Melbourne, Australia. Tuesday 24 January 2017. Event 14 of the 2017 Aussie Millions, the Australian Poker Hall of Fame Classic, was a special one. While all the tournaments in the poker room of the Crown Melbourne have been packed and action-filled so far this poker festival, this event had a twist, which resulted in even more spectacle. Members of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame namely bought in without having to pay rake. On top of that, ‘HOF’ members buying in got a AUD$500 bounty on their head.
A total of 123 players signed up for the event, resulting in a prize pool of $126.075. Six Hall of Fame members participated in the event; Jason Gray, Graeme Putt, Joe Cabret, Leo Boxtel, Gary Benson and Marsha Waggoner quite literally had a target on their back. Knocking them out would be worth half the buy-in of the event for the other contestants.
That was reason enough for most players to go gunning for them, hunting season was officially opened as the tournament got underway at 2:30 p.m. Their bounties were in high demand by the other players, resulting in all six of them getting knocked out before the money stage of the tournament commenced. Twelve players would cash, but no hall of fame members were amongst them.
While there were no ‘HOF’ members amongst the finalists, the final table did have a very local touch as eight out of nine players were from the region. Just a single Kiwi and a German distorted the otherwise totally Australian final table. In fact, the top three players all came from the city of Melbourne.
The final table concluded well after midnight with Nick “The Greek” Georgoulas coming out on top. He defeated Xiuning Huang heads up to walk away with the massive AUD$32,620 first-place prize.
Like the other Nick “The Greek” (poker hall of famer Nicholas Andrea Dandolos), Georgoulas was surrounded by top contenders on his way to victory. It’s the eighth tournament victory on Georgoulas’ poker resume with results going back all the way to 1998. Georgoulas, who’s most notable result was a runner-up finish in the ANZPT Melbourne back in 2011, now has almost $285,000 in live time cashes.
If Georgoulas will ever be inducted into the Australian Poker Hall of Fame remains to be seen, but at least he got his winner photo ready now.
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