2022 888poker XL Winter Series

2015 Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge Day 1: Phil Ivey Leads Going for Third Title

Phil Ivey

On Sunday, the fifth edition of the Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge took place at Crown Melbourne. While much of the world was focused on the Australian Open final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic just a short walk down the road at Rod Laver Arena, elite poker players ponied up a quarter of a million dollars each for a shot at poker supremacy. For some of them, the day wouldn't go as planned, but that wasn't the case for a man that needs no introduction, Phil Ivey.

Ivey was one of the 23 entries on Day 1 of the event, and he came into it looking to capture the title for the third time after having won it in 2012 and 2014. His day was positive, and when the dust had settled he bagged up a field-leading 958,000 in chips to put himself in pole position going forward.

The positive movement started early for Ivey. In the first level, he won a nice pot off Isaac Haxton to get up and over 300,000 right away, and then in Level 3 with the blinds at 1,500/3,000/500, he picked off a bluff from Praytush Buddiga with ace high.

Coming in behind Ivey on the leaderboard was Doug Polk, who bagged up 863,000 in chips, and then Jason Mo finished the day third with 784,000. Polk was one of two players who fired more than one bullet on Day 1, with Scott Seiver being the other. Polk was in for two buy-ins of AU$250,000, whereas Seiver was operating on his third.

All told, 10 players survived the Day 1 carnage.

Day 1 Chip Counts

1Phil Ivey958,000
2Doug Polk863,000
3Jason Mo784,000
4Scott Seiver632,000
5Igor Kurganov549,000
6Mike McDonald519,000
7Richard Yong458,000
8Dan Smith453,000
9Erik Seidel381,000
10Ole Schemion152,000

The day began innocently enough with 11 players stretched out across two players. As time passed, more and more players filled the seats and the levels increased. With 40-minute levels on Day 1 and a rather fast structure, the eliminations began to pile up in the latter half of the day.

German Tobias Reinkemeier became the first elimination of the day when he fell at the hands of Igor Kurganov during Level 4 with the blinds at 2,000/4,000/500. Reinkemeier was all in with the {10-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} against Kurganov's {a-Clubs}{q-Clubs}, and the board ran out {a-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{9-Hearts} to finish him off. Shortly after that, Seiver busted his first bullet, but he was quickly back in the field to try again.

The second time Seiver busted came in Level 6 with the blinds at 4,000/8,000/1,000. Like Reinkemeier, Seiver got his money in good with a big pair versus two Broadway cards, but his {q-Spades}{q-Clubs} failed to hold up against the {a-Clubs}{j-Diamonds} for Ole Schemion after the board ran out {6-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{a-Diamonds}.

Other players who busted out and did not opt to return were Philipp Gruissem, Ryan Fee, Paul Newey, and Sam Trickett. Those players can get back into the mix, along with anyone else who wants to enter or renter, before the start of play on Monday at 2:30 p.m. local time. That will likely see the field size grow, and once registration closes the prize pool and payouts will be announced.

Be sure to catch all of the action live from the PokerNews Live Reporting section on Monday as the 2015 Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge plays down to a winner.

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Donnie Peters

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