AM TODAY: Jan 28; Payne tops Main Event on day 1A, Kagawa leads $100k

Aussie Millions daily wrap – January 28, 2013

The 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event is underway with a solid turnout of 156 players for the first day one flight of the $10,600 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Championship of Australia.

After seven levels of play, local player Brian Payne topped the list of 70 players who’ll return for day two with 299,900. He stole quite a march on the field to finish well clear of Kiwi Phillip Willcocks (208,400).

The only other players to hold more than 100,000 in chips were Kevin Rabichow (USA, 183,900), Mark McQuinn (176,600), Adelaide’s James Obst (156,700), Ayaz Mahmood (USA, 154,700), Melbourne’s Bill Jordanou (147,000) and former Main Event final table finisher Raj Ramakrishnan (127,300).

The day 1A field was dominated by Aussies, with the list of players to progress featuring Daniel Neilson, Jonathan Karamalikis, Jamie Pickering, Andy Lee, David Allen, Jackie Glazier and Dennis Huntly.

2006 Main Event winner Lee Nelson along with past final table participants Richard Ashby and Elliot Smith also progressed, but the tournament is over for defending champion Oliver Speidel (pictured), 2011 victor David Gorr, Grant Levy, Michael Pedley, Leo Boxell, Michael Kanaan, Brian Townsend and Rupert Elder.

• The eighth edition of the Aussie Millions $100,000 buy-in Hold’em Challenge attracted 21 players – just one fewer than 2012 and excellent result given ongoing challenges for the poker economy at the top end of the market.

Just one Aussie, Jason Pritchard, joined the elite field but he finished on the rail along with Mike Watson, Martin Finger, Fabian Quoss, John Juanda, Jason Mercier, Tony Bloom, Eric Liu, Sam Trickett, Gus Hansen, Philipp Gruissem and Patrik Antonius.

For the first time, organisers offered a rebuy until the end of the sixth level with Andrew Robl the only player to add another $100,000 to the prizepool, which ensured the winner will earn AUD $1 million.

He’ll be back at the felt today with a stack of 129,000 along with Japan’s Masa Kagawa (695,000), Igor Kurganov (Russia, 563,000), 2010 winner Dan Shak (USA, 435,000), Tobias Reinkemeier (Germany, 160,000), Vanessa Selbst (USA, 136,000) and Niklas Heinecker (Germany, 85,000).

• In other events played yesterday, Dylan Honeyman celebrated a breakthrough live title in taking out the $1650 No Limit Hold’em Feature title.

After the field had been whittled down from 355 to 32 on day one, the final table of eight featuring Fabian Craib (926,000), Daniel Lee (687,000), Frank Rusnak (677,000), Julius Colman (632,000), Honeyman (630,000), Tam Truong (609,000), Will Jones (596,000) and George Giannopoulos (584,000).

After Colman’s departure in third (a remarkable finish given he’d been down to less than a big blind at the 5000/10,000 level), Truong started with a 3:2 chip lead in the heads-up match with Honeyman. However, the respected online player eventually prevailed, with the killer blow coming when he flopped a flush against Truong’s pair of aces to pocket the first prize of $120,000.

Fast fact

The magic $1 million mark was broken in 2005, with New Zealander Jamil Dia taking home winning the Aussie Millions Main Event – the first time a seven-figure prize was awarded in Australian poker.

What’s on today

10.15am $250 Aussie Millions Phase 2 Satellite

12.15pm $250 Aussie Millions Phase 2 Satellite

12.30pm Event 8: $10,600 No Limit Hold’em Main Event day 1 flight 2

2.15pm Event 12: $1100 No Limit Hold’em Mix Max

4.15pm $250 Aussie Millions Phase 2 Satellite

6.15pm Event 13: $5000 Chinese Poker

6.15pm $1150 Last Chance Phase 3 SuperShot Satellite

9.15pm $130 Last Chance Main Event Rebuy Satellite

• Special thanks to Crown Poker for supplying information used in this report, photography Shannon Morris – 2013 Aussie Millions Poker Championship

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