Event 1: $1,100 No Limit Hold'em

Portaro Active Early

After taking an early hit Bruno Portaro had just doubled up to get himself back towards his starting stack.

Portaro called a preflop raise, and was happy to move his last few chips in on the {8-Hearts}{4-Spades}{9-Clubs} flop holding {4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts} for bottom set, as his opponent made the pot-committed call with {5-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}.

The turn and river landed {K-Diamonds}, {K-Hearts} as Portaro doubled himself back up to 7,100.

Crown's Big Game

The Big Cash game action usually warms up as the Aussie Millions goes on, but if tonight is any indication the cash games could be huge this series.

Matthew Kirk, Tino Lechich, and Van Marcus are among a full table playing a $400/$800 mixed game, and Jarred Graham was seen with a few loaded racks of chips heading for the cashier.

One thing is for sure the action won't be restricted to the tournament area.

"Here's Our Rule on Phones - Don't Use 'Em!"

Crown Director of Poker Operations Jonno Pittock made it clear to the players that the use of mobile phones at the tables is strictly prohibited.

However it seems that some people still didn't get the message - or perhaps one person thought that was the SMS that was coming in.

As we watched action on table 30, a player was checking a text message on his mobile - BANG. The tournament director came in and slapped him with a five-minute time penalty. Oops.

It may have saved him some chips though; as he was ushered to the rail to serve his time, Jason Guiliano and another opponent got their money into the middle preflop.

Guiliano: {K-Spades}{K-Diamonds}
Opponent: {k-Clubs}{q-Clubs}

The board ran out {2-Spades}{6-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{A-Clubs}, eliminating the opponent and sending Guiliano's stack up to 22,000.

New Tables Feature Plenty Of Big Names

A new area of the Crown Poker Room is in use for the first time today in a major championships with an additional 12 tables added in a space previously used for casino games near the Poker Pro tables.

These tables will mostly be used for satellites, but for today they are overflow tables for the tournament, enabling the Crown Poker room to now host huge tournament fields with ease.

This area is also currently the home for plenty of notable players including Eric Assadourian, Emad Tahtouh, Tony Hachem, Jonathan Karamalikis, Matthew Pearson, "Toothpick Tony", James Broom, Dave Lee, Mitch Carle, Dean Nyberg and Aleks Brkovic.

However one table in particular caught our attention as it features heavyweights Dan Neilson, Billy Sukkar, Manny Stavropoulos, Chris Chronis and Australia's newest number one online player Ben "CNT_CRUSHER" Delaney.

First Elimination

We've had the first of our many eliminations over the next 18 days of poker action.

It was one of those typical aces versus kings situation. John Apostolidis had the aces, and they held up, sending an unknown opponent to the rail, and making Apostolidis the first player over 20,000 chips today.

Mariakis on the March

Amongst some of the notables in tonight's flight include 2009 ANZPT Adelaide Main Event Champion Karl Krautschneider, Tony Green, Andrew Demetriou, Marc Des Anges, Amanda De Cesare and Melbourne poker icon Antonio Casale.

Michael Mariakis is also in the field and is leaving the bad memories of last year's APPT Cebu Main Event behind (first out on Day 1a), now up to around 20,000 in chips after a big hand on table 32 early on.

Mariakis raised preflop to 300 and found two callers into a flop of {8-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}. Mariakis then led out for 750 and only one opponent called.

Both players checked the turn of the {4-Diamonds}, but on the river {8-Hearts} Mariakis' opponent check-called his bet of 3,000, then mucked after Mariakis rolled up {8-Spades}{8-Clubs} for quads!

Two Months, Two Million to Five Days, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand?

The instructors from poker tutorial website Deuces Cracked (better known as those rich sick gamblers from Two Months, Two Million) are rumored to be in the field today.

They will also be on hand delivering poker tutorials as apart of the Aussie Millions Academy instructional series.

No doubt these series of workshops on poker theory will lift the standard of an already tough series.

The first person to bust today's tournament will be rewarded with a seat in one of the tutorials valued at $250. Perhaps they will parlay that into the 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event championship?

You can also learn for the pros at a modest price simply by checking out the Aussie Millions Academy information on the Crown Poker site.

Cards Are In The Air!

We have a big field here this evening for this event, as the players have found their way to their seats and the cards are now in the air!

The 2010 Aussie Millions is underway!

Welcome to the 2010 Aussie Millions!

It's the middle of a glorious Australian summer and the PokerNews crew have headed down under as the 2010 Aussie Millions kicks off from the world-class Crown Poker Room in Melbourne.

It's going to be an action-packed two and a half weeks of poker with 20 championship events and millions of dollars up for grabs.

Our opening event is a $1,100 no-limit holdem event where the talk of the town is the potential of a 1,000-player field, which would be a record for poker tournaments in this region. We are expecting the finest players in the country to be joined by a throng of international visitors to compete for the $1 million prize pool in this event.

Today is the first of three opening flights, with the unique "repechage" format allowing players to rebuy back into the tournament in the third flight.

All the action kicks off at 7:10 p.m. local time which is about 20 minutes from now. Stay tuned to PokerNews for every flop, turn and river, live as it happens from the tournament floor!