It would be a short stretch on the felt for the 76 players who returned to the Aussie Millions Main Event on Thursday. While not everyone would say that 10 hours is a short stint of poker, it happens to be the shortest day of the Main Event so far.
With 72 players to be paid and 76 players starting the day, it meant that after playing around 24 hours of poker just to arrive at day three of the tournament, it looked as though four players would go home with nothing for their efforts. In the end three players – Van Marcus, Eugene Katchalov and Raymond Ellis - would be eliminated before the money. That left the Main Event on the bubble and with hand-for-hand in affect, Julius Colman and Carter Phillips would be eliminated on the same deal, meaning they would split a minimum cash of $15,000. With $7,500 each in the hand, the rest of the field got down to business and over the course of the day 58 players would be eliminated.
The high profile cashes included Haibo Chu (56th - $20,000), John Dalessandri (55th - $20,000), Nik Lackovic (54th - $20,000), Karib Karib (50th - $20,000), day one chipleader Oliver Keefe (47th - $20,000), Mick Guttman (45th - $20,000), Simon Morris (43rd - $20,000), Mike Sowers (40th - $25,000), Howard Lederer (34th - $30,000), Erick Lindgren (33rd - $30,000), Emanuel Seal (25th - $35,000), Matt Kirk (20th - $45,000), and Manny Rodrigues (19th - $45,000).
At the end of the day, 18 players would remain in contention for the 2011 Aussie Millions Main Event title, led by the former-world's number one ranked online player Chris ‘Moorman1’ Moorman. The 24-year old British player has experienced quite a turnaround from a previous Aussie Millions Main Event run, where he was one of the first players eliminated on day one in 2010. After play wrapped up on day three in this year's event, Moorman bagged 1,643,000 in chips for the biggest stack in the room.
His closest challenger is the biggest hope to keep the title on home soil for a third straight year. Full Tilt Pro Mark Vos has 1,200,000 in chips and is looming as a big chance to add the Aussie Millions Main Event title to his 2006 World Series of Poker bracelet.
Of course both players will still have to contend with some other mammoth names still in the field. Impressively the final 18 still contains the likes of Sorel Mizzi (965,000), Patrik Antonius (958,000), James Keys (880,000), Tobias Reinkemeier (561,000), Randy Lew (488,000), David Gorr (455,000), and the shortest stack left Manny Stavropoulos (135,000).
With Mizzi heading for incredible back-to-back final tables, PokerNetwork's Lynn Gilmartin caught up with the superstar for a chat...
The next six eliminations are guaranteed at least $70,000 and any player who misses the final table from there will earn at least $100,000. The players will return to the Crown Poker Room on Friday for a 12:30pm AEDT start. The field will be thinned down to a final table of seven players before the day is wrapped up.
2011 Aussie Millions Chip Counts
Chris Moorman - 1,643,000
Mark Vos - 1,200,000
Cliff Lee - 1,192,000
Randy Dorfman - 1,190,000
Jeff Rossiter - 1,069,000
Sorel Mizzi - 965,000
Patrik Antonius - 958,000
James Keys - 880,000
Samad Razavi - 841,000
Michael Ryan - 782,000
Shane Sigsbee - 624,000
Eli Heath - 611,000
Tobias Reinkemeier - 561,000
Randy Lew - 488,000
David Gorr - 455,000
Tyler Bonkowski - 453,000
David Menz - 423,000
Manny Stavropoulos - 135,000
Around the Crown Poker Room, Day 1b of the Australian Heads Up Championship was postponed a day due to some player scheduling conflicts, with two other championship events also in progress at the same time.
At the final table of Event #12: $5,300 Pot Limit Omaha, Mike Shklover proved a crowd favourite as he took down the title and $100,000. He had to beat out some big names to win the Aussie Millions ring with Graeme Putt (3rd - $35,000), Joe Hachem (5th - $15,000) and Casey Kastle (8th - $10,000) all reaching the final table.
A pro-dominated field of 28 players found $10,500 to enter the 8-Game event. With a late start adding to an already slow format, they were set to go long into the night (and likely well into the next day). Eli Elezra bubbled in 6th place, and after Mike Watson was eliminated in 5th place, the four remaining players decided to call it a night at 4:00am. UB.com pro Maria Ho held the chip lead with 187,100, ahead of Andy Bloch (163,700), local hope Rob Campbell (122,000) and Justin Smith (87,200). Play will recommence at 2:15pm on Friday with the winner earning $105,000 and an Aussie Millions gold ring.
You can follow all the updates from every event at the 2011 Aussie Millions Poker Championship live on PokerNews or check in daily for wraps from the floor right here at PokerNetwork.
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