along from the big blind and the three took a flop of . Sukonthachartnant checked and Cates fired 16,000. Zhu made the call and Sukonthachartnant folded.
The two of them checked the on the turn and the hit the river. Cates checked again and Zhu carefully cut out 40,000 and moved them in. Cates tanked for a bit, counted out 40,000, and then started to grab some more chips. He eventually moved forward 152,000 with just under 50,000 behind. Zhu didn't waste much time shoving all in and Cates let out a big sigh before flashing off suit (we believe with no diamonds) and folding.
Michael Liem opened for 12,000 from the cutoff and action folded to Igor Kurganov in the big blind. The high stakes regular three-bet to 36,000 and Liem opted to four-bet to 103,500. Kurganov shoved for 210,000 effectively and Liem instantly called.
The board ran out an uneventful and Liem hit the rail in 19th place. Down to 18 players, 4 to the money.
The first hand of the third level of the day saw Niall Farrell shove from the button for his last 126,000. The small blind folded but Jason Koon in the big blind instantly called.
"Oh oh!" Farrell said before the cards were even shown.
The flop came and Farrell repeated his "Oh oh!". The on the turn gave him some outs and now his "Oh oh!" sounded more like Koon was the one needing to look out. The river however was not one of the cards Farrell was looking for, and the Scot made his exit from the tournament in 18th place.
Alexander Lynskey opened for 16,000 from the hijack and Steve O'Dwyer three-bet to 36,000 from the button. Both blinds folded and Lynskey moved all in. O'Dwyer instantly folded.
The next hand saw a similar pattern, bit this time it would come to a showdown. Lynskey opened for 16,000 from first position and Steve O'Dwyer three-bet to 36,000 from the cutoff. Action folded back to Lynskey and he moved in for about 206,000. O'Dwyer instantly called this time.
The board ran out and home town player Alexander Lynskey made his exit in 16th place.
With that just 15 players remain and the tournament is on its bubble. The next player to bust goes home empty handed, the other 14 players receive a minum of A$58,560.
Phanlert Sukonthachartnant raised to 22,000 from the cutoff and Steve O'Dwyer moved all in from the small blind to put the initial raiser and the big blind all in. Michael Egan, in the big blind, tanked for quite some time before calling all in for 219,000, and Sukonthachartnant folded right away.
The board ran out and Egan found himself a big double up as we're still one away from the money.
Oliver Price opened to 18,000 under the gun and action folded to Dean Spagnuolo in the small blind. Spagnuolo moved all in for 80,000 exactly and Jason Koon released his hand from the big blind. Oliver Price made the call and the cards went on their backs.
The flop was a harmless but the on the turn spelled doom for Spagnuolo. The on the river wasn't the card he was looking for and he made his exit in 15th place.
The remaining 14 players are now in the money and guaranteed a pay day of at least A$58,560.
Yaxi Zhu shoved all in for about 130,000 from the hijack seat, and Steve O'Dwyer, right next to her, instantly folded. Michael Egan re-shoved on the button for about 435,000, and both blinds instantly released.
Zhu was dominated, but she must have had some hopes of drawing out after the flop. The on the turn wasn't a good card however, and Egan even made his flush with the on the river.
Yaxi Zhu was eliminated in 14th place, giving her a payout of AU$58,560.