Watson, Nelson Lead Charge for 2012 Aussie Millions

Matt Jarvis
Matt Jarvis

The 2012 Aussie Millions Main Event finally got rolling today with Brett Watson and Lee Nelson cementing themselves as the early front-runners in the contest.

A total of 153 players entered the day but after seven levels of action only 72 remained.

Although facing some stiff competition from the $100k Challenge, the Main Event had no trouble drawing a number of big name pros and Patrik Antonius, Barry Greenstein, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Maria Ho, Ramzi Jelassi, Sam Holden, Matt Jarvis, Jeff Lisandro and Michael Tureniec all took a crack at Aussie glory.

Unfortunately the vast majority of big name pros who entered Day 1a were snuffed but there were some notable exceptions including Lee Nelson, Jamie Rosen, Maria Ho, Leo Boxell, Ramzi Jelassi, David Vamplew and Michael Tureniec.

The locals put on a dominant performance with Australians Brett Watson (250,000) and Paul Sing (170,000) finished 1st and 2nd in end-of-day chip counts.

Day 1b of the massive tournament begins at 12 p.m. local time tomorrow and if anything it could be even more star-studded than today. The 2012 Aussie Millions continues through to Jan. 28.

There were a number of other events that either began or finished this weekend. Here’s a look at the notable ones:

Tom Dwan
Tom Dwan

Aussie Millions $100k Challenge

The Aussie Millions pioneered the concept of the super high roller tournament and their $100k Challenge remains one of the most elite tournaments in the world.

Last year an astounding 38 players paid the enormous buy-in to create a $3.8 million (AUD) prizepool and while only 22 showed this year, they still created a $2.2 (AUD) million prize pool.

As expected the field was a murderer’s row of skilled poker players including Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Erik Seidel and more.

To learn more about the tournament be sure to check our photo blog.

Ivey had the room buzzing but unfortunately for tournament organizers he would be the final table bubble boy.

It was former Full Tilt teammate Gus Hansen who finally knocked Ivey out with two-pair versus Ivey’s pocket eights.

Despite the lack of Ivey the eight-player final table is sufficiently sick with Hansen, Joe Hachem, Dan Smith, Mikhail Smirnov, Sorel Mizzi, Tony G, Nam Le and last year’s winner Sam Trickett all looking for the $2 million first place prize.

Aussie Millions Event 6 $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em with Rebuys

The sixth event of the 2012 Aussie Millions offered arguably the best final table of the entire festival thus far.

The table included pros Jonathan Karamilikis, Dan “djk123” Kelly, Mike Watson, Marvin Rettenmaier and Tyron Krost.

Despite the sheer amount of star power in the end first place went to local Michael Pedley who picked up $122k for his victory.

Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions

This freeroll saw eight former Aussie Millions champions compete for a “golden ticket” that provides a lifetime of entries into the Aussie Millions.

David Gorr, Stewart Scott, Gus Hansen, Lee Nelson, Jamil Dia, Tony Bloom and Peter Costa all showed up but it was 2009 Aussie Millions champ Tyron Krost who would claim the golden ticket.

Tony Bloom finished second in the winner-take-all event.

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