A bumper field of 267 entries on Day 1b of the 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event was whittled down to just 135 over the course of seven 90-minute levels.
Former Main Event champions and Aussie Millions ring-winners rubbed shoulders with local players and satellite qualifiers as they hoped to become the latest in a long line of poker players to lift the southern hemisphere's most prestigious poker title.
Leading the way at the end of the day is Julian Stuer with 196,500 who just held off Wang Yi Long (176,200), Stefano Accardo (150,200) and Tristan Bain (145,600) to bag close to 200,000 in chips.
Stuer had led during the last level of the night but Long made a late surge, flopping trips to chip up to over 175,000. But it wasn't enough to overtake Stuer at the top of the counts.
Several well-known players were eliminated during Day 1b, including former WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem. However, his youngest son James Hachem (25,300) bagged up chips at the end of Day 1a.
Other big stacks and notables include WPT New Zealand champion Nauvneel Kashyab (109,200), Randy Lew (103,100), Dominik Panka (98,900), Opening Event final tablist Matt Edwards (92,200), Accumulator final tablist Bjorn Ostby (90,300), bracelet-winner Andrew Hinrichsen (83,400), Celina Lin (83,300), Oliver Gill (67,800), Scott Hamilton-Hill (59,200), Billy 'The Croc' Argyros (57,500), Andrew Chen (34,800), Pot-Limit Omaha runner-up Dylan Kii (30,100), and Maria Lampropulos (23,200).
Jonathan Karamalikis had his aces cracked by Yuri Ishida shortly after dinner, while 1996 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Lee Nelson fell to a two outer from his opponent despite Nelson flopping trips. However, 2010 champion Tyron Krost bagged 95,100 chips to join fellow former Main Event champion David Gorr in Day 2 after Gorr advanced from Day 1a.
Other eliminations include 2019 Six Max champion Bart Lybaert, Jack Sinclair, Dylan Wilkerson, Michael O'Grady, Jan Suchanek Sarah Bilney and Chino Rheem.
Rheem lasted a grand total of two hands on Day 1b having swapped the AU$50,000 Challenge for the Main Event.
The 135 advancing from Day 2 will join the 79 who advanced from Day 1a on Wednesday. Day 1c gets underway tomorrow at 12:30 pm (AEDT) and looks set to be a large and potentially record-breaking flight.