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  1. Vincent Wan has been a regular at the Crown Casino in Melbourne for nearly two decades. In that time he has come to become a frequent face in the high stakes cash games and has even managed to win the Royal Flush jackpot on two occasions. On Friday, he capped all of that by winning the 2020 Aussie Millions Main Event title after an epic 15-hour long final table that included a heads-up battle that lasted longer than The Irishman and had nothing other than the trophy at stake. [ptable zone=“Global Poker Article Ad”][ptable zone=“GG Poker”][ptable zone=“BetMGM NJ”] The seven players who returned to action on Friday played for over two hours before the first elimination. Nino Ullmann raised from the UTG+1 with [poker card="qs"][poker card="th"], Gareth Pepper called from the hijack with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"], and Nicolas Malo defended the big blind with [poker card="td"][poker card="8c"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"] flop gave Ullmann the nut straight. Malo and Ullmann both checked and Pepper bet 400,000. Malo moved all in for 790,000 and Ullmann came over the top for 1,325,000 all in. Pepper folded. The turn was the [poker card="3s"] and the [poker card="ks"] completed the board to eliminate Malo in seventh. A little over an hour later, another player was sent to the rail. Pepper raised to 220,000 from the hijack with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"] before Oliver Weis moved all in for 2,190,000. Pepper called. The board ran out [poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="ac"] to give Pepper the pot and end Weis' run in sixth place. The five remaining players played for four hours and took a one-hour dinner break before the next player was sent to the rail. Wan raised to 325,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"] and Erik Seidel pushed all in for 2,875,000 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ts"]. Wan called. The [poker card="js"][poker card="th"][poker card="2c"] flop gave both players a pair. Seidel wasn't able to make trips throug the [poker card="2d"] turn or [poker card="4d"] river and the Poker Hall of Famer was eliminated in fifth. Another hour passed without an elimination before Ullmann got involved in another confrontation with a much different result. Ngoc Tai Hoang called from the small blind with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"] and Ullmann checked the big blind with [poker card="td"][poker card="7s"]. The [poker card="tc"][poker card="7d"][poker card="5h"] flop gave Ullmann control. Hoang bet 300,000 and Ullmann called. Hoang then checked the [poker card="jd"] and Ullmann bet 800,000. Hoang moved all in and Ullmann called all in. The [poker card="5d"] river gave Hoang a better two pair and sent Ullmann to the rail with a fourth place finish. The final three players then entered into chop discussions which got a little contentious. After running the ICM numbers, Pepper wanted his payout bumped up to an even $1 million. Wan agreed but was insistent that he would get the trophy, despite trailing Hoang at the time. Crown Tournament Director Joel Williams informed them that they had to play for the trophy. Negotiations continued and Wan pitched new numbers that Hoang felt was unfair. "It is fair, because I'm definitely better than you. I've been a professional poker player for like 20 years and he's been playing for like 10 years as well," Wan said. "This is like your first cash. You have like a $5K cash a $2K cash, I saw. It's okay. I know." Hoang explained he's had other cashes not listed online while campaigning for a more favorable payout. "I can see the way you play. You don't," Wan said. The three finally came to terms on a deal that saw each of them secure a seven-figure payday. Wan and Hoang each earned $1,318,000 with Pepper taking home $1,000,000. With the deal in place, Pepper lasted just 20 more minutes before busting. Pepper moved all in for 5,010,000 from the small blind with [poker card="9h"][poker card="2c"] and Wan called from the big blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="3s"]. The board ran out [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"][poker card="8d"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7c"] to send Pepper packing and put the tournament into heads up play. That pot gave Wan the heads-up lead over Hoang. Wan had 13,665,000 to Hoang's 11,045,000 and despite Wan's insistence he was a superior player, the pair played heads-up for nearly 4.5 hours before Wan claimed victory. Hoang was left desperately short after losing with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qc"] to [poker card="ad"][poker card="9c"] and [poker card="ah"][poker card="qc"] to [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"]. There was yet one more chance for him to get it in good with an unfortunate result. Hoang shoved his last 2,200,000 in the middle with [poker card="as"][poker card="3h"] and Wan called with [poker card="tc"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="js"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6s"] flop gave Wan middle pair and Hoang couldn't catch up after the [poker card="jd"] turn or [poker card="td"] river and was eliminated in second place giving Wan the title as 2020 AUssie Millions Main Event champion. 2020 Aussie Millions Main Event Payouts Vincent Wan - A$1,318,000 ($907,196 US) Ngoc Tai Hoang - A$1,318,000 ($907,196 US) Gareth Pepper - A$1,000,000 ($688,31 US) Nino Ullmann - A$480,160 ($330,501 US) Erik Seidel - A$378,660 ($260,637 US) Oliver Weis - A$307,820 ($211,877 US) Nicolas Malo - A$240,080 ($165,250 US)
  2. Kahle Burns is having a helluva week. The 31-year-old Australian was inducted into the Australian Poker Hall of Fame along with Lynn Gilmartin on Monday. on Thursday night, Burns beat reigning Global Poker Index Player of the Year Alex Foxen to win the 2020 Aussie Millions $100K Challenge. The two-day event drew 54 entries for a $3,629,281 US prize pool and the field included the likes of Steve O'Dwyer, Mikita Badziakouski, Sam Greenwood, Stephen Chidwick and 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Bryn Kenney. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] After Michael Zhang busted on the bubble, Foxen went to work. From UTG, Foxen raised to 160,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qh"] and Timothy Adams called from the small blind with [poker card="qs"][poker card="3s"]. The flop came [poker card="qd"][poker card="9h"][poker card="5s"] and Adams checked. Foxen bet 80,000 and then called after Adams moved all in for 350,000. Adams was unable to make running spades through the [poker card="as"] turn and [poker card="4d"] river and was eliminated in seventh place. Down to just 7.5 big blinds, Sam Grafton moved all in for 610,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"]. Kenney called from the big blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="ts"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2h"] flop changed nothing and Grafton missed on the [poker card="5s"] turn and [poker card="3d"] river and was sent packing in sixth. A blind on blind battle lead to the next elimination and gave Burns his first victim of the final table. Michael Soyza moved all in from the small blind for 350,000 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="4h"] and Burns called with [poker card="kc"][poker card="7c"]. Burns stayed ahead through the [poker card="ac"][poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="th"][poker card="8s"] run out and Soyza was out in fifth place. It didn't take too long for Burns to end another player's run at the title. Foxen raised from the button to 220,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="4c"] before Kenney raised to 975,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"]. From the big blind, Burns moved all-in with [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"]. Foxen folded and Kenney called with his tournament life on the line. The 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event champ was unable to improve his hand on the [poker card="qs"][poker card="8s"][poker card="3h"][poker card="qd"][poker card="4d"] runout and he was eliminated in fourth. Burns kept the pressure on and just 20 minutes later, found himself heads up for the title after eliminating yet another player. Burns raised to 210,000 from the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="7c"], Aaron van Blarcum moved all in for 950,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jc"] and Burns called. The [poker card="8s"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4d"] flop left van Blarcum in front as did the [poker card="3h"] turn. The [poker card="5c"] river however gave Burns a straight and eliminated van Blarcum in third place. Those three consecutive eliminations left Burns holding a nearly 4-1 lead over Foxen and it took just a little more than 15 minutes for Burns to collect them all. On the final hand Burns opened from the button to 200,000 holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"]. Foxen moved all in for 2,290,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="9s"] and Burns called. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"][poker card="8s"] flop gave Burns second pair. Foxen made third pair on the [poker card="9c"] turn but the [poker card="qd"] river gave Burns the pot and eliminated Foxen. The $1,197,663 score is the second largest of Burns' career, behind only his third place finish in the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series event in Macau in October 2017. According to Hendon Mob, he now has $9,541,399 in lifetime earnings and sits second on the Australian all-time money list behind Joe Hachem. 2020 Aussie Millions $100K Challenge Payouts Kahle Burns - $1,197,663 Alex Foxen - $762,334 Aaron van Blarcum - $508,099 Bryn Kenney - $399,221 Michael Soyza - $290,342 Sam Grafton - $254,050 Timothy Adams- $217,572
  3. As 2019 draws to a close, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of the year. When the calendar turned to February, a number of the top online poker players attempted to take a stand against PokerStars and a much-heralded new online poker site launched. The Boycott: PokerStars vs MTT Heavy Hitters Just before Valentine's Day, PokerStars broke the hearts of some of their most frequent high stakes tournament grinders. A little over 18 months after first introducing Stars Rewards, the company announced major changes to the program that meant MTT players would be earning 55% fewer reward points for any tournament fees paid. Players originally earned 100 reward points for every $1/€1 in rake paid. The changes meant players would now earn just 45 reward points for every $1/€1 in fees. The online MTT community didn't respond well to this change. One of the top-ranked players in the world, 'girafganger', organized a boycott which started out as 250 other players agreeing to sit out a $5,200 buy-in Turbo Series event on PokerStars that same week. "The nonstop rake increases and unbeatable formats they have been pushing on all of us, with the latest one pushing me over the edge, made me reach out to some of the high stakes regs to try and convince them to skip the $5K PokerStars Turbo Series event as a protest," 'girafganger' said in a statement. "The positive feedback was overwhelming and it didn’t take long for a group to naturally form." Some of the players boycotting included 'lena900', 'C Darwin2', Laszlo 'omaha4rollz' Bujtas, Calvin Anderson, and Samuel '€urop€an' Vousden. PokerStars' chief competition, partypoker, even went as far as to create a special $5,000 buy-in tournament with a $1,000,000 guarantee to run against the PokerStars tournament that was subject to the boycott. The boycott didn't seem to have the impact the players were hoping for. The PokerStars event drew 187 total entries, down just seven players from the same tournament a week earlier while the partypoker event met the guarantee. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Bryn Kenney Chops Up the Aussie Millions Main Event Bryn Kenney had himself one helluva 2019 and it all started in earnest in February when he won the Aussie Millions Main Event after a three-way chop. The tournament ended as soon as the deal was agreed upon. Michael Del Vecchio actually had a slight chip lead when negotiations began, but Kenney was able to talk his way into a deal that gave him the title and a $1,272,598 AUD ($914,617 US) payday. Kenney won the title despite not being responsible for eliminating a single player from the final table. Del Vecchio took home $1,272,162 AUD while third-place finisher Andrew Hinrichsen banked $1,097,739 AUD. The event drew 822 runners to break the previous record of 800 from 2018. Kenney wasn't the biggest winner from the Aussie Millions though. Toby Lewis, who won the $50,000 High Roller and finished runner-up in the $25,000 Challenge, earned $1,607,654 AUD ($1,149,064 US) to top the 2019 Aussie Millions earnings list. Team PokerStars Loses Two In January, PokerStars was more than happy to trot out their Team Pros and Ambassadors at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for every media opportunity possible. Less than a month later, two of the most visible pros on their roster began what would be a season-long exodus. In early February, Jamie Staples and Jeff Gross both announced that they were leaving Team PokerStars. Gross and Staples each made an announcement of their own confirming their departure. For Gross, it was a matter of not being able to come to terms on a new contract to continue representing the site. “Is this it for you in poker? The answer is ‘no’,” Gross said “If anything, we are just getting locked in, just getting strapped in and it’s seriously about to turn up.” Staples was looking further ahead and had plans to take his career, poker and streaming, to a new level. “I felt as if I might have an opportunity to do something bigger with my career in poker,” Staples said at the time. “It was a risk and I thought about it a lot and I decided to go on my own.” Over the course of the next few months, Gross and Staples both signed on with partypoker to represent their brand at live events on via player-created content on YouTube and Twitch. David Peters Takes Home US Poker Open In mid-month, the PokerGO airwaves were jam-packed with the 10 events from the US Poker Open. Most of the high roller regulars were out in full force for events with buy-ins from $10,000 up to the $100,000 Main Event. David Peters closed out the by winning the Main Event for $1.32 million. That victory also allowed him to beat out Sean Winter for the overall Series title. Peters had two cashes heading into the Main Event. He finished second to Winter in Event #4 ($10,000 Short Deck) for $100,800 and then fifth in Event #9 ($50,000 No-Limit Hold’em) for $164,000 before winning the 33-player Main Event. Stephen Chidwick won a pair of USPO titles. He beat Winter heads-up to win Event #1 ($10,000 No-Limit Hold’em) and then won Event #6 ($25,000 Pot Limit Omaha). Other US Poker Open event winners included Jordan Cristos (Event #2), Lauren Roberts (Event #3), Ali Imsirovic ( Event #5), Bryn Kenney (Event #7), Nick Schulman (Event #8), and Koray Aldemir (Event #9). Run It Once Goes Live When Phil Galfond announced in 2016 that he was launching an online poker site of his own, the poker world was excited that one of their own was stepping out to give them a new place to play. It became a patience tester for both Galfond and poker community. It took two years longer than Galfond expected, but in February, Run It Once launched the Public Beta version of their software to much fanfare. Galfond, who had been transparent about the delays and hiccups experienced along the way, was more than happy to put the product out to the world in an effort to get much-needed feedback. “The deck may be stacked against us, but I believe that with just a little bit of help from you, we can make our poker dream a reality – we can conquer threats to online poker’s future through the innovations we launch with and the countless more still to come, we can be a driving force for positive change in the industry, and we can make Run It Once exactly what a poker site should be.”  
