A Historical Look at the Aussie Millions from 2008-2011
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’em||Vincent Wan (Australia)|
|$1,100 Pot-Limit Hold’em||Christopher Chronis (Australia)|
|$550 Limit Seven-Card Stud/Stud Hi-Lo/Razz||Jimmy Fricke (USA)|
|$1,100 Limit Hold’em||Jamie Pickering (Australia)|
|$1,150 No-Limit Hold’em w/ $1,000 rebuys||Michael Pedley (Australia)|
|$1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Feature Event||Marlon Goonawardne (Australia)|
|$3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha w/ $3,000 rebuys||Lee Watkinson (USA)|
|$100,000 Hold’em Challenge||Howard Lederer (USA)|
|$2,200 Pot Limit Hold’em/Omaha/Omaha Hi-Lo||Michael Pesek (USA)|
|$5,300 Australian Heads-up Championship||Jeff Garza (UK)|
|$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Teams||Ross Stewart & Alex Williamson (Australia)|
|$2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Six-handed||Felix Berglund (Sweden)|
|$1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo||David Lee (Australia)|
|$10,200 H.O.R.S.E.||Billy Argyros (Australia)|
|$10,500 NLHE Main Event||Alexander 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 connected on a flop of . Kostritsyn checked, Seidel bet 550,000 with , Kostritsyn moved all-in, and Seidel, who was committed, made the call. Neither the turn nor 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.
2008 Aussie Millions Main Event Results
|1st||Alexander Kostritsyn (Russia)||$1,650,000|
|2nd||Erik Seidel (USA)||$1,000,000|
|3rd||Mike Chrisanthopoulos (Australia)||$700,000|
|4th||Peter Ling (Australia)||$500,000|
|5th||Nino Marotta (Australia)||$400,000|
|6th||Antonio Casale (Australia)||$300,000|
|7th||Peter 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’em||Stuart Barclay (U.K.)|
|$550 Pot-Limit Omaha||David Morton (U.K.)|
|$1,100 No-Limit Hold’em||Christian Heich (Germany)|
|$1,050 PokerPro No-Limit Hold’em||Mitchell Carle (Australia)|
|$1,100 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo||Mel Judah (Australia)|
|$1,100 Limit Hold’em||Zach Gruneberg (USA)|
|$1,100 H.O.R.S.E.||Jarred Solomon (South Africa)|
|$1,150 No-Limit Hold’em w/$1,000 rebuys||Mark Kassis (Australia)|
|$1,650 Feature Event (Bounties)||Saidal Wardak (Australia)|
|$100,000 Hold’em Challenge||David Steicke (Hong Kong)|
|$5,300 Australian Heads-up Championship||John Tabatabai (U.K.)|
|$1,100 Pot-Limit Omaha||Lee Nelson (NZ)|
|$3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha w/ rebuys||Michael Binger (USA)|
|$1,100 Mixed Hold’em||Adam Peck (Australia)|
|$2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Six-handed||Thomas Lindbjerg (Denmark)|
|$2,200 No-Limit Hold’em Teams||Nick & Effie Bouyioukos (Australia)|
|$10,500 H.O.R.S.E.||Alexander Kostritsyn (Russia)|
|$1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo||Matthew Dietrich (Canada)|
|$1,100 Two-card Manila||Billy 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 . In addition to becoming the first Australian to win the Aussie Millions title, Scott collected a first-place prize of AUD$2 million.
