Friday, February 07, 2014

Huge Leap at Aussie Millions A$100,000 Challenge

The Aussie Millions A$100,000 Challenge, a quick-structured, two-day event with unlimited re-entries through the start of Day 2, had a remarkable 66 total entries yesterday, pushing the total prize pool up close to $6 milly USD. The second and final day kicks off in about two hours, and there’s a good chance a few more might jump in at this point to push the total up over 70 entries.

Donnie Peters summarizes yesterday’s action over on PokerNews, noting how both Daniel Negreanu and Isaac Haxton entered five times on Day 1, with Negreanu surviving on his fifth try while Haxton busted yet again. Mike “Tîmex” McDonald leads the 29 players still in the hunt, who along with the extra entrants will play down to a winner tonight.

The event was first introduced at the Aussie Millions in 2006. Look at the number of entries for the first eight times the A$100,000 took place (with winners in parentheses):

  • 2006 - 10 (John Juanda)
  • 2007 - 17 (Erick Lindgren)
  • 2008 - 25 (Howard Lederer)
  • 2009 - 23 (David Steicke)
  • 2010 - 24 (Dan Shak)
  • 2011 - 38 (Sam Trickett)
  • 2012 - 22 (Dan Smith)
  • 2013 - 22 (Andrew Robl)

    The A$250,000 Super High Roller was added in 2011, which was perhaps a reason for the drop off in the A$100,000 over the last couple of years. That event, incidentally, drew 20 entries in 2011 (Erik Seidel won), 16 entries in 2012 (Phil Ivey won), and 18 in 2013 (with Sam Trickett winning). This year’s version of that event starts this Sunday.

    Of course, the unlimited re-entry format is the biggest factor pumping up the total, something that hasn’t always been part of the tourney. In addition to Negreanu and Haxton firing five times each, Dan Shak and Paul Newey each entered three times yesterday, and Tom Dwan twice. (By the way, 100,000 Australian dollars currently equals about $90,000 USD.)

    The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure started having its $100,000 Super High Roller Event in 2011, and this year it reached a peak in entries with 46. Again, at the PCA the tourney is also now an unlimited re-entry format. Here are the totals and winners for the PCA $100,000 events:

  • 2011 - 38 (Eugene Katchalov)
  • 2012 - 30 (Viktor Blom)
  • 2013 - 43 (Scott Seiver)
  • 2014 - 46 (Fabian Quoss)

    There have been three World Poker Tour Alpha8 events thus far, another $100,000 tourney with re-entries. Those have drawn 21 entries (Florida), 20 (London), and 28 (St. Kitts). The next one happens in a week in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    So while this year’s Aussie Millions A$100,000 Challenge won’t come close to the prize pool of last summer’s $111,111 buy-in “One Drop High Rollers” event at the WSOP (not a re-entry) which drew 166 players total -- obviously a unique event -- it still represents a remarkable leap up from what’s been generally happening generally with these six-figure tourneys.

    I mean, come on... 70 entries?!? That’s Bob Beamon-esque.

    (EDIT [added 2/9/14]: The A$100,000 Challenge ultimately drew 76 entries; meanwhile the LK Boutique A$250,000 Challenge drew an incredible 46 entries.)

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