As in previous years, the Crown Melbourne 2011 Aussie Millions Poker Championship hit off with a blast! Players packed the casino in Melbourne from just about every corner of the globe.
A list players including Phil Ivey, Marsha Waggoner, Gus Hansen, Annette Obrestad, Patrick Antonious, Chris Ferguson, Joe Hachem, Mike Matasow, Tony G, and Sorel Mizzi and many more were in attendance.
Lacey did a more then fantastic job at hosting the entire championship with class and articulation. It was a very big job to say the least.
When it comes to players from different levels attending the championship, all enjoyed a spectacular poker atmosphere with plenty of cash games and tournaments running 24/7 for the entire three-week period. Featured tables were a great treat for poker fanatics.
The Aussie Millions wasn't all about poker though. Many of the players that had traveled to the Southern Hemisphere also enjoyed excursions to some of the best golf courses and the annual Australian Open Tennis Championship. There were also many players enjoying shopping, the aquarium and various theater productions that were also scheduled at the same time.
When it came to catering for the poker players, Crown Casino put on some great parties which included delicious gourmet foods and spectacular cocktails that flowed freely. Crown Casino also provided fabulous entertainment with a patriotic Aussie theme leaving nobody short of Australian flags, scarves, and Union Jack laced akubra hats ensuring some brilliant "Aussie Oi" photos to take home with them.
The Championship game was not short of players of all levels with amateur players cashing for the first time through to our big guns taking down huge pots.
Poker Pro Eric Seidel took down a $250k buy-in tournament, certainly close if not the biggest buy-in in the world which awarded Seidel a prize of 2.5 million.
Running only days before was the $100,000.00 challenge which saw a whopping 38 players take to the felt including Howard Lederer, Jeff Lisandro, John Juanda, and Tony Bloom among others.The Challenge and a big chunk of the 3.8 million dollars was won by Sam Tricket. Sadly the event was under-represented by women with no female entries.
The main event however, had the ladies out in numbers but no female players made the final table. At the final table, Aussie flags were flying as Australia has kept the Aussie Millions main event title on home turf for two years running. With a large portion of the final table bearing possible Aussie champions, a hat trick was in the cards! The title, the trophy, the championship bracelet and the two million dollars was kept in Melbourne with the Aussie David Gorr, a 68 year old-grandfather of five, winning the tournament.
David had a nice chip lead come time for heads up play against his young opponent James Keys but Keys bit back at him to the point where David was so short stacked there were a constant flow of all-ins before he again took the lead after his numerous double ups to win.
With 721 runners in for the main event, one can only assume that such a spectacular event will be even larger next year. Here's to our woman poker players making a fierce impact at the 2012 Aussie Millions!
Photo of Champ David Gorr courtesy of Crown Casino
Top Left: the author with Lacey Jones