Aussie Millions 2016: Day 1a Live Updates

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1:40pm: That's all, folks

Day 1a is officially a wrap. The tournament staff are just running the numbers as the survivors bag up their chips. Click here for a full recap of the day's action.

1:20am: Go slow
Level 7: Blinds 300/600 (100)

We're approaching the end of a long 13-day for these players and the fatigue is starting to show. There hasn't been a lot of action in the final level with most players keeping one eye on their stack and the other on the clock to try and ensure a day two berth.

It looks like it will be a close battle for the end-of-day chip lead with Dutchman Daniel Reijmer and local businessman Andrew Bassat (pictured below) the most likely contenders. Both have been near the top of the counts for the majority of the day, and they don't look like wanting to give up that position in the dying minutes of the day.

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1:00am: Gorred
Level 7: Blinds 300/600 (100)

David Gorr won't be the first two-time Aussie Millions champion. At least, not this year. His tournament has come to an end after committing his chips all in on a flop of 9♣4♥9♥. Gorr held the best hand with his 8♦8♠ up against a A♥6♥ flush draw, but it was the overcard ace that did the damage when the A♦ turn and A♣ river completed the board.

Also on the rail is Akira Ohyama. He couldn't recover from his previous body blow and was felt when his ace-seven was rivered by Adam Monaghan's king-queen.

12:40am: Philipp is still king
Level 7: Blinds 300/600 (100)

Philipp Gruissem has landed a big double up at the expense of Japan's Akira Ohyama. The hand started with a raise to 1,600 from Craig Blight. Ohyama called before Gruissem squeezed it to 5,800 in the big blind. Blight folded but Ohyama called again to see the 6♦7♥7♣ flop.

A bet and a call would follow on the flop, before Gruissem committed his last chips all in on the 2♠ turn. Ohyama snapped it off and tabled T♦T♣ but that was no match for Gruissem's powerhouse K♠K♦.

The river was the 2♣ to see Gruissem double up to around 75,000 with Ohyama slipping to 27,000.

12:25am: Picking up chips
Level 7: Blinds 300/600 (100)

James Rann opened with a raise to 1,400 and chip leader Andrew Bassat made the call before action folded to Jamie Pickering in the small blind. He announced a raise to 4,300 with Rann the only one to come along to a flop of 2♠T♥6♦.

Pickering led out for 5,400 and Rann called before both players checked the 9♠ turn. The river was the 4♥ and Pickering splashed out 6,200. Rann thought long and hard about the decision but eventually gave it up. Pickering is up to 40,000 with Rann on around the same number.

12:15am: The home stretch
Level 7: Blinds 300/600 (100)

Players are back in their seats now as we finish Day 1a with the last blind level of the night. That means there are 90 minutes left with blinds resuming at 300/600 and a 100 ante.


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12:00am: Final break of the night

We've reached the final break of the night. Players will return in 15 minutes to play out the last level of Day 1a.

11:45pm: A couple of hands with Philipp Gruissem
Level 6: Blinds 250/500 (75)

German superstar Philipp Gruissem is one who we might normally expect to see over in the High Roller event, but today he's grinding away on Day 1a of the Main Event.

We just picked up Gruissem play a couple of recent pots, but things didn't quite go his way. In the first hand, Gruissem raised from under the gun to 1,200 before Craig Blight three-bet to 3,300. Action passed back to Gruissem who made the call.

They saw a flop of 7♥3♥4♣ and the continuation bet of 3,400 from Blight was enough to take it down.

In the very next hand Gruissem was in the big blind and defended against the raise to 1,400 from Akira Ohyama. They saw a flop of 2♦8♦2♠ and Gruissem check-called for 1,500. The turn brought the Q♥ and again Gruissem checked. Ohyama bet 3,350 and Gruissem took his time before making the call.

The river was the A♥ which was an interesting card for both players as they checked it down. Ohyama tabled A♠9♠ for a rivered pair, but Gruissem could match that with his A♦T♦. Two pair with a queen kicker for both players meant a chopped pot.

With that, Gruissem will head into the last level of the day with 33,000 chips.

