Tournament coverage Poker

Aussie Millions 2013: Crown’s Big Deal

Written by Pai Yao

This article first appeared in the WSOP 2012 special issue of World Gaming magazine.

We take a closer look at the 2013 Championship schedule and what to expect when you head “down under” for the most impressive poker event in the Asia Pacific region.

Crown’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship held annually in Melbourne, Australia, is one of the major events on the international poker tournament calendar. Taking place over a three week period during the peak of the Australian summer, more than 3,000 players are expected to take part in 26 events, encompassing several popular poker variations. The prize pools alone should provide substantial incentive to travel the globe, with each winner also receiving a championship ring as a memento of their victory. While some entry fees may sit outside the budget of some players, anyone can qualify. There are countless satellite tournaments held throughout the year and during the event, offering players the chance to win a place in the coveted Aussie Millions Main Event for a fraction of the AU$10,600 entry fee. At the time of press the Australian and US dollar were almost exactly the same value.

Event 1: AU$1,100 Opening Event No Limit Hold’em (NLHE)
Thursday 17 January 2013 at 6:15pm

The 2012 opening event saw a massive 946 players generate an AU$946,000 prize pool, making it the largest field on the schedule. Numbers are expected to grow in 2013 so expect a huge field and another monster prize pool. Could this event crack 1,000 entries? Day 1 is divided into three separate starting days: flight 1 on Thursday 17 January, flight 2 on Friday 18 January and flight 3 on Saturday 19 January. This tournament uses a repechage format, where players eliminated from any of the day 1 flights are able to re-enter on subsequent day 1 flights, along with new players. Players who make it through the respective day 1s will reconvene on Sunday 20 January for day 2. This has to be the best value tournament on the schedule.

Event 2: AU$1,100 Pot Limit Omaha (PLO)
Monday 21 January 2013 at 12:30pm

The generous structure for this tournament features a “second chance” format. Players start with half their chips up front and can collect the other half at any time during the first two levels regardless of their stack size. Lovers of the gamble will eat this event up, so expect around 200 players.

Event 3: AU$1,100 No Limit Hold’em Shootout
Tuesday 22 January 2013 at 12:30pm

The shootout format, where players must win their respective tables before progressing to the next stage of the tournament, was added to the Aussie Millions schedule in 2011 and proved a resounding success. Organizers expect this event to increase from the 150 entrants in 2012 and offer a decent prize pool.

Event 4: AU$1,100 No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha
Wednesday 23 January 2013 at 12:30pm

A new addition to the Aussie Millions schedule in 2012, this mixed game proved extremely popular. With PLO growing in popularity in recent years and NLHE remaining the most widely recognized poker variant, this event will surely draw one of the biggest fields.

Event 5: AU$1,100 No Limit Hold’em – Six Max
Thursday 24 January 2013 at 12:30pm

Introduced in 2011 and surpassing all expectations with a massive field of 372 players, in 2012 it attracted 385 entrants. The surge in popularity of these short-handed tournaments ensures there will be even more money on offer, so expect to see a six-figure first prize in 2013.

Event 6: AU$1,150 No Limit Hold’em – Rebuys
Friday 25 January 2013 at 12:30pm

With AU$1,000 rebuys the action for this event is fast and furious with players all trying to build a stack as quickly as possible. Current Aussie Millions champion Oliver Speidel won his first title in this event in 2011.

Event 7: AU$1,650 No Limit Hold’em Bounty Event
Saturday 26 January 2013 at 12:30pm

Following a similar format to the Bay 101 Shooting Star, each table is allocated a bounty player (normally a pro or other big name player) awarding AU$1,000 to any player that busts their table’s bounty. This two-day event will play down until there are 32 players remaining on day 1. At the start of day 2, there will be a re-draw for seats based on chip stacks to four tables of eight players each. Each table then becomes a shootout, with the top two players making the final table. This is a fantastic event and one of the highlights of the Aussie Millions schedule.

Event 8: AU$10,600 Main Event (NLHE)
Sunday 27 January 2013 at 12:30pm

As one of the few remaining independent events on the international poker circuit, Crown’s Aussie Millions Main Event has effectively become one of the top four poker “majors”. Boasting five full days of play, day 1 will be split into 3 flights, on January 27, 28 and 29. With a 30,000 starting stack, 90-minute levels on day 1 and day 2 and 2-hour levels from day 3 onwards the structure is one of the best in the world. Play begins 9-handed, becoming 8-handed by the end of day 1 with a re-draw taking place on day 2. Play continues until 36 players remain, at which time there is another re-draw and play becomes 6-handed. The ante structure is excellent, with the average stack never under pressure throughout the entire event, and the format sees the cream rise to the top. Add in the fact that over 60 percent of the field satellite their way in and it becomes one of the best value tournaments held anywhere.

As the Aussie Millions Main Event continues the events don’t stop, with the schedule specifically designed to give players something else to do if they bust from the main. Unlike other festivals that end once the main event gets going, the Aussie Millions gives players almost too many choices.

