In July 1998, the Aussie Millions debuted as the Crown Australian Poker Championship.
It was a single, $1,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em tournament that drew 74 entries and a $74,000 prize pool to the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.
In 2017, for its 20th edition, the biggest and richest poker festival of the Southern Hemisphere will offer 26 events over 20 days with buy-ins from $1,150 to $250,000 and another $1.5m+ to the winner of the main event.
It's safe to say it - and poker in Australia - has come a long way in 18 years.
The 2017 Aussie Millions schedule has now been announced and it will feature 26 events running from January 11-30, making it the largest edition yet.
The turnout is expected to be the same or higher in 2017, but beyond the main event there will be several other showcase events worth a look as both a player and a poker fan.
A few select highlights:
- Jan 11-16, AUD$1,150 Opening Event, 4 flights, 3 days, AUD$1 million guaranteed
- Jan 18-22, AUD$1,150 Accumulator, 3 flights to accumulate chips, 3 days
- Jan 20/21, AUD$25,000 Challenge, 2 days
- Jan 22-28, AUD$100,000 Challenge, 3 days (4 day break before the ft)
- Jan 22-29, AUD$10,600 Main Event, 3 flights, 6 days
- Jan 29/30, AUD$250,000 Challenge, 2 days
The 2017 Aussie Millions will also host a “Tournament of Champions” with a lower buy-in if you are a former main event champion. There are PLO, NLHE shot clock and Mixed events on the schedule along with a special event to celebrate Australia's own Poker Hall of Fame members.
The returning High Roller Challenges with AUD$25k, AUD$100k and AUD$250k buy-ins will again draw the most attention apart from the main event.
Loves the Crown vibe.
Besides their eye-popping buy-ins the events have generated some amazing stories for the poker history books including Erik Seidel's 3rd-place in the $100k in 2011 followed by a victory in the $250k just days later.
Much like Phil Ivey, who has called Crown one of his favorite places in the world to play poker, Seidel has a legacy of success there with a final-table in the $25k in 2013, the $100k in 2014 and both Super High Roller final tables again in 2015.
Sam Trickett has also seen his fair share of success here as he won the $100k in 2011 and came 2nd in the AUD$250k a few days later. He won it in 2013.
In 2011 alone Trickett and Seidel shared winnings of over AUD$6 million between them in just those two tournaments.
Other former winners include Ivey, who’s won the $250k three times (2012/2014/2015), John Juanda and Howard Lederer. Last year, Steve O’Dwyer won the $250k, Fabian Quoss took home the $100k and Chance Kornuth triumphed in the $25k.
Crown is King
The Crown Melbourne is one of the leading casinos in the Southern hemisphere. It has three different 4-6* hotels with 1,600 rooms to offer; construction of a fourth hotel is underway.
Crown is King
When that one is finished the Crown will be the largest casino resort in Australia.
The Crown resort has received the “Resort of the Year” award twice at the International Gaming Awards (IGA) in London.
Starting on October 22 the casino will offer live satellites on a daily basis, starting as low as AUD$65 buy-in.
-- The inaugural event champion was Alex Horowitz, who cashed for AUD$25,900.
-- Sorel Mizzi is the only player to make the main event final table twice, finishing 3rd in 2010 and 2nd in 2014.
-- Patrik Antonius finished 3rd in the main event in 2013 and just missed the final table in 2011, finishing 8th. Since 2011 he's made at least one final table in the main or high roller events every year.
-- Two players who’ve won a High Roller Challenge have also made the main event final table – Dan Shak and Erik Seidel.
-- 2016 marked the first time two women made the final table of the main event. Kitty Kuo finished in sixth and Sam Abernathy third.
-- Jake Balsiger is the only player who made both the AM (2014) and the WSOP ME final table (2012). He finished 3rd in both.
-- In 2007, Gus Hansen was repeatedly seen quietly talking into a microphone while playing. Several months later, his book Every Hand Revealed was published, in which he described his way through the tournament. Incredibly, Hansen won the event that very year.