|The international reputation of Crown’s Australasian Poker Championship as the richest poker festival in the Southern Hemisphere continues to escalate, and has contributed to securing a celebrated field of world class poker guns that will travel to Crown Casino, Melbourne in the New Year to compete in Crown’s 2004 “Aussie Millions”, January 3-17.|
Over one hundred international poker pundits from a cast of nations will converge on Crown, anxious to pit their skills against the best of the locals in a series of tournaments offering an overall prize pool approaching $4 Million, and culminating in the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold em main event, known as the Aussie Millions (Jan 15-17).
With the Aussie Millions firmly entrenched as one of the leading money events on the poker calendar, the 2004 three-day main event, will see players vie for a lion’s share of the expected $1.5 million-plus in prize money, and the 1st prize honours expected to be in excess of $500,000.
“For the first time, Crown’s Aussie Millions will have significant North American presence with over 30 players expected from the US, and global representation from England, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, The Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, South Africa, Afghanistan, Russia, the Solomon Islands, and New Zealand.” says Crown Poker Tournament Director Danny McDonagh.
Visiting professionals set to make their mark include reigning 2003 Aussie Millions Champion Peter ‘The Poet’ Costa from the UK, who will return to defend his title, plus America’s gold bracelet collective of top US tournament pro Phil Hellmuth Jr., poker whiz kid Layne Flack, and Scotty Nguyen. All-American Phil Hellmuth Jr, known by friends and enemies alike as the “Poker Brat”, was the youngest player ever to win the coveted World Series of Poker title in 1989 at age 24, is one of the most successful tournament poker players of all time, and a published author of “Play Poker like the Pros”.
Others sure to make their presence felt are 2003 European Rankings champion Marcel Luske from The Netherlands, dual 2003 championship winner, Sherkhan Farnood from Afghanistan, members of the UK’s ubiquitous Hendon Mob, a quartet of enterprising poker professionals, currently engaged in the global Prima Poker Tour, along with fellow countrymen/women Tony “The Lizard” Bloom, Lucy Rokach and “Mad” Marty Wilson...just ask Marty about his Vegas acorn adventure and you will quickly see why he is adored as the life of any poker party!
The visitors will have to overcome some tough Australian poker exponents, with some extraordinary characters again doing their best to anchor the title ‘down under’, such as the 2003 Aussie Millions “bridesmaid” Leo “The Mechanic” Boxell, Mel Judah, who won over US$600,000 by winning the main event at the Poker Tour of Legends in Los Angeles earlier this year, plus Billy “The Croc” Argyros, “Dogmeat” George, Milo “The Whacker” Nadalin, and Maurie “The Master” Pears.
The popularity of poker continues to explode worldwide, and celebrity poker events overseas are attracting names such as Ben Affleck, Martin Sheen, Meatloaf and Playboy Playmate Brandie Roderick.
Crown’s very own Celebrity Poker Pro-Am event, scheduled for the evening of January 10 will prove just how entertaining this game of poker can be when famous faces, professional players and egos are teamed together with some innovative changes to the tournament rules, engineered here by world poker promoter Keith “Bendigo” Sloan.
Crown’s 2004 Poker Championship is poised to surpass the landmark 2003 Aussie Millions main event, which attracted a record breaking $1.22 million prize pool. The game of poker is a great leveller, and in an arena which can pit prince against pauper, man against woman, and amateur against professional…expect the unexpected. A purpose-built stadium has been constructed offering a perfect vantage point for spectators (from January 7 onwards) to watch the battle unfold. With high stakes up for grabs, professional reputations on the line and some fiery personalities sure to clash, expect the Aussie Millions title to be hotly contested.