Aussie Million Day 2: Tear open the bags and march onward

The nerves and excitement of beginning the Aussie Millions Main Event is yesterday's news. Now it's time for a new kind of excitement. The kind that only Day 2 of a poker tournament can produce.

The energy in the Crown Poker Room feels like a unique mix of eager anticipation and enthusiastic uncertainty. We are so far from the making the money and even further from the eventual climax, yet there is definitely forward momentum.

There are some players at the tables who perhaps don't possess these feelings. They have been here so many times before that they may just be desensitised. What they understand is how far they have to go and how easily it can all be over. I'm talking about seasoned pros such as Team PokerStars' Jason Mercier, Raymond Wu, Randy Lew, Liv Boeree, along with players such as Antonio Esfandiari and Patrik Antonius. All these players will be looking to really make an impact today.

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A Magicians work is never done. Antonio Esfandiari is alive on Day 2

At the very start of the day we watched 346 players scramble into their seats and unbag their chips. Within a couple of minutes that number jumped to more than 350 as several players utilised the late registration which was open until the call to shuffle up and deal was made. At this point it's looking like the total number of entrants will close at 668, but we will have confirmation of that as soon as possible.

The new players who late registered on Day 2 didn't have to break their bags open, they simply sat behind brand new stacks of exactly 30,000 in chips. Blinds are just 400/800 at the beginning of the day and so for some players, that's more than enough to play with.

One player who thinks late registering with just over 35 big blinds will work out fine is Gus Hansen and who are we to doubt a man who won this very event back in 2007?

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Gus Hansen's journey to Day 2 was easier than most

2008 APPT Sydney champion Martin Rowe doesn't have too much in common with Gus Hansen. Firstly Rowe is an Aussie and Gus is Danish and secondly Rowe has almost 300 big blinds - ten times more than what Hansen started the day with. His stack of 228,200 is the largest in the room and taking a quick look at his table at the start of the day, it really dwarfs the stacks of his competitors.

There are almost too many notable players to mention right now. Everywhere we look in the Crown Poker Room and there is a big name player. There certainly aren't too many soft tables, though we are sure some poker players in the room would argue differently. From international superstars Viktor Blom and Erik Seidel to Aussie WSOP bracelet winners Jackie Glazier, Andrew Hinrichsen and Aaron Lim.

To find out how all these players fare on Day 2, be sure to stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog all day long! We will be playing six 90-minute levels and there's live updates at the top of the Aussie Millions page courtesy of Donnie Peters and his merry PokerNews men and there will also be plenty of feature stories courtesy of yours truly.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour