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Kitty Kuo Bags Huge Lead in Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge

Kitty Kuo

After 12 levels it is Kitty Kuo who holds a commanding lead heading into Day 2 of the Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge. Just 19 players remain in the first big High Roller of the festival, and Kuo holds a lead of just under 200,000 over her nearest rival.

Helped by some late eliminations, Kuo bagged 754,000 when play finished for the night shortly before 2 am. She sent Robert Spano to the rail in one of the last hands to soar ahead of rivals Mustapha Kanit (582,000), Rory Young (400,000) and Jan-Eric Schwippert (360,500).

"It was a good day. A very fun day!"

"It was a good day," said Kuo, "A very fun day!"

Kuo had posted on social media throughout the day that her seating draw hadn't been the kindest it could have been. Her first table saw her pitted against two-time WSOP final tablist Antoine Saout, 2017 WCOOP winner Steven van Zadelhoff, and former Aussie Millions runner-up Jack Salter.

"I've played with all these men eight years! I know how they play!" Kuo said. "This is my fifth time in Melbourne. It's my favorite. The food is great, and the city is nice. And Australian men are handsome!"

Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge Top 5 in Chips After Day 1

PositionPlayerCountryChip Count
1Kitty KuoTaiwan754,000
2Mustapha KanitItaly582,000
3Rory YoungAustralia400,000
4Jan-Eric SchwippertGermany360,500
5Claas SegebrechtGermany351,500

There are 14 more players. Check out the live reporting for all counts, and the Day 2 seat assignment.

A field of 114 players came together for the 2018 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge. It was a short day for the likes of Sam Grafton and Niall Farrell who were both eliminated in the early goings, with Grafton sent to the rail on the very first hand after losing Ace-King against the Aces of Marc MacDonnell.

As is to be expected in Melbourne, the Australian contingent was out in force, with Martin Kozlov, Jonathan Karamalikis, Rory Young, Corey Kempson, and Kahle Burns all participating.

Michael Addamo, Marius Gierse, and Kitty Kuo were among the early players to head over six figures, but as the day progressed the chips swung wildly between players as they got to grips with the 6-Max format.

Other notable players to bust before the dinner break included Max Silver, Ludovic Geilich, Christian Harder, Vojtech Ruzicka, Manig Loeser, Benny Spindler and Dominykas Karmazinas.

Fedor Holz

Superstar Fedor Holz lasted 20 minutes; flopping a set of aces, only for his opponent to river a straight.

By the time players came back from dinner break; they had been joined by superstar Fedor Holz, who lasted all of 20 minutes before he flopped a set with pocket aces, only for opponent Roger Teska to river a straight and send Holz to the rail.

The payouts were also confirmed on Day 1, with 14 places being paid and a min-cash worth A$54,720. First place is A$738,720 and the ANTON Jewellery championship ring.

As the evening progressed, Rory Young and Jan-Eric Schwippert moved over 300,000, but it was Michael Gathy who burst over the 400,000 mark first after eliminating Ben Heath. Heath had lost house over house in the first level of the day to bust his first bullet but had been going well before running his kings into the aces of Gathy. The Belgian's monster pocket pair held and sent the 2017 Aussie Millions runner-up to the rail.

However, as the last level ticked down to the eventual close of play, it was Kitty Kuo who headed the counts. Kuo sent Preben Stokkan to the rail and was sitting comfortably on a stack more than 700,000 as play came to a close.

The players will resume on Saturday at 2 pm local time. Stay tuned to PokerNews for continuing live updates from the Crown Casino in Melbourne, and the 2018 Aussie Millions.

Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge Payout

PositionPayout (in A$)Payout (in USD)PositionPayout (in A$)Payout (in USD)

The Aussie Millions in full swing. Head over to the PokerNews Live Reporting section and check out all the reports, as well as live updates from all the big buy-in events.

Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge
  • Kitty Kuo holds the absolute lead after Day 1 of the Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge.

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Will Shillibier

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