The Australian Poker Championship, also known as the Aussie Millions is a huge poker event that takes place in none other than Australia; as the name hints at. This tournament is made up of well-known high roller poker events, as well as the final Main Event. They boast for having the highest buy-ins in history, so this tournament is not for the weak of mind or pocket. As the stakes increase, so do the benefits; as anything economical would have it, the higher the risk, the higher the reward. The Aussie Millions definitely has high rewards, where the total cash pool has been seen as far up as A$7 million. With this tournament being a single event, not counting the high roller events, there is a lower amount of participants than other popular poker tournaments.
Aussie Million History
It all started at the Crown casino in 1997, when poker was introduced. A year later, in 1998, was when the first poker championship was held by the casino. The Main Event during that first year was a $1,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em tournament, where a total of 74 poker players participated. It started small, and gained momentum and popularity in the world of poker. By the 2005, the Aussie Millions had gotten much larger, attracting 263 participants and having a $10,000 buy in; which means they had a $2.63 million prize pool. The tournament kept growing, in both numbers and the prize pool. In 2006, there were 418 poker players, and by 2008 it grew to 780 players. With the increase in number of participants, the organizers began adding in more tournaments before the Main Event. The tournament usually takes place during the last week of January, lasting up to 6 days.
The Poker Events
As stated before, the Aussie Millions has two portions to it, the Main Event and the high roller events. The Main Event is different than most other poker tournaments, where the participants play at 8-handed tables, and then move on to 6-handed tables. The high roller events have become just as popular as the Main Event itself, but the entire gameplay is different. The first difference is the buy-in, where at the Main Event the buy-in is usually $10,000, it sky rockets up to $100,000 and $250,000 for the high roller events. Players receive a larger starting chip count than other tournaments, there is a pot limit pre-flop and then it is no-limit. Players only get 30 seconds to act, and are given three 30 second extensions to use. Obviously with the high buy-in, the player count is much lower than in the actual Aussie Millions Main Event.
Pros vs. Cons of the Aussie Million
With the Aussie Millions taking place in Australia, the main con would have to be distance. Although most poker professionals have a good bankroll to bank their trip, other poker players may not be so lucky. This limits the variety of participants in the tournament. The great thing about the tournament is how they separate the high roller and the main event buy-ins; keeping the Main Event buy in lower, making it possible for more players to join; keeping it competitive. It is also a good place for poker players to make a name for themselves, seeing as the Aussie Millions is the largest poker tournaments in the Southern Hemisphere, and is the sixth largest in the world. Many poker pro’s take time out of their schedule to at least participate in this prestigious event.
Winners Circle for the Aussie Million
Since its inception, the prize pool has grown tremendously. Starting at $74,000 and ending up rising all the way beyond $7 million. Most of the participants are from areas nearby, such as Australia and New Zealand; although there are also participants that come all the way from Europe and the US. Most of the winners of the Championships have been Australians, although there has been a few upsets going to Russia, the UK, and Denmark. In the last Aussie Millions that took place on the last week of January in 2012, the winner was Oliver Speidel, winning $1.6 million. It is a fast paced Texas Hold’em tournament, with a big pay out at the end; it is everything a poker player dreams about.