If there’s a poker festival worth abandoning your pillow for it seems to be the Aussie Millions. We’ve had a record-breaking AUD 50,000 field. The Main Event fell three players short of setting a new bar, and the AUD 100,000 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Challenge also had a healthy 40 entrants.
Tournament organisers are yet to draw a chalk outline on the registration period, so that number of 40 could still rise. Unless madness erupts, it’s never going to reach the dizzy heights of 2015 (Richard Yong beat 70-entrants), but it could eclipse the 42-entrant field, which Cary Katz found the right blend of stealth and skill to top last year.
Twenty-one players have boots in this thing, and sitting up top, is a man who likes being on top in Alex Foxen. The back-to-back Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year (PoY), and reigning GPI World #1, placed 853,500 chips into a plastic bag. Australia hasn’t seen the best of Foxen, yet – could this be his year?
The only other player to bag up more than 800,000 chips is also a man in form. Aaron van Blarcum ended the year with more heat than a bottle of tabasco sauce. Blarcum finished second in the partypoker MILLIONS World Main Event for $970,000, before winning a $25,000 at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic, and finishing second in the $50,000 for more than $700,000.
Sitting in third place is the man Foxen plays tag with at the top of the GPI World Rankings. Stephen Chidwick finished in fifth place in the AUD 25,000 NLHE Challenge, and did win the €50,000 NLHE Super High Roller in December’s European Poker Tour (EPT) in Prague – so he’s not coming to war, holding a blunt knife.
The Top 10 is certainly not monochrome.
Few play better than Dan Smith at the sharp end of these things. Smith begins in ninth place. The Australian Poker Hall of Fame (APHoF) recently inducted Kahle Burns, and the GPI Australian PoY starts in eighth, and the All-Time Money List leader, and reigning Aussie Millions Main Event winner, Bryn Kenney, starts in seventh place.
And keep an eye out for Cary Katz.
The defending champion, finished second to Michael Addamo, in the AUD 50,000 NLHE Challenge, and he starts Day 2, 14th in chips. Addamo also made it through to Day 2. The APHoF handed him the Young Achiever Award a few days shy.
Here are the Top 10 chip counts.
Top 10 Chip Counts
- Alex Foxen – 853,500
- Aaron van Blarcum – 824,500
- Stephen Chidwick – 745,000
- Seth Davies – 646,500
- Sam Grafton – 635,500
- Junichi Nakanowatari – 632,000
- Bryn Kenney – 584,000
- Kahle Burns – 545,000
- Dan Smith – 519,000
- Timothy Adams – 505,000