With the Crown Aussie Millions just around the corner I think it’s high time to look ahead at who I believe is going to be making their mark in the land of Kangaroos, boomerangs and shrimps that like to jump around on the Barbie.
Crown Aussie Millions have been extremely smart in the way that they have ensured the series has evolved to keep pace with current developments in the poker world; but let’s not forget that they are also innovators.
They were the first organization to have a fixed $100,000 event. A decision that turned heads, and made the best players in the world add their weight behind Australia’s most prestigious poker tournament.
Then they went one further by creating a $250,000 Super High Roller event, and in recent years have even added a $25,000 event.
The addition of these three events will bring the Germans into Australia like flies transfixed by the blue zappy things that you find hanging from the corners of your local fast food kitchen.
Philipp Gruissem comes into the Crown Aussie Millions with back-to-back World Poker Tour (WPT) Alpha8 titles in his breast pocket and a plan to give 10% of everything he earns to charity. A sure fire way to earn even more dollar.
Fabian Quoss has just torn through his seven figure score hymen, with victory in the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), and Ole Schemion also made that final table finishing in seventh place, and was the Global Poker Index 2013 Player of the Year.
Igor Kurganov was the man of the 2013 Crown Aussie Millions winning $1.5m after securing fourth in the $250,000, second in the $100,000 and victory in the $25,000 – showing how consistent the man is.
Add Tobias Reinkemeier, Martin Finger, Dominik Nitsche, Marvin Rettenmaier, Niklas Heinecker and Max Altergott into that mix and you have a force that I anticipate will wreak havoc at this year’s event.
The Crown Aussie Millions has always been a fantastic stomping ground for the men from Good Old Blighty.
The Poms were victorious in the first two A$10,000 Main Events when Peter Costa and Tony Bloom took the honors, and Bloom has since returned in 2009, 2010 and 2012 where he has finished 2nd, 4th and 2nd in the $100,000 Challenge.
Tony Bloom is not a man you will see wandering around the halls of social media, so I don’t know for certain if he is going to attend, but if he does expect him to make another strong showing in the $100,000 event.
One Brit that will be in Oz will be the man who has won more money than anyone else in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland…or anywhere else in the world for that matter (with the exception of one magician) – Mr. Sam Trickett.
Trickett will once again avoid the shenanigans of the Bahamas to concentrate on the one event that always produces great memories, and congratulations cards from his bank manager.
In 2011, coming off the back of his PartyPoker.com World Open VI victory, he announced himself to the higher echelons of power with victory in the $100,000 event and a runner-up spot in the $250,000 event.
He took away over $2.8m from The Crown that year. It changed his life, and two years later he returned to take a further $2m away from the place when he won the $250,000 event.
I expect another big series from the man whose football team can’t hit a barn door from 10-yards.
The Americans have been taking money away from Oz ever since the Main Event was given the A$10,000 stamp of approval, and the nation that contains more top players than anywhere else in the world, isn’t done quite yet.
Dan Shak will be taking his private jet from the Bahamas to Melbourne, and his briefcase will be feeling a little heavier after taking second in the $100,000 PCA Super High Roller for over a million bucks. Shak has more Aussie Millions scores than his ex wife has shoes, and I see no reason why that won’t continue at the end of the month.
Vanessa Selbst finished third in that event, and if there is anyone playing better poker than her at the moment, then they must be German. Selbst is on a roll of Indiana Jones proportions and I think it will continue to flatten anyone who gets in her way in Oz.
The fact that PokerStars Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) is now an official partner of the Crown Aussie Millions you can expect a flood of PokerStars Team pros to make their way to Melbourne.
Jason Mercier has said he is going to win three live tournaments this year, and so he will be in town, although one doubts he will be using his new boat to get there given the distance. Perhaps, if he talks nicely to Shak he will give him a seat on his private jet.
Will Phil Ivey grace a live tournament with his presence?
With the presence of the $250,000 in town – a title he won in 2012 – I have to assume he will be there, and you can’t bet against the ‘world’s greatest player’…because he is the ‘world’s greatest player.’
The Best of the Rest
Daniel Negreanu has a new direction, and focus, after illuminating his grey matter at the Choice Center Leadership University in Las Vegas.
The man is so hot when he eats chilli’s you can hear them squeal when they touch his tongue. He won everything in 2013 and credits that program for his success.
The last time he was in The Crown was at the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP- APAC) and we all know what he did there. The place is familiar to him and he has that winning feel.
When female poker players complain that the media only focus on their looks, and not their abilities, spare a thought for poor Patrik Antonius. The man who makes Brad Pitt look like a Bulldog chewing a wasp, is so good looking I never stop to care about how well he plays.
But play well he does.
Antonius loves life at The Crown and has made major final tables the last three times he has attended.
Last but not least you can’t talk about the Crown Aussie Millions without putting an Aussie up for a little run of fortune. I am going to go for Jeff Rossiter. The youngster lies second in the Aussie All Time Money List, and would be out in front if it wasn’t for the WSOP Main Event score secured by Joe Hachem back in 2005.
I was also going to give a mention to Jonathan Karamalikis, but can’t bring myself to write a sentence with the words Monster Dong in it….DOH!