Crown Casino’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship arrives 13 to 30 January, 2011
As the Australian dollar soars to its highest levels since the currency was floated in December 1983, surpassing even the mighty US dollar, there’s no better time than now to make a run down south to try your hand at an Aussie poker tournament. And there’s no better tournament series to test your mettle at than the Aussie Millions at Melbourne’s Crown Casino. At stake is a total tournament prize pool of over AUD $20 million, including an expected record-breaking AUD $2.5 million Main Event first prize payout.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Aussie Millions, it is the biggest and richest tournament in the Southern Hemisphere. It has also been running the longest – since 1998 – and it’s expected that over 3000 entrants will sit down at the tables this year, making it the fifth largest poker tournament in the world. In this series, there are 20 events to choose from running over a two-week period. Last year, it attracted entries from the most countries giving it a truly international field.
The huge prize money and prestige that comes with winning an Aussie Millions title also inevitably attracts the sport’s biggest names. Just some of the old guard heavyweights that are expected to attend this time around are Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Fergusen, Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Phil Helmuth, Tony G, Johnny Chan, David Benyamine, Howard Lederer, Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, Phil Ivey and many more. Chasing them down will be the younger online poker generation of Peter Jetten, Tom Dwan, Andrew Robl, Jason Mercier and Daniel Cates, just to name a few.
They’ll all be trying to achieve the same as last year’s AUD $10,500 Main Event winner, 23-year-old university student Tyron Krost, who walked away with AUD $2 million. The Sydney local spent just AUD $700 on qualifying in a satellite for the tournament. He started the final day second in chips but a long way behind chip leader Sorel Mizzi.
An early chip up saw Krost send Stephen Shelley to the rail in 8th place. Shelley went all in on a flop of 8-5-3 holding pocket sevens and ran into Krost’s jacks, which held the turn and river. Krost then sent two more opponents packing, calling Peter Jetten’s ambitious four-bet K-5 diamonds shove with pocket tens and holding with a board of A-J-2-7-5; and then dispatching the once dominant Mizzi in a race of pocket sevens and AK spades. Krost paired his king on the flop and didn’t look back on a board of K-10-5-8-2, knocking Mizzi out in 3rd who still got AUD $715,000 for his troubles.
The heads up with Frederik Jensen saw Krost go to war with K-9 against Jensen’s K-6 on a flop of K-3-2. The next two cards bricked giving Krost the crown in what was sure to be a life-changing moment.
Another huge event on the Aussie Millions schedule is the AUD $100,000 ‘Challenge’. This special event is said to be the largest cash buy-in tournament in the world, attracting only the world’s best players, and perhaps those with the deepest pockets. In 2010, American Dan Shak won the event, the biggest title of his career, eventually beating the legendary Phil Ivey to score the AUD $1.2 million payday. Shak was modest after his win, commenting that Ivey was the better player but he just got the best of the cards on the day.
What will happen in each of the Aussie Millions events this time around is anyone’s guess, but with such a combination of top players and big money the action surely won’t disappoint.
For information on all the Aussie Millions scheduled events, go to www.aussiemillions.com/schedule and don’t forget to return to the table at Poker Portal Asia for all the Aussie Millions highlights and results.
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