2009 Aussie Millions Main Event Results
|1st||Stewart Scott (Australia)||$2,000,000|
|2nd||Peter Rho (USA)||$1,000,000|
|3rd||Elliot Smith (Canada)||$700,000|
|4th||Raj Ramakrishnan (Australia)||$400,000|
|5th||Sam Capra (Australia)||$300,000|
|6th||Zach Gruneberg (USA)||$210,000|
|7th||Richard Ashby (U.K.)||$150,000|
|8th||Barny Boatman (U.K.)||$100,000|
|9th||Zac 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’em||Matthew Ephraums (Australia)|
|Event #2: $550 PokerPro No-Limit Hold’em||Andrew Hinrichsen (Australia)|
|Event #3: $1,100 Limit Hold’em||Simon Morris (Australia)|
|Event #4: $1,100 Po- Limit Omaha||Annette Obrestad (Norway)|
|Event #5: $1,650 No-Limit Hold’em w/ Bounties||Jonathan Karamalikis (Australia)|
|Event #6: $1,100 H.O.R.S.E.||John Joannou (Australia)|
|Event #7: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em w/ Rebuys||Mike Watson (Canada)|
|Event #8: $100,000 Challenge||Dan Shak (USA)|
|Event #9: $10,500 Main Event||Tyron Krost (Australia)|
|Event #10: $550 PokerPro No-Limit Hold’em Shootout||Peter Vratsidis (Australia)|
|Event #11: $550 PokerPro Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo||Eugene Portlen (Australia)|
|Event #12: $550 PokerPro Seven Card Stud||Leo Boxell (Australia)|
|Event #13: $5,300 Australian Heads-Up Championship||Kyle McMurphy (Canada)|
|Event #14: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Teams Event||Mel Judah & Mick Guttmann (Australia)|
|Event #15: $10,500 Pot-Limit Omaha||Erik Seidel (USA)|
|Event #16: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em||Vincent Van Der Fluit (The Netherlands)|
|Event #17: $1,150 NLHE/PLO w/Rebuys||Mark Segal (U.K.)|
|Event #18: $10,500 H.O.R.S.E.||David Bach (USA)|
|Event #19: $2,200 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em||Kristian Lunardi (Australia)|
|Event #20: $550 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo||Roland 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 bested Jensen’s on a flop of . The turn and river were of no consequence, and for the second year in a row, and Australian took home the title.
2010 Aussie Millions Main Event Results
|1st||Tyron Krost (Australia)||$2,000,000|
|2nd||Frederick Jensen (Denmark)||$1,100,000|
|3rd||Sorel Mizzi (Canada)||$715,000|
|4th||Kosta Varoxis (Australia)||$450,000|
|5th||Peter Jetten (Canada)||$350,000|
|6th||Steve Friedlander (USA)||$250,000|
|7th||Annette Obrestad (Norway)||$175,000|
|8th||Stephen 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’em||Martin Drewe (Australia)|
|Event #2: $550 PokerPro No-Limit Hold’em Shootout||Jarred Solomon (South Africa)|
|Event #3: $1,100 Pot-Limit Omaha||Sean Dunwoodie (Australia)|
|Event #4: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout||Soren Blanner (Denmark)|
|Event #5: $1,100 8-Game Mixed Event||Richard Ashby (U.K.)|
|Event #6: $1,100 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em||Tim O’Shea (Australia)|
|$25,000 Shootout Invitational||David Oppenheim (USA)|
|Event #7: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em w/ Rebuys||Oliver Speidel (Australia)|
|Event #8: $100,000 Challenge||Sam Trickett (U.K.)|
|Event #9: $10,500 Main Event||David Gorr (Australia)|
|Event #10: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Teams Event||Christian Svensen (USA) & Neil Stewart (Scotland)|
|Event #11: $550 No-Limit Hold’em||Age Spets (Norway)|
|Event #12: $5,300 Pot-Limit Omaha||Mike Shklover (USA)|
|Event #13: $10,500 Australian Heads-Up Championship||Carlos Mortensen (Spain)|
|Event #14: $550 No-Limit Hold’em||Hun Lee (Australia)|
|Event #15: $10,500 8-Game Mixed Event||Andy Bloch (USA)|
|Event #16: $550 No-Limit Hold’em||Rob Versluis (U.K.)|
|Event #17: $2,200 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em||Leo Boxell (Australia)|
|Event #18: $550 No-Limit Hold’em||Seonglee Ang (Australia)|
|Event #19: $1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Bounties||Gerasimos Deres (Sweden)|
|Event #20: $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo||Antonio Fazzolari (Australia)|
|Event #21: $250,000 Super High Roller||Erik 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.
2011 Aussie Millions Main Event Results
Be sure to check out aussiemillions.com for a look at this year’s schedule. You can also follow live updates throughout the Aussie Million’s entirety right here on PokerNews.