  4. [caption width="640"] Aussie Millions Tournament Director Joel Williams[/caption] Almost 20 years ago a young, inexperienced blackjack dealer went to his first day of work at Crown Casino in Melbourne. Within minutes of his shift starting though, he was already wondering if he’d need to make a career change. “I found myself on a blackjack table at the original Crown Galleria complex with several of my closest 'friends' on the table to wish me well,” said Joel Williams, who now serves as the Crown Casino Tournament Director and oversees the Aussie Millions. “My nerves then led me to dropping all 416 cards onto the casino floor - much to the amusement of those so-called 'friends'.” Despite the first day mishap, Williams has rebounded well. He picked up the eight decks of cards and made it through his first shift at Crown. On Sunday Williams will be the man in charge when the best poker players in the world play in one of the biggest buy-in poker tournaments in the world, the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions. It’s a long way from being a blackjack dealer fumbling his way through a shuffle. “From early 2000 I'd become a poker dealer and within a few years became involved with the training of poker staff, Poker Room Management as well as Tournament Operations,” said Williams. “When the Tournament Director position eventually became available, I jumped at it. The chance to be involved in one of the world's most prestigious poker events was just too good to pass up, and especially at a management level.” Ask players who’ve made the trip to Melbourne to play the Aussie Millions and they’ll tell you it’s a different experience from nearly anything else they’ve ever played. The schedule, with buy-ins from $1,150 all the way up to the $250,000 Challenge, is only part of the equation. “It’s a combination of many things. Melbourne is such a wonderful city this time of year - between the summer weather, the Australian Open Tennis, Chinese New Year as well as all Melbourne has to offer all year round,” said Williams. “Crown prides itself on customer service, and I think the friendly, almost 'laid back' Australian nature is almost always well received by our players.” That’s reflected in the numbers. The 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event drew 732 players – the largest field since 2011 and a 13% jump over the 2015 event. “The employees who make the experiences even better for the players also is a major draw card and we'd obviously like to think that the continued strength of the Aussie Millions playing schedule is a major drawcard as we work very hard to ensure it's the best schedule we can offer for an event of this caliber,” said Williams. And while the casino goes out of their way to cater to players flying from Europe or North America, Crown is at the center of the Australian poker scene and have developed a satellite program meant to give local players a myriad of opportunities to get in – and not just for the Main Event. The program was a huge success this year, with Crown breaking the record for most players qualified via satellite. “Our local satellite campaign is one of my proudest achievements. We are on track to satellite over 300 local players to our Main Event, many of them even qualifying from 'Free to Enter' satellites,” said Williams “As well as this, two new key satellites were added to the schedule: a $2800 satellite to Event 9 $25K Challenge generated six $25K seats as well as adding another of our famous '10 Seat Guarantee' satellites to the calendar.” If you look back at the history of the Aussie Millions and peruse the various tournament schedules each year, you begin to notice a trend. Crown seems to always be creating new tournament formats. They were the first venue to have a six-figure buy-in event on the schedule, they were the first venue to hold an event with a buy-in of $250,000 and they’ve also had shot clock tournaments and Speed Poker. Innovation is a calling card of the Crown Poker Room. “We've never been afraid to try new events and I personally think it's important to keep the schedule new and full of surprises. We claim the 'Accumulator' format as a Crown Poker initiative, and are proud to have led the charge in perfecting the 'Repechage' formats,” said Williams. “As for the 'Shot-Clock' events, I think there's a worldwide trend towards faster action - as displayed by the fact there's even a 'shot-clock' on our $100K Challenge event.” Williams indicated that there are more innovations on the way, including bringing their 10/10/10 format to the Aussie Millions next year. The 10/10/10 format, which first debuted at the Crown in 2014, is a hyper turbo that gives players a 10,000 starting stack with 10 minute levels and a 10 second shot clock. Being the man in charge of what most consider the most prestigious poker tournament in the Southern Hemisphere means long days on the property. For three weeks Williams finds himself at Crown for most of the day, and then when the day is over he puts his head down a pillow not his own. While crashing at a hotel might be fun for a bachelor, Williams has a fiance and two kids at home. “I found an eight hour window early in the week that enabled me to visit the family, and they have come into Crown to visit me once throughout the Series,” said Williams. “Just finding the time to clear my head and speak to my two boys makes the next phase of a long series far more manageable.” When the Aussie Millions wraps up on Monday, Williams gets to head home to get back to the day-to-day life of being a father and he’s certainly looking forward to it. “I'd love to say 'hug my kids', but with two boys aged 3 and 5, the reality is 'let my boys jump all over me’,” joked Williams. “I also think my long-suffering partner will be overdue for a rest by that stage, so I'll be sure to try and ease her workload a little too.” Once Wiliams has some down time, plays with his kids and lets his partner enjoy a slower pace, he’s back at Crown getting ready for the 2017 Aussie Millions. “The Aussie Millions is our absolute flagship event for the entire year, and next year's planning commences almost within a week of the previous Aussie Millions concluding,” said Williams. Just this week Crown announced that the 2017 Aussie Millions will run January 11 – 30.
  5. [caption width="640"] Jason Somerville is bringing the Aussie Millions to Twitch[/caption] There's an entire generation that grew up playing or watching Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego? It was a game show and series of video games developed to teach kids geography as they took the clues provided and attempted to capture the criminal mastermind Carmen Sandiego. There's an entire generation of poker players and fans that are learning geography, but it's not a fedora-wearing, redheaded villain, but rather a 28-year-old poker-playing, live-streaming New Yorker who is showing his ever-growing fan base the world, one Twitch broadcast at a time. Just a week after taking his show to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Jason Somerville finds himself Down Under as the sole broadcaster for the 2016 Aussie Millions, one of the premier events on the poker calendar. "I started talking to the Aussie Millions guys at the end of September," said Somerville. "They reached out to me saying they wanted to do something really special this year and that they had tried live streaming, I guess, in the past and it hadn't gone really great and they had seen what I had done on Twitch." While Somerville's existing audience was certainly a big part of the reason Crown contacted him in the first place, the enthusiasm he showed in pitching them his concept was what sold them on him. They knew they had the right medium, and after talking to Somerville they knew they had the right partner. "In 2016, Crown Melbourne made the decision to extend the global reach of the Aussie Millions and make the tournament accessible to poker enthusiasts where they consume poker the most," said Xavier Walsh, Crown's COO. "We are committed to providing the most dynamic, compelling, and relevant coverage possible, and it was crucial to extend the digital footprint to a new phase whilst including new channels in the social media space, namely Twitch.tv, allowing the world to enjoy the action as it happens." What Somerville had "done on Twitch" is now well known in most poker circles. Crown Casino still wasn't sure what Somerville would want to do. "At first, I think they didn't quite know what they wanted and then once I heard they were interested I pitched them on the full thing," said Somerville. "I told them, 'I want to come out there, we'll do the full broadcast, commentary on the $100K, $250K, Main Event, as much coverage as we can get every single day and let's showcase this event.'" Somerville debuted as an official partner on Twitch in October 2014 and quickly became the single most popular poker player on the live streaming service. The success of his Run It Up broadcasts have paved the way and set a template for the likes of Jaime Staples, Randy Lew, and Celina Lin to follow. But Somerville's Twitch broadcasts were originally built around his own play. People were tuning in to watch Somerville live stream his own play in PokerStars tournaments and cash games. While that proved extremely popular, Somerville had his eyes on bigger things, including live streaming from live poker tournaments and events around the world. In December, while Somerville was busy finalizing his plans for the Aussie Millions, the brain trust at PokerStars, where Somerville is a Team Pro, wanted to know what his PCA plans were. Sure, it was relatively short notice, but Somerville jumped at the chance to offer his legions of fans the chance to check out PokerStars' marquee event. Somerville didn't exactly take it easy – he jumped in with both feet. Over the course of the PCA, Somerville was on air for nearly 5,000 minutes – 81 hours. During that time, there was an average of 6,000 concurrent viewers tuned in, peaking at just over 13,500 for the Main Event final table. His efforts set a record for live tournament poker on Twitch. He's hoping to smash that record this week. "The shows are going to be absolutely awesome, with hole cards the entire time. That's one thing we heard consistently (during PCA) was people saying, 'I don't know what they have,'" said Somerville. During the PCA broadcasts, hole cards were kept hidden. "It's going to be the same kind of interactive broadcast as we had (at PCA). I'm going to be talking in the Twitch chat the whole time through and people can ask questions. I think it will be the most high-quality (poker) broadcast ever done." The PCA broke all the records, but it also gave Somerville a lot of notes on how to improve the product heading into the Aussie Millions. Being able to see hole cards is important, but that wasn't the only feedback he's using to take the product to the next level. "We've learned a lot of lessons about trying to minimize recycled break content, trying to always have something fresh and interesting and engaging to keep the viewers all night long, and I think they're going to be really compelling and interesting shows," said Somerville. While many poker fans might think of Twitch as a place to watch poker, the Twitch audience is much larger and consists largely of eSports and video game streams. Finding a way to get that audience is one of the challenges that Somerville most embraces, largely because he feels like he's a part of both worlds. "Twitch is used to a certain level of production quality for the massive eSports events that they have. We see Riot games run their League of Legends finals; they're getting hundreds of thousands of concurrent views watching a pristine, top-of-the-line, beautiful broadcast and many of the top games on Twitch present their games in that way," said Somerville. "Poker really hasn't done that too much yet. The live streams from poker have always been like, 'Oh, and let's live stream on Twitch,' instead of having a guy like me who can bridge the gap between the video game world and the poker world." [caption width="640"] The complete Twitch stream schedule for the 2016 Aussie Millions[/caption] The schedule calls for Somerville to be on air for eight straight days, not only talking poker, but also engaging with the Twitch audience. He'll have plenty of help, though, as some of poker's biggest stars will undoubtedly make their way into the broadcast booth to provide commentary and insight. Still, Somerville is going to find himself talking for over 80 hours. "Honestly, I don't drink coffee. I don't really drink soda or anything, I'm just a very... to me, it comes naturally. I'm just passionate about what I'm doing here and I find that it's easy to be energetic because we truly are showcasing one of the most premiere events in the poker universe and we're bringing it to an audience that has never heard of Aussie Millions before," said Somerville. "I feel like we're going to be delivering a broadcast that caters to Twitch. The production is oriented around what I'm saying and what I want to do." Somerville starts streaming on Sunday, January 24 at 8pm local time (4am US Eastern Time) with the opening day of the $100K Challenge, an event that will draw the biggest names in poker. Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, Sam Trickett and Antonio Esfandiari are all expected to be in the field.
