Day 2 completed
Day 2 completed
Day 2 of the 2016 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge saw 18 players from a 37-entry field return to action, but thanks to late registration and reentries open until the end of the Level 9, four more jumped in to bring the total field up to 41 entries (30 unique + 11 reentries). That created a $4,018,000 prize pool that will be distributed to the top six players, with the eventual winner taking home AU$1,446,480 (~$1 million USD).
The player best position to make a run at the top prize is the online pro Ben "Ben86" Tollerene, who leads the final six with a stack of 1.522 million. Interestingly, Tollerene, who has won countless millions online, is guaranteed the largest live score of his career no matter where he finished (his previous best was $112,663 for 10th in the EPT12 Barcelona Super High Roller).
Others still in contention for the title include Connor Drinan, Fabian Quoss, Sam Greenwood, Fedor Holz, and Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier.
At the start of the day, everyone was wondering if Phil Ivey, who busted in the last level of Day 1, would opt to reenter. He had an hour to do so, but there was no sign of him in the Crown Poker Room on Monday. Meanwhile, Igor Kurganov, who busted four times on Day 1, exited early and rebought for a fifth time, falling shy of Isaac Haxton's record of six entries in this event set two year ago.
Unfortunately for Kurganov, who was two days removed from finishing runner-up in the $25,000 Challenge for AU541,680, the fifth time was not the charm as he soon found himself on the rail. Others joining him there in the early goings were Steve O'Dwyer, Erik Seidel, and Pratyush Buddiga.
Not long after, a surprise turn of events saw both Brian Rast and Stephen Chidwick – who began the day tied for the chip lead – hit the rail. The former ran ace-king into Tollerene's pocket kings to bust, while the latter was crippled after losing a big flip to Martin Jacobson.
Jacobson had a big stack, but before too long picked a fight with Holz, who won a monster flip to bust the 2014 World Series of Poker champ and vault into the chip lead. From there, Jeff Rossiter, Byron Kaverman, Paul Newey, and Mike "Timex" McDonald all hit the rail before the final table of nine was established.
Play was originally scheduled to stop at that point, but the players opted to play to the money, which led to the eliminations of David Peters and former champ David Steicke in ninth and eighth place respectively.
The bubble lasted for quite some time, but eventually Jason Koon was the last to leave empty handed, the result of running ace-king into the pocket aces off Drinan.
The Final Table
To allow for the players to participate in the Aussie Millions Main Event, the final table will be on hiatus until Saturday, Jan. 30. On that day, the final six will return at 2:10 p.m. local time to play down to a winner, and of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to capture all the action, which will also be live streamed on Jason Somerville's runitup.tv.
Ben Tollerene opened for 45,000 from middle position with and his next door neighbor Connor Drinan in the hijack flatted with .
Drinan's little plan worked; he must had hoped for one of the shorter stacks behind him to squeeze all in, and that was exactly what happened. Jason Koon in the cutoff found a real big hand with and shoved his last 246,000 in.
The button, both blinds and initial raiser Ben Tollerene all folded but, as one might expect, it was Connor Drinan with the quick call.
It was an unfair match up to begin with and it never got exciting. The flop left Koon nothing but some runner runner possibilities to hope for, but it was already all over by the time the hit the turn. As the dealer was completing the board with the , Koon was already wishing the remaining 6 players good luck in their quest for Aussie Millions gold.
Jason Koon out in 7th place, the remaining 6 players are in the money and guaranteed AU$281,260.
Action folded to Connor Drinan on the button and he shoved with . Both short stacks in the blinds (Koon and Holz) folded and Drinan took the blinds and antes.
A 15-minute break has commenced, most likely the last of the day as the next one will be after two more levels of play. Here's what the stacks look like right now:
Connor Drinan made it 32,000 to go from the hijack holding and Sam Greenwood called. Bith checked on and the appeared on the turn. Another two checks and the completed the board. Greenwood checked and Drinan bet 50,000 into the 86,000 pot. Greenwood had for king-queen high and folded the better hand.
Jason Mercier raised to 32,000 under the gun and Fabian Quoss called from the cutoff. Fedor Holz came along from the big blind and three players took a flop of . Holz checked, Mercier bet 43,000, and only Quoss called to see the turn.
Mercier bet 102,000 and Quoss released.
Jason Mercier raised to 32,000 from the hijack and Connor Drinan called from the big blind. Both players proceeded to check it down as the board ran out . Drinan showed the and it was good as Mercier mucked.