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A Historical Look at the Aussie Millions from 2008-2011

Alexander Kostritsyn

The Aussie Millions Poker Championship is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. In preparation for the 2012 Aussie Millions, we're taking a look back at the event’s esteemed history. We already examined the Aussie Millions’ early years, from 2003 to 2007, so now we thought we’d round it out by surveying the latter years — 2008 to the present.

Kostritsyn Conquers Largest Main Event Ever

The preliminary events of the 2008 Aussie Millions saw eight Australians, four Americans, one Englishman, and one Swede capture titles, including Jimmy Fricke, who followed up his 2007 Main Event runner-up finish with a win in the $550 Limit Seven Card Stud/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo/Razz event. If you recall, Fricke had satellited into the Main Event the year prior, which resulted in a small boom for the Aussie Millions; in fact, online stars such as Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad, Josh “JJProdigy” Field, and Tom “durrrr” Dwan all made the trip Down Under, and online qualifiers comprised a large portion of the Main Event field.

2008 Aussie Millions Results

$1,100 No-Limit Hold’emVincent Wan (Australia)
$1,100 Pot-Limit Hold’emChristopher Chronis (Australia)
$550 Limit Seven-Card Stud/Stud Hi-Lo/RazzJimmy Fricke (USA)
$1,100 Limit Hold’emJamie Pickering (Australia)
$1,150 No-Limit Hold’em w/ $1,000 rebuysMichael Pedley (Australia)
$1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Feature EventMarlon Goonawardne (Australia)
$3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha w/ $3,000 rebuysLee Watkinson (USA)
$100,000 Hold’em ChallengeHoward Lederer (USA)
$2,200 Pot Limit Hold’em/Omaha/Omaha Hi-LoMichael Pesek (USA)
$5,300 Australian Heads-up ChampionshipJeff Garza (UK)
$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em TeamsRoss Stewart & Alex Williamson (Australia)
$2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Six-handedFelix Berglund (Sweden)
$1,100 No-Limit Hold’em TurboDavid Lee (Australia)
$10,200 H.O.R.S.E.Billy Argyros (Australia)
$10,500 NLHE Main EventAlexander Kostritsyn (Russia)

Speaking of the Main Event, 2008 was the peak of the event’s attendance, as 780 players took to the felt and created a prize pool of AUD$7.8 million. Some of the pros who played and cashed included Erick Lindgren (73rd), Tom “durrrr” Dwan (62nd), Kenna James (53rd), Kevin Saul (45th), Andy Black (34th), Matt Stout (24th), and Max Pescatori (10th).

No Australian had ever captured the Aussie Millions title, but the odds of it happening were good because five of the seven final tablists were Aussies; in fact, Michael Chrisanthopoulos was the massive chip leader with 6.81 million in chips. Even so, another player headlined the final table — the legendary Erik Seidel.

Slowly but surely, the Australian players began to hit the rail and eventually left Chrisanthopoulos to do battle against Seidel and a 21-year-old Russian by the name of Alexander Kostritsyn. The Aussie was soon felled in third place, meaning the title would leave the country for the sixth year in a row.

In this instance, experience was no match for the vivacity of youth, with Kostritsyn dispatching Seidel when his {J-Hearts}{9-Hearts} connected on a flop of {J-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{7-Spades}. Kostritsyn checked, Seidel bet 550,000 with {A-Spades}{Q-Clubs}, Kostritsyn moved all-in, and Seidel, who was committed, made the call. Neither the {3-Hearts} turn nor {K-Hearts} river changed a thing, and Kostritsyn laid claim to the AUD$1.65 million first-place prize, becoming the youngest player to win the Aussie Millions Main Event, a record that still stands today.

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2008 Aussie Millions Champion Alexander Kostritsyn

2008 Aussie Millions Main Event Results

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
PlacePlayerPrize (AUD)
1stAlexander Kostritsyn (Russia)$1,650,000
2ndErik Seidel (USA)$1,000,000
3rdMike Chrisanthopoulos (Australia)$700,000
4thPeter Ling (Australia)$500,000
5thNino Marotta (Australia)$400,000
6thAntonio Casale (Australia)$300,000
7thPeter Mobbs (Australia)$225,000

Great Scott! An Australian Wins the Aussie Millions

Entering the 2009 Aussie Millions, the Australian contingent had yet to capture the Main Event title, despite numerous final table appearances by Aussies. So it was no surprise to see them enter the new year with a fire in their bellies.

It showed in the preliminary events as several Australians captured titles including Mitchell Carle, Mel Judah, Mark Kassis, Saidal Wardak, Adam Peck, and Billy Argyros. They were joined by other winners including former champ, Lee Nelson (U.K.), who won the $1,100 Pot Limit Omaha event, Michael Binger (USA), who took down the $3,250 PLO with rebuys, and the defending champion, Alexander Kostritsyn, who proved he was not a one-hit wonder as he emerged victorious in the $10,500 H.O.R.S.E. tournament.

