APPT9 Aussie Millions Day 1a: Reigning champ at it again

The Aussie Millions is the holy grail of this part of the poker world.

It's the biggest event in the southern hemisphere and one of the most prestigious tournaments in the entire world.

And today was the day that the $10,600 Main Event kicked off.

It began just after noon when Crown Casino's Director of Poker, Jim Preston, took to the podium to talk about the significance of the journey that Aussie Millions has taken to get where it is today.

Preston thanked the APPT and pointed to the importance of the relationship between two of the region's biggest poker brands.

"Without the APPT, the future of the Aussie Millions, well, we didn't know where we were going," Preston said. "But the APPT helps solidify the future of this event for the next few years."

The next few years will have to wait, however, as right now it's all about 2015 and so far it's been a strong start with 183 total entrants taking part in the first of three Day 1 flights.

That field is eight more than the 175 runners who partook in Day 1a of last year's Main Event.

Of course, anything could happen over the next two days, but that certainly puts the event in good shape to surpass the 668 total entrants in the 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event.

Speaking of last year's Main Event, the reigning champion Ami Barer was one of the 97 players who survived seven 90-minute levels of play to secure a Day 2 berth.He also happened to bag up 142,900 in chips which is good for one of the top five chip stacks.


Can Ami Barer become the first back-to-back Aussie Millions champ?

Barer's tablemate for much of the night was Australian WSOP bracelet winner Andrew Hinrichsen. The two rumbled in quite a few pots, but ultimately Hinrichsen was also able to survive the night as he will start Day 2 with a respectable 89,000 in chips.

The player who trumped Barer and Hinrichsen, however, was Jan Suchanek.

The Czech-born Kiwi bagged up a massive 163,400.

Suchanek has an immense record at the Aussie Millions, finishing in the top three in seven events over the last five years. That includes a third place in the $2,500 H.O.R.S.E just a few days ago.

Most of those results were in mixed games with Suchanek yet to break out with a mjaor no limit holdem result. The Aussie Millions Main Event would be a great one to change that.


Jan Suchanek knows what it takes to post results at the Aussie Millions

Barer, Hinrichsen and Suchanek will be joined at the felt on Day 2 by the likes of Ismael Bojang (98,700), recent Aussie Millions gold ring winner Jonas Mackoff (91,700), Benny Spindler (59,200) and 2011 Aussie Millions champion David Gorr (42,200)

Perhaps some of those who weren't able to make it through Day 1 were focused too much on watching the Australian Open tennis tournament on the numerous screens around the poker room.

Or, maybe, like 2012 Aussie Millions champ Oliver Speidel, they just couldn't win a flip at the right time as late in the day Speidel got all his chips in preflop with A-J and couldn't compete against the pocket tens of Marc MacDonnell.

Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree was one of the many other players who were eliminated on Day 1a of the Main Event.

Boeree's tournament came to a close when she three-bet shipped 19,100 in the middle from the small blind with Q♥Q♠ and couldn't win a race against Australia's Joe Reina who held A♥K♠.

Luckily for us, however, Boeree spoke to before she was eliminated and explained the important things in poker like her social media exploits.

Players like Boeree and Speidel will now have plenty of time to enjoy everything Melbourne has to offer and of course, also play one of the almost dozen tournaments still on offer throughout the rest of the Aussie Millions schedule.

The surviving players, meanwhile, will now have a few days to prepare for Wednesday's Day 2, while two new batches of players will hit the tables on Monday and Tuesday for the final two Day 1 flights on offer.

Be sure to return from 12:30pm local time on Monday as we continue to provide coverage direct from the 2015 Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Aussie Millions