The first of three starting days of the 2017 Aussie Millions drew a crowd of 212 players, up from the 180 last year, and it was Sam Ingham who came out on top with an impressive 160,100-chip stack.
After a word from Australian former cricketer and the countries best bowler to date Shane Warne, the action got underway, and Warne took his seat as well. The man who took over 1,000 test and one-day international wickets in his career didn’t have an outstanding day but still managed to bag up 37,600 in chips.
Things didn’t go well for Phil Laak, who was among the first players to get knocked out, and the same can be said for Jonathan Karamalikis. Sylvain Loosli, Sam Trickett, Annette Obrestad and Dan Shak were among the other casualties as well as WSOP bracelet winner and EPT champion Martin Finger who ran his ace-king into his opponent's pocket queens, and that made sure he wouldn’t make a deep run in the event.
Plenty of familiar faces played on Day 1a, with Sam Higgs among those that did very well, bagging up 107,900. Other top pros that advanced include Corey Kempson (91,900), Jennifer Tilly (85,000) Kahle Burns (73,600), Martin Jacobson (49,300) and Bryan Huang (43,500).
In the mid stages of the last level, Ingham faced off against Chance Kornuth in a hand that saw both players commit all their chips on the turn. Ingham had flopped a straight and was leading against Kornuth's flopped set. No repeat card came on the river and Ingham rocketed up to the top of the chip counts leaving a once big-stacked Kornuth to suddenly hit the rail.
Another to take his seat and progress through was Fabian Quoss (15,700), who didn’t intend on defending his $100,000 Challenge win from last year, opting to jump into the main event instead. The $100,000 Challenge was scheduled to start today, but after only two players took their seats, the event never got up and running. The event was postponed with the new start time being tomorrow at 1 p.m. Players were told that if they take their seats before the start of the second level, then only $1,000 rake will be charged instead of the initial $2,000.
Day 1b of the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event will begin at 12:30 p.m. local time on Monday. Players will once again play seven 90-minute levels, and of course, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there every step of the way to bring you all the action and eliminations straight from the floor of the Crown Melbourne Poker Room.