Our coverage of PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Aussie Millions begins today with the $10,600 Main Event and $100,000 Challenge now under way at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.
The 2015 rendition of this popular series actually began on January 14 — the same day PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) finished up. The 21-event festival began with a $1,150 tournament with four entry flights. The opening event saw an impressive total of 1,211 entries and a local boy by the name of Vic Spadavecchia won the top prize of $215,000 and the first of many gold rings to be handed out throughout this series.
Spadavecchia's victory was followed by a lineup of events that included an eight-game mix and H.O.R.S.E. as well as pot-limit Omaha. The stakes were raised on Jan 23 when the $25,000 Challenge kicked off, and 104 entrants joined the high-priced action. When all was said and done, another Aussie was crowned the champion. Alex Trevallion outplayed an impressive final table that featured the likes of Tobias Reinkemeier, Pratyush Buddiga, Stephen Chidwick, Thomas Muehloecker, and Steve O-Dwyer, among others. Trevallion earned $645,150 for his win.
Ami Barer in Defense of Main Event Title
Our daily recap coverage begins with the start of the $10,600 Main Event. Canadians love Aussie Millions and show up in droves for this series every year, and last year's Main Event saw two of our nation's best playing heads-up for the victory. Ami Barer won the title and Sorel Mizzi collected runner-up cash, showing our southern hemisphere cousins how it's done.
After Day 1a came to a close on Sunday, January 25, Ami Barer bagged a stack that has him in good shape to defend his title. He ended the day with 142,900 chips, putting him in third overall. Jan Suchanek leads the pack with 163,400.
There were 183 players who took their shot on Day 1a at what is called the southern hemisphere's most prestigious tournament. They were given generous 90-minute levels to test their skill, and approximately 104 players remained when seven levels were played through and play ended for the day.
Other Canadians who bagged chips include Jonas Mackoff (91,700 — ninth overall), Carter Swidler (51,000), and 888poker Ambassador Xuan Liu (49,800). Check back tomorrow to see which Canadians join these Day 2 qualifiers.
Greenwood and McDonald in $100,000 Challenge
Another prestigious event kicked off on Sunday. The $100,000 Challenge saw 63 entries sit down for the tournament with the second-biggest price tag of this series (the $250,000 Challenge begins on February 1). Predictably, it was a star-studded affair with the biggest names in the game taking part.
There were five Canadian entries who took their shot, and two of them were among the 28 survivors at the end of the day. Sam Greenwood, who finished sixth in the most recent $100,000 event at PCA, finished with 270,500 chips, putting him in eight overall. Mike McDonald sits just below him in tenth with 260,000.
Leading the field overall is American Jason Mo with 637,000. Erik Seidel, Connor Drinan, Stephen Chidwick, Phil Gruissem, Dan Smith, Ole Schemion, and Scott Seiver also have plenty of chips to take to Day 2. Justin Bonomo, Igor Kurganov, Paul Newey, Patrik Antonius, Tobias Reinkemeier, Steve O'Dwyer, Phil Ivey, Pratyush Buddiga, and Ike Haxton will also return.
The three Canadians who did not survive the day were Sorel Mizzi, Andrew Chen, and Mike Watson. Registration and reentry remains open until play resumes on Day 2 on Monday, so we may see some more players join (or rejoin) the action yet.
Come back tomorrow to see how the Canadian contingent fares in both of these marquee events