Aussie Millions Main Event

O'Shea in the Lead with 75 Remaining; Ivey Hot on His Heels

• Level 14: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
Tim O'Shea

Thanks to a few late registrants, the 2012 Crown’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event officially drew 659 players of which 314 returned to action on Day 2. They were all competing for their share of a $6.59 million prize pool with $1.6 million was reserved for first. While 75 players still remain, the man best positioned to capture the title is Tim O’Shea, who bagged up 921,000 in chips, though Phil Ivey is hot on his heels with 778,500.

Day 2 of the Aussie Millions Main Event began with an absolutely stacked field. At the start of the day, a few former Aussie Millions champs were in the field, but only Lee Nelson survived the day, bagging up 432,500.

The first former champ to go was 2009 Aussie Millions winner Stewart Scott, who was all-in for his last 36,000 chips with {A-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} and up against the {K-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} of his opponent. The board ran out {8-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{J-Clubs} and Scott’s day came to an early end. Tyron Krost, who had won a lifetime of Main Event buy-ins by taking down the 10th Anniversary Tournament of Champions a few days earlier, followed him out the door.

Gus Hansen was another former Aussie Millions champ who entered the field, opting to take advantage of the one-level late registration on Day 2. Unfortunately for him, his day didn’t last long. "I busted the Great Dane," Tony G told us with his chest puffed out wide. "Gus always wants to move in, and I trapped him!"

It happened when Aage Ravn opened with a raise to 2,500 from middle position, and Tony G looked down at {A-Hearts}{K-Hearts} in the small blind. He decided to flat, and that sent the action over to Hansen's big blind. He had {A-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}, and the squeeze was on. He made it 10,000 total, Ravn folded, Tony G reraised all in, and Hansen called off the rest of his short stack. The board ran out blank for Gus, and his Main Event has ended almost before it began.

Not long after, Mercier was eliminated when his {A-Hearts}{K-Spades} failed to overcome the {8-Hearts}{8-Spades} of Tom Grigg. Other eliminations throughout the day included Sebastian Ruthenberg, JP Kelly, Van Marcus, Vitaly Lunkin, Annette Obrestad, JC Tran, David Bach, Tony G, Tom Dwan, and James Dempsey, the latter having previously finished as the 1b chip leader.

While 239 players hit the rail throughout seven levels of play, others flourished. Among those to build their stacks were Phil Ivey (778,500), Aage Ravn (708,500), Jason Koon (667,500), Oliver Speidel (540,000), and Patrick Healy (521,000),

With less than an hour left in the night, a monster pot took place that resulted in O'Shea vaulting into the chip lead. It happened when O'Shea opened under the gun and Josh Barrett defended from the big blind. A raising war ensued on the {3-}{5-}{7-Spades} flop before the {4-Spades} was put out on the turn. At this point, Barrett check-called a bet of 125,000, and followed that up with another check-call of 150,000 on the {A-} river.

O'Shea rolled over {A-Spades}{6-Spades} for a straight, and Barrett exclaimed, "How do you have a six there?" Barrett revealed that he held {5-}{7-} and was clearly upset at losing the monster pot. With that, O'Shea is the tournament chip leader.

Day 3 of the Aussie Millions Main Event is set to get underway at 12:30 pm local time, when the remaining 75 players break through the money bubble and march toward the final table.