When any major, worldwide competition takes place in a particular region of the world, it tends to inspire local participants to deliver a peak performance. When Russia hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, they scored, they scored 33 medals (13 gold), more than doubling their 15-medal (3 gold) performance in 2010. When the UK hosted the 2012 Winter Olympics, they scooped 65 medals (29 gold), up from 47 (19 gold) in 2008.
The same can often be said of the world’s largest poker events, and the 2016 Crown Aussie Millions in Melbourne is no different.
After kicking off on January 13 with the first of 24 events, Australian poker players have dominated the series. With 10 tournaments now in the record books, half of them have been championed by local talent, with 3 of the remaining 5 naming Aussies as runners up.
Kevin Blackwood takes Event #1, $275k
The opening event, $1,150 NLHE, sported a $1 Million GTD that attracted over 1,300 entrants. Australia’s own Kevin Blackwood routed the field, collecting a cool $275,300 – not bad for his fourth career live tournament cash. Fellow Aussie Phachara Wongwichit finished 2nd for $170k.
James Obst wins Event #2 H.O.R.S.E, $35k
7-year poker pro James Obst snagged his 4th career win at the Aussie Millions by surviving 38 other entrants in the $2,500 H.O.R.S.E. event, pocketing $35,100. Another local, Jan Suchanek, finished runner up for $21,060.
Name Le finishes 1st in NLHE Shootout, $30k
Two Australians, Name Le and Geoff Mooney, battled it out in heads-up in Event #3 of the 2016 Aussies Millions. The $1,150 NLHE Clock Shootout drew 126 entrants, with Le taking 1st for $30,215, and Mooney collecting $24,524 in 2nd.
Greg Cook outlasts Event #5, $51k
Longtime poker pro Greg Cook brought his lifetime earnings up to $375k with his latest win in Event #5, $1,150 NLHE Mix Max. Cook outlasted a field of 196, finishing off American Alan Engel to take the top prize of $51,230.
Brendon Rubie prevails in Event #10, $116k
Another consistent winner of home-town poker events – and the most historically successful to win a 2016 Aussie Millions event thus far – Brendon Rubie scooped $116,680 when he outlasted 348 other competitors at Event #10, $1,650 NLHE Bounty. His live career total now exceeds a staggering $1.77 million in cashes, including six 1st place victories.
Kudos for Second-Best
Aside from those already mentioned above, 3 more Australian poker players managed to dig their way into a heads-up finale at the 2016 Aussie Millions.
In Event #4, $1,150 PLO, Ilias Sagias took a 2nd place purse of $35,590, losing out to Japan’s Yuki Ko (1st, $54,500). Peter Aristidou banked $30,240 when he fell to England’s elite poker pro Stephen Chidwick (1st, $47,529) in Event #7, $2,500 8 Game Mix. Then, as Event #8, $1,150 NLHE Accumulator, came to a close, Australia’s Dylan Garland took home $92,460 when Malaysia’s Christopher Soyza (1st, $102,118) finished him off.
2016 Aussie Millions Main event Underway
Congratulations to our local boys, all of which have performed amazingly well in the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship. There’s a lot more action to be had at Crown Melbourne before it’s over.
After Day 4, hometown hero Bobby Zhang holds the third largest stack of 1.02 million, behind Americans Tony Dunst (1.55mm) and Samantha Abernathy (1.19mm).