2012 Aussie Million sees sharp decline in attendance

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jan 23, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

With two of the three starting days down, the 2012 Aussie Millions looks like it will continue the trend started at the PCA just a few weeks ago; as Day 1a and Day 1b have seen a marked drop in attendance year over year. The huge declines in attendance is something I warned about at the beginning of the calendar year, as Black Friday is now making its presence full felt in the poker world.

This year the Aussie Millions Main Event drew 153 entrants on Day 1a, a far cry from the 238 players that registered on Day 1a in 2011: Day 1b fared slightly better, dropping from 209 entrants in 2011 down to 187 this time around. In 2011, Day 1c drew 274 entrants putting the total number of entrants at 721; in order for the 2012 Aussie Millions to match this number a whopping 381 entrants on Tuesday.

My guess is that Aussie Millions Main Event will see slightly less than the 30% decrease in attendance that the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) felt. If attendance is down by 25% the 2012 Aussie Millions final attendance tally would be in the neighborhood of 540 players: 153 on Day 1a, 187 on Day 1b, and an estimated 200 on Day 1c.

Even the ultra-high-buy-in tournaments do not seem to be immune from this phenomenon as the PCA Super-High-Roller also saw a decline in attendance, with 29 players entered the tournament this year, opposed to the 39 from 2011. The $100k Challenge at the Aussie Millions was hit a lot harder as it saw its attendance drop from 38 players in 2011, down to just 22 in 2012!

Aussie Millions Day 1a and Day 1b Results

Of the 153 players who entered the tournament on Day 1a, a mere 68 of them were able to make it out of their Day 1 starting flight and move on to Wednesday’s Day 2 of the Aussie Millions Main Event. Leading the way was Brett Watson, the only player to eclipse the 200k chip mark, which he did easily, tallying over 250k chips, well ahead of his nearest rival Paul Sing and his 177k chips.

Only 83 players from Day 1b’s starting field of 187 players were sent to the rail on Monday, leaving 104 players to join the 68 survivors from Day 1a of the 2012 Aussie Millions. There were far more big names in the field on Day 1b, and players like James Dempsey, Kenna James, and Tom Dwan all ended the day amongst the chip-leaders.

Day 1c: What to Expect

Day 1c is typically the best-attended day of the Aussie Millions Main Event, and I’m expecting even more big names to take to the tables, with the $100k Challenge tournament now in the books –so players like Sam Trickett, Joe Hachem, Gus Hansen, and Tony G will all be filling the Crown Casino seats for Day 1c. As I said above, look for around 200 participants for the final starting flight.

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