The 2018 Aussie Millions schedule is out, and the AUD$250,000 Challenge is inconspicuous by its absence. Henry Tran takes down the Sydney Championship Main Event.
With the Australian government looking to chow down on online poker like vampires feasting on a virgin bride, the 2018 Aussie Millions will come as a welcome distraction for those about to bleed to death.
The annual kickstarter for live tournament poker once again comes at you from the Crown Casino, Melbourne. The greatest poker show in the southern hemisphere will showcase 26 events from January 17 through February 5, and despite the razor blades hovering over the wrists of online poker, Crown Tournament Director, Joel Williams, believes the 2018 iteration could be the largest yet.
We can expect much of the same, but I do have a few things to point out.
The first is the decision to continue without full implementation of a shot clock. I believe all live tournaments will integrate shot clocks into its DNA within the next five years. The bold and brazen 888Live has already declared their intention to include shot clocks on all tables on their Main Event and High Rollers, and the World Poker Tour (WPT) is doing the same this season, in all Main Events, when the action gets close to the money bubble.
The Aussie Millions was one of the first, if not the first, to utilise the shot clock in their High Roller events. Although they have some specific events that do have shot clocks beginning at Level 1, they haven’t gone the whole hog, and although it’s not a surprise, I would have liked to have seen the change.
The other pointer is the death of the AUD$250,000 Challenge, and Phil Ivey will be well pissed.
The event detached from its placenta in 2011. Back then it was the largest buy-in event in the world. Initially, the idea was to create a Heads-Up format, but tournament organisers settled on a Multi-Table Tournament (MTT). Erik Seidel, won the inaugural event when he went on a heater of a lifetime (Fedor Holz now makes that heater look like a lukewarm cuddle). But the star of the show is Ivey with three victories netting him over $7m. And it’s for this reason you always get a sighting of the Lord Lucan of poker in Melbourne each year.
The event was on the 2017 roster but organised cancelled it at the last minute due to a lack of combatants. The year before, Steve O’Dwyer defeated 16 entrants to capture the first prize of $744,829, a marked difference compared to the $3.5m Ivey won in 2014 when he overcame 46 entrants.
2011 – Erik Seidel – $2,472,555
2012 – Phil Ivey – $2,058,948
2013 – Sam Trickett – $2,111,397
2014 – Phil Ivey – $3,582,753
2015 – Phil Ivey – $1,710,854
2016 – Steve O’Dwyer – $744,829
Players heading to Melbourne looking for high stakes action won’t be disappointed though. There is still a trifecta of events to either do your bollocks or make your backers happy.
Jan – 26 – AUD$25,000 Challenge
Jan 28 – AUD$50,000 Challenge
Feb 4 – AUD$100,000 Challenge
The AUD$10,000 Main Event begins Jan 28.
Last year, Yurane Vijayaram topped a field of 725 entrants, including a final table that housed Ben Heath, Jeff Rossiter, and Fedor Holz, to win the $1.2m first prize.
The 2017 Aussie Millions attracted 7,049 entrants, the highest in the festival’s illustrious history.
Here is the schedule.
Henry Tran Wins The 2017 Sydney Championship
Moving 877 km to the North and the Sydney Championships recently crowned Henry Tran as their new champion.
The AUD$3,000 buy-in Main Event drew a field of 496 entrants, and Tran defeated a final table of 100% pure Australian home grown talent to take home the AUD$300,000 first prize ($238,131).
It was Tran’s largest score of his career by a country mile. He also made the final table of the AUD$1,100 Monster Stack finishing 6/328 for his then highest haul of $11,713.
The final table included former Australian New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT), and Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Main Event winner, Grant Levy. The former WSOP Main Event winner Joe Hachem bubbled in ninth place.
Here are the final table results:
1. Henry Tran – AUD$300,000
2. Bradley Hawkins – AUD$185,000
3. I Don’t Want Anyone to Know my Name Because I am a Priest – AUD$135,000
4. Rafe Aman – AUD$100,000
5. Grant Levy – AUD$75,000
6. Suzy Khoueis – AUD$57,000
7. Tu Tran – AUD$44,000