Melbourne's Crown Casino is the Place to be in January
The Aussie Millions is in its third year, and has attracted some of poker's brightest stars. This year, the Crown has added a plethora of events, making Australia's biggest tournament of the year event more interesting.
For instance, take the Speed Poker Invitational, which will take place on January 13th. This new form of poker allows players 15 seconds to act on their hands once action is on them. In an interesting twist, players have one 'time out' that they can use when they have particularly difficult decision. Levels go up every 40 minutes, and on average the players play 70 hands per hour. To make this event even more intriguing, the buy in for this event is a whopping $100,000 AUS dollars (about $75,000 US). The event may get as many as 18 players, and confirmed participants include Tony G, and Mike Sexton. Phil Ivey, and Daniel Negreanu are also rumored to be showing up.
The main event at Crown is the Aussie Millions. The $10,000 (AUS) buy in event doubled in size from its first year, and is expected to double again this year, with the field expected to be in the 500 range. A long list of top players are expected to participate, including current world champ Joe Hachem (who made his home in Melbourne for years), Marcel Luske, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Fischman, Kathy Liebert, and many more. The top prize is expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of one million US dollars, and the competition will be fierce.
The main event at this years Aussie Millions is being broadcast on FOX Sports Net in a ten part series, which will debut on the US cable network in March.
Add the above facts to the fact that Melbourne is in the heart of its summer right now, and the weather will be a real treat for those caught in the middle of a pretty rough winter.
The Crown will keep things going later this year with the biggest poker tournament in history, the $60 million winner take all event designated to be played at Crown in July.
Poker in Australia has always been big, but with the growth of the Aussie Millions, and a World Champ who is Australian, the center of the poker world is down under in Australia in January.
Ed Note: Still one Aussie Millions satellite this Saturday at Poker Stars