It was a late start followed by a late finish at the 2013 Aussie Millions LK Jewellery $250,000 Challenge, but the day wasn't without excitement as some of the biggest names in the game plopped a massive AU$250,000 buy-in on the table to battle in this event. Some of the players even fired two bullets — four of them, to be exact — creating a field of 18 entries and a prize pool of AU$4,500,000.
At the end of the night, it was all about the Germans. Tobias Reinkemeier stood on top of the pack with 1.237 million in chips, followed by his countrymen Igor Kurganov and Fabian Quoss.
$250,000 Challenge Final Table
Before the re-entry period was complete, Andrew Robl, Gus Hansen, Tony Bloom and Paul Phua all fired two bullets. All four failed to advance to Day 2, but it was Jason Mercier who was the first player officially eliminated from the event.
First, Mercier failed to be able to bluff Phua out of a hand in the early part of the tournament, and then he was crippled by Hansen soon after. On his final hand, Mercier was all in with the against Phua's . The board ran out and sent the two-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner out the door.
Antonio Esfandiari and Philipp Gruissem were also sent to the rail during the day, but both of them only fired one bullet. Phua was the last player eliminated on the day, and he exited in the last hand of the night just as Level 10 came to an end.
With the blinds at 10,000/20,000/2,000, Phua and Reinkemeier saw a flop of . Phua was first and bet 50,000 into the pot. Reinkemeier took his time, then made the call to see the come out on the turn. Here, Phua bet a little bit bigger with 150,000. Reinkemeier patiently called, and the dealer added the to complete the board. Phua moved all in for right around 320,000, and Reinkemeier snapped it off with the for a straight. Phua had flopped two pair with the , but it was no good. He was sent to the rail as Reinkemeier assumed the top spot on the leader board to close out the night.
With seven players returning for action tomorrow, three of them will be leaving empty handed. Only the top four spots pay out, with a min-cash worth AU$500,000. Top prize is AU$2,000,000, and it's still anybody's game.
Day 2 action will kick off at 3:00 p.m. local time at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, so be sure to tune back in then for all the live coverage from the final table.