Big Bankrolls, Huge Pots at the Million Dollar Cash Game

Posted at 10:10 2011-01-25

While some hopeful punters ponied up the $10,000 ticket to Day 1b of the Aussie Millions Main Event, an entirely different game was getting started in Studio 3 of the Crown Casino.

The Million Dollar Cash Game. Stakes? $100,000 minimum buy-in. Players? The Full Tilt Pros were well represented in Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, John Juanda, Patrik Antonius and Eli Elezra who were joined by three very wealthy Chinese businessmen, Wang Qiang, Paul Phua and Richard Yong. The big games of Macau and Bobby’s Room found a common ground, as $100k+ pots were exchanged like hot potatoes. The aggressive tone was set by Juanda who pushed all in on the first hand. From that point on, aggressive play fueled by the degenerative chase, ensured fast action throughout the night.



The sickest hand of the session was a jack-high $250,000 pot that went the way of Tom Dwan, proving why he is one of the masters of the high stakes games. Dwan was on a flush draw but he didn’t need to even hit as Wang Qiang was just a five-high flush draw and was left reaching for another $100,000 chips to play with. Shortly after, Paul Phua gave up $93,200 to one of Antonius’ all-in moves, only to be met by a full house, as Richard Yong returned to the table with an extra $200,000 to riffle. Money was being traded faster than an anticipated stock market crash.

It seemed fitting that the Million Dollar Cash Game, the high stakes marquee event at the 2011 Aussie Millions, kicked off with a little Chinese Poker. While the $500/$1,000 with $100 ante cash game was a only minutes away, Patrik Antonius and Eli Elezra played some Chinese. One of three wealthy Chinese businessmen, about to take their seat in cash game, looked on as Antonius showed him the ropes. It wouldn’t be the first time that the Full Tilt Pros would try to lure wealthy unknown faces into some degenerative action. Throughout the night, when the action had lulled for a moment, Ivey started talking SuperBowl. Ivey’s taste for action on the SuperBowl is a well-known phenomenon, with bets larger than most of us are likely to make in a couple of years of 9-5 grind. PokerNews reported that Ivey tried to stimulate a little football action, “So the Super Bowl, that means nothing in Macau?” he baited. Qiang confirmed that their understanding of the American game was limited. “So? What do you need to know to bet on something?” Patrik Antonius teased, trying to appeal to a degen-sense. The businessman didn’t bite.

Paul Phua dealt the final blow to Ivey, scooping his final chips with his flopped-top-pair and flush draw. The top pair proved good as Ivey surrendered his entire stack and didn’t reveal his cards as the cameras were not rolling. With that final statement, the three Chinese businessman took their chips and called it a night. Ivey and Juanda followed suit.

Juanda found himself nearly $250,000 up for the night, largely courtesy of a flopped wheel that paid full dividends. Antonius rode the rollercoaster meeting his fair share of all-in showdowns, at one point having to reload after a $300,000 flip went against him. Antonius who jostled heads-up with Dwan in the Million Dollar Cash Game at the 2009 Aussie Millions, was one of the biggest winners of the night. All you need is bullets to hold to rake in a $435,000 pot. After almost five hours of play, the initial market had stopped trading and some new faces brought in some fresh shares.

The new line up formed as the studio reset, with Sam Trickett, David Benyamine, Justin Smith, Andrew Feldman and Daniel Cates joining the old guard of Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius and Eli Elezra. The new dynamics brought a lot less action, which rendered Dwan overtly bored and the once packed stands lonely. After two hours of play, Sam Trickett and David Benyamine were the big winners of the second session, while Andrew Feldman and Dan Cates left hurting. 

For the full details of the games we will await the televised glory to expose the full sickness of the first two Million Dollar Cash Game sessions. For now, we await to see whether the three wealthy Chinese suits will return today as action recommences from 4:00pm. There’s nothing that Ivey, Dwan, Elezra, Juanda and Antonius would want more at the moment. And perhaps there will be some entirely new faces to flip with.

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The highly anticipated Million Dollar Cash Game The highly anticipated Million Dollar Cash Game

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