  6. [caption width="640"] Ari Engel won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event[/caption] Life-changing money was awarded at this year's Aussie Millions. The annual poker series Down Under ended with 732 entrants showing up for the Main Event. In the end, a former #1 ranked player on PocketFives, Ari Engel, took it down for USD $1.1 million. He joins the ranks of former Aussie Millions Main Event winners like Tyron Krost, Alexander Kostritsyn, Gus Hansen, Tony Bloom, and Ami Barer. Engel beat World Poker Tour host Tony 'Bond18' Dunst heads-up in a battle of longtime, accomplished online poker players. Dunst took $700,000 back to the US for his runner-up performance. "I'm not a partier," Engel said a few hours after his groundbreaking win. "I went out to dinner with friends and had a couple of drinks. I had to rearrange my flight schedule too, but luckily because of my status, I could change my ticket without a penalty." Engel headed back to the US two days later than he had planned, but $1.1 million probably made any travel headaches well worth it. Engel is no slouch in the live and online poker world, and success has been a staple of his career. However, playing in the Aussie Millions Main Event was a whole new animal. "The amount of money on the line made this experience totally different," Engel explained. "My biggest score before this was $190,000, so these were much bigger stakes and it was intimidating playing for that much money. I've never played for that much before." Despite jockeying for a seven-figure first place prize, Engel stayed composed, treating the tournament like any other, for the most part. "I've played millions of hands and tons of final tables, so you try to approach it like poker. But, there's no getting around that the stakes are too big for my bankroll. I wasn't at all comfortable with the stakes, but that's what happens." Engel approached the tournament one step at a time, eventually treating the final table like a seven-handed sit and go, albeit with a monstrous first place prize. No deal was made in the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event. Instead, according to Engel, Dunst's "investor wasn't interested in a chop." The former explained that he was practically begging to chop because the end game of the Main Event was "out of my comfort zone. Results-wise, it worked out, but I certainly would have wanted to split it." Heads-up play lasted almost four hours and both players held the chip lead on several occasions. Engel entered the final table with over one-third of the chips in play. Engel eliminated four players at the final table, ending with Dunst. Engel first recorded a live tournament score ten years ago in 2006, according to the Hendon Mob, and Dunst recorded his first one year before that. Both are longstanding members of both the live and online poker communities, making their encounter heads-up in Melbourne event entertaining for the entire industry. "Playing against Tony heads-up was pretty amazing," Engel admitted. "We have both been playing poker for years and years. We're friendly whenever we see each other. It was very interesting playing against a longtime poker pro and someone who had some of the best poker minds in the world on his rail and watching the stream. I also had a team working with me, but he had the best players in the world on his side. He is a very accomplished player himself and hangs out with these great players all the time." [caption width="640"] Tony Dunst finished second[/caption] Engel lived in Melbourne from age three to age 11 and still has plenty of friends in the Australian city, many of whom came out to see him battle against Dunst and company in the final stages of the Aussie Millions Main Event. "There's no place in the world I would have had a bigger rail," Engel admitted. "I had tons of friends there. A lot of them were into poker and a lot of them, not-so-much, but they came out anyway. I had family come see me. It was a really cool experience to have all of that support, especially given that the stakes were intimidating and my opponent was intimidating." Engel said that Melbourne was the first place he can remember living, way back at age three. "I grew up liking Australian sports and had an Australian accent and went to school here," he recalled. "It was a great place to be and I'd strongly consider living here. When I first got into poker, my parents moved to New Zealand, so there was a time when I was going to New Zealand a couple of times a year and visited Australia too. I went to the Aussie Millions in 2008 and 2009." Engel is well-known for his seven World Series of Poker Circuit rings, tied for second most all-time behind Alex Masek's nine. In 2014, the Aussie Millions champ won the Punta Cana Poker Classic Main Event for $177,000 and, one month later, took fifth in the Eureka High Roller for another $119,000. His first six-figure live cash was in 2008 in a $2,150 Borgata Deep Stack event in Atlantic City. Online, Engel was the third #1 player ever in the PocketFives Rankings, ascending the throne in September 2006 and holding it for five weeks. Two years ago, he won a PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker $109 No Limit Hold'em event for $187,000 after a four-way deal. Engel has had plenty of wins and top-tier scores, yet is still trying to convince himself to move up in stakes and play higher. After he pays his backers, Engel said he'll "potentially continue to move up in stakes, although I've basically been playing some of the highest stakes already. I'm not sure how many more high roller events I'd want to enter. As I get more confident and get a bigger bankroll, what's considered good value and not-so-good value changes. There are some people in the world who have an edge in every tournament they play, but I'm not quite there yet." The Aussie Millions emanated from the Crown Casino in Melbourne, where it has resided since 1998, and consistently delivers a world-class experience to players. "Crown is one of the nicest casinos I've been to," Engel lauded. "I've spent a lot of time grinding in some places that aren't very nice. Crown is in a nice part of the city and there are restaurants and things to do around it. The poker room is great. They have professional staff, which is what you'd expect from a major tournament. The casino and atmosphere are really nice." It also doesn't hurt to get out of the path of a major winter storm. "The fact that it's summer here and winter in the Northern Hemisphere means the traveling pros aren't as bitter as they normally are, so there's a good vibe," Engel observed. "Australians are also really nice and have treated me well."
  7. [caption width="640"] Shurane Vijayaram turned a Shurane Vijayaram turned a $130 satellite win into the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event title. (Crown photo)0 satellite win into the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event title. (Crown photo)[/caption] Sunday night in Melbourne Shurane Vijayaram completed an improbable run that is sure to become an Australian poker legend. Vijayaram, who won his way into the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event via a $130 satellite, beat out a final table that included Fedor Holz and Ben Heath to win the title and the accompanying $1.6 million AU ($1.2 million) first place prize money. Vijayaram was the overwhelming chip leader when the final table began with 7.47 million of the 21.62 million in play. No other player had more than 3.27 million at the time. Despite having that huge stack to work with, it was a lay down that Vijayaram made early on that will have people talking. Heath raised to 115,000 from the hijack with [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"] before Vijayaram re-raised to 315,000 from the big blind with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"]. Heath called and then checked the [poker card="td"][poker card="tc"][poker card="4c"] flop, allowing Vijayaram to bet 275,0000. Heath called and both players saw the [poker card="kh"] on the turn. Heath checked again and Vijayaram checked behind. The [poker card="2h"] river got Heath to fire out a bet of 585,000. Vijayaram took a few seconds before folding. It took another hour for the first elimination and it wasn’t Vijayaram doing the work and it wasn’t the shortest stack, Holz, leaving. Tobias Hausen raised from the button to 135,000 before Luke Roberts moved all in from the small blind for 675,000. Hausen took some time before calling and tabling [poker card="ts"][poker card="9s"]. Roberts was ahead with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"] and the [poker card="js"][poker card="jc"][poker card="5s"] flop kept him there. The [poker card="6s"] turn however completed Hausen’s flush and sent Roberts to the rail in seventh. The next elimination didn’t take long at all. Heath raised to 135,000 from UTG, Vijayaram called from the cutoff before Jeff Rossiter raised to 490,000 from the button. David Olson then four-bet 1.3 million. Both Heath and Vijayaram folded but Rossiter called. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"] flop was good enough for Olson to move all in for 1.3 million and Rossiter called instantly. Olson showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"] and needed help against Rossiter’s [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="tc"] turn and [poker card="5s"] river were both blanks and Olson was eliminated in sixth. Despite coming in to the final table with the shortest stack, Holz managed to outlast two others and ladder his way up the payouts. That all ended at the hand’s of Rossiter though. The Australian, making his second Aussie Millions Main Event final table appearance, raised to 180,000 from the cutoff and Holz defended his big blind. The flop was [poker card="7s"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3s"]. Holz checked, Rossiter bet 140,000 and Holz responded by moving all in for 730,000 total. Rossiter called and tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="7c"] for top pair with the nut flush draw. Holz showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="6c"] for middle pair. The [poker card="kh"] turn and [poker card="4c"] river were no help for Holz and he was out of the Main Event in fifth place one day after finishing third in the $100,0000 Challenge. Despite picking up the previous two bustouts, Rossiter was unable to avoid Vijayaram’s run to the title. From UTG Rossiter made it 240,000 to go and chip leader Vijayaram moved all in from the big blind. Rossiter called and showed [poker card="6h"][poker card="6s"] while Vijayaram tabled [poker card="kc"][poker card="jd"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="tc"][poker card="8d"] flop put Vijayaram ahead with top pair and neither the [poker card="ts"] turn or [poker card="jh"] river were any help for Rossiter and he was out in fourth place as Vijayaram continued to add to his stack. Vijayaram picked up another victim just a few minutes later. After he raised to 380,000 from the button, Hausen moved all in from the small blind for 1.265 million. Heath got out of the way before Vijayaram tanked and eventually called with [poker card="jd"][poker card="tc"]. Hausen was well ahead with [poker card="ad"][poker card="js"].The [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"][poker card="2d"] flop furthered Hausen’s lead, but the [poker card="qc"] turn gave Vijayaram broadway. The [poker card="8s"] river was no help for Hausen and he was out in third place while Vijayaram and Heath were left to play heads-up. When heads-up play began, Vijayaram had a nearly 3-1 chip lead and never relinquished control over the 30 hands of play against Heath. On the final hand of the tournament Vijayaram raised to 350,000 from his button and Heath called and then checked the [poker card="9c"][poker card="7s"][poker card="6h"] flop. Vijayaram bet 400,000 and Heath called again. After the [poker card="3h"] turn Heath check-raised all in to 1.39 million. Vijayaram called to see the [poker card="qs"] river. Heath announced he was all in for 3.2 million and over five minutes later, Vijayaram called and tabled [poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"]. Heath showed [poker card="ks"][poker card="8c"] for a missed straight draw and was eliminated in second place, leaving Vijayaram as 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event champion. Final Table Payouts Shurane Vijayaram - $1,600,000 Ben Heath - $1,000,000 Tobias Hausen - $620,000 Jeff Rossiter - $440,000 Fedor Holz - $335,000 David Olson - $270,000 Luke Roberts - $210,000
