Aussie Millions Day 3: Downes on his luck
"The bubble could take hours."
That's the first thing I overheard when I had a wander through the Crown Poker Room.
It did not take hours. Nowhere near it.
There were 73 players remaining in the Aussie Millions Main event, with the top 72 set to pocket at least $15,000 and one player was set to be left bitterly disappointed.
It's a fate one player cannot dodge. That's just how poker tournaments work.
One player must be left upset for 72 others to feel joy.
The upset player?
The disappointing final hand of Downes' 2014 Aussie Millions began with blinds at 2,500/5,000 and Downes on the button. The action folded to him, he looked down at K♣J♣ and moved all in for 23,000. Western Australia's Patrick Healy was in the big blind, checked his cards, found A♣Q♣ and made the call.
The A♥4♦K♥ flop gave both players a little piece, but Downes still needed some help. The T♥ turn meant Downes a few more outs, but the 9♦ river was the last card he would see on the felt of the tables in the Crown Poker Room.
With the bubble burst, 72 players rejoiced in making the money.
No player rejoiced quite as much as affable Aussie Dennis Huntly.
"Gidde up! Let's get this party started!" cried Huntly.
Huntly was the stone-cold short stack during hand-for-hand play.
Now he has locked up some cash for his time. Huntly finished 9th in the 2007 Aussie Millions and will need to do plenty of work to improve on that result here in 2014.
Some of the others who have made it into the money include international players such as Sorel Mizzi, Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Antonio Esfandiari and Scott Seiver, along with Team PokerStars Pros Angel Guillen, Raymond Wu and Jason Mercier. As expected there are also plenty of Aussies still alive and well including Jeff Rossiter, Daniel Neilson, 2008 APPT Sydney champion Martin Rowe and WSOP bracelet winner Aaron Lim.
Be sure to keep your eyes locked on the live reporting found on the Aussie Millions page. It's there that you will find all the latest in-the-money eliminations. Shortly after the bubble, players will be heading on a break and then will come back and play three more levels before calling it a night.