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Director of Poker at Crown Melbourne Jim Preston Discusses 2014 Aussie Millions

Director of Poker at Crown Melbourne Jim Preston Discusses 2014 Aussie Millions 0001

Right now all eyes are on the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas as the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is in full swing. In a few weeks, attention will shift to the “Land Down Under” as the largest tournament in the Southern Hemisphere – the Aussie Millions – kicks off on Jan. 23 and features the A$10,600 Main Event on Feb. 2, along with a A$25,000 Challenge, A$100,000 Challenge, and A$250,000 Challenge.

The stop made headlines back in November when the Crown Melbourne announced an agreement for the 2014 Aussie Millions Main Event to become a part of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT).

It was a welcomed change to the prestigious stop, but what exactly will be different? We decided to talk to Jim Preston, Director of Poker at Crown Melbourne, in the hopes that he could shed a little light on the 2014 Aussie Millions.

What was the deciding factor in moving dates?

There are two significant advantages, the first is we now have some space between the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) and Aussie Millions, and the timing works better for Chinese New Year which is important to improve the likelihood of a large Asian customer participation.

Jim Preston with Leo Boxell.
Jim Preston with Leo Boxell.

What are the major differences (if any) for 2014 as compared to other years?

A streamlined calendar with 20 events rather than 26, and field sizes are likely to be larger with the ‘Main Event’ tipped by some experts to exceed previous years.

PokerNews: Are there any plans for a high-stakes cash game?

Jim Preston: Yes, it will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 in Studio 3. Structure and participants will be confirmed closer to the date.

Is there anything planned for the Super Bowl for those worried about missing the event?

Yes, there are several options, including ticketed events as well as the event shown live on our giant Poker Room screen. One of the ticketed events will be the second annual Super Bowl party at the Crown Sports Bar hosted by Jess Pryles (AKA BurgerMary).

Last year, the winner of the Main Event earned a car along with the top prize. Are there plans to award another car this year?

No car this year.

What are the available room rates for Aussie Millions players?

Crown Promenade Hotel AUD$275, Crown Metropol Hotel AUD$325, Crown Towers Hotel AUD$400. But these are booking VERY FAST.

Have satellites been running at Crown or other venues? Will there be online satellites?

Yes there will be online satellites, and in-room numbers are ahead of this time last year.

What are the top five must-know things for players planning to attend the 2014 Aussie Millions?

  • 1. Book your Crown Hotel early.
  • 2. Pre-register for events to avoid the queues.
  • 3. Arrive into Melbourne early so you don’t miss the Aussie Open Tennis (Men’s Final – Sunday, January 26, 2014).
  • 4. Experience Crown’s Chinese New Year celebrations on the Riverside including the Hawkers Markets (Friday, January 31, 2014).
  • 5. Subscribe to cool definitive guides to Melbourne like Broadsheet or Concrete Playground for seriously cool ideas to what’s on and happening in the city.

Will there be any special guests a la Nate Silver in 2013?

Yes, but this will be released at a later date.

Will there be WSOP Asia-Pacific satellites running during the Aussie Millions?

Yes. The first satellite for WSOP APAC will be will be on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 ($550 Mega Satellite, 12:30pm).

Phil Ivey will be returning to the Crown.
Phil Ivey will be returning to the Crown.

Have any big-name pros confirmed their attendance yet?

All the usual pros that love Melbourne. Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Patrik Antonius, Antonio Esfandiari, Erik Seidel, etc. are all near certain.

What inspired the partnership with the APPT?

Aligning the largest single event in the Southern Hemisphere with the region’s biggest poker tour just makes perfect sense. It will be a relationship that’s works well for both parties. The APPT has revolutionized tournament poker in both Asia and the South Pacific by introducing tournament poker to Macau, along with hosting the first televised poker tournament in Asia. Combine this with the Southern Hemisphere’s largest poker festival, Crown’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship and we are confident that the partnership will be mutually beneficial.

How long had that partnership been in the works?

This is an agreement that has been many months in the making. Senior Management have been in constant negotiations to orchestrate the terms of this agreement, and it is a credit to all involved to finally see it come to fruition.

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