11:45pm: Pickering picks up a double
Level 6: Blinds 250/500 (75)

Jamie Pickering was short stacked and all in preflop over the opening raise of the player on his direct right. It folded back around to Pickering's opponent who made a crying call before the two revealed their hands.

Pickering: K♠K♣
Opponent: 8♣7♣

"What a donkey" said the man with eight-high after seeing Pickering's kings. In great shape to double up, Pickering had more than a sweat on the 5♣3♣9♥ flop. Needing to fade clubs and sixes to stay alive, he managed to do just that as the 3♦ turn and A♦ river completed the board.

Pickering is now almost back to what he sat down with today, climbing to 27,000 after that hand.

11:25pm: Ashby not chopping
Level 6: Blinds 250/500 (75)

Weird things happen when there's a straight on board. Sometimes players can get lured into thinking that they are chopping the pot, only to strike disaster when they find out they are not.

We just saw that happen with British pro Richard Ashby the benefactor of a big misstep.

With the board reading A♦2♦3♦4♥, Ashby called 7,500 on the turn before seeing the 5♣ appear on the river. With the straight on board, and potential flush possibilities, Ashby's opponent plonked enough chips in the middle to put Ashby to a decision for his tournament life.

Ashby took a moment before making the call.

The player flipped over A♥A♣ with some frustration, thinking that his set of aces had been rivered by a chopped straight. But it was worse than that. Ashby revealed a deceptive 6♦6♥ for a bigger straight!

"What the f*ck!" exclaimed the player. "Are you f*cking kidding me?" he cried before standing and storming from the table in disgust.

He returned in time to see 20,700 of his chips handed across the table as Ashby sensationally doubles up to 75,000.

11:10pm: Liu looking strong
Level 6: Blinds 250/500 (75)

Xuan Liu started off strong this afternoon and she hasn't let up, taking another nice pot from an opponent just now.

We arrived at the table with the board reading 6♠2♥6♣3♥ and it was on Liu's opponent to act. He checked and she followed behind before the 2♠ river rolled off.

Her opponent checked again and after a pause, Liu flicked out a bet of 6,000.

"It's an obvious call but I might just indulge it for a minute" her opponent said. It would only take him a few seconds to commit the chips and Liu tabled K♥K♦ which was good enough to take it down.

Liu now sits with a stack of around 64,000 in chips.

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11:00pm: The Croc arrives
Level 6: Blinds 250/500 (75)

One of Australia's poker legends has just taken his seat in the Main Event. An Australian Poker Hall of Famer and a larger than life character, Billy "The Croc" Argyros has taken his seat on table 30, to the direct left of fellow HOF'er David Gorr.

10:40pm: Aces for Gorr
Level 6: Blinds 250/500 (75)

Former Aussie Millions champion David Gorr has found a much-needed double up. The chips were in preflop with Gorr holding the goods with A♥A♠ against his opponent's Q♦Q♥.
Both players would hit a set as the board ran out K♦5♣A♣Q♠T♦, giving the pot to Gorr's set of rockets.

He's now back to around 29,000 in chips.

10:30pm: Play resumes
Level 6: Blinds 250/500 (75)


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10:15pm: Take a break

Play has paused once more as the players head off on a 15-minute break.

10:10pm: Hinrichsen holds on
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50)

We arrived at the table to see nine cards on the their backs and the dealer counting out Andrew Hinrichsen's stack.

He had a face up Q♣Q♦ in front of him and with the board reading 2♦7♠8♣3♥6♦ it looked like he'd scored a double up against an opponent's A♣K♥.

The dealer confirmed that Hinrichsen had been all in for 18,800 in chips and the Australian scooped a pot of around 95 big blinds.

9:55pm: Fireworks in the satellite room
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50)

They may be out in the quiet confines of the "satellite room" of the Crown Poker Room, but the biggest pots of the tournament are being played out on Table 53 with three of the tournament chip leaders all seated together.

Michael Egan has climbed to a stack of 100,000 after eliminating Kahle Burns, and James Obst also has a six-figure stack seated to his direct right. However they are both topped at the moment by Dutchman Daniel Reijmer who is up to 135,000 after his pocket aces eliminated Kevin MacPhee's pocket tens.