  8. Sunday was a bad day to be Dan Cates (pictured), as running kings into aces multiple times at the Aussie Millions proved too much for the high-stakes poker pro to stomach. During the series' $100,000 Challenge, Cates ran kings into aces twice, but couldn't control his emotions the second time around and snapped. Jeff Rossiter took the brunt of Cates' rage, as after the money went in, according to PokerNews, "Cates yelled out, 'Are you f***ing kidding me?!?!' before throwing his cards across the table in the direction of Rossiter." The board ultimately proved no help to Cates, who then elevated his aggression. The same coverage relayed, "Cates exploded by grabbing a handful of chips and throwing them like a baseball player across the table at Rossiter. Some of the chips bounced on the table in front of Rossiter, one or two hit him in the chest, and a couple more stumbled onto the floor. After doing so, Cates just sat there, visibly steamed with what had occurred. Rossiter took it quite well, whereas many people might've freaked out in their own right after having chips hurled at them." It was unclear whether Rossiter had Cates covered, and with Cates' juvenile actions, figuring it out was no easy task. Eventually, tournament officials concluded that Cates was eliminated. Earlier in the re-entry event, Cates busted with kings to Steve MrTimCaum O'Dwyer's flopped quad aces. Cates posted on Twitter shortly after the second bust-out: Over on Two Plus Two, there was plenty of reaction to the incident, with one poster saying, "Refreshing to see some personality in poker even if it is a ****ty one." Another recalled, "This reminds me of when he purposely broke a bottle on the floor of Bobby's Room. How does this guy have the emotional control to be a successful poker player?" There has been no word about any punishment handed down. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  9. [caption width="640"] Steve O'Dwyer has .7M earnings so far in 2016[/caption] Steve O’Dwyer did in January what most poker players dream of doing in their lifetime. He finished fourth in the Triton Super High Roller in the Philippines for $953,700. He then won the $50,000 High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $945,495. Then he made his way to the Aussie Millions where he finished fourth in the $25,000 High Roller. Three six figure cashes inside of three weeks. But he wasn’t done. On Monday - the first day of February - he capped that off by winning the Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge for A$951,960 ($673,371 US). The event drew a total of 16 entries including two from Fedor Holz and a Day 2 entry from Mike McDonald to build a total prize pool of A$3,920,000. After Byron Kaverman busted in fifth place, the remaining four players agreed to an ICM chop, leaving $100,000 cash and the title to play for. The original payout structure was only paying the top three spots. Just over 40 minutes after agreeing to the chop, a crippled Fabian Quoss was sent out in fourth place. Peter raised to 50,000 from the button, O’Dwyer re-raised to 150,000, and Quoss put his last 60,000 in the middle. Peters folded. O’Dwyer held [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"] which put him well ahead of Quoss’ [poker card="6c"][poker card="3c"]. O’Dwyer paired his queen on the turn and Quoss was out in fourth. Five minutes later Drinan followed Quoss. Drinan moved all in from the button and Peters moved all in over the top, forcing O’Dwyer to fold. Drinan showed [poker card="8d"][poker card="7d"] and was well behind Peters’ [ah[poker card="4h"]. The board ran out [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"][poker card="9c"] and Drinan was out in third leaving O’Dwyer and Peters to play for the title. Heads-up play took just over an hour. On the final hand of the night O’Dwyer raised and Peters called to see a flop of [poker card="qh"][poker card="6h"][poker card="3s"]. Peters checked to O’Dwyer who bet 115,000. Peters called and the two saw the [poker card="th"] hit the turn. Peters checked again and O’Dwer bet 230,000. Peters called again. The river was the [poker card="7d"] and Peters checked again. O’Dwyer announced he was all in for 1,700,000. Peters snap-called and tabled [poker card="qd"][poker card="7c"] for two pair but O’Dwyer showed [poker card="qc"][poker card="ts"] for a better two pair, eliminating Peters and earning his second high roller victory of the last three weeks. Final Table Payouts Steve O’Dwyer - 951,960 David Peters - 889,236 Connor Drinan - 1,021,909 Fabian Quoss - 956,896
  10. [caption width="540"] Fabian Quoss won the Aussie Millions 0K Challenge[/caption] After a four day break in action, the stacked final table of the 2016 Aussie Millions $100K Challenge final table resumed play on Friday night with Ben 'Ben86' Tollerene leading over Jason Mercier, Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz, Fabian Quoss, Connor Drinan and Sam Greenwood. It took just five hours to play down to a winner with Quoss outlasting Tollerene heads-up to win A$1,446,480 ($1,024,000 US). Holz, who won Super High Roller events in December and January, wasn’t able to overcome the short stack he started the day with. On just the sixth hand of the day, action folded to Drinan on the button and he moved all-in with [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"] before Holz tank-called from the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] to keep Drinan in the lead and eliminate Holz in sixth place for A$281,260 for his tenth six-figure score in the last year. Just six hands later Greenwood became Drinan’s second victim of the day. From the cutoff Drinan raised to 40,000 before Greenwood moved all in from the small blind for 235,000. Drinan called and tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"] while Greenwood was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2c"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop was safe for Greenwood, as was the [poker card="4d"] turn, but the [poker card="9d"] river gave Drinan a pair of nines and sent Greenwood home in fifth place. Despite adding the stacks of Holz and Greenwood to his own, Drinan’s run was cut short. After dropping pots to Mercier and Quoss to get short, Drinan doubled through Mercier before finding himself in a tough spot. Action folded to Quoss on the button and he raised to 55,000 with [poker card="ac"] [poker card="2c"] and Drinan called from the big blind with [poker card="qc"] [poker card="9s"]. After the [poker card="jc"][poker card="td"][poker card="7c"] Drinan check-called Quoss’ bet of 75,000. The [poker card="9c"] turn completed Quoss’ flush and after Drinan checked, Quoss bet 135,000. Drinan called. The river was the [poker card="6c"] which gave Drinan a flush of his own. Drinan bet 165,000 and Quoss responded by moving all in. Drinan went into the tank, eventually using the time bank chips players are given to extend the shot clock on any given hand. Drinan called, was given the bad news and was eliminated in fourth place. While the first three eliminations came in the first 26 hands, the next one took some time. It took 31 more hands of play to get to heads-up action. Holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="8h"] Mercier button-raised to 60,000 and Quoss re-raised to 160,000 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. Mercier moved all in and Quoss called. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="3s"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Quoss top pair. He improved to two pair after the [poker card="kh"] turn but Mercier was now drawing to the nut flush. The [poker card="2d"] missed Mercier and he was eliminated in third place. When heads-up play began Quoss had 2,500,000 in chips to Ben Tollerene’s 1,100,000. The pair played over 60 hands before Quoss conquered the highs stakes cash game specialist. Short-stacked after over two hours of heads up play, Tollerene called off his last 250,000 holidng [poker card="js"][poker card="td"] after Quoss moved all in with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"]. The board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="5d"], completley missing Tollerene and leaving Quoss with the third super high roller title of his career. Final Table Payouts Fabian Quoss - A$1,446,480 Ben Tollerene - A$924,140 Jason Mercier - A$602,700 Connor Drinan - A$441,980 Sam Greenwood - A$321,440 Fedor Holz - A$281,260
  11. The 2019 Aussie Millions recently wrapped up, and it was another record-setting festival of events Down Under. In the heat of the Australian summer, while tennis fans from around the world enjoyed another edition of the famed Aussie Open, the Aussie Millions was packing the house at Crown Casino in beautiful Melbourne. The Aussie Millions Main Event generated its largest turnout ever with 822 entries, besting last year’s record attendance of 800 entries. Bryn Kenney captured the Aussie Millions Main Event title and A$1.272 million ($914,617) after a three-way deal, Cary Katz won the $100,000 Challenge for A$1.481 million ($1.074 million), and plenty of other big scores were had. Here's a look at the biggest winners from the 2019 Aussie Millions. Top 25 2019 Aussie Millions Money List 1. Toby Lewis - A$1,607,654 ($1,149,064) 2. Cary Katz - A$1,481,760 ($1,074,908) 3. Rainer Kempe - A$1,284,225 ($919,258) 4. Michael Del Vecchio - A$1,275,852 ($916,936) 5. Bryn Kenney - A$1,272,598 ($914,617) 6. Andrew Hinrichsen - A$1,102,408 ($792,305) 7. Manig Loeser - A$772,246 ($555,014) 8. Abraham Passet - A$617,400 ($447,878) 9. Jack Salter - A$541,660 ($390,523) 10. Anton Morgenstern - A$530,640 ($384,767) 11. Clinton Taylor - A$483,000 ($347,132) 12. Guillaume Nolet - A$451,069 ($322,640) 13. Tobias Ziegler - A$431,270 ($311,395) 14. David ‘Chino’ Rheem - A$416,760 ($296,137) 15. Thomas Mühlöcker - A$412,300 ($296,320) 16. Matthew Wakeman - A$380,300 ($273,322) 17. Farid Jattin - A$373,880 ($270,869) 18. Dominik Nitsche - A$350,385 ($251,999) 19. Gyeong Byeong Lee - A$311,985 ($224,207) 20. Kristen Bicknell - A$294,530 ($213,599) 21. Jason Pritchard - A$291,885 ($210,084) 22. Hamish Crawshaw - A$253,334 ($182,037) 23. Vincent Huang - A$251,865 ($180,431) 24. Gautam Dhingra - A$247,039 ($175,716) 25. Bjorn Li - A$235,600 ($169,326) Toby Lewis tops the list of winners, earning A$1.607 million ($1.149 million) thanks to four cashes in the series. Two of those four in-the-money finishes were for mega bucks, as Lewis placed second in the $25,000 Challenge for A$781,214 ($555,107) and first in the $50,000 Challenge for A$818,054 ($587,936). Lewis' performances moved him to more than $6.3 million in live tournament earnings and jumped him to sixth place on England's all-time money list, as ranked by The Hendon Mob. Katz, who was already mentioned as the winner of the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge, was the second-biggest money earner from the 2019 edition of the event. Katz only cashed once, but he won the A$100,000 buy-in event for A$1.481 million ($1.074 million). It was the fifth-largest score of Katz’s poker career, as he moved to more than $18.4 million in live tournament earnings and up to 25th on poker’s all-time money list, also according to The Hendon Mob. Ranking third was Rainer Kempe, who earned a combined A$1.284 million ($919,258) thanks to two big results. Kempe won the $25,000 Challenge that Lewis came second in and took home A$831,465 ($590,814). He also placed fourth in the $100,000 Challenge that Katz won for A$452,760 ($328,444). Kempe's success carried over from the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, where he won more than $1.2 million from three cashes and was the ninth-biggest winner to come out of that series. Just from the PCA and Aussie Millions, Kempe has won more than $2.1 million in prize money in 2019. You’ll notice that Mike Del Vecchio notched Kenney by a couple thousand dollars on the list. The two were involved in a three-way deal at the end of the Aussie Millions Main Event and took home just about the same amount of money. Del Vecchio had another cash at the Aussie Millions that allowed him to finish higher than Kenney on this list. In ninth place with A$541,660 ($390,523) won at the 2019 Aussie Millions was Jack Salter, and he’s the player who cashed the most times within the top 25. Salter cashed five times during the festival, but that wasn’t the most times a player finished in the money at the 2019 Aussie Millions. Justin Liberto and Travis Endersby each cashed six times and were the ones to cash the most times. Liberto earned a combined A$181,609 ($131,133) and Endersby scored a total of A$105,488 ($75,571). If you read our 'Biggest Winners from the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure' article, then you’ll notice there are a few more repeat names on the two lists, in addition to Kempe. Those players are David 'Chino' Rheem, Farid Jattin, and Dominik Nitsche. Rheem, who won the 2019 PCA Main Event for $1.567 million, finished third in the Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge to win A$416,760 ($296,137). He was the 14th-biggest money earner from this year’s Aussie Millions as a result of that. Jattin notably finished seventh in the PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship for $746,000 in the Bahamas. In Melbourne, Jattin finished 31st in the Aussie Millions Main Event and then took second in the A$25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, winning a combined A$373,880 ($270,869). Nitsche won $606,240 at the 2019 PCA festival and then won another A$350,385 ($251,999) at the 2019 Aussie Millions festival, placing 23rd and 18th on each series' earnings leaderboard. Down Under, Nitsche took fourth in the $50,000 Challenge for A$323,950 ($232,823) and sixth in the A$5,000 Six-Max NL for A$26,435 ($19,176).
