Photographic evidence emerged a few days ago, courtesy of Nipun Java, showing a certain Phil Ivey on a plane bound for Australia. This is by no means an absolute confirmation that he will play at the Aussie Millions, but that possibility is starting to look increasingly likely. When you put that photo together with his comments to Somuchpoker about returning to the live tournament arena in 2018, optimism is certainly warranted.
Ivey’s willingness to get back into the live action has come in the wake of his long running edge sorting saga finally reaching its conclusion. With all possible appeal avenues for his case now exhausted, it seems he is keen to get back to doing what he does best.
The schedule for this year’s series looks enticing, although one glaring omission is the AU$250,000 Challenge event, which will not be a part of the schedule this year. Poor turnout last year has been cited as the reason why. Phil Ivey has been fond of the AU$250,000 event over the years, winning it three times in the space of four years. If he does indeed show up at the Aussie Millions this year, he will have to make do with taking down the AU$100,000 Challenge, the AU$50,000 Challenge, or the AU$25,000 Challenge.
January 17th is when the Aussie Millions action begins, with events scheduled to run until February 5th. January 28th will mark the beginning of the Main Event, which commands a AU$10,600 buy in. With millions of dollars guaranteed across a varied schedule of events, this long-running prestigious fixture on the Asian live circuit will undoubtedly draw in a good crowd of top players.
Live commentary by Jason Somerville
Broadcast rights for this globally renowned event have been taken up by the Twitch channel of Jason Somerville, who has been a regular streamer of poker content for several years. He will provide commentary for highlights of the action throughout the series. The tournament director of Crown Melbourne, where the series is to be hosted said “We are very excited to partner once again with Jason Somerville to live stream key moments from the 2018 Aussie Millions. Last year’s partnership was incredibly successful and took our championship to new global audiences”.
More than 400 qualifiers?
Crown Melbourne has been working extremely hard in recent weeks to boost the number of satellite qualifiers for this year’s Main Event, and estimations so far suggest that the final number could top 400.
Last year saw the field size swell to the third largest in the history of the Aussie Millions, and the fact that a AU$130 rebuy qualifier went on to win the event for AU$1,600,000 will have done no harm to satellite entry numbers this time around. New initiatives in satellite offerings, along with the extension of the satellite schedule to March 2017 have both helped boost satellite numbers, as Crown Melbourne hope for a record breaking year for attendance.
Article by Craig Bradshaw