Aussie Millions Main Event, Day Three: Ray Ellis Heads Final 36; Antonius, Ivey In Contention

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The 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event is working its way through its 629 player field towards its conclusion on Saturday. After Day Three concluded, only one man was above the one million chip mark, Ray Ellis, but 35 other men were in pursuit of his position in first place.

Yesterday’s action began with 68 players left in the hunt for the Aussie Millions title, with James Obst at the head of the pack. Threatening Obst on the leaderboard were none other than Phil Ivey and Patrick Antonius, with 2010 Aussie Millions champion Tyron Krost also looking to make a run at a second title. When the cards went in the air, there was some work left to be completed.

With only 64 players taking home any cash from the event, four players would be left wondering why they bothered to come back for the action at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. Krost, at the minimum, was glad he did as he earned a double through Nazih Sibaei to get a bit healthier in the tournament. Meanwhile, Obst was having some difficulties as he doubled up the dangerous Brandon Adams to drop down to 780K in chips.

It would take about thirty minutes to find the unfortunate player who would go home in 65th place ($0) and it occurred in a stunning hand between a member of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame and a future Poker Hall of Fame member. Gary Benson pushed his final chips to the center and found a caller in Ivey, who turned up pocket Jacks to Benson’s pocket tens. As he was gathering his things, the 10-Q-K reversed the fortunes of Benson, thrusting him into the lead. There was plenty to dodge on the turn and river – a nine, Jack or Ace – and Benson faded a four on the turn. The nine on the river, however, put Ivey in the lead for good and eliminated Benson on the money bubble.

After the money bubble popped, the players began to stream from the Crown Casino tournament room. As players picked up their money, Obst and Adams squared off again, this time with Obst getting the better of Adams. Ivey would lose some chips after Kitty Kuo flopped a flush and faded Ivey’s potential full house by the river to double up. It was also at this time a new contender emerged for the Aussie Millions championship.

Ellis collided with Jan Collado in a hand that saw a huge chip swing between the two men. On a 6-Q-4-K board, Collado bet out only to have Ellis call and come along. A Jack on the turn put several different possibilities on the board and a contemplative Collado put out another bet. He was nearly beaten into the pot by Ellis, who only turned up Q-9 for a pair of Queens. It was good, though, as Collado only had A-5 for Ace high; with the hand, Ellis moved over the one million chip mark.

Ellis would ride those chips to finish off Day Three as the chip leader, with Antonius lurking in second place:

1. Ray Ellis, 1.044 million
2. Patrik Antonius, 957,000
3. Mervin Chan, 943,000
4. Ang Pangleng, 928,000
5. Jan Collado, 908,000
6. Brandon Adams, 739,000
7. David Yan, 696,000
8. James Obst, 660,000
9. Damian Baldi, 624,000
10. Shoshiro Karita, 608,000

Among those lurking in the remaining players are Dan Shak (12th place, 596K), Lee Markholt (14th, 558K), Kuo (17th, 507K), Jay Tan (18th, 494K), Minh Nguyen (26th, 418K) and Ivey (27th, 399K), while Krost would finish in 41st place.

Day Four will be starting soon, looking to whittle the remaining 36 players down to the final table. It could be a long day of play as the tables will be six-handed, but the reward will be worth it. The eventual champion will take home $1.6 million (Australian) and a Chrysler 300C for his efforts in Melbourne.

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