Sunny Jung ended the day as a narrow chip leader with 1,810,000 after six hours of frenetic play. Ami Barer, the reigning Aussie Millions Main Event champion, finished second with 1,760,000, and Konstantin Pogodin third on 1,165,000.
The returning field of 24 players was whittled down to final two tables in fast order as short stacks Byron Kaverman (24th), Stephane Blouin (23rd), Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin (22nd), Jian Zhang (21st), David Douglas (20th), and then Kai Yat Fam (19th) quickly fell in the first level of play to get things down to two tables.
The story of the day was the action provided by Jung, the defending champion of this event. It was a tale of two different tables when the field was reduced to 18, as every time the other table looked over at Jung’s he seemed to have a bet of over 200,000 in front of him to put another opponent to the test. Jung would continually clash with two players — first Meng Dian Peng, and then Konstantin Pogodin — in huge pots that saw him fluctuate up and down. First, he took a big chip lead, then he lost it to Pogodin, and then he took it back when he held the on a board of and Pogodin paid off a river bet.
While Jung was contesting huge pots, Sorel Mizzi was eliminated in 18th place for HK$338,000 when he shoved with the over Gabriel Jossec’s open with the . Mizzi flopped a flush draw, but he couldn’t get there on a final board of .
Michael Tureniec was eliminated by Pogodin in 17th when his three-bet shove with the was called by the . There was a moment when Pogodin thought he had been out-flopped, but his set on the board was good.
Jung busted Dimitar Danchev in 16th for HK$338,000 when his beat the of Danchev emphatically on a final run out of . Also collecting the same amount of prize money were 15th-place finisher Jorn Walthaus and 14th-place finisher Terrence Chan, while Ronald Chun Long Yu made it through to the money jump in 13th, collecting HK$406,000 when his shove with the lost out to the of Vladimir Troyanovskiy on a board.
It was around this time that Jung hit the 2,000,000 mark when he won another big pot, this time from Barer. The hand failed to go to showdown, as Barer folded to a third barrel from Jung, who kept his play relentless and fearless all day.
It would be a day of frustration and, ultimately, disappointment for start-of-day chip leader Yaxi Zhu. She was eventually eliminated in 12th place for HK$406,000. Aside from one double up, it was a succession of second bests and tight folds for Zhu, who just couldn’t seem to catch a break. Zhu would be eliminated when she check-raised all in on a flop of holding the . Barer made the call with the . Although the on the turn was safe, the provided a cruel way to exit as Barer made his straight.
A four-way flop of saw Peng move all in holding the , but Jung had him with the for a flopped full house. The turn and river sent Peng out in 11th with HK$406,000.
The final player to fall before the official table of nine was Bodo Sbrzesny. Jung opened, Barer called, and Sbrzesny shoved with the . Jung folded, and it took a few minutes before Barer made the call with the . Sbrzesny couldn’t look and the cards fell . The river delivered Barer the straight, and Sbrzesny collected HK$540,000 for his 10th-place finish.
Action will resume Saturday at 3 p.m. local time when the surviving nine will play down to a winner. The winner will be crowned the champion and walk away with a massive HK$6,300,000.
Sunny Jung will be looking to make it a historic back-to back win, and all eyes will be on him. Can he do it? If it’s anything like today, it will be a thrill-a-minute ride as he seeks to do it.
Be sure to join us here at PokerNews for the exciting completion of this event!