Aussie Millions Recap: Shurane Vijayaram Wins Main Event, Nick Petrangelo Takes $100,000 Challenge

Who says that winning a major poker tournament such as the Aussie Millions Main Event requires experience?

Just ask Shurane Vijayaram, a native Australian. He took down the tournament for $1.2 million, outlasting 752 players, many of which were among the best players in the world.

Aussie Millions Main Event.

Fedor Holz final tabled a pair of Aussie Millions events, but it was Shurane Vijayaram taking down the Main Event. (Image:

To give you an idea of Vijayaram’s tournament experience, the $1,208,368 he won brings his career earnings in live tournaments to…$1,208,368. Sometimes having “home field advantage” is a benefit. He got into this $10,000 buy-in event by winning a $130 satellite a week earlier. That’s quite a return on investment.

When the final table began, he had more than a 2-1 chip advantage over his nearest competitor. The tournament ended with some fireworks. Ben Heath bluffed off his entire stack and Vijayaram made a sick call.

Heath held K-8 against pocket 5’s. The flop ran out 6-9-7. Vijayaram bet out 500,000 and got raised to 1,390,000. After tanking for a few minutes, Shurane made the tough call. A 3 came on the turn. Sticking with his semi-bluff, Heath shipped it all in 3,200,000 and received a call. An inconsequential Q flipped over on the river, putting an end to this five-day event.

Who Needs Experience?

This wasn’t a final table of nobodies. Fedor Holz, considered by many the greatest player in the game, finished in 5th place ($253,002). He entered the final table with the smallest stack and was never able to spin it up.

Holz, now considered a “semi-pro” after partially retiring from poker, hadn’t played in months before the Aussie Millions. He picked up where he left off last fall, finishing at the final table in a pair of series events.

Tobias Hausen, a German with minimal major tournament experience, finished in 3rd place ($468,243). Jeff Rossiter, one of the most successful Australian poker pros of all-time, took 4th place ($332,301).

David Olson, the only American at the final table, busted out in 6th place ($203,912). Luke Roberts, the third Aussie among the final seven went out in 7th place ($158,598). Prior to this event, he had less than $3,000 in career winnings. Experience? Who needs it?

Nick Petrangelo Wins $100,000 Challenge

Holz also final tabled the $100,000 Challenge which concluded on Saturday. He finished in 3rd place ($266,445) out of just 18 participants. The tournament paid the top three.

Nick Petrangelo, an American pro, won the event for $666,113. He now has more than $7.5 million in lifetime winnings. This was his third cash at the 2017 Aussie Millions. Michael Watson, a Canadian, was runner-up ($399,668).

He quietly has almost $10 million in his career.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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