  12. The schedule is out for the 2020 Aussie Millions Poker Championship at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. The series spans 21 days of consecutive poker action from Saturday, January 4, through Friday, January 24, and features 23 championship poker tournaments. The 2020 Aussie Millions A$10,600 Main Event starts Friday, January 17, and has three starting flights, one each across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The final table will be played on Friday, January 24. The winner is said to walk away with an estimated A$1.8 million and champion's bracelet valued at more than A$25,000. The 2019 Aussie Millions Millions Main Event attracted a record-breaking field of 822 entries and was won by one of poker's biggest names, Bryn Kenney. The 2020 Aussie Millions festival opens with the A$1,150 Opening Event on Saturday, January 4. This event has five starting flights and a A$1 million prize pool guarantee. The 2019 Aussie Millions Opening event became the largest-ever tournament at Crown Casino with a,1752 entries. Also returning for 2020 are the A$25,000 Pot Limit Omaha, A$25,000 Challenge, A$50,000 Challenge, and A$100,000 Challenge. 2020 Aussie Millions Schedule DATE TIME EVENT BUY-IN Jan. 4 12:10 pm Opening Event Day 1A A$1,150 Jan. 5 12:10 pm Opening Event Day 1B A$1,150 12:15 pm H.O.R.S.E. A$2,500 Jan. 6 12:10 pm Opening Event Day 1C A$1,150 6:10 pm Opening Event Day 1D A$1,150 Jan. 7 12:10 pm Opening Event Day 1E A$1,150 Jan. 9 12:15 pm Pot Limit Omaha A$1,150 6:10 pm No Limit Hold'em - Mix Max A$1,150 Jan. 10 12:10 pm No Limit Hold'em - Six Max A$1,150 Jan. 11 12:10 pm Pot Limit Omaha A$2,500 2:10 pm No Limit Hold'em 'Deep Freeze' A$1,500 Jan. 12 12:10 pm Shot Clock No Limit Hold'em Six Max A$2,500 Jan. 13 12:10 pm No Limit Hold'em Accumulator Day 1A A$1,150 12:15 pm 8 Game Mixed A$2,500 2:10 pm 25K Pot Limit Omaha A$25,000 Jan. 14 12:10 pm No Limit Hold'em Accumulator Day 1B A$1,150 Jan. 15 12:10 pm No Limit Hold'em Accumulator Day 1C A$1,150 2:10 pm $25,000 Challenge A$25,000 Jan. 16 2:10 pm No Limit Hold'em Bounty A$2,000 Jan. 17 12:30 pm Main Event Day 1A A$10,600 2:10 pm $50,000 Challenge A$50,000 2:30 pm No Limit Hold'em Terminator A$1,150 Jan. 18 12:30 pm Main Event Day 1B A$10,600 2:30 pm Hyper Turbo No Limit Hold'em A$1,150 Jan. 19 12:30 pm Main Event Day 1C A$10,600 Jan. 20 2:10 pm Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo A$1,150 6:10 pm No Limit Hold'em A$2,500 Jan. 21 2:10 pm Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions A$1,150 6:10 pm No Limit Hold'em Six Max A$5,000 Jan. 22 12:10 pm Turbo No Limit Hold'em - Shot Clock A$1,150 2:10 pm $100,000 Challenge A$100,000 "The 2019 Aussie Millions saw records smashed right across the board," said Joel Williams, Crown Melbourne Tournament Director. "We watched the 'Main Event' scale heights previously unseen; we re-established ourselves as an integral stop on the High Roller circuit; total prize pools exceeded A$30 million and overall participation broke through 8,600 - all served to produce arguably the most memorable series in Australian poker history. January 2020 allows us the opportunity to continue to stamp ourselves as an elite poker destination for players right across the globe - and we are more than ready to accept that challenge and remain committed to providing the best experience possible." On Wednesday, January 8, there is a 10-seat guarantee satellite to the Aussie Millions Main Event on the schedule, starting at 2:10 pm local time with a buy-in of A$550. Although Kenney won the 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event, he wasn't the biggest winner from the series. That title belonged to Toby Lewis, who walked away from the 2019 Aussie Millions with A$1,607,654 ($1,149,064) in prize earnings. Cary Katz and Rainer Kempe also had impressive performances.
  13. Talk about dominance. Phil Ivey (pictured) just won the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge for the third time in four years and has now won the event in 2012, 2014, and 2015. According to PokerNews, "Ivey has done the unthinkable by defending his title to win the prestigious event for the third time in four years, not to mention the AU $2.205 million top prize. That means the three largest cashes of Ivey's career have all come from the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge." There were 25 total entries in this year's $250,000 Challenge, so the field wasn't too big, but the fact is Ivey won a tournament three times in four years despite facing off against the likes of Mike timexMcDonald, whom he beat heads-up, and high-stakes cash game player Doug WCGRiderPolk, who took third. Scott Seiver and Erik Seidel rounded out the five players who made the money in 2015. In US Dollars, Ivey's 2012 Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge win was worth $2.0 million. Last year, he took it down for $3.5 million, which remains his largest live tournament cash to date according to the Hendon Mob. His win over the weekend was worth $1.7 million. All told, Ivey has six million-dollar-plus scores to his credit over the course of his poker career. With the win, Ivey moved into third place on the all-time money list at $23.1 million, passing Dan Colman ($22.8 million) and trailing only Daniel Negreanu ($29.9 million) and Antonio Esfandiari ($26.2 million). Ivey was ahead 3:2 in chips entering heads-up play against McDonald. On the final hand, he drew out on A-Q with K-Q after flopping a cowboy to take the lead for good. Congrats to Phil Ivey on his impressive run down under. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  14. [caption width="640"] Ari Engel won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event.[/caption] Ari Engel, the former #1 ranked online poker player in the world, made big noise Sunday in Australia, beating Tony 'Bond18' Dunst heads-up to win the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event and A$1,600,000 ($1,133,650 US). The final table began with Engel holding 37% of the chips in play with just six other players between himself and the first major win of his career. It didn’t take long for the first elimination. On just the third hand of the day John Apostolidis raised from UTG to 205,000. Action folded to Samantha Abernathy in the small blind and she moved all in. Apostolidis called and turned over [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"] and found he was racing against the [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"] of Abernathy. The board ran out [poker card="jd"][poker card="8c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="7c"] to keep Abernathy ahead and send Apostolidis out in seventh place. It took nearly a full hour before another player was eliminated. Engel raised to 135,000 from the button and Kitty Kuo moved all in for 690,000. Engel called and flipped over [poker card="9d"][poker card="9h"] while Kuo showed [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"]. After the [poker card="qc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4d"] flop Ari was still ahead. Neither the [poker card="qs"] turn or [poker card="6c"] river were any help for Kuo and she was eliminated in sixth. Despite starting the final table with the shortest stack Dylan Honeyman managed to make it past two pay jumps before his tourney came to an end. Dunst raised to 125,000 from UTG, Engel called from the button and Honeyman made it 380,000 to go. Dunst four-bet to 800,000 forcing Engel to fold. Honeyman then moved all in for 1,500,000 and Dunst called. Honeyman had [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"] and Dunst had [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="th"][poker card="3c"] flop was a good on for Honeyman. The [poker card="kc"] turn was of no help for Dunst but the [poker card="qs"] river gave Dunst Broadway and eliminated Honeyman in fifth place. Following Honeyman’s exit, Alexander Lynskey spent nearly 90 minutes as the short stack before running into a monster. Engel limped from UTG and Lynskey moved all in for 1,600,000. Engel called and turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] while Lynskey was drawing thin wiht [poker card="ah"][poker card="7h"]. The community cards provided absolutely no relief for Lynskey and he was out in fourth place. While Engel and Dunst continued to build their stacks it came at the expense of Abernathy. Dunst folded from the button and Abernathy moved all in from the small blind. Engel snap-called from the big blind and table [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"] while Abernathy showed [poker card="th"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9c"] flop gave Engel two pair but also gave Abernathy an open-ended straight draw. The [poker card="jh"] turn missed her as did the [poker card="8s"] river and Abernathy was eliminated, leaving Engel and Dunst to play heads-up for the title. Abernathy’s third place finish is the highest by a female in the history of the Aussie Millions. Engel and Dunst played heads up for nearly four hours with the chip lead swinging back and fort between the two players. On the last hand of the night Dunst raised to 325,000 from the button before Engel re-raised to 925,000. Dunst called and the two saw a flop of [poker card="ts"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2h"]. Engel bet 825,00 and Dunst called again. Engel bet again, 1,700,000 this time, after the the [poker card="jc"] turn. Dunst called to see the [poker card="9s"] river. Engel announced he was all in, sending Dunst into the tank. After a few minutes Dunst called all in and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="4c"] only to see Engel turn over [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"] for top pair, good enough to take the the title and the A$1.6 million top prize. Final Table Payouts Ari Engel - A$1,600,000 Tony Dunst - A$1,000,000 Samantha Abernathy - A$625,000 Alexander Lynskey - A$445,000 Dylan Honeyman - A$340,000 Kitty Kuo - A$270,000 John Apostolidis - A$210,000