2009 Aussie Millions Results

$550 No-Limit Hold’emStuart Barclay (U.K.)
$550 Pot-Limit OmahaDavid Morton (U.K.)
$1,100 No-Limit Hold’emChristian Heich (Germany)
$1,050 PokerPro No-Limit Hold’emMitchell Carle (Australia)
$1,100 Limit Omaha Hi-LoMel Judah (Australia)
$1,100 Limit Hold’emZach Gruneberg (USA)
$1,100 H.O.R.S.E.Jarred Solomon (South Africa)
$1,150 No-Limit Hold’em w/$1,000 rebuysMark Kassis (Australia)
$1,650 Feature Event (Bounties)Saidal Wardak (Australia)
$100,000 Hold’em ChallengeDavid Steicke (Hong Kong)
$5,300 Australian Heads-up ChampionshipJohn Tabatabai (U.K.)
$1,100 Pot-Limit OmahaLee Nelson (NZ)
$3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha w/ rebuysMichael Binger (USA)
$1,100 Mixed Hold’emAdam Peck (Australia)
$2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Six-handedThomas Lindbjerg (Denmark)
$2,200 No-Limit Hold’em TeamsNick & Effie Bouyioukos (Australia)
$10,500 H.O.R.S.E.Alexander Kostritsyn (Russia)
$1,100 No-Limit Hold’em TurboMatthew Dietrich (Canada)
$1,100 Two-card ManilaBilly Argyros (Australia)

For the first year in Aussie Million history, the attendance dropped in the Main Event; even so, 681 players entered the tournament and created a prize pool of AUD$6.81 million. Quite a few notable players managed to notch cashes including Scotty Nguyen (50th), JP Kelly (43rd), Patrik Antonius (41st), Clonie Gowen (32nd), Annette Obrestad (21st), and Sorel Mizzi (16th).

The final table featured three Australians, two Americans, two Canadians, and two U.K. pros, and for the first time in Aussie Millions history, the trophy stayed on native soil. It happened when Australia’s Stewart Scott defeated the United States’ Peter Rho in heads-up play. Scott's pocket aces held against the Rho’s {A-Hearts}{J-Clubs}. In addition to becoming the first Australian to win the Aussie Millions title, Scott collected a first-place prize of AUD$2 million.

A Historical Look at the Aussie Millions from 2008-2011 102
2009 Aussie Millions Champion Stewart Scott

2009 Aussie Millions Main Event Results

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
PlacePlayerPrize (AUD)
1stStewart Scott (Australia)$2,000,000
2ndPeter Rho (USA)$1,000,000
3rdElliot Smith (Canada)$700,000
4thRaj Ramakrishnan (Australia)$400,000
5thSam Capra (Australia)$300,000
6thZach Gruneberg (USA)$210,000
7thRichard Ashby (U.K.)$150,000
8thBarny Boatman (U.K.)$100,000
9thZac Fellows (Canada)$100,000

Seidel, Obrestad, and Bach Capture Preliminary Titles

Perhaps the most notable story from the 2010 Aussie Millions was the list of notable players who captured one of the series’ 20 titles. It included Erik Seidel, who conquered a field of 26 players in the $10,500 PLO, 2009 World Series of Poker $50,000 Poker Player’s Champion, David Bach, who once again proved his mettle in mixed games by winning the $10,500 H.O.R.S.E. event, and Annette Obrestad, who took down Event #4 $1,100 PLO for AUD$40,000.

2010 Aussie Millions Results

Event #1: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’emMatthew Ephraums (Australia)
Event #2: $550 PokerPro No-Limit Hold’emAndrew Hinrichsen (Australia)
Event #3: $1,100 Limit Hold’emSimon Morris (Australia)
Event #4: $1,100 Po- Limit OmahaAnnette Obrestad (Norway)
Event #5: $1,650 No-Limit Hold’em w/ BountiesJonathan Karamalikis (Australia)
Event #6: $1,100 H.O.R.S.E.John Joannou (Australia)
Event #7: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em w/ RebuysMike Watson (Canada)
Event #8: $100,000 ChallengeDan Shak (USA)
Event #9: $10,500 Main EventTyron Krost (Australia)
Event #10: $550 PokerPro No-Limit Hold’em ShootoutPeter Vratsidis (Australia)
Event #11: $550 PokerPro Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-LoEugene Portlen (Australia)
Event #12: $550 PokerPro Seven Card StudLeo Boxell (Australia)
Event #13: $5,300 Australian Heads-Up ChampionshipKyle McMurphy (Canada)
Event #14: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Teams EventMel Judah & Mick Guttmann (Australia)
Event #15: $10,500 Pot-Limit OmahaErik Seidel (USA)
Event #16: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’emVincent Van Der Fluit (The Netherlands)
Event #17: $1,150 NLHE/PLO w/RebuysMark Segal (U.K.)
Event #18: $10,500 H.O.R.S.E.David Bach (USA)
Event #19: $2,200 6-Handed No Limit Hold’emKristian Lunardi (Australia)
Event #20: $550 No-Limit Hold’em TurboRoland Hawkins (Australia)

Speaking of Obrestad, she topped off the 2010 Aussie Millions by navigating a field of 746 players to make a Main Event final table appearance, though her deep run came to an end in seventh place. Also of note, Sorel Mizzi followed up the previous year’s 16th-place finish by making the final table, ultimately finishing in third place for AUD$715,000.

