Event Name:

$10,600 Main Event

2018 Aussie Millions Main Event Off to a Good Start; Former Champions Stavropoulos and Gorr Advance on Day 1a

Lee Armstrong bagged up the lead on Day 1a

The 2018 Aussie Millions $A10,600 Main Event is off to a good start at the Crown Casino in Melbourne after a total of 212 players entered the first of three available flights, exactly the same as last year on Day 1a. Seven levels of 90 minutes each saw the field cut down in more than half as only 96 hopefuls remained at the end of the night.

It was a very close race for the overnight lead with several contenders for the top spot, and Lee Armstrong ended up on top with 165,400, narrowly ahead of John Overbeek's 164,400. Other big stacks and notables of the first flight include Mike Del Vecchio (153,900), Alex Lee Lin Hwaa (151,900), Cale Treacy (151,000), Najeem Ajez (150,800), Michael Egan (126,700), Duff Charette (96,700), Harry Demetriou (83,200), Benny Spindler (75,700), Daniel Neilson (59,000), Max Silver (44,900) and Kristen Bicknell (19,900).

Two former Aussie Millions Main Event champions took part in Manny Stavropoulos and David Gorr, the latter in fact spent the majority of the day right below his winning shot in the biggest casino complex of the Southern hemisphere. Stavropoulos scored a vital double with aces versus kings mid-way through the day and bagged up a very healthy 105,200, while Gorr advanced to Day 2 with 35,600.

Manny Stavropoulos
2015 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Manny Stavropoulos

"I've played a couple since (I won) but it's great. The long answer is it doesn't feel all that different, but it's always good to play and have some chips to go through to Day 2 with. It always feels good. But as everyone says, you want to go far and make another deep run!" the 2015 champion Stavropoulos shared in the last level of the night.

Another big name Down Under took part and steadily grinded up his stack in Australian Poker Hall of Fame member Mel Judah
(86,900), Billy "The Croc" Argyros was less fortunate and busted. Judah sent several players to the rail including three-time WSOP bracelet winner Michael Gathy, who flopped an ace with ace-six suited only to see Judah turn a set of tens to eliminate the Belgian.

The day started with a bang when some 120 players had just taken their seats, as Kenny Hallaert endured a nightmare of just 13 minutes. Seven minutes into the Main Event, the Belgian turned top two pair with ace-ten suited in a three-bet pot and reluctantly called a big river shove only to lose all but one big blind against pocket aces for top set.

Samantha Abernathy, who finished third in the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event two years ago, was eliminated in a three-way all in that also saw David "MissOracle" Yan hit the rail. Yan jammed a five-way flop with bottom pair and a gutshot to pick up calls from Abernathy and George Mamacas. Abernathy bet a king on the turn and shoved the river when a five appeared. Mamacas called with six-four for top pair that improved to a straight and Abernathy's set of kings was no good.

Other big names that took part and left the poker room of the Crown Casino empty-handed were Jake Balsiger, Jake Schwartz, Steven van Zadelhoff, Heidi May, Vojtech Ruzicka, Christopher Soyza, Rory Brown and Lily Kiletto to name just a few.

Action for the second flight will get underway at 12.30 p.m. local time on Monday, January 29, and the PokerNews live reporting team will be back on the floor to provide all the action.