  15. On Sunday night in Melbourne, Australia, Bryn Kenney pulled off a feat that most tournament poker players would think is impossible. Kenney won the 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event and didn't eliminate a single player from the final table - including the runner-up, Mike Del Vecchio. Kenney, Del Vecchio, and third place finisher Andrew Hinrichsen agreed to a deal that awarded Kenney the title. The deal, which included Kenney getting the biggest share of the prize money, ended the tournament with no further hands played. The final table took just over eight hours to complete included a show of dominance from Andrew Hinrichsen. It took a little over an hour before the seven-handed final table saw an elimination. From the button, Hinrichsen raised to 140,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="js"] before Hamish Crawshaw re-raised to 575,000 with [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"]. Hinrichsen announced he was all in and Crawshaw called all in. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="kh"][poker card="3h"] flop moved Hinrichsen in front with top pair and neither the [poker card="2h"] turn or [poker card="2s"] river were of any help and the 26-year-old New Zealander was eliminated in seventh place. Hinrichsen went back to work in whittling down the field a little over an hour later in another all-in preflop spot. Hinrichsen raised to 200,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="jd"][poker card="tc"] before Gyeong Byeong Lee moved all in for 320,000 from the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kh"]. Hinrichsen called and then moved ahead after the [poker card="td"][poker card="4c"][poker card="4h"] flop. Lee could only watch as the [poker card="qh"] turn and [poker card="8c"] river offered him no relief and he was eliminated in sixth. Another hour passed by before the next elimination and this time, Hinrichsen wasn't involved. From UTG, Matthew Wakeman raised 160,000 with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"] and Clinton Taylor re-raised to 300,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] from the button. The blinds folded and Wakeman shoved all in for 2,670,000 and Taylor called. The board ran out [poker card="jh"][poker card="8s"][poker card="7h"][poker card="9c"][poker card="4c"] to give Taylor the pot and send Wakeman to the rail in fifth place. Over the next 23 hands, things went south for Taylor and a confrontation with Hinrichsen ended his misery. Action folded to Taylor on the button and he moved all in for 1,905,000 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"] and Hinrichsen called from the big blind with [poker card="9d"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6c"] flop didn't improve Taylor and after the [poker card="7d"] hit the turn, Taylor was officially eliminated in fourth. The [poker card="ah"] river was a meaningless needle for Taylor. Thanks to his work eliminating three of the last four players, Hinrichsen began three-handed play with just over 60% of the chips in play. Over the course of the next 4.5 hours and 109 hands of play, Hinrichsen saw his fortunes change dramatically and he ended up with just 25% of the chips in play when the final three players began discussing a chop. It took just a few moments for them to agree to an adjusted payout that resulted in not playing another hand. Thanks to one of the final hands of play, Del Vecchio actually had a slight lead over Kenney but Kenney was still able to negotiate a deal that paid him the most and awarded him the official title of Main Event champ. Final Table Payouts Bryn Kenney - $1,272,598 AUD Mike Del Vecchio - $1,272,162 AUD Andrew Hinrichsen - $1,097,739 AUD Clinton Taylor - $483,000 AUD Matthew Wakeman - $380,300 AUD Gyeong Byeong Lee - $309,000 AUD Hamish Crawshaw - $242,000 AUD
  16. More poker is coming to Australia, as Poker Central recently announced further international expansion of its events with the Australian Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl Australia headed Down Under in early 2020. The Australian Poker Open will follow a similar format to the U.S. Poker Open held in Las Vegas and the British Poker Open that took place in London. It’s a series of high-stakes tournaments over a week’s time with the goal of crowning an overall series winner as the first-ever Australian Poker Open Champion. The Australian Poker Open is scheduled to run January 25 through February 1, featuring seven events ranging in buy-ins from $10,000 up to $100,000. Super High Roller Bowl Australia ups the antes with a $250,000 buy-in starting February 2. The event is scheduled to run for three days. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] APO and SHRB Australia Schedule Date Event January 25 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em January 26 $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha January 27 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em January 28 $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha January 29 $25,000 No Limit Hold'em January 30 $50,000 No Limit Hold'em January 31 $100,000 No Limit Hold'em February 2 $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl All buy-ins listed are in Australian dollars. Both the Australian Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl Australia take place at The Star Gold Coast in Broadbeach, Queensland, and will stream exclusively on PokerGO. The two events are said to be held in partnership with the World Poker Tour. What To Expect With a start date of January 25, the Australian Poker Open kicks off one day after the conclusion of the 2020 Aussie Millions at Crown Melbourne. It can be expected that several high-profile players will bundle the two festivals into one trip, hitting Melbourne first for Aussie Millions and then hopping over to Gold Coast for the Australian Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl Australia events. The two schedules line up conveniently for players looking to compete in a heap of high buy-in events in a short time period. The Aussie Millions schedule calls for a $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event starting January 13, the $25,000 Challenge starting January 15, the $10,600 Main Event and the $50,000 Challenge starting January 17, and the $100,000 Challenge starting January 22. It can also be expected that we’ll see several of the region’s top talents on display, which can provide us with some newer faces in the crowd. Players such as Danny Tang, Kahle Burns should be in the mix, and then we might even see the likes of Joe Hachem, Alexander Lynskey, Jonathan Karamalikis, and Jason Gray taking part. We also know that big names such as Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Patrik Antonius absolutely love Australia. Although we don’t see these players on the scene as much as we once did, there’s a good chance we’ll see them compete in these tournaments. History of the Super High Roller Bowl Australia will be the fifth country to host Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl. The event began in Las Vegas in 2015. In 2018, the Super High Roller Bowl took its brand to China, and then in 2019 it hit London and the Bahamas. There have been eight Super High Roller Bowl events to date, with five being held in Las Vegas and then one in each of China, London, and the Bahamas. Super High Roller Bowl Australia will be the ninth Super High Roller Bowl to take place. The smallest Super High Roller Bowl field size was Super High Roller Bowl London in 2019. It had 12 entries. The largest field size came from Super High Roller Bowl China in 2018 with 75 entries. Super High Roller Bowl Winners Event Entries Winner Prize SHRB I 43 Brian Rast $7,525,000 SHRB II 49 Rainer Kempe $5,000,000 SHRB III 56 Christoph Vogelsang $6,000,000 SHRB China 75 Justin Bonomo $5,000,000 SHRB IV 48 Justin Bonomo $4,821,516 SHRB V 36 Isaac Haxton $3,672,000 SHRB London 12 Cary Katz $2,610,317 SHRB Bahamas 51 Daniel Dvoress $4,080,000 The eight Super High Roller Bowl events that have taken place have awarded more than $113 million in prize money, with Justin Bonomo, the winner of two Super High Roller Bowl titles, leading the list of earners from these events. SHRB All-Time Money List Player Cashes Wins Earnings Justin Bonomo 4 2 $10,931,516 Brian Rast 1 1 $7,525,000 Christoph Vogelsang 2 1 $7,200,000 Rainer Kempe 2 1 $7,039,806 Scott Seiver 1 0 $5,160,000 Isaac Haxton 2 1 $4,599,515 Erik Seidel 3 0 $4,535,000 Daniel Dvoress 1 1 $4,080,000 Jake Schindler 1 0 $3,600,000 Jason Koon 4 0 $3,539,512 Fedor Holz 1 0 $3,500,000 Stephen Chidwick 3 0 $3,410,058 Connor Drinan 1 0 $3,225,000 Patrik Antonius 1 0 $3,152,434 Daniel Negreanu 1 0 $3,000,000 Wai Leong Chan 1 0 $2,677,500 David Peters 2 0 $2,617,621 Cary Katz 1 1 $2,610,317 Stefan Schillhabel 1 0 $2,400,000 Bryn Kenney 2 0 $2,283,495 Alex Foxen 1 0 $2,160,000 Timofey Kuznetsov 1 0 $2,150,000 Leon Tsoukernik 1 0 $1,800,000 Kethy Lehne 1 0 $1,785,000 Dominik Nitsche 1 0 $1,668,932 Ali Imsirovic 2 0 $1,658,707 Mikita Badziakouski 1 0 $1,600,000 Phil Hellmuth 1 0 $1,600,000 Byron Kaverman 1 0 $1,400,000 Talal Shakerchi 1 0 $1,188,000 Seth Davies 2 0 $1,110,000 Matt Berkey 1 0 $1,100,000 Tom Marchese 1 0 $1,075,000 Pratyush Buddiga 1 0 $1,000,000 Adrian Mateos 1 0 $972,000 Nick Petrangelo 1 0 $900,000 Steve O'Dwyer 1 0 $765,000 Igor Kurganov 1 0 $756,000 Daniel Cates 1 0 $742,012 Dan Shak 1 0 $600,000 Dan Smith 1 0 $556509
  17. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Listen to this week's episode of the fastest growing poker podcast on the planet, The Fives, as Lance Bradley and Donnie Peters breakdown the latest schedule announcement from the WSOP, update some of the early returns from the 2019 Aussie Millions and recap the World Poker Tour's trip to Russia. They also pore over the numbers from this weekend's PokerStars Sunday Million and what the shift to a $109 meant for players, PokerStars and the prestige of the event. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  18. It would appear that Jason Somerville’s quest for poker world domination is taking him - and his ever popular Twitch stream - Down Under. Somerville, the most popular poker player on Twitch, has partnered with Crown Melbourne to stream the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event on RunItUp.tv from January 24 – February 1. “‘I’m extremely excited to be teaming up with Crown Melbourne and PokerStars to bring the 2016 Aussie Millions to poker fans around the globe,” said Somerville. “The Aussie Millions is a marquee event on the international poker calendar and this year. I am honored to play a part in showcasing the action as the Aussie Millions transitions exclusively into a live-streamed online broadcast.” The 2016 Aussie Millions schedule has 24 events including the AU$10,600 Main Event. As part of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, players can qualify for the Main Event on PokerStars.com. In an effort to put the Aussie Millions brand in front of as many poker players as possible, Crown Melbourne sought an established partner for an online broadcast. “We are committed to providing the most dynamic, compelling and relevant coverage possible, and it was crucial to extend the digital footprint to a new phase whilst including new channels in the social media space, namely Twitch.tv, allowing the world to enjoy the action as it happens,” said Xavier Walsh, Crown Melbourne’s Chief Operating Officer. While the Main Event draws one of the biggest $10,000 buy-in fields of the year, the highlight of the schedule each year are the high roller events, the AU$100,000 AU Challenge and the LK Boutique AU$250,000 Challenge. Phil Ivey has won the $250,000 Challenge three of the last four years and he is expected to be in attendance this year along with John Juanda, Sam Trickett and Erik Seidel. Even though big buy-in events are the marquee events, there is still a number of Championship events for players with a smaller-than-Phil-Ivey bankroll. Eleven of the 24 events on the schedule have a buy-in of AU$1,150. Along with a full slate of No Limit Hold’em events, the schedule also includes Pot Limit Omaha, HORSE and 8-Game Mixed events.