Mizzi’s elimination left Australia’s Tyron Krost with a 2-1 chip lead over Denmark’s Frederick Jensen, and the 23-year-old finance and psychology graduate from Sydney put it to good use. In the final hand, Krost’s {K-Spades}{9-Diamonds} bested Jensen’s {K-Diamonds}{6-Spades} on a flop of {K-Clubs}{3-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}. The turn and river were of no consequence, and for the second year in a row, and Australian took home the title.

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2010 Aussie Millions Champion Tyron Krost

2010 Aussie Millions Main Event Results

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
PlacePlayerPrize (AUD)
1stTyron Krost (Australia)$2,000,000
2ndFrederick Jensen (Denmark)$1,100,000
3rdSorel Mizzi (Canada)$715,000
4thKosta Varoxis (Australia)$450,000
5thPeter Jetten (Canada)$350,000
6thSteve Friedlander (USA)$250,000
7thAnnette Obrestad (Norway)$175,000
8thStephen Shelly (Australia)$125,000

20 Players Enter $250,000 Event

Prior to the 2011 Aussie Millions, a rumor had circulated that a $250,000 Super high Roller tournament would take place. It did, and an astounding 20 players were willing to pay the hefty price tag, including Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Daniel “jungleman12” Cates, and Chinese businessmen Paul Phua, Richard Yong, and Wang Qiang.

The event was designed as a turbo to ensure the aforementioned businessmen could catch a flight. Sam Trickett, who had won the $100,000 High Roller event earlier in the 2011 Aussie Millions ended up facing off against Erik Seidel in heads-up play.

Trickett entered with the chip lead, but Seidel managed to turn the tables and dispatched his opponent within 45 minutes. Seidel took down the AUD$2.5 million prize and became the winner of the largest buy-in poker tournament in history, which contributed greatly to his unbelievable year.

2011 Aussie Millions Results

Event #1: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’emMartin Drewe (Australia)
Event #2: $550 PokerPro No-Limit Hold’em ShootoutJarred Solomon (South Africa)
Event #3: $1,100 Pot-Limit OmahaSean Dunwoodie (Australia)
Event #4: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em ShootoutSoren Blanner (Denmark)
Event #5: $1,100 8-Game Mixed EventRichard Ashby (U.K.)
Event #6: $1,100 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’emTim O’Shea (Australia)
$25,000 Shootout InvitationalDavid Oppenheim (USA)
Event #7: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em w/ RebuysOliver Speidel (Australia)
Event #8: $100,000 ChallengeSam Trickett (U.K.)
Event #9: $10,500 Main EventDavid Gorr (Australia)
Event #10: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Teams EventChristian Svensen (USA) & Neil Stewart (Scotland)
Event #11: $550 No-Limit Hold’emAge Spets (Norway)
Event #12: $5,300 Pot-Limit OmahaMike Shklover (USA)
Event #13: $10,500 Australian Heads-Up ChampionshipCarlos Mortensen (Spain)
Event #14: $550 No-Limit Hold’emHun Lee (Australia)
Event #15: $10,500 8-Game Mixed EventAndy Bloch (USA)
Event #16: $550 No-Limit Hold’emRob Versluis (U.K.)
Event #17: $2,200 6-Handed No Limit Hold’emLeo Boxell (Australia)
Event #18: $550 No-Limit Hold’emSeonglee Ang (Australia)
Event #19: $1,650 No-Limit Hold’em BountiesGerasimos Deres (Sweden)
Event #20: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em TurboAntonio Fazzolari (Australia)
Event #21: $250,000 Super High RollerErik Seidel (USA)

It was hard to overcome the excitement of the $250,000 Super High Roller, but the 2011 Aussie Millions is also remembered as having one of the most stacked final tables in Main Event history. That event drew 721 entries, creating a prize pool of $7.21 million, and saw Sorel Mizzi make the final table for the second year in a row, finishing in ninth place for $130,000.

Also at the final table were Patrik Antonius, Chris Moorman, and Randy Dorfman, the latter entering as the chip leader. However, as all three would soon learn, the day belonged to Australian David Gorr, who dispatched each in turn.

Antonius fell in eighth place when Gorr’s two pair defeated his pocket kings, and Moorman, who missed a flush draw against Gorr’s flopped trips, followed him out the door. A little while later, Dorfman was eliminated in fifth place when Gorr spiked an ace on the river to crack his pocket tens. Gorr went on to win the event for AUD$2 million.

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2011 Aussie Millions Champion David Gorr

2011 Aussie Millions Main Event Results

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
PlacePlayerPrize (AUD)
1stDavid Gorr$2,000,000
2ndJames Keys$1,035,000
3rdJeff Rossiter$700,000
4thMichael Ryan$450,000
5thRandy Dorfman$325,000
6thSamad Razavi$225,000
7thChris Moorman$175,000
8thPatrik Antonius$130,000
9thSorel Mizzi$130,000

Be sure to check out for a look at this year’s schedule. You can also follow live updates throughout the Aussie Million’s entirety right here on PokerNews.

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