Reijmer has cashed in the Aussie Millions Main Event before with a 57th place finish back in 2011, but most of his results have come in Europe and at the WSOP. He's seated to the direct right of Obst, so with three centurions seated in a row, we can expect some fireworks from the outer tables before the evening is through!

9:40pm: Karamalikis can't crack kings
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50)

We arrived at the table to catch what appeared to be a three-bet of 3,000 from the player on the button after the player in the cutoff opened. Jonathan Karamalikis made the call from the small blind but the initial raiser put in a four-bet to 7,900.

The player on the button released his hand but after a few moments of consideration and counting out his own stack, Karamalikis tossed in the chips for a call. The board landed A♣2♥8♠ and both players quickly checked.

The 6♦ saw players check again and the river brought the K♦. Karamalikis pondered his options again before announcing 6,900. His opponent didn't take long to call, tabling K♥K♣ for a rivered set, well ahead of the 9♥9♦ of Karamalikis.

With that hand Karamalikis drops to around 38,000 in chips.

jonathan-karamalikis-aussie-millions.jpg

9:30pm: Early Kings for Graham
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50)

Jarred Graham is another late entrant in this Day 1a field but he's wasted no time in getting busy. We watched Graham raise the button to 1,000 and David Yan defend his big blind to see a flop of Q♦5♣6♣. Yan checked and Graham continued for 1,500. Yan made the call.

When the 6♥ paired the board on the turn, Yan decided to lead out with a cheeky bet of 1,500. Graham called this time and the river double-paired the board with the 5♠ appearing. Yan slowed down and checked and Graham went with another small bet, this time for 2,000. Yan paid to see and Graham tabled K♦K♥ to take it down.

Graham is up to 35,000 with Yan sitting on around 40,000.

9:15pm: End of the line for Zizic
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50)

Tatjana Zizic just hit the rail after running into an opponent's set.

The player under the gun kicked things off with a raise to 800 and after another player made the call, Zizic raised it to 2,200 on the button. The initial raiser opted out but the other player came along to see a flop of K♥4♥6♣.

It was checked over to Zizic who bet 4,500 which was met with a quick check-raise to 10,500. Zizic didn't deliberate for very long before committing her whole 28,500 stack. Her opponent snapped off the jam and the cards went on their backs.

Zizic: Q♥Q♣
Opponent: 4♠4♣

Zizic saw the bad news as her opponent held bottom set. She was chasing a queen or running hearts to stay alive. The 3♥ turn gave her a glimmer of hope before the K♠ river signalled the end of her run in this year's Aussie Millions Main Event.

9:00pm: Another champ takes his seat
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50)

A fresh face in the field following the dinner break is none other than 2011 Aussie Millions champion David Gorr.

"It's all a bit the same in those early levels!" commented Gorr as he took his seat. "At least this way I have a better chance of making day two!"

Gorr has taken his seat on the same table as last year's winner Manny Stavropoulos, giving their opponents two former Aussie Millions champions to contend with.

8:45pm: Play resumes
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50)

The players are back following the break with three more 90-minute levels to play today. The big screen is currently showing 152 players remaining from a starting field of 176. Of course registration is open right throughout the day, so we won't have official numbers until the end of the day.


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7:30pm: Dinner break

The players are now off to enjoy the wonderful restaurants of the Crown Casino as they take a 75-minute dinner break. That means we'll be resuming play just before 8:45pm local time.

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7:20pm: Hungry stomachs
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25)

The action seems to have slowed up in the final minutes of Level 4. Perhaps hungry stomachs are taking over as players are more interested in making dinner plans than winning pots. The dinner break is coming up just before 7:30pm and is scheduled for 75 minutes.

Some of those who will enjoy their dinner are our Day 1a chip leaders - they include Andrew Bassat (90,000), James Obst (80,000), Martin Finger (74,000) and Xuan Liu (60,000). Some who can enjoy an extended dinner after their tournament came to an early end are Oliver Gill, Joel Douaglin, Leo Boxell and Jack Salter.

