Aussie Millions Main Event
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Aussie Millions Main Event
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Watson Leads Day 1a of the Aussie Millions Main Event with 257,400 in Chips!

• Taso 7: 400-800, 100 ante
Brett Watson
Brett Watson

After a long wait, it was finally time for the 2012 Aussie Millions Main Event to kick off on Sunday with the first of three starting days. There was a buzz in the Crown Poker Room as 153 players signed up for Day 1a. Before play started, Joe Hachem gave the shuffle up and deal and some encouraging words for the players competing in the biggest poker tournament of the Southern hemisphere. After seven levels of action-packed play, approximately 68 players remained with Brett Watson leading the way with 257,400 in chips.

At the start of the day, players quietly made their entrance into the tournament area. We noticed many top European players like former EPT winners David Vamplew (London 2010), Rupert Elder (San Remo 2011), Michael Tureniec (Copenhagen 2011) and Anton Wigg (Copenhagen 2010), but also local favorites Andrew Hinrichsen (WSOPE Bracelet winner), Lee Nelson (Aussie Millions Main Event winner) and Jeff Lisandro (5-time WSOP bracelet winner). Sprinkle in the like of Barry Greenstein, Faraz Jaka, Patrik Antonius, and Randy Dorfman, and you made for one tough field.

Regardless of the quality of the field, Watson managed to thrive on Day 1a. He slowly amassed his big stack throughout the day, but it wasn't until the last level of the night that he separated himself from the pack. In the hand, the board read {5-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{a-Spades}{2-Clubs}{4-Spades} and Watson held {K-Spades}{Q-Spades} for the nuts. We're not sure of all the action, but we do know the result was the elimination of Rupert Elder and Watson's stack grew to a massive 255,000. Elder later tweeted that he had also rivered a flush.

Unfortunately, not everyone was able to thrive on Day 1a. Jaka was an early elimination, as was Dan Kelly, who is among the most successful players at this year's Aussie Millions. Others who hit the rail throughout the day included Eoghan O'Dea, Richard Ashby, Matt Jarvis, Terrence Chan, Sam Holden, Brendon Rubie, Dorfman, Greenstein, and Antonius.

Surprisingly, Antonius skipped the $100,00 Challenge to test the waters in the Main Event, and he had an up-and-down day. He was a late registrant, doubled on one of the first hands he played, and then lost most of his stack after having his pocket aces cracked by pocket queens. In his final hand, Antonius bluffed all in on the river with {Q-}{3-}. A woman in Seat 1 called holding {A-}{K-} for top pair with top kicker, and just like that, Antonius' day came to an end.

While many big names fell, others managed to survive. Among those who advanced to Day 2 were Sebastian Ruthenberg (22,800), Maria Ho (49,600), Leo Boxell (65,100), Jason Gray (65,700), Jamie Rosen (77,600), and the only former Aussie Millions champ to enter on Day 1a, Nelson (105,100). However, they're all trailing the big stacks in the room like Hinrichsen (132,900), Rob Angood (133,200), Ben Jenkins (154,500), Paul Sing (177,100), and of course the chip leader, Watson.

Day 1b is set to get underway at 12:30 pm local time on Monday, so be sure to check back then to see a whole new roster of players take their shot at the 2012 Crown's Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event.

Tagit: Ben Watson

Some End of the Day Chip Counts

Brett Watson 257,400 2,400
Paul Sing 177,100 33,100
Ben Jenkins gb 154,500 11,500
Rob Angood 133,200 53,200
Andrew Hinrichsen au 132,900 110,900
David Munday 132,500 -12,500
Tim O'Shea 129,700 -50,300
Yann Dion ca 109,200
Lee Nelson nz 105,100 19,100
Daniel Neilsen 97,400 35,400
Khiem Nguyen 96,800 -3,200
Dominik Nitsche 87,400 32,400
Ramzi Jelassi 83,600 28,600
Jamie Rosen 77,600 -12,400
Brett Daphe 77,400
Willie Haughey 74,100 -5,900
Fabian Quoss 68,200 -20,800
Jason Gray 65,700
Leo Boxell 65,100 -4,900
Tom Grigg 62,900 28,900
Jim Collopy 53,000 16,000
Maria Ho 49,600 -23,400
David Vamplew 47,300 13,300
Michael Tureniec 38,400 4,400
Phillipe Boucher 28,700 -20,300

Lue koko

Karr Busts on Last Hand of the Night

McLean Karr
McLean Karr

In the last hand of the night, Andrew Hinrichsen opened for 1,800 under the gun and received calls from Ben Jenkins and Tim O'Shea. McLean Karr, who was short stacked after losing most of his stack after running a pair and a flush draw into a set, moved all in for 4,800 from the button. Hinrichsen then raised to 11,000, Jenkins folded, and O'Shea made the call.

Flop: {2-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{6-Spades}

Hinrichsen was first to act and bet 9,000, which was enough to get O'Shea to fold.

Showdown

Hinrichsen{K-Clubs}{J-Spades}
Karr{J-Spades}{9-Diamonds}

Karr was in bad shape and needed a nine, but it was not meant to be as the {A-Diamonds} hit the turn followed by the {2-Clubs} on the river.

McLean Karr us Ulkona

Tagit: McLean Karr

Three More Hands

• Taso 7: 400-800, 100 ante

The tournament staff just announced the remaining players will play three more hands and then call it a night.

Watson Primed to Finish with the Chip Lead

We're not sure of the betting action, but we do know that Brett Watson just took down a big pot that resulted in the elimination of Rupert Elder. Again, we don't know the action, but the board read {5-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{a-Spades}{2-Clubs}{4-Spades} and Watson held {K-Spades}{Q-Spades}for the nuts. Edler mucked in disgust and made a hasty exit. He later tweeted that he had also rivered a flush.

Whatever the case, Watson is up to 255,000.

Brett Watson 255,000 105,000
Rupert Elder gb Ulkona

Tagit: Brett WatsonRupert Elder

15-Minute Mark

• Taso 7: 400-800, 100 ante

There are only 15 minutes left in this levels, which means we will be bagging and tagging shortly. We're going to scour the floor for the big stacks and catch any last-minute hands that may develop.

Rubie Jettisoned

Brendon Rubie
Brendon Rubie

Brendon Rubie, whohad won the $1,100 Opening Event of the 2012 Aussie Millions for $200K, was recently eliminated from the tournament. Rubie was clinging to a short stack for quite some time, and while we don't know all the specifics, we do know he was finally eliminated when his {K-}{10-} failed to overcome the {A-}{3-} of an unknown opponent.

Brendon Rubie au Ulkona

Tagit: Brendon Rubie

Updated Chip Counts

David Munday 145,000
Jamie Rosen 90,000 37,000
Lee Nelson nz 86,000 26,000
Maria Ho 73,000 3,000
McLean Karr us 70,000 -5,000
Daniel Neilsen 62,000 -7,000
Dominik Nitsche 55,000 10,000
Peter Aristidou 43,000 4,500
Raymond Rahme 39,000 5,000
Jason Gray 25,000 -17,000
Sebastian Ruthenberg 24,500 -30,500
Brendon Rubie au 10,000 -10,000