The Aussie Millions Main Event is underway, but much of the action at the hottest poker festival Down Under has already wrapped up.
Early events have been underway since January 14, providing plenty of drama and big wins in the run-up to Australia’s largest poker tournament.
Gill Finally Scores a Win
One of the most notable wins came in Event #3, the $2,500 8-Game Mixed tournament.
Veteran poker pro Oliver Gill, a regular at final tables at the Aussie Millions, finally broke through to earn his first title at the series, winning a prize of A$38,815 ($30,000) after beating 2004 Aussie Millions champion Tony Bloom in heads up play.
Gill won the tournament by rivering an ace on the final Pot Limit Omaha hand.
“It feels weird to win with a suckout,” Gill said, “But meh, I’ll take it.”
Rich Wins Terminator Event
Angelina Rich was the first female player to win a gold ring at the Aussie Millions this year, winning Event #12, the $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Terminator tournament.
The special Terminator format featured an A$500 ($387) bounty on each player, meaning that nearly half the prize pool was tied up in bounties. That helps explain why Rich only took home A$25,905 ($20,000) despite 243 players taking part in the tournament.
The victory marked just the second win in Rich’s poker career, and her first in an open event. Previously, she had won the Women’s Event at EPT San Remo in 2014.
Shot Clock Among Offbeat Events at Aussie Millions
The Terminator tournament was far from the only unorthodox tournament format tried at this year’s Aussie Millions.
The tournament series has been experimenting with various formats over the last few years, and this year saw the return of one of poker’s more divisive innovations: the use of a “shot clock” in two events.
In those tournaments, players were forced to make decisions in under 20 seconds (much like they might have to do in online poker), or have their hand declared dead.
There was also an Accumulator event, a style of tournament that was first introduced at the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific in 2013.
In this tournament, players were welcome to buy in to as many starting flights as they liked (in this case, there were two starting days), but rather than simply taking their best stack on to Day 2, players could instead combine whatever stacks they made into one entry that moved forward in the tournament.
The event was won by Malaysia’s Christopher Soyza, who scored a prize of $A136,225 ($105,500).
Australian Poker Hall of Fame Induction Honors Van Marcus
On Thursday, the Australian Poker Hall of Fame held a ceremony before Day 2 of the Aussie Millions Main Event, This year, only one player was inducted into the hall: Van Marcus, who won the 2008 Asia-Pacific Poker Tour Manila event.
Marcus has over $1.3 million in career earnings, and has made several WSOP final tables over the course of his career. Marcus is the 15th member of the exclusive club, and was selected ahead of other nominees such as Joe Cabret, Michael Guttman, Tino Lechich, Grant Levy and David Steicke.
The Australian Poker Hall of Fame also honored James Obst with a special recognition award.
Obst has earned nearly $1 million in live tournaments, but is best known for his online prowess, being one of only two players to win SCOOP, TCOOP and WCOOP championships.
Final Table Chip Counts
- James Rann – 4,085,000
- Joel Douaglin – 3,935,000
- Lennart Uphoff – 3,595,000
- Anthony Legg – 3,290,000
- Manny Stavropoulos – 2,115,000
- Richard Lyndaker – 1,200,000
- Brian Rast – 1,185,000