7:10pm: Cabret can't collect
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25)

As we mentioned previously, 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event runner-up Joe Cabret has found himself at a tough table, and while he did win a battle of the blinds not long ago, Cabret found himself with a monster hand and wasn't able to extract much value.

The action folded around to Cabret in the small blind and he raised it up to 900. The player in the big blind called and the two saw a flop of 6♦K♣K♥.

Both players quickly checked and the 6♥ turn rolled off. It was then that Cabret casually tossed in 1,150 in chips. His opponent gave it some thought, but with only 5,100 behind he flashed the A♣ and let the hand go.

Cabret let him know it was a good fold, tabling A♦K♦ for a full house.

6:50pm: Finger finds a fold
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25)

Notable German pro Martin Finger is also among the field today. He's sitting beside fellow countryman Phillip Gruissem.

Finger clashed with British pro Harry Demetriou not long ago.

We caught the action with the board reading K♦6♣K♣2♣7♠ as Finger bet 3,000 into two opponents. Demetriou was next to act and raised it up to 8,000 in chips. The third player threw their hand away and the decision was back on Finger.

"Sevens?" he asked, before giving up his hand.

"Nut flush" replied Demetriou, tabling A♣T♣ and raking the pot.

6:30pm: Gruissem gains some
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25)

Oliver Gill opened the action with a raise to 725 before next-to-act Phillip Gruissem bumped it up to 2,200. The player in the small blind cold-called but Gill threw his hand away.

"I really hope whoever has less chips gets stacked in this hand" announced Gill after relinquishing his cards.

The flop of 4♦4♥9♣ saw Gruissem fire another 2,400 into the pot and the player in the small blind quickly folded. The hand brings Gruissem up to around 42,000 in chips.

6:15pm: Manny dodges a set
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25)

With a raise to 800 and a call in front of him, Manny Stavropoulos three-bet to 2,000 in position on the button. Both opponents called to see a flop of 2♣5♣7♥.

Action checked to Stavropoulos who continued for 3,500. One opponent made the call before both players checked the 3♦ turn. The river was the Q♥ and again it checked to Stavropoulos. He thought about taking another stab at it but instead tapped the table behind. It proved to be a wise move as his opponent showed 7♠7♣ for a slow-played set of sevens.

"Phew, nice hand!" sighed Stavropoulos as he slips to 20,000 in chips.

6:05pm: Katchalov gets in a tangle
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25)

Eugene Katchalov is the lone Team PokerStars Pro in the Day 1a field at the moment, and the Ukrainian is progressing nicely so far despite losing a recent hand.

Facing a raise from the button to 700, and a three-bet from the small blind to 2,100, Katchalov liked his cards enough to make the cold call in the big blind. The button called as well as we were three ways to a flop of 9♠7♠K♥.

The small blind led out for 2,700 and again Katchalov called, but the button moved all in over the top of both for around 17,000. That was too strong for both opponents as Katchalov winced before tossing his cards into the muck. He sits with around 40,000.

5:55pm: Back to the action

Players have returned to their seats for Level 4. Blinds are 150/300 with a 25 ante.


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5:40pm: Break time

The players are now taking a fifteen-minute break. When they return, they'll play one more level before the scheduled 75-minute dinner break.

5:20pm: Cabret takes a hit from Egan
Level 3: Blinds 100/200 (25)

Former Aussie Millions runner-up Joe Cabret limped under the gun for 200 preflop and was the lone caller when Michael Egan popped it to 800 on the button.

The two saw a heads-up flop of 5♣7♣Q♦ and Cabret check-called for 1,200. The turn brought the 4♦ and again Cabret tapped the table. Egan bet again, this time for 3,200, but Cabret wasted no time in making the call.

The river was the 9♣ to complete the flush draw and Cabret decided to represent as he now led out with a bet of 4,500. However Egan was having none of that bet as he raised it up big to 23,000. Cabret raised his eyebrows and quickly mucked his cards.

Cabret slips back to around start stack while Egan has enjoyed a good level. He's now up to 50,000 on a tough table that also includes Kahle Burns and James Obst.