  19. [caption width="640"] The Aussie Millions is a can't miss event on the poker schedule.[/caption] Poker players from all over the world have converged on the Crown Melbourne Resort to participate in the 19th annual Aussie Millions Poker Championship tournament series this week. Highlighted as the marquee event of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), this year’s series features 24 events spread over 18 days, with buy-ins ranging from AU$1,150 to AU$250,000. Players are vying for a piece of an estimated AU$30 million prize pool and have the chance to win one of the coveted Aussie Millions LK Boutique championship rings awarded to the winner of each event. While Aussie Millions is now one of the most popular tournaments on the international poker circuit, it has grown from humble beginnings. The Crown Melbourne introduced poker to its casino in 1997, some six years before Chris Moneymaker sparked a worldwide poker boom with his stunning 2003 WSOP Main Event win. In July 1998, the inaugural Crown Australian Poker Championship, which would later be renamed the “Aussie Millions,” was born, boasting a AU$1,000 buy-in Limit Hold‘em main event. The fledgling tournament attracted just 74 entrants and generated a modest prize pool of AU$74,000. Australian Alex Horowitz went on to win the AU$25,900 first-place prize and become the event’s first champion. The following year, organizers decided to switch the main event format to Pot Limit Hold’em, then settled on No Limit Hold‘em for the 2000 iteration. One year later, the tournament was rescheduled to January, but still remained a mostly local affair, with Australians dominating the top nine places nearly every year. In 2003, online poker began to garner mainstream appeal, and interest in No Limit Hold’em was growing worldwide. That year, the main event had 122 entrants, each of whom paid the AU$10,000 buy-in for chance at the AU$1.2 million prize pool. This time, players from three countries populated the leaderboard, with England’s Peter Costa taking first place in the main event for AU$394,807. In 2005, things got serious. The main event boasted a record 263 participants and a hefty AU$2.6 million prize pool, with AU$1 million going to first place. This was the year that the series became a truly international event, with half the field making the overseas trip from Ireland, England, Norway, New Zealand, USA, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Italy, Canada and Lebanon. The following year, the tournament continued to grow almost exponentially, this time attracting 418 players, including big-name pros like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Australian WSOP champion Joe Hachem. New Zealand’s Lee Nelson took a AU$1.3 million slice of the AU$4.1 million total prize pool for his main event win. The 2006 tournament also saw tournament take a giant leap with the introduction of the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em Challenge, the biggest buy-in tournament in the history of poker at the time. Only 10 players participated in the inaugural high stakes event, with John Juanda taking the AU$1 million top prize. While the six-figure buy-in tourney pales in comparison to events like the $1 million Big One for One Drop, the Aussie Millions was clearly a pioneer in the high roller trend. Series organizers have used these high buy-in tournaments to experiment with some unorthodox rules. Aussie Millions is one of the few major tournaments to offer events which enforce a shot clock, in which players are given a period of 30 seconds or less to make their decision. The series also spreads events that feature some interesting quirks, like only allowing pot limit betting pre-flop, and no limit betting post-flop. The reverberations of 2006’s UIGEA legislation had not yet been felt at Asia-Pacific’s most popular tournament series, however, with a record-high 747 participants entering the 2007 main event just months after a number of online operators left the US market. Danish poker legend Gus Hansen prevailed after besting American online poker specialist Jimmy “Gobboboy” Fricke for a AU$1.5 million payday. [caption width="300" align="alignright"] Gus Hansen won the 2007 Aussie Millions Main Event[/caption] Hansen later wrote a book called Every Hand Revealed, in which he broke down his thought process on key hands he played during the tournament. To keep track of his playing history, he described using a portable recorder to dictate the details of each hand during breaks. Attendance at the Aussie Millions main event peaked in 2008 when 780 players entered to create a prize pool of AU$7.7 million. Russian grinder Alexander Kostritsyn bested legend Erik Seidel to take first-place and the AU$1.65 million prize, the largest ever awarded at a live tournament in the southern hemisphere at the time. Seidel, for his efforts, took home a consolation prize of AU$1 million. The Crown Melbourne partnered with Fox Sports Net (FSN) to broadcast the 2007 and 2008 main events, introducing the series to a large mainstream audience in the United States. In 2009, Australian Stuart Scott took home a record AU$2 million first-place prize after topping a field of 681 entrants. Likewise, Australian-born David Steicke snagged first place in the AU$100,000 challenge for AU$1.2 million. That year, the casino continued its partnership with FSN, which broadcasted the tournament to 81 million homes. 2010 saw a bump in participation from the previous year, with 746 players in the main event. Sydney’s Tyron Krost won AU$ for beating a final table that included Sorel Mizzi, Peter Jetten and Annette Obrestad. In 2011, Aussie Millions pushed the envelope again by offering a AU$250,000 buy-in super high roller tournament, then the largest on record. The event drew 20 entrants and saw Erik Seidel take first-place for massive AU$2.5 million prize. The biggest story that year may have been the emergence of the “Macau businessmen” from the shadows of cash game lore. Richard Yong, Paul Phua, and Wang Qiang played the Main Event, and both the $100,000 Challenge and the $250,000 Challenge. The Australians were back on top in the 2012 main event, with local Oliver Speidel besting a field of 659 for a AU$1.6 million payday. [caption width="640"] Phil Ivey has made the LK Boutique 0,000 Challenge his own personal playground[/caption] While Speidel was the local hero, 2012 saw the start of Phil Ivey’s extraordinary string of wins in the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge. That year, Ivey bested 16 of the world’s best poker players to take home the AU$2 million first place prize. In 2014, Ivey dominated again, this time topping a field of 30 and taking home an even bigger AU$4 million haul. But the 39-year-old poker pro still wasn’t finished. In 2015, Ivey navigated his way through a field of 25 to win his third LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge crown, along with AU$2.2 million. Between the 2013 and 2014 Aussie Millions, Crown Casino played host to WSOP-APAC and used that tournament to introduce a new tournament format – “The Accumulator”. Players could enter all three flights of the event and accumulate chips each day, combining all remaining stacks before the start of Day 2. The event was then added to the 2014 Aussie Million schedule. The Aussie Millions has developed into one of the most important stops on the global poker circuit. Crown’s willingness to innovate by experimenting with new formats coupled with its bold decision to offer some of the biggest buy-in tournaments in the world has made the series a must-attend event for seasoned poker pros and amateurs alike.
  20. The 2016 Aussie Millions gets underway Wednesday afternoon in Melbourne. Fitting this premier event into an already tight poker calendar gets harder and harder ever year, but the great hosts at Crown Casino have figured it out and are ready to roll. For most of the next 2.5 weeks, the attention of the poker world will be on Melbourne as the world's poker elite make their to Crown to play alongside the best players a poker-crazed Australia has. With that in mind, here are ten things to know about the 2016 Aussie Millions. Nineteen Years and Running This is the 19th Aussie Millions. Held annually at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, the tournament was actually originally called the Australian Poker Champions, but officially became the Aussie Millions in 2003. That first year, 1998, the Main Event was a $1,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em event won by Alex Horowitz. He beat 73 other players and walked away with $25,900. Jam-Packed Schedule This year's schedule includes a total of 24 events with buy-ins ranging from $1,150 all the way up to $250,000. There are 18 events on the schedule that are some form of No Limit Hold'em. The opening event, the $1,150 Repechage, comes with a $1,000,000 guarantee and allows players who bust out of any of the four starting flights to re-enter the event the following day (up to a total of four entries). Other NLHE variants on the schedule include three events with a shot clock and the Accumulator event. Crown will also spread Pot Limit Omaha ($1,150, $2,500, $5,000), Eight-Game Mixed ($2,500), and HORSE ($2,500). There are satellites running each day through January 16 with buy-ins as low as $65. The full schedule is available here. Twitching with Jason Somerville Just last month, Crown announced it had partnered with Jason Somerville and his Run It Up Twitch channel to live stream the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event. Somerville will be live on his Twitch channel from January 24 to February 1. "I am eager to help pioneer a modern poker broadcast that will not only showcase Crown Melboune as the premier poker destination that it is, but also highlight live streaming, an unparalleled platform in delivering engaging and compelling content to fans of the game we love," said Somerville. The Main Event Since the "poker boom," the field sizes at the Aussie Millions Main Event have been some of the most consistent for a $10,000 buy-in. In 2005, Jamil Dia beat out a 263-player field, becoming the first Aussie Millions champ to score at least $1,000,000 AU. The next year, the field size jumped more than 50% to 418. That's when things got crazy. In 2007, Gus Hansen beat out 746 other players to win $1,500,000 AU. The next year, Russian sensation Alex Kostritsyn came out on top of the 780-player field – still the largest Main Event field ever - to win $1,650,000 AU. Since Hansen’s big win, the Aussie Millions Main Event has averaged 698 players per year. Last year, Australian Manny Stavropoulos won $1,385,000 for beating out 647 other players. The Main Event hasn't always been won by Australians, though. Going all the way back to the first incarnation of this event in 1998, Australian players have won ten Main Event titles. Two Brits (Peter Costa and Tony Bloom), two Kiwis (Dia and Lee Nelson), a Dane (Hansen), a Russian (Alex Kostritsyn), a Canadian (Ami Barer), and a Malaysian (Mervin Chan) have taken home the Aussie Millions Main Event. An American has never walked away with the Main Event title. The Birthplace of High Roller Tournaments [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Richard Yong made his first tournament appearance at the Aussie Millions in 2011[/caption] The first stop on a poker tour to ever host regular six-figure buy-in events was the Aussie Millions. The $100,000 Challenge debuted in 2006 and, at the time, was the biggest buy-in poker tournament ever. Ten players entered that first year, with John Juanda taking home the winner-take-all $1,000,000 AU first place prize. Other winners of the event include Howard Lederer (2008), Dan Shak (2010) and Sam Trickett (2011). In 2011, Crown did the unthinkable (at the time) and added the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge. The inaugural event drew 20 players, most notably the debut of the "Macau Businessmen": Richard Yong, Paul Phua, and Wang Qiang. Erik Seidel won the first year, but Phil Ivey won in 2012, 2014, and 2015 for over $6.25 million US in earnings. From Independent to the APPT Until 2014, the Aussie Millions was the biggest unaffiliated poker tournament in the world. That's when it joined forces with the PokerStars-backed Asia-Pacific Poker Tour for the first time. Prior to that, the Aussie Millions had been courted by the biggest tours running including the World Poker Tour and even the short-lived Epic Poker League. Given the size of the Aussie Million and Crown's place in the Asia-Pacific gaming market, the APPT marriage just made sense. "The Aussie Millions is regarded as one of the marquee poker events globally. Aligning with the biggest poker tour in the region, the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, will further guarantee the event's success in the coming years," said APPT President Danny McDonagh. Another World-Class Event: The Australian Open Nobody ever plans to bust out of a $10,000 buy-in poker tournament, but if things don't go well, the Aussie Millions has a world-class sporting event just a short boat ride away. The Australian Open tennis championship is the first of four tennis majors on the schedule and it attracts the best tennis players in the world. This year, the event runs for two weeks and actually wraps up a day before the Aussie Millions Main Event. Getting to the event is relatively easy and inexpensive if you're okay getting on a water taxi. The short ride up the Yarra River starts just outside Crown and drops you off at the Rod Laver Arena, where the Australian Open is played. Water taxis will also get you back to the casino once the matches are over. From Five Star to Take Away, Dining Options Are Abound There might not be a casino anywhere in the world that is better prepared than Crown to host poker players and their various dining requirements. The ballers of the poker world – or those who aspire to be seen as one – will find a number of high-end restaurants on property just a short walk from the poker room. Included here is the world-renowned NOBU, featuring all of the Japanese culinary delights you'd expect, and Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar, which features Australian-inspired cuisine. For those on a tighter budget, there is the Sho Noodle Bar, which specializes in, you guessed it, noodles and Dim Sum. Those looking for possibly the best hamburgers in the Southern Hemisphere should try The Merrywell and their signature burger, The Merrywell. If you're feeling adventurous, maybe give the Oz Burger a shot – it comes with pickled beets. And lastly, if you're in an absolute hurry and hoping for cheap eats, the food court at Crown has something for everybody: noodles, sushi, curries, sandwiches, pizza. It's all there and just two short escalator rides from the poker room. It's Summer Time There While the Northern Hemisphere is locked down in the doldrums of winter, Melbourne is in the middle of summer. Temperatures outside can get as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that if you bust out of any tournament or otherwise get a day off, you can head into Downtown Melbourne and seek out some of the things that are best enjoyed during nice days. The Queen Victoria Night Market runs every Wednesday from 5:00 pm and has handcrafted items from local artists as well as some of the more unique (and inexpensive) food around. If you're looking to enjoy a sporting event with more local flair, check out the Big Bash League. It's professional cricket with a few rules twists meant to speed up the game. The BBL playoffs are right around the corner, with the semifinals running January 21 and 22 and the Big Final running January 24. Mariah Carey Might Be There. Might Not. Celebrity sighting at the Aussie Millions is nothing new, but things could go to a new level this year. It seems that Mariah Carey is dating James Packer, the billionaire owner of Crown Resorts. The pair have only been an item for six months, but if 1990s divas are your thing, keep an eye out.
