The 2019 Aussie Millions is underway, and the first high roller event of the series begins Friday in the land of Joe Hachem.
That tournament is the $25,000 Challenge, a two-day event that will certainly attract some heavy hitters. Also, on January 27, a $50,000 Challenge is scheduled, the largest buy-in event of the series.
Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia is hosting this annual series formerly known as the Australian Poker Championship.
From Bahamas to Australia
Many poker players went straight from the Bahamas to Australia. With the 2019 PCA completed, the poker world now shifts to the Land Down Under. And there aren’t many better place in the world to be right now than Melbourne.
The 10-day forecast, according to Weather.com, calls for temps in the 70’s and 80’s for most of the upcoming week. Favorable weather makes this trip appealing to many poker pros, especially those who live in cold weather winter climates. It’s summer time in Australia.
Friday, however, might be a good day to stay inside with temps projected to exceed 100 degrees. If you have $25,000 to spare, the first high roller of the series should be enticing.
And then if you have another $50,000 lying around, the $50,000 Challenge begins Sunday.
Aussie Millions History
But the most important tournament of the series is the $10,600 Main Event, which also kicks off Sunday. This event has become one of the biggest poker tournaments in the world each year.
The first Australian Poker Championship Main Event was hosted in 1998 as a $1,000 buy-in. Alex Horowitz, an Australian, won the 74-player field for $25,900. Since then, well, let’s just say the tournament has changed.
Last year’s champion, Toby Lewis, beat an 800-player field in what is now a $10,600 buy-in event. He won $1.46 million, which is the second lowest for an Aussie Millions champion since 2006.
Some great players have won the Main Event such as Gus Hansen (2006) and Ari Engel (2014). Lewis is also quite a skilled pro. He has $5.2 million in lifetime tournament earnings. Last week, he bubbled the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table (seventh place for $85,270). And in February, just weeks after shipping the Aussie Millions, he finished runner-up in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic ($600,630).
Aussie Millions high-stakes winners over the years has included John Juanda, Erik Seidel, and Howard Lederer. Phil Ivey might be the top high roller in series history. He scooped the no longer existent $250,000 Challenge three of its six years (2012, 2014, 2015).
Who will be the big winner this year? We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.