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5:10pm: Egan edges out opponent
Level 3: Blinds 100/200 (25)

Australian Michael Egan has already had a great run on the felt this week and things look set to continue after he took down a recent pot.

Egan final tabled the $25,000 Challenge just last night, finishing seventh and pocketing $109,800 for his efforts.

In the hand just gone, the player in the cutoff raised it up to 800 before James Obst called from the small blind and Egan flicked in the extra from the big blind.

On a flop of 6♠K♣Q♣ players checked to the aggressor who made it 1,000 to go. Obst got out of the way and Egan made the call before the 6♣ turn.

The action then went check-check and the same was seen on the 3♣ river. The original raiser tabled Q♥T♥ but Egan flipped K♦8♦ for a better two pair.

"You're like an ex-girlfriend of mine mate, I can't get away from you" came the comment from the losing player, indicating they'd already tangled in a few pots.

"I keep taking your money?" came the reply from Egan as he raked in the pot.

4:50pm: Silver lets it go
Level 3: Blinds 100/200 (25)

England's Max Silver is in town for the Aussie Millions and just encountered a tough spot in a recent pot.

The player in the hijack opened to 550 before the button made the call and Silver followed suit from the small blind. Players saw a flop of 2♥3♣7♦ and after two checks, the initial raiser continued the aggression with a bet of 850.

The player on the button folded before Silver called and the dealer turned the 9♥. Silver checked once more before being put to a decision for another 1,300. He opted to call the 4♦ river rolled off.

Silver checked a final time and his opponent barrelled for 2,100. Screwing up his face, Silver asked how much the player had behind before going into the tank.

"I promise I won't raise" he said after a couple of minutes deliberation, clearly tormented by the spot he was in.

Ultimately Silver decided that the right play was to fold. He still has a healthy stack of around 37,000.

4:30pm: Manny makes a move
Level 3: Blinds 100/200 (25)

The defending champion Manny Stavropoulos is starting to flex his muscle here on Day 1a of the Main Event. We recently caught the champ raising preflop to 525 from the cutoff before the small blind three-bet to 1,200. Stavropoulos made the call and they took a flop of Q♥9♣2♥.

The player in the small blind led out with a colourful array of chips worth 1,775 and Stavropoulos took a moment before matching the bet.

The turn was the J♣ and again the player bet out, this time for 2,500. Stavropoulos took a glance at his opponent's stack before reaching for 9,000 in chips and splashing them into the middle. It was enough to put his opponent to a decision for his tournament life, but the player decided to live to fight another day. Stavropoulos is now up to 27,000.

4:25pm: Grigg gone
Level 3: Blinds 100/200 (25)

"Well, that was a fun event!" sighed Tom Grigg from the rail. The popular local is one of the most notable early casualties from the Main Event and he was kind enough to recall the details to us.

Grigg said that he flopped top two pair and committed all in on the turn on a draw-heavy board, but his opponent had turned a bigger two pair as Grigg's tournament was brought to an abrupt end.

4:15pm: Play resumes
Level 3: Blinds 100/200 (25)


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4:00pm: Scheduled break

The players have left the tournament area for their second break of the day. Play will resume in 15 minutes.

3:55pm: Great flop for Katchalov
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov brought it in for a raise to 500 from middle position and the player in the big blind defended to see a flop of 8♦K♠8♣.

After a check from his opponent, Katchalov bet 600 which was met with a quick call. The 7♠ turn saw another check from the player in the big blind and Katchalov continued for 1,500. This time the player snap-called and the dealer flipped the T♦ river.

A third check from the player and Katchalov fired a final bet of 3,600. His opponent didn't hesitate to call, quipping "Are you serious?" when Katchalov tabled 9♠8♠ for a flopped three of a kind.

The player flashed the K♥ before throwing his hand in the muck.

3:40pm: One for Xuan
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

Xuan Liu is steadily climbing this afternoon and just added more to her stack with a recent hand. She defended her big blind to a raise of 500 and the flop came down 8♦K♠4♥.