  21. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Nick Petrangelo grabbed his first win of 2017 in the Aussie Millions 0,000 Challenge.[/caption] You could say that 2017 is treating Nick Petrangelo really well. You could say that "retirement" is treating German phenom Fedor Holz really well too. The pair were front and center at the 2017 Aussie Millions On Saturday at the final table of the ANTON Jewellery $100,000 Challenge. Petrangelo, who finished runner-up to Lucas Greenwood in the PokerStars Championship Bahamas $25,000 High Roller, beat out a final table that included Holz, Sam Trickett, David Peters, David Steicke and Mike Watson to win $882,000 AU ($666,311 US). Holz, who announced following the 2017 World Series of Poker that he was retiring from playing poker professionally finished third for $352,8000 AU. Holz is also at the final table of the Aussie Millions Main Event which resumes Sunday afternoon in Melbourne. Sandwiched between Petrangelo and Holz was Canadian Mike Watson, who earned $529,000 AU for his runner-up finish. The final table began with seven players still in contention. The short-stacked Steicke managed to find a double up on the third hand of play Saturday, only to find himself giving those chips to Watson two hands later before finally being eliminated by Holz on the sixth hand of the night. Watson then found himself on the winning end of an elimination just an hour later. Watson opened from the cutoff to 14,000. Peters called from the big blind and then checked after the [poker card="td"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2c"] flop. Watson bet 15,000 and Peters called again. TThe turn was the [poker card="js"] and Peters check-called as Watson bet 45,000. Peters checked again after the [poker card="kc"] river, allowing Watson to bet enough for Peters' tournament life to be at stake. After using his time bank chip, Peters called and tabled [poker card="qh"][poker card="ts"] for a pair of queens but got bad news as Watson tabled [poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"] for a rivered straight and Peters was out in sixth. Watson and Holz then took turns holding the chip lead for over an hour before Watson picked up another elimination. Steffen Sontheimer raised to 20,000 from the button and Watson responded with a three-bet from the small blind to 54,000. Sontheimer called to see the [poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="5s"] flop. Watson bet 40,000 before Sontheimer moved all in for 171,000. Watson called and tabled [poker card="tc"][poker card="th"] for an overpair and Sontheimer showed [poker card="7c"][poker card="7h"] and needed one of 10 outs to improve and stay alive. The [poker card="5d"] and [poker card="qd"] river were complete blanks and the German was out in fifth. With four players remaining, Watson didn't take long to burst the bubble. Sam Trickett, who won this event in 2011, moved his short stack of 120,000 into the middle from early position and Watson defended his small blind. Trickett showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="9c"] while Watson was ahead with [poker card="ah"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="7c"][poker card="6h"][poker card="4s"] flop was no help for Trickett and the [poker card="jd"] turn left him drawing to just three outs. The river was the [poker card="ks"] and Watson eliminated Trickett in fourth place. While Watson did almost all of the work to get the final three players into the money, this is where Petrangelo took over. From the button Petrangelo raised to 18,000 and Holz moved all in from the small blind. Petrangelo called and showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="8c"] while Holz showed [poker card="4c"][poker card="4h"]. The board ran out [poker card="ad"][poker card="td"][poker card="7d"][poker card="as"][poker card="6c"] to send Holz out in third place. Heads-up action lasted just 90 minutes before Petrangelo finally finished off Watson. Watson threw in a button raise to 30,000 and Petrangelo called. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2d"] flop got both players to check. After the [poker card="7d"] turn Petrangelo bet 45,000 and Watson called. The river was the [poker card="jd"] and Petrangelo lead out for 150,000 before Watson moved all in for 562,000. Petrangelo called and after Watson showed [poker card="as"][poker card="4c"] for ace-high, turned over [poker card="jh"][poker card="8d"] for top two pair. Watson was eliminated in second place, leaving Petrangelo to collect his second six-figure score of 2017 and first tiel. Payouts Nick Petrangelo - $882,000 Mike Watson - $529,200 Fedor Holz - $352,800
  22. [caption width="640"] Jason Somerville returns to Australia this February to stream the Aussie Millions Main Event.[/caption] The Aussie Millions is always one of the premier events on the poker schedule each and every year. The prestige of the Aussie Millions Main Event was supplemented in recent years by the addition of Jason Somerville and his Twitch channel to the broadcast. Somerville and RunItUp.tv are back and better in ever for 2018 with Aussie Millions marking their first major stream of the year. Starting Thursday, February 1 and running through Sunday, February 4, Aussie Millions and Somerville are partnering to stream the main event on Twitch. Last year was a banner one for the pair as Somerville and Crown Casino set worldwide records with the main event stream. The main event became the #1 Most watched live Twitch poker tournament of all time and had the most concurrent viewers of a live final poker table on Twitch. The final table was one for the ages as Australian amateur and satellite winner Shurane Vijayaramdefeated British pro Ben Heathheads up to win over $1.2 million. February 1 marks Day 3 of the tournament and Day 4 will run on February 2. The final table itself starts on February 4. All three stream broadcasts start at 12:30 pm EST. Somerville looks forward to taking his commentary live in Australia once again and plans to make this year even better than the last. “I'm honored to once again partner with Crown Melbourne to showcase the 2018 Aussie Millions live on Twitch. The Aussie Millions is one of the most prestigious poker tournaments on the calendar and I'm excited to present the action once again to fans around the globe. We broke the Twitch Poker record for last year's broadcasts and we've got an even better show planned for the fans in 2018.” Representing Crown Melbourne Casino is tournament director Joel Williams, who said “We are very excited to partner once again with Jason Somerville to live stream key moments from the 2018 Aussie Millions. Last year’s partnership was incredibly successful and took our championship to new global audiences. As one of the world’s great poker tournaments, we are looking to build on this in 2018.” When Aussie Millions gets underway in a few weeks, the whole poker world will stop and take notice. The Aussie Millions Main Event is one of the most prestigious events of the year and having Somerville back in the booth only further adds to the elite tournament.
  23. The prestigious Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge wrapped up on Saturday with Cary Katz adding another high roller title to his resume. Katz, the founder of Poker Central, bested the 42-entrant field to take home the AU$1,481,760 ($1,074,658 USD) prize and ANTON Championship ring. Although Katz would eventually end up with all the chips, he was in need of some serious help earlier in the tournament after limp-shoving pocket kings against eventual runner-up Johannes Becker’s pocket aces. A king hit the board and Katz doubled through. He then used that bit of good fortune to stay alive and press on to win the fifth seven-figure score of his career. The final table of nine needed three eliminations before players found themselves in the money. Germany’s Manig Loeser fell in ninth place, followed by American Michael Soyza in eighth. Then Alex Foxen, who celebrated his birthday just one day prior, received the unkind gift of being the official bubble boy, busting in seventh place when his [poker card="as"][poker card="2h"] couldn’t spike against Becker’s [poker card="8c"][poker card="8h"]. With six players remaining, Kristen Bicknell shoved her 15 big blinds in from the button holding [poker card="ad"][poker card="2d"]. Rainer Kempe made the call from the small blind with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="qh"]. The flop came [poker card="js"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3s"] giving Kempe some backdoor outs plus two overs to bust Bicknell, who just needed to hold. The [poker card="kc"] turn left Bicknell in need of an ace however the [poker card="4h"] river was no help. Bicknell’s run ended in sixth place for AU$288,100. It wasn’t long before the next elimination. Katz opened from under the gun with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] only to be shoved on by Jack Salter who held [poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"]. Katz went into the tank, but eventually made the call. The [poker card="as"][poker card="qc"][poker card="6c"] flop gave Katz a commanding lead and left Salter searching for one of the final eights in the deck. The turn was the [poker card="3h"] and the river [poker card="js"] sending the UK pro to the rail in fifth place for AU$329,280. Four-handed play took place for nearly an hour before Kempe and countryman Abraham Passet clashed in a big hand. Passet raised small from under the gun with [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"] and was called by both Katz and Becker. Kempe, in the big blind, pushed all in with his [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"]. Passet then reshoved, forcing both Katz and Becker out of the hand. The pair of Germans saw a board of [poker card="9c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2s"][poker card="qh"] keeping it clean for Passet’s pocket kings. Kempe, the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl Champion, bowed out in fourth place for AU$452,760. The final three, eager to continue play, shortened their dinner break and pressed on with Passet in the chip lead and Katz sitting on the short stack. However, over the course of the next hour, Katz began chipping up and finally turned the tables. He found double through Passet holding pocket aces versus Passet’s pocket sixes, sending Katz into a chip lead he would not relinquish. Eventually, Passet’s tournament came to an end when Becker’s only called the small blind with [poker card="qh"][poker card="qs"] prompting a shove from Passet with [poker card="ad"][poker card="th"]. The flop fell [poker card="9s"][poker card="2c"][poker card="3c"] giving Passet some backdoor straight options along with his single overcard. The turn was the [poker card="9c"] and the river was the [poker card="ts"]. Passet took home AU$617.400 for his third-place finish. Once heads-up play began, Katz went on a run that had him eliminating Becker in just under an hour of play. After winning a series of hands, Becker was crippled and the final hand had the pair get all the chips in the middle with Katz holding [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"] against Becker’s [poker card="kc"][poker card="2c"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="5s"][poker card="8s"] flop was clean for Katz. The [poker card="2h"] turn offered some extra outs for Becker but the [poker card="jc"] river sealed his fate and the German finished in second place for AU$946,680. Katz earned AU$1,481,760 for the victory, his first ever result at the Aussie Millions. It marks his second major $100K Super High Roller win having also taken down the 2018 PCA $100K for $1,492,340. Katz now sits at #25 on the All-Time Money List with over $18.3 million in earnings. Aussie Millions AU$100,000 Challenge Payouts Place Player Payout AUD Payout USD 1 Cary Katz $1,481,760 $1,066,867 2 Johannes Becker $946,680 $681,610 3 Abraham Passet $617,400 $444,528 4 Rainer Kempe $452,760 $325,987 5 Jack Salter $329,280 $237,082 6 Kristen Bicknell $288,120 $207,446
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