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On The Box: 2010 Aussie Millions Episode 1

Posted at 21:35 2010-11-03

The 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship television coverage is underway on ESPN and PokerNetwork will be front and centre to bring you all the action from start to finish. So, whether you want to re-live all the highlights, or need to catch up after missing an episode, be sure to watch out for our recap every week!

The 2010 WSOP Main Event final table may only be less than a week away, but die hard Aussie poker fans are in for a treat over the coming weeks, with the first episode of the 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship broadcast last night on ESPN, sponsored by FullTiltPoker.net.

There are some significant changes to the format of the show, with a more sleek and sophisticated visual design concept, as well as a fantastic line-up in the commentary booth. Aussie poker media superstar Paul ‘The Voice’ Khoury teams up with British poker journalist Michael ‘Grub’ Smith, while Triple M breakfast show co-host Mieke Buchan takes up the mike on the floor for colour commentary and player interviews.

The 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship coverage will also be spread over more episodes and feature more events, including the $10,000 Main Event, as well as the $100,000 Challenge and the Cash Game Invitational. And for the first time, the Aussie Millions was filmed in front of a live audience in the purpose-built poker arena inside the Studio 3 nightclub at Crown Casino in Melbourne.

But onto last night’s premiere episode, which is the first of five episodes of the $100,000 Challenge – and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

THE PLAYERS
Phil Ivey (USA)
Andrew Feldman (UK)
Billy Jordanou (Australia)
Masa Kagawa (Japan)
Dan Shak (USA)
Roberto Romanello (Wales)
Michael Sampoerna (Indonesia)

THE RUN-DOWN
Episode 1 of the 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship kicked off with Day 1 of the $100,000 Challenge. 24 players bought into this No Limit Hold’em tournament, which features a unique format. Each player starts with 100,000 in tournament chips and play 60 minute levels, but only have 30 seconds to act, unless they choose to use one of their two time extension buttons, which gives them another 30 seconds to act. The betting structure is also unique, given that it is pot-limit before the flop and no-limit after the flop. All the action in this episode is from the feature table in Studio 3.

THE BIG STORY: Dwan & Shak Duke it Out
It was a case of friendly fire – and lots of it – between online phenom Tom durrrr Dwan and stock market magnate Dan Shak, as the Americans went hammer-and-tongs for almost the entire episode, starting from the first hand, where Shak raised preflop to 1500 with {7s}{7c} before Dwan called with {Ah}{Js}. Dwan called Shak down every street of a board that read {7s}{Ac}{8h}{6c}{Td}, but after he saw Shak table his pocket pair for the set, he mucked his hand and surrendered a 90,000-chip pot.

Dwan proceeded to get quite creative throughout the episode, raising and reraising a lot of pots preflop as he worked hard to rebuild his stack, before exacting revenge on Shak to double up. With the blinds at 500/1000, the action folded around to Shak who raised to 3000 from the button with {Jh}{Jc} before Dwan flat-called from button with {As}{Ah} to see a flop of {3h}{8c}{Th}. Dwan check-raised Shak’s bet of 6000, making it 16,000 to go, but Shak went all-in over the top. Dwan snap-called and his aces held up as the turn and river ran out {4s}, {9s}.

However, Shak managed to get the better of Dwan, doubling up through him in the last hand of the episode. Shak raised preflop from the small blind holding {7s}{6d} before Dwan called with {6c}{4d} to go heads-up to the {4c}{7h}{2c} flop. Shak led out for 28,000, Dwan set him all in, Shak obliged and despite a slightly scary {8h} on the turn, Shak doubled up when a meaningless {Jh} fell on the river.

THE WINNERS & LOSERS
It was pretty much the Dwan and Shak show during the episode, with the other players electing to stay out of the way, but Team Full Tilt Poker Pro Phil Ivey was involved in a couple of hands and even managed to take a chunk of change off Shak.

With the blinds at 500/500, Ivey raised to 1500 from early position holding {Kh}{Kc} and Shak called with {Jc}{Tc} from the cutoff before Andrew Feldman called from the big blind with {As}{2s} to go three-handed to a flop that read {7s}{8h}{Ad}, which they all checked. On the turn of the {Qs}, Ivey led out for 5000 before Shak raised to 14,000 and incredibly, this forced Feldman out of the way! Ivey then came back over Shak, making it another 20,000 to and Shak called before he folded on the river of the {3c} after Ivey fired out 25,000. 

Despite Ivey losing another pot later on in the episode to Dwan, he certainly wasn’t as quiet as Feldman, Masa Kagawa and Aussie Billy Jordanou, but given that it’s only the start of the tournament, the tight play was understandable. However, if you did watch the episode last night, you would have noticed that there were two stacks being blinded away in the seats either side of the dealer. They were eventually filled by Roberto Romanello and Michael Sampoerna, who arrived just in time for the last hand of the episode (in real time, they would have been almost four hours late!)

There was one elimination at the end of the episode, but there was no footage shown of it as it occurred on one of the outer tables – that of Hungarian billionaire Samdor Demjan, who was busted at the hands of Tony ‘The Lizard’ Bloom. According to the live reporting blog on PokerNews, Demjan moved his last 6000 into the middle with {Qh}{Jh} but ran into Bloom’s {Ac}{Ks} which held all the way down the board of {8d}{7s}{6d}{6c}{5s}.

2010 AUSSIE MILLIONS TV SCHEDULE (ESPN)
Tuesday, November 9 - 9.30pm
Wednesday, November 17 - 10pm
Tuesday, November 23 - 9.30pm
Tuesday, November 30 - 9.30pm
Tuesday, December 7 - 9.30pm
Tuesday, December 14 - 9.30pm
Tuesday, December 21 - 9.30pm
Tuesday, December 28 - 9.30pm

Be sure to tune in for next week’s episode of the 2010 Aussie Millions Poker Championship on ESPN (Tuesday, November 9 @ 9.30pm AEDST), brought to you by FullTiltPoker.net. Don’t forget that satellites to the 2011 Aussie Millions are running right now – download Full Tilt Poker and win your seat today!

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Tom Dwan was in the thick of the action at the $100,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions Tom Dwan was in the thick of the action at the $100,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions

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