When both players checked the dealer turned the K♥. Liu chose to take the betting lead tossing 800 in chips into the middle. Her opponent called before the 7♠ river rolled off.

Liu opted for a sizable bet on the end, putting her opponent to a decision for 3,000. He opted for a fold and Liu collected the pot. That brings her stack up to just shy of 50,000.

3:20pm: Yan chips up
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

One player who has already enjoyed success in the Crown Poker Room this week is New Zealand's David Yan. It was the $1,150 Six-Max Event that saw Yan overcome a tough field of 534 players to win AU$117,000 in prize money (after a three-handed deal), as well as the Aussie Millions championship ring.

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Yan is usually found in the High Roller events around the world, but interestingly has chosen to play the Main Event today rather than the $100,000 Challenge which has just kicked off. Perhaps he's decided that today will be a little easier field in the Main Event with the High Roller sharks otherwise occupied.

It seems to be working out pretty well so far for Yan who has chipped up in the early stages. We recently caught him in hand on a board of J♣3♦2♠4♦A♥. Both players checked the flop, Yan bet 1,000 on the turn, before the river was again checked through. Yan tabled A♣8♥ for a pair of aces to take it down and climb up to 45,000 in chips.

3:05pm: Douaglin scoops one
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

The man who came third in this event last year, Joel Douaglin, just won a pot with a well-timed turn check-raise.

The hand began with Ben Richardson opening to 1,000 from the hijack with the player on his immediate left making the call, and Douaglin coming along from the blinds.

The flop fell 7♣2♣Q♠ and after check from Douaglin and Richardson, the third player bet out for 1,000. Douaglin called and Richardson threw his hand away before players saw the 9♦ turn.

Douaglin checked again before he was faced with a bet of 2,000. He took his sunglasses off, began stretching, and eventually with an audible sigh announced 6,000. His opponent quickly released his hand and Douaglin scooped the pot.

2:50pm: Winding back the clock
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

British pro Harry Demetriou is a frequent visitor to Australia, and the Aussie Millions, with results dating right back to when he finished 3rd in the Aussie Millions Main Event back in 2003. Peter Costa won the event that year, while the man who finished 2nd was local legend Leo Boxell. Here we are, some 13 years later, and Demetriou and Boxell find themselves seated directly next to each other once again in the Aussie Millions Main Event.

Both have had slow starts on Day 1a so far. Boxell has dropped from his start bank to around 23,500, while Demetriou will probably be thankful to be at 26,500 after avoiding potential disaster in a recent hand.

We picked it up on the turn on a board of 8♣J♣A♥5♦ with Demetriou thinking long and hard before calling his opponent's bet of 3,800. When the river J♠ paired the board, both players tapped the table with Demetriou's opponent tabling 8♠8♦ for a full house. Demetriou didn't fall for the trap and still has plenty of chips to work with.

harry-demetriou-aussie-millions.jpg

2:35pm: Gill finds a flush
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

Oliver Gill opened the action from middle position to 425 and it folded around to Harry Demetriou who defended his big blind.

The dealer fanned out the 6♥4♦2♠ flop and after a check from Demetriou, Gill made it 525 to go. Demetriou called to see the A♦ turn and both players quickly checked.

The 7♦ river saw Demetriou make a bet of 1,500 and Gill snapped it off tabling T♦9♦ for a flush.

"Nice backdoor" Gill admitted as Demetriou revealed that he'd hit the ace.

With that pot Gill climbs back to around the starting stack of 30,000.

2:25pm: Play resumes
Level 2: Blinds 100/200


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2:15pm: First break

Players have stepped away from the action for a 15-minute break.

2:00pm: Addamo takes a hit
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

On a flop of 2♦7♦3♠ Michael Addamo and another player checked it to the third runner in the hand, who opted to bet 500 in chips. Addamo bumped it up to 1,500 to go from the big blind and after the next opponent to act mucked his hand, the bettor committed the extra 1,000 and the dealer turned the 9♣.

Addamo continued for 3,000 prompting his opponent to go into the tank. Ultimately he tossed in a call and the 7♥ river peeled off. After a check from Addamo he was faced with a bet of 5,000. It was then his turn to utilise the tank. Addamo pondered his decision for a few minutes before tossing his hand away.

