Jennifer Tilly Leads the Aussie Millions Main Event After Day 2


The 2017 Aussie Millions will once again reward AU$1,6 million to the winner and nonother than Jennifer Tilly leads the remaining 151 players. The poker enthusiast and Oscar-nominated actress, is followed by, amongst others, big stacks Stephen Bantick, Haoran Zhang, Marc Macdonnell and David Yan.

Player Country Chip Count
Jennifer Tilly United States 497,100
Stephen Bantick United Kingdom 411,600
Haoran Zhang Australia 329,100
Marc Macdonnell Ireland 320,000
David Yan Australia 319,800

Before things got underway, the Australian Poker Hall of Fame inducted a new member in 2015 Aussie Millions champion Manny Stavropoulos. Joe Hachem handed David Yan the Young Achiever Award.

As play got going with initially 372 players still in contention, some new players signed up to contribute to the prize pool and get a crisp 30,000 stack in return.

One of the new players was Fedor Holz and in true Holz fashion, he was up to 140,000 after just an hour of play. He didn’t hold on to that mojo all day as he dropped down considerably halfway through, but he found a lucky double with a limp-shoved deuce-eight suited for 28 big blinds to double. He ended the day with a very healthy stack.

Jennifer Tilly soared to the top winning a huge pot where she called a bluffing neighbor with top set. She can boost her total live tournament earnings over that magical $1,000,000-mark if she finishes 24th or better.

While Tilly soared, defending champion Ari Engel was heading in the other direction. He bled away some chips to he got to the point he went with it having found pocket fours. Unfortunately for the 2016 Aussie Millions champion, his opponent had pocket aces.

Last year’s runner-up, Tony Dunst, did make it through. Dunst will bring 242,600 in chips to Day 3 where the starting blinds will be 1,200/2,400 with a 400-ante. Seven levels are scheduled for Day 3. Some of the other notables to survive the day are Erik Seidel (309,100), Brian Altman (205,200), Jeff Rossiter (192,000), Cate Hall (153,100), Shane Warne (146,500) Dominik Nitsche (144,000, Matt Affleck (139,500), Ben Tollerene (126,600), Scott Davies (116,900), Nick Petrangelo (111,100) and Vojtech Ruzicka (67,000).

“We’re in Australia mate! Enjoy it!” Sam Grafton said at one point in the last level of the day, sipping on a well-deserved beer with only a couple of minutes left on the clock. His huge smile en cheerful laugh just about perfectly described the atmosphere in the tournament room all day. While a lot of people met their Waterloo on Day 2 of the event, the ambiance was always as good as they could come in a poker room. There was laughter and banter everywhere, mostly instigated by that very Grafton (surviving the day with 80,700) while Mustapha Kanit (ending the day with 125,700) took care of uplifting spirits on the other end of the room.

Let’s hope Day 3 will be more of the same, while there’s always the chance that tensions will rise as it’s going to be bubble day. With 151 players remaining and 80 in the money, the stage where Crown Melbourne will be handing out AUD$15,000+ cheques will for sure commence.

Action gets back underway at 12:30 p.m. local time so check back then for more updates from the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event. As a bonus, Jason Somerville starts live streaming the event and we’ll have those images on tap for you in our dedicated live reporting section.

Here’s what’s at stake:

Position Prize Position Prize
1 AU$1,600,000 10 – 12 AU$115,000
2 AU$1,000,000 13 – 18 AU$80,000
3 AU$620,000 19 – 24 AU$60,000
4 AU$440,000 25 – 30 AU$40,000
5 AU$335,000 31 – 36 AU$30,000
6 AU$270,000 37 – 48 AU$25,000
7 AU$210,000 49 – 64 AU$20,000
8 – 9 AU$155,000 65 – 80 AU$15,000

Here’s a look at the prize pools and first place prizes throughout the long and rich history of the biggest event on the Southern Hemisphere:

Year Entries Prize Pool (AU$) Winner First Prize (AU$)
1998 74 AU$74,000 Alex Horowitz AU$25,900
1999 109 AU$109,000 Milo Nadalin AU$38,150
2000 109 AU$173,500 Leo Boxell AU$65,225
2001 101 AU$151,500 Sam Korman AU$53,025
2002 66 AU$330,000 John Maver AU$150,000
2003 122 AU$1,220,000 Peter Costa AU$394,870
2004 133 AU$1,330,000 Tony Bloom AU$426,500
2005 263 AU$2,630,000 Jamil Dia AU$1,000,000
2006 418 AU$4,180,000 Lee Nelson AU$1,295,800
2007 747 AU$7,470,000 Gus Hansen AU$1,500,000
2008 780 AU$7,758,500 Alexander Kostritsyn AU$1,650,000
2009 681 AU$6,810,000 Stewart Scott AU$2,000,000
2010 746 AU$7,460,000 Tyron Krost AU$2,000,000
2011 721 AU$7,210,000 David Gorr AU$2,000,000
2012 659 AU$6,590,000 Oliver Speidel AU$1,600,000
2013 629 AU$6,290,000 Mervin Chan AU$1,600,000
2014 668 AU$6,680,000 Ami Barer AU$1,600,000
2015 648 AU$6,480,000 Manny Stavropoulos AU$1,385,500
2016 732 AU$7,320,000 Ari Engel AU$1,600,000
2017 725 AU$7,250,000 AU$1,600,000