Aussie Millions 2016: Rocha rocks the big stack on Day 1b
The second of three opening day flights of the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event would see a field of 207 players come together in the Crown Poker Room all with dreams of Aussie Millions glory.
After seven levels of play, those dreams would remain alive for just 106.
The candle burns brightest for American pro Alex Rocha who would end the day as the chip leader. Rocha bagged up 166,000 - still well short of the mark set on Day 1a by James Obst, but good enough for today's lead.
For most of the day Rocha tangled on an interesting table in the satellite room, with plenty of friendly banter with local Mikel Habb who also bagged up a top ten stack.
Others with big stacks include 2015 Asia Player of the Year runner-up KC Wong, and the highest money earner in the history of the ANZPT, Peter Matusik. The day started with a bang for "Chewing Gum Pete" with a set over set to destroy German superstar Dominik Nitsche in the first few hands of the day.
Antonio Esfandiari, Jake Balsiger, Angel Guillen, Kristen Bicknell, Federico Butteroni, Phanlert Sukonthachartnant and Tobias Reinkemeier brought plenty of international flavour to the Aussie Millions, but ultimately their tournament ended prematurely.
Also featuring in today's field was tennis legend Boris Becker. The coach of world #1 Novak Djokovic is of course in town for the Australian Open tennis grand slam, but he had time to squeeze in a little poker before busting out midway through the day.
Those who will be back on Day 2 include Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Michael Guttman, Henrik Tollefsen, Martin Rowe, Jim Psaros, Elliot Smith, Bruno Portaro, Tino Lechich, Pratyush Buddiga, poker blogger and commentator Marc Convey and 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem.
Aussie Millions Day 1b Top Ten Chip Counts
Alex Rocha (Canada) - 166,000
KC Wong (Hong Kong) - 163,300
Josep Maria Galindo (Spain) - 153,200
Mazyar Misaghian (Australia) - 150,600
Sinan Aydogan (Australia) - 139,700
Stephen Graner (United States) - 135,000
Robert Salter (Australia) - 127,700
Mikkel Habb (Australia) - 126,400
Pheap Chea (Australia) - 123,800
Peter Brasile (Australia) - 118,400
Tuesday is Australia Day which is a public holiday "Down Under". It's also the third and final flight of the Main Event. That means we're guaranteed to see the biggest field of the three opening day flights and a number that is likely to push well above the 700-player mark. Could we even see a record Aussie Millions field in 2016?
Play will recommence at 12:30pm and we'll have all the action for you once again right here on the PokerStars Blog.