Aussie Millions Preview: Three High Rollers, 400 Satellite Qualifiers, and Seven-Figures Guaranteed

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The 2018 Aussie Millions series at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, kicks off Jan. 17 with an AU$1 million ($781,890 USD) guaranteed tournament. The series includes three high-roller events and a prestigious $10,600 main event, often considered one of a few must-play “major” open events of the year.

Crown Casino, Melbourne
The Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, is site of the 2018 Aussie Millions, which is always a favorite stop for players willing to make the long flight. (Image: Crown Melbourne)

In addition to its popularity with mid-stakes grinders and regular pros from around the world, the Aussie Millions has become one of the most popular series on the high-roller circuit, too. Tournament organizers are banking on a high turnout this year, and a time when poker is facing challenges in Australia.

This year’s Aussie Millions Main Event begins Jan. 28, with three Day One starting flights, and a final table that concludes on Feb. 4. Daily satellites begin running Wednesday, Jan. 10, with buy-ins as low as $65.

Tournament officials are promising a record 400 satellite qualifiers for this year’s event.

There are 26 events total. Unique highlights include a No Limit Hold’em Shot Clock Shootout, a Multi-Day Accumulator event, a Two-Day Terminator event and the Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions.

Storied Tournament Down Under

Formerly the Australian Poker Championships, this annual series began in 1998 with Alex Horowitz winning the $1,000 main event, which was played as limit hold’em, for AU$25,900.

Over the years, the tournament and tournament series has grown and evolved. Since 2005, each Main Event champion has received at least AU$1 million, with the 2009-2011 winners earning AU$2 million. For several years

Perhaps, the biggest name to win the Aussie Millions main event was Gus Hansen in 2007. Outlasting a field of 747 players, “The Great Dane” won AU$1.5 million, long before he would become known as online poker’s all-time biggest loser.

The defending champ, Aussie Shurane Vijayaram, won AU$1.6 million in what would be his first live tournament cash. He qualified for his seat in a $130 satellite.

The Main Event isn’t the only draw, however, to the Aussie Millions. There are three scheduled high-roller events with buy-ins ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.

Aussie Millions High-Roller Schedule
(All Two-Day Events)

Jan. 26 $25,000 Challenge
Jan. 28 $50,000 Challenge
Feb. 4   $100,000 Challenge

High Roller History

The $250,000 Challenge, which ran from 2011-2016, is off the schedule for the second consecutive year. Tournament officials intended to hold the event last year, but took it off the schedule after a low turnout for the $100,000 Challenge (14 players, with 4 re-entries).

(Phil Ivey won the $250K tournament three out of six tries, in 2012, 2014, and 2015).

The $100,000 Challenge was one of the first six-figure buy-in tournaments ever when it began in 2006. Since then, some of poker’s biggest stars have been crowned champion, including John Juanda (2006), Erick Lindgren (2007), Howard Lederer (2008), Sam Trickett (2011), Dan Smith (2012), and Andrew Robl (2013).

What makes the Aussie Millions so popular with players from all over the world, however, is the breadth of poker offerings for just about every player type. Many events beyond the high-rollers are affordable to lower stakes pros, beginning with the $1,150 Opening Event No-Limit Hold’em, which comes with an AU$1 million guaranteed prize pool.

This Opening Event is a three-day tournament with four Day One starting flights that start on Jan. 17.

Notable Aussie Millions Mid-Stakes Tournaments

Jan. 23 Event #6   $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max
Jan. 24 Event #7   $2,500 Eight Game Mix
Jan. 28 Event #13 $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Terminator
Jan. 30 Event #15 $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em/PLO Mix
Jan. 31 Event #16 $1,150 Pot-Limit Omaha HiLo

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