End-of-Day Chip Counts

Lee Armstrong165,40013,400
John Overbeek164,4004,400
Mike Del Vecchio153,800-11,200
Alex Lee Lin Hwaa151,900-8,100
Cale Treacy151,00051,000
Najeem Ajez150,800-24,200
Michael Egan126,70016,700
George Mamacas123,600-11,400
Pratik Mehta117,400-27,600
Carl Booth117,200
Craig Mason113,200-16,800
Manny Stavropoulos105,200-16,800
Andrew Lock98,40013,400
Duff Charette96,7001,700
Shane Moran95,90060,900
Mohammad Sharifkazemi92,300
Shih Li90,300
Dinesh Velupillay89,700-10,300
Eddie Puia89,5004,500
Mel Judah86,9006,900
David Leas84,400
Arne Ruge83,900-19,100
Harry Demetriou83,200-16,800
Zachary Tay83,2003,200
Andrew Shanahan81,1006,100
Tony Matteo78,700
Sung Joo Hyun76,400
Giuseppe Reina75,700
Benny Spindler75,70010,700
Daniel Laidlaw75,20032,200
Jason Pritchard74,500-10,500
Tony Shlemon74,500
Sherif Derias71,900
Jordan Tentori71,600
Barry Long71,500
Chris Cannon70,800-19,200
Darryl Lapthorne70,500
Martin Rowe69,600
Joshua Clancy69,200-800
Steve Katakis69,100
Laszlo Molnar69,000
Ize Bourne68,90023,900
Joseph Abdulnour68,100
Jim Pizanias [Dimitrios Pizanias]67,800
Rinaldo Piastrino67,500
Paul Wilcock66,700
Muneer Bodagh63,400
Nicholas Jones62,200
Johan Schumacher61,70016,700
Adrian Bolzonello59,800
Anthony Luong59,800
Kim Au59,200
Daniel Neilson59,00025,000
Chris Kostoulas58,800
Jonas Lauck58,100-1,900
Rodrigo Meneses57,400
Raphael Tenenbaum57,300
Arif Mustafa56,800-1,200
Matt Salsberg55,00020,000
Brendan Hurtig54,600
Pasquale Ragozzino52,5002,500
Haki Sejnovski52,300
Prithwiraj Roy51,900
Wan Gan50,900
James Ho50,700
Michael Rosenfield49,600
Dave Heskin49,300300
Chris Rekalis47,800
Max Silver44,900900
Alexander Trevallion43,20013,200
Gerald Trass41,300
Vincent Huang40,400
Ryan Pignatelli40,200
Sarah Bilney37,6009,600
Amar Anand37,10016,100
Erika Layton37,000
David Gorr35,600-16,400
Anto Klasan34,700
David Hanlon34,100
Peter Aristidou32,800-15,200
Marton Czuczor31,1008,100
Andreas Klatt29,700-9,300
Darren Paganoni29,500
Dara O'Kearney29,300-4,700
Tanner Millen29,000
Ryan Smith26,900
Emanuel Seal25,700-4,300
Gregory Woodman25,600
Johan Lees25,500
Laszlo Bujtas20,400-20,600
Kristen Bicknell19,900-13,100
Terry Schumacher19,400
Thomas Wing16,500
Hugh Cohen15,800
Andrew Dackas12,900
Tash Roussety11,600

Four More

Each table will deal four more hands before bagging for the night.

Armstrong Forced to Sweat

Facing a bet of 14,000 on a flop, Lee Armstrong shoved all in for approximately 30,000 more effective and received a call from his opponent in the big blind. Armstrong tabled for top two and was miles ahead of his opponent's . The board ran out and , enabling Armstrong to dodge a turned straight draw.

After the hand, he told his neighbor that he had opened the pot early and gotten three-bet by the player with ten-six, who was in the big blind.

Lee Armstrong152,0002,000

Mamacas Caught Bluffing

George Mamacas was in late position and fired in a nearly pot-sized bet of 12,000 after two players checked to him on . The first player mucked but the second was stickier and put in a call after some thought.

"I guess we're chopping," Mamacas joked, tossing into the middle.

His opponent rolled over and took the pot.

George Mamacas135,0000

Big Stacks Near the End

It appears to be a close race for the chip lead at the end of Day 1a and several players aim for the top spot with John Overbeek, Alex lee Lin Hwaa, Mike Del Vecchio and Najeem Ajez as most likely contenders.

Najeem Ajez175,00020,000
Mike Del Vecchio165,00025,000
Alex Lee Lin Hwaa160,0004,000
John Overbeek160,0000
Lee Armstrong150,00084,000
George Mamacas135,000-5,000
Craig Mason130,00030,000
Michael Egan110,00032,000
Jason Pritchard85,00085,000

Silver Chases Bicknell

Kristen Bicknell and Max Silver built a pot with multiple raises preflop and each put in 5,400 on a flop, though we didn't see who the aggressor was. Both checked the turn and Bicknell checked the river. Silver fired in 13,000 and earned the pot without showdown when Bicknell folded.

Max Silver44,00016,000
Kristen Bicknell33,000-15,000

Puia Eliminates Two Players

Eddie Puia raised to 2,500. Rory Brown three-bet all in for 10,800 from the button and Jim Andreadis four-bet all in for 17,200. Puia thought for a while before calling, putting two players at risk.

Eddie Puia:
Rory Brown:
Jim Andreadis:

The flop came handing Puia the lead. The turn and river changed nothing and both Andreadis and Brown were sent to the rail.

Eddie Puia85,000
Rory Brown0-14,000
Jim Andreadis0

Another Bounty for Stavropoulos

Manny Stavropoulos looked up the all in of a short stack for 10,600 and had the dominating hand in , while the player at risk turned over . On the flop some outs were gone and the turn and river bricked off. After his big double earlier on, the 2015 Aussie Millions champion continues with a comfortable stack of double the average in the last level of Day 1.

Manny Stavropoulos122,0007,000

Mustafa's Massive Shove Gets Paid

A player on the button bet 2,700 into a pot of about 8,000 after flopped, only for Arif Mustafa to check-shove for exactly 25,000 in the cutoff. After getting a count, the player on the button called for most of his own chips.


Mustafa had complete control, only fading two queens, but the gave him more of a sweat since he had to dodge diamonds as well. The river was a .

Arif Mustafa58,000
Tournament Information
Events List
  • Level Info

  • Level: 31
  • Blinds: $80,000/160,000
  • Ante: $20,000
  • Players Info

  • Prize Pool: $8,000,000
  • Entries: 800

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