A Year in the Life of the Aussie Millions Champ
When he walked back into the Crown Poker Room to begin the 2011 Aussie Millions main event Monday, something just felt right for Tyron Krost.
Even some 550 miles from his Sydney home, the 24-year-old PartyPoker qualifier who shocked the Southern Hemisphere coming out of nowhere to win the Aussie Millions title last year, feels as comfortable as ever in the massive Melbourne hotel and casino complex.
"It feels good just to be back in the room here," he told PokerListings. "I have a lot of great memories here and I think its a little easier to play better in a place you've done well before.
"You're just so much more relaxed and it puts you in the right mindset to play great poker."
Playing great poker is exactly what Krost did on the way to defeating a final table that included online poker phenom Annette Obrestad and 2010 Bluff Magazine Player of the Year Sorel Mizzi in 2010.
And not only did he cash in on an astounding AUD$2 million first-place prize, just a few months after the win, Krost signed a lucrative PartyPoker sponsorship deal that saw him trade in a job at his family-owned office furniture business for a chance at millions more on the high-stakes tournament circuit.
While the year brought just a couple of small World series of Poker cashes, a WPT side event final-table appearance in Spain and a few more scores on regional tours here in Australia, Krost says he wouldn't have traded it for anything.
"It's been an amazing year, just awesome," he said. "I've been traveling around the world playing poker, which I would never have been able to do before and it's been a great experience."
But winning the Aussie Millions title hasn't made things any easier on the felt.
While he may not be the household name that 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Joe Hachem has become Down Under, there's little doubt that after becoming only the second Aussie to win the country's biggest poker tournament, Krost is now recognized by the poker-playing community here and across the globe.
As a result, he's had to tweak his game a little.
"I've had to adjust my strategy," he said. "People try to bluff me more and call me down a lot more and it really keeps changing all the time."
Now, the only question is has he made enough changes to repeat as Aussie Millions champion?
"I hope so," he said. "It would be nice to make another run here."