1:40pm: The buzz of the Aussie Millions
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

With the deep starting stacks of 30,000 chips and the blinds at just 50/100, it's understandable to find that there won't be too much action in the early goings of the Main Event.

However the action around the Crown Poker Room certainly is picking up with four massive events about to run simultaneously around the room.

The Main Event is filling up half of the main room, while eleven overflow tables are also in action in the satellite room at the far end of the room.

In the High Limit area of the room are the final few tables in the Bounty Event along with a number of cash game tables, while the front area of the room is about to host the final table of the Accumulator side event.

That leaves the feature table area in front of the big screen which is about to host the opening day of the $100,000 Challenge event. If the $25k Event is any indication, it looks like we're going to see a massive (and quite possibly record) field. We'll pick up our coverage of that event when it reaches the final table.

There's certainly a buzz in the air, with plenty of fans on the rail and every table in the poker room in use which is a fantastic sight to see.

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1:30pm: A few more names
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

A few more players we've spotted around the tables on Day 1a include Tom Wing, Michael Addamo, Craig Blight, Jason Prtichard, former runner up Joe Cabret and Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov.

1:20pm: O'Rourke all in early
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

We arrived to see a big pot developing as the board read 7♥9♦Q♥8♠.

Liam O'Rourke led for 2,900 and after a call from the player next to act, a second opponent announced a raise to 8,000. With the action back on O'Rourke, he gave it some thought before committing his stack. The player in the middle folded, but the second opponent made a quick call as the two tabled their cards.

O'Rourke: J♦T♠
Opponent: J♠T♦

The reveal was an anticlimactic one as players saw they were both holding the nuts. The inconsequential 3♥ landed on the river and they chopped the pot.

1:00pm: Familiar faces
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

We've only just begun here for Day 1a of the 2016 Aussie Millions and it's already shaping up to be a stellar field. After a quick look across the tournament floor we've already spotted a whole host of notable names in the mix.

Tom Grigg, Jamie Pickering, Leo Boxell, James Obst, Daniel Laidlaw, Ben Richardson, Jan Suchanek, Graeme Putt, Harry Demetriou, Xuan Liu, Kahle Burns, Tatjana Zizic, Will Jones and Oliver Gill have all taken their seats.

Also among the field so far are three of last year's Aussie Millions final tablists - James Rann, Joel Douaglin and the champion Manny Stavropoulos.

12:40pm: Cards in the air for the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

The 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event is officially underway!

The players were welcomed to the Crown Poker Room by "The Voice" of Australian poker, Mr. Paul Khoury, before he introduced Twitch sensation, US pro Jason Somerville.

Somerville is a special guest at the Aussie Millions this year and will be live streaming every day on his Twitch channel at runitup.tv. Somerville will be streaming with hole cards, on a 30-minute delay and it's completely free to watch! Today and tomorrow, Somerville will be covering the 100k Event before focussing on the Main Event later in the ween.

The microphone was then handed to Crown Poker Room Tournament Director Joel Williams. He thanked the staff for their tireless efforts, as well as the local players for their ongoing suppor. Williams announced that there were over 300 local qualifiers for the Main Event, and eight of the first ten events of the schedule had year-on-year growth which is a tremendous result.

Finally Khoury introduced a man who knows the feeling of winning this great event - last year's Aussie Millions champion, Manny Stavropoulos. The home town hero said that the last twelve months has gone by very quickly, but he's enjoyed a few overseas trips and travelling the poker circuit.

The honour was then given to Stavropoulos to utter the immortal words, "Shuffle up and deal!"

With that, the cards are now in the air for Day 1a of the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event. We'll be playing seven 90-minute levels today, which means we'll be wrapping up tonight at 1:40am local time.

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Take a look at the Aussie Millions official website for tournament schedules, structures, news and information from the Crown Poker Room in Melbourne.

Live updates brought to you courtesy of Brad Kain and Heath Chick. Photos by Jonno Pittock and Christian Zetzsche.