Kiwi takes first place in Aussie Millions in birthday win

Retired New Zealand doctor, Lee Nelson, celebrated his 63rd birthday by winning the Aussie Millions Poker Championships and its first place prize of AUD $1.43 million, it was recently announced. Moments after championing the largest tournament in the southern hemisphere, the Auckland resident said, "I'm 63 today but I feel like I'm 18."

Nelson outlasted a field of 417 opponents, including poker pros Michael Gracz, Joseph Hachem, among others.

The Aussie Millions took place from January 15-19 at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia - home of the largest casino and poker room in the country. The main event boasted a buy-in of USD $7,538 and a prize pool of over USD $3 million. The final table lasted approximately 10 hours and finished at 11:55 p.m. Australia time. Fox Sports Network (FSN) is set to air the tournament in the United States in a 10-part series in March 2006.

Final table results are as follows (all sums are listed in USD):

1st Lee Nelson$972,822
2nd Robert Neary $517,792
3rd Nenad Medic $282,432
4th Shannon Shorr $203,979
5th Jeff Sealey $156,907
6th Russell Davies $125,525
7th Wes Bugiera $94,144
8th Mark Vos $62,763
9th Kenna James $62,763

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