James Chen entered the AUD$25,000 Challenge final table as the underdog against a stacked final table. But Chen’s been running hot with two back-to-back wins on his record with the $2,500 HORSE event earlier in the week and the Macau Poker Cup High Roller in September. 
Chen’s momentum carried him through the final table after it took five hours to play from three remaining to him winning $861,840.

The event drew 133 entrants for a prize pool of AUD$3.1 million. The top 14 players cashed and finishing outside the final table were Jeff Rositer (14th), Cate Hall (13th) and Pratyush Buddiga (8th).

Final Table Payouts AUD

1. James Chen – $861,840
2. Brandon Adams – $590,520
3. Antoine Saout – $383,040
4. John Juanda – $287,280
5. Ryan D’Angelo – $207,480
6. Nick Petrangelo – $143,640
7. Mustapha Kanit – $119,700 

Two Day 1 flights are in the books for the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event with one more to go. So far the event drew 396 entrants and need a fairly large final flight to match the 732 entrants from 2016. Sam Ingham bagged the overall lead in 1A with 160,100 with Ryhs Jones (159,000) and Mustapha Kanit (155,000) on Ingham’s heels from 1B.

Samantha Abernathy, third in 2016, advanced alongside 2011 Aussie Millions third place finisher Jeff Rossiter. 2014 WSOP Main Event champ Martin Jacobson, 2016 Super High Roller Bowl winner Rainer Kempe and Australian legend Billy “the Croc” Argyros also return for Day 2.

Defending champ Ari Engel hasn’t advanced to Day 2 yet but he’s been busy in other parts of the poker room. He final tabled the AUD$1,150 Shot Clock Shootout in seventh place and then finished in third place in the $2,500 Eight Game Mixed event.

Players have one final flight, seven 90-minute levels, to advance on Day 2 of the event.

 Day 1A  Chip Count  Day 1B  Chip Count
 Sam Ingham 160,100  Rhys Jones  159,000
 Pascal Pflock 115,100  Mustapha Kanit  155,000
 Patrick Crivell 110,000   Jeff Rossiter 110,000 
 Sam Higgs  107,900  Ruzman Hussan  87,700
 Oliver Weis  103,000  Andrew Hinrichsen  83,500
 Andrew Bassat  93,000  David Yan  80,000
 Erik Seidel  86,000  Patrick Fletcher 77,500 
 Jennifer Tilly  85,000  Michael Egan  66,000
 Jay Prasad  85,000  Ryan D’Angelo 62,000 
 Barry Woods  81,300  Michael Kanaan 57,000