2014 Aussie Millions Main Event Day 1A and Day 1B’s Play

Aussie Millions 2014The 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event hosted at Crown Casino in Melbourne Australia is underway, with Day 1a and Day 1b complete. Players from all around the globe come together to compete in what is one of the most prestigious live poker tournaments outside of North America.

Things got kicked off on Sunday when the first of three starting days got underway. In total there 175 players that registered on Day 1a. It didn’t include many of the pros that are regulars in the super high roller events, as they opted to play the $25,000 Challenge also on the Sunday.

After the completion of Day 1a, more than half of the field had already been resigned to the rail, and it was David Malka that found himself as the chip leader leading into Day 2 with a bit more than 200k in chips. While many players didn’t survive until the end of play on Day 1 a, some notable players worth mentioning still have chips to play with, including Australia’s Tom Grigg, who is one of Full Tilt Poker’s Tour Ambassadors, 2013 November Niner Jake Balsiger, as well as last year’s runner-up Joseph Cabret, who also resides from Australia.

Day 1a wasn’t quite as successful for Igor Kurganov, who many will recognize after placing runner-up in the $100k Challenge at last year’s Aussie Millions. He played the $25,000 Challenge but busted out even after re-buying a second time, which gave Kurganov a chance to play the Main Event on Sunday, but things didn’t turn around for the Russian poker pro, as he failed to get past the first day.

Day 1b of the 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event attracted 153 runners, which was slightly less than the first starting day’s attendance, but this was to be expected, since the Super Bowl was on in the early hours that morning. The second starting day’s field included the defending champion Mervin Chan and well-known pros Erik Seidel, and Antonio Esfandiari. Seidel and Esfandiari both advanced to Day 2.

However, Chan was sent to the rail without making it past the first day of the event, in quite brutal fashion. He was all-in with a broadway straight, very confident of doubling up through Sotirios Kappas, but Kappas hit an unlikely full house on the river. As Chan mentioned in a post-bustout interview, “that’s poker”, which means a new champion will be crowned for this year’s Aussie Millions Main Event, but Chan will definitely be back next year. Day 1b finished with Dean Schneider as the chip leader with 188k in chips.

Day 1c kicked off around lunch time on Tuesday, and among the field is expected to be some of the biggest names on the live tournament circuit, including Jason Mercier, Philipp Gruissem, Scott Seiver, Dan Shak and Daniel Negreanu, all entering on the final starting day as they were involved in the Aussie Million $25,000 Challenge event.

Interestingly, of notable absence from the $25,000 Challenge field was Phil Ivey. It wasn’t a huge surprise when it was discovered he wasn’t playing this event, as he recently launched his own online poker training site. But it is expected that he will be playing in the $100,000 and $250,000 super high roller events at the Aussie Millions, since he has had a lot of success in both of these events in the past, finishing runner-up to Dan Shak in the $100,000 Challenge in 2010, followed by his biggest live score after winning the $250,000 Challenge in 2012 for more than $2 million dollars.