Aussie Millions Poker Championship 2013 Championship Schedule

Buy In **
Thur 17
No Limit Holdem – Day 1 Flight 1
Fri 18
No Limit Holdem – Day 1 Flight 2 (Repechage)
Sat 19
No Limit Holdem – Day 1 Flight 3 (Repechage)
Sun 20
No Limit Holdem – Day 2
Charity poker tournament
Mon 21
Pot Limit Omaha
Tue 22
No Limit Holdem Shootout
Wed 23
No Limit Holdem/Pot Limit Omaha
Thur 24
No Limit Holdem – Six Max
Fr1 25
No Limit Holdem – Rebuys
$1,150 /
Sat 26
No Limit Holdem Bounty Event
Sun 27
Main event – day 1 Flight 1
No Limit Holdem Teams Event ^
$100,000 Challenge
Limit Omaha Hi/HiLo
Mon 28
Main event – day 1 Flight 2
No Limit Holdem – Mix Max
Chinese Poker
Tue 29
Main event – day 1 Flight 3
Terminator No Limit Holdem
Wed 30
No Limit Holdem
Main event – day 2
Pot Limit Omaha
Thur 31
Australian Poker Hall Of Fame Classic^
Main event – day 3
No Limit Holdem – Mix Max
Fri 1
No Limit Holdem – Six Max
Main event – day 4
$250,000 Challenge^
8 Game Mixed Event
Sat 2
Turbo No Limit Holdem Cubed^
$600 / $500
1 x RA
Main event – Final Table
$25,000 Challenge
Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo
Sun 3
Turbo No Limit Holdem – Six Max

* Schedule may be subject to change / ** Includes admin fee / ^ One day event

Event 9: AU$1,100 Teams Event (NLHE)
Sunday 27 January 2013 at 2:15pm

This event sees two players sharing one stack, with play rotating between the teammates every level. In a unique twist, the first partner plays with half the start bank, and if they are eliminated from the tournament, their partner sits with the remaining stack. Once into the second level, the team has its full stack and either teammate can bust the team.

Event 10: AU$100,000 Challenge (NLHE)
Sunday 27 January 2013 at 2:30pm

The Aussie Millions has a number of unique events on its calendar, but none more prestigious over the years than the $100,000 Challenge. While other events around the world have added six-figure buy-ins to their schedule, the Aussie Millions has been doing it for the past seven years. The best of the best battle it out against the richest of the rich, in what was previously a strictly closed-door affair. Regular attendees include Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius and Tom Dwan along with Aussie locals Joe Hachem, Tony G and Jeff Lisandro. Past champions have included Dan Smith, Sam Trickett, Dan Shak, David Steicke, Erick Lindgren and John Juanda.

Event 11: AU$2,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Sunday 27 January 2013 at 6:15pm

Event 12: AU$1,100 No Limit Hold’em – Mix Max
Monday 28 January 2013 at 2:15pm

Becoming increasingly popular on the international circuit mix max events start as fullring games, redraw to six-max events at a later stage and finish heads-up. Two mix max events have been introduced for the 2013 Aussie Millions, events 12 and 19.

Event 13: AU$5,000 Chinese Poker
Monday 28 January 2013 at 6:15pm

This event returns after its successful introduction last year.

Event 14: AU$1,100 Terminator No Limit Hold’em
Tuesday 29 January 2013 at 2:15pm

Every player starts with one terminator chip and when you bust a player you receive his terminator chip. If you are knocked out you can cash in the terminator chips you won along the way, as part of the prize pool is set aside to make these payments.

Event 15: AU$2,500 HORSE
Tuesday 29 January 2013 at 6:15pm

Event 16: AU$1,100 No Limit Hold’em
Wednesday 30 January 2013 at 12:15pm

Event 17: AU$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha
Wednesday 30 January 2013 at 6:15pm

Event 18: AU$550 Australian Poker Hall of Fame Classic (NLHE)
Thursday 31 January 2013 at 12:15

Members of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame will be out in full force for this one, with bounties put on their heads and some great prizes up for grabs. This one is sure to be great fun as the old guard mixes it up with the young guns.

Event 19: AU$5,000 No Limit Hold’em Mix Max
Thursday 31 January 2013 at 6:15pm

Event 20: AUD$2,500 No Limit Hold’em Six Max
Friday 1 February 2013 at 12:15pm

This tournament has a ridiculously slow structure so be sure not to miss it.

Event 21: AU$250,000 Challenge (NLHE)
Friday 1 February 2013 at 2:15pm

The $100,000 Challenge is an incredible event to witness, but it’s not the biggest buy-in on the schedule. In January 2011, what began as a rumor around the Crown Poker Room quickly grew into a reality when the world’s first ever AU$250,000 buy-in tournament was held. A staggering 20 players ponied up the buy-in, with stalwart Erik Seidel taking home the AU$2.5 million first prize. In 2012, 16 players entered with legend Phil Ivey winning the event. In 2013 the $250,000 Challenge will again feature prominently, with more wealthy businessmen from Asia expected to participate, as this year there is no clash with Chinese New Year festivities.

Event 22: AU$5,000 Eight-game Mixed Event
Friday 1 February 2013 at 6:15pm

Event 23: AU$600 Turbo No Limit Hold’em Cubed
Saturday 2 February 2013 at 12:15pm

A new addition to the 2012 Aussie Millions schedule, players will have the option to purchase a single AU$500 rebuy and add-on prior to the end of the first break. Players have just 20 seconds to act so expect the action to be fast and furious.

Event 24: AU$25,000 Challenge (NLHE)
Saturday 2 February 2013 at 2:15pm

Returning to the Championship once more, the scheduling issues that saw a reduced field play in 2012 have been resolved, with more than 50 entrants expected to participate in 2013.

Event 25: AU$1,100 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Saturday 2 February 2013 at 6:15pm

Another event making its first appearance at the Aussie Millions, Crown claim this tournament is the most requested event they have ever had so expect a large field.

Event 26: AU$5,000 Turbo No Limit Hold’em Six Max
Sunday 3 February 2013 at 2:15pm

The final event on the schedule will be action packed as players take their last shot in the event most requested by Crown’s high rollers, who want to have some fun at the end of the carnival.

The 2013 Aussie Millions Poker Championship is set to be the biggest and best on record, so we suggest you start packing now! With satellites for the Main Event running across most of the major online poker rooms, your chance at winning a summer holiday “down under” has never been better. What are you waiting for?