Welcome back to the 2012 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge. The field of 22 players has been cut down to just the final eight and they're all seated at the final table. Even though that may be an achievement for some, the players won't be looking at it that way as only the top four spots are being paid out so four of them will be forced to go home empty handed.
Heading the final group is Gus Hansen with 567,000 in chips. He's got the slight edge over Australia's own Joe Hachem who bagged up 538,500 in chips while no one else has over 350,000. Only three players — Hansen, Hachem and Dan Smith — have above-average stacks and two of the players — Nam Le and Sam Trickett — enter the final table with less chips than they began the tournament with.
Yesterday's Day 1 was packed with plenty of top-notch, high-stakes poker action with some of the biggest names in the game taking to the felt. Of those who failed to advance to Day 2 were Jason Mercier, Dan Shak, Daniel Negreanu, JC Tran and Tom Dwan. Phil Ivey also made an appearance, but fell short of Day 2 by just one spot as he was eliminated by Hansen in ninth place.
Final Table Seat Draw
As you can see, the table is full of well-known players, minus maybe one in Mikhail Smirnov. Still, Smirnov put on a good showing yesterday in order to bag up the fourth most chips. Heading up the rear with the shortest stack is last year's champion Trickett. When Trickett won the event last year, he entered the final table with a commanding chip lead — much the opposite of this time around.
Also in play today will be time-bank chips for each player. Along with the allotted 30 seconds per action, each player will get two extra time-bank chips that will be worth another 30 seconds apiece.
Play is set to kick off at 2:30 PM local time here in Melbourne. You can expect plenty of excitement again today. First, we'll be bursting a big A$242,000 bubble and then we'll move towards crowning a winner of the A$1,012,000 first-place prize. You won't want to miss anything, so stay glued right here to PokerNews for all of the upcoming coverage.