Aussie Millions Day 1B: Watch out for the Panda

The Crown Poker Room is certainly a hive of activity this evening with three side events, the Main Event, the promotional sit and go, and an enormous Phase 3 satellite filling every table in the poker room. In fact, there are so few available tables in the poker room that most of the cash games are running upstairs in the pit that last year was the make-shift studio that was used for filming of the final table.

Over in the Main Event, the players have just returned from a 75-minute dinner break to play another three levels this evening. We don't have official numbers as yet, but we believe there are around 150 entrants, which does leave a bit of work to do tomorrow on the final opening flight in order to crack 700 players.

Some of those in action in the Main Event today include Daniel Neilson, Erik Seidel, Jesse McKenzie, Paul Newey, Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad, Aaron Benton, Brendon Rubie, Marco Johnson, Andy Hinrichsen, David Steicke, Michael Guzzardi, Full Tilt Ambassadors Jonathan Karamalikis and Liam O'Rourke, former Aussie Millions champions David Gorr and Lee Nelson, and the defending champ Mervin Chan.

We were also joined by Team PokerStars Pro and 2010 World Champion Jonathan Duhamel.

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However at the moment the chip lead is with a man by the name of Gareth "Panda" Dwyer.He gathered most of his chips following a huge clash with Aussie young gun Andy Lee.

Lee opened with a raise to 550, before Dwyer three-bet to a hefty 3,200. Lee responded with a four-bet to 7,750. Dwyer re-raised again to 22,000 but Lee decided to move all in for around 70,000 in chips. Dwyer wasn't happy but he made the call with K♥K♦ hoping his worst nightmare hadn't arrived, but instead, it was a dream come true as Lee had got a little lot out of line with his J♦T♦. The flop of 3♣9♣8♠ brought a sweat with a straight draw for Lee, but the 2♥ turn and 9♦ river completed the board.

The Aussie Millions isn't won on Day 1 but it can certainly be lost. Lee is now on the rail as Dwyer looks to power through the final stages of play to maintain his chip advantage at the end of the day.

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Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.

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