If you believe the tales coming out of the Macau cash games Gus Hansen is on quite the heater. Now he’s taking a page of the Sam Trickett playbook by taking that success into the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge where he holds the final table chip lead.
Hansen took his chip stack on a roller coaster ride on Day 1 and will begin the final table with 567,000, just slightly more than Australian Joe Hachem who finished with 538,500. Hansen and Hachem have separated themselves from the rest of the field. Dan Smith sits in third with 346,500. The remaining five players are all below the average stack of 275,000.
In 2011 Tricket came to Melbourne after beating the high stakes games in Macau and rode that momentum to victory in the $100,000 Challenge.
The 22-player field is down from the 38 that played in 2011. Of the record 38 players who played in 2011, 25 were nowhere to be seen when registration closed four hours into the day. A number of Team Full Tilt pros who played last year, including Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, were most notably absent.
The most eagerly anticipated entrant was Phil Ivey. The eight-time WSOP bracelet winner landed in Melbourne International Airport just after 2 pm and was playing by 3:30 pm. Ivey was the final elimination on Day 1 finishing in ninth place. Patrik Antonius, who played in this event last year, decided to skip this year’s event despite being in the building. Antonius instead bought himself into Day 1a of the $10,000 buy-in Main Event.
The first player eliminated was Mike “SirWatts” Watson who fell victim to Trickett. This mark’s the second consecutive year that Trickett was the man behind the first elimination. Last year he busted Macau businessman Wang Qiang early on his way to winning the title. Trickett survived the day but will show up to the eight-handed final table as the short stack with 73,500.
First place pays $1,012,000 with the runner-up taking home $632,000. The third and fourth place finishers will earn $330,000 and $242,000 respectively.
Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge Final Table Chip Counts
- Gus Hansen – 567,000
- Joe Hachem – 538,500
- Dan Smith – 346,500
- Mikhail Smirnov – 265,000
- Sorel Mizzi – 228,500
- Tony G – 102,000
- Nam Le – 79,500
- Sam Trickett – 73,500
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