Early winners of the 2018 Aussie Millions

Australia is full of high energy this time of year with a lot happening in the country, especially in the coastal capital of Melbourne. First off, the past few weeks has seen residents and visitors alike take to the blue courts where some of the world’s greatest athletes have assembled. Then just last week, another big event added more bustle to the city with the Aussie Millions, the country’s most anticipated poker event of the year making landfall.

Every year since its inception, this prestigious poker event has seen consistent growth in attendance with avid players of all levels – professional, aspiring pro, recreational, amateur, you name it – joining the annual pilgrimage to the venue at Crown Casino Melbourne. The festival doors opened on January 17 and is slated to run for 20 days concluding on February 5. Three events have already completed with first time career winners taking charge. Have a read below on those early results.

Opening Event sees Benedikt Eberle win his first-ever title; Michael Addamo takes 2nd

Benedikt Eberle - Photo Crown Poker
Benedikt Eberle – Photo Crown Poker

The Aussie Millions got underway with the A$1,150 No Limit Hold’em Opening Event bringing in a tremendous 1,538 entries. Although this was slightly less than last year’s attendance, it was still a very fine start. The A$1M advertised guarantee was easily crushed, usurped by an even richer A$1,576,450 (US$1,254,466) prize pool.

Out of the 153 players in the money, there were a sizable number of pros making the list such as Jonathan Karamalikis and Dominykas Karmazinas however it was Melbourn’e’s very own Michael Addamo who went the farthest, reaching the final table just as he did in 2017. Favored to win, he finished in 2nd place which was one spot better than last year’s performance.

Winning the event was Austrian Benedikt Eberle. Not much is known of Eberle other than this was his first-ever career victory. He earned A$315,295 making this his third live tournament score and largest payout to date.

Opening event payouts (Top 10)

1st Benedikt Eberle A$315,295
2nd Michael Adamo A$194,690
3rd Ben Jee A$115,875
4th James Bills A$83,715
5th Jeron Tan A$56,755
6th Benjamin Richardson A$40,990
7th Davor Derek A$34,685
8th Mai Ha A$29,955
9th Glen Swalling A$25,230
10th Benjamin Benoit A$21,285

Salvatore Ribbera rides the H.O.R.S.E. to the finish line

Sal Ribbera - Photo Crown Poker
Sal Ribbera – Photo Crown Poker

Alike the opening event results, the A$2,500 H.O.R.S.E. event also crowned a first-time champion, Melbourne’s poker aficionado Salvatore Ribbera. Ribbera has been playing poker for many years with stats dating back to 2006 however he had yet to land a major event career title.

Well, all those years on the felt have finally paid off. Ribbera bested the 49-player field of the Aussie Millions HORSE event, even outlasting a couple of high-ranking pros at the final table, Australia’s Jarred Graham (4th) and England’s Richard Ashby (5th). He reined in the A$39,700 (US$31,662) first prize and bagged a trophy to kickstart his awards shelf. This victory was also his biggest score to date.

HORSE payouts (Top 10)

1st Sal Ribbera A$39,700
2nd Greg Cook A$25,355
3rd Christopher Bolek A$16,535
4th Jarred Graham A$12,125
5th Richard Ashby A$8,825
6th Mark Betts A$7,710

Jason Brown denies Austria’s top pro the NLHE Shot Clock Shootout title

Another high-ranking pro nearly ran away with a title, this time at the No Limit Hold’em Shot Clock Shootout event with Austria’s #1 ranked player Thomas Muhlocker finishing in 2nd place. Alike Addamo on the opening event, Muhlocker was stopped by a player chasing a first-ever career title.

New Zealand’s Jason Brown was the last man standing out of the 192 players of the shootout. He earned the lion’s share A$49,200 first prize of the A$196,800 prize pool. It is also worth adding that from the list of 21 players in the money, there were a few Asian players in the top 10 including Yang Zhang, one of China’s hing-ranked pros.

 NLHE Shot Clock Shootout payouts (Top 10)

1st Jason Brown A$49,200
2nd Thomas Muhlocker A$32,475
3rd Craig Landry A$20,670
4th Harold Schmidt A$16,735
5th Vasco Zapantzis A$13,285
6th Hon Cheong Lee A$10,825
7th Keita Koyama A$8,860
8th Yang Zhang A$6,890
9th Paul Hockin A$4,920
10th Daniel Sequenzia A$3,600

The best is still to come

There are plenty more events to look forward to at the Aussie Millions with a total of 26 in the roster. Of course the A$10,600 Main Event is what everyone will be flocking in for but other events are also expected to churn out big numbers such as the Multi-day Accumulate Event, the Two-Day Terminator event, and the Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions.

For the more exclusive bunch that prefer games with much higher stakes, there are three events that can satisfy that urge: the A$25,000 Challenge, the A$50,000 Challenge, and the A$100,000 Challenge. Expect some of the world’s biggest names in poker to be in attendance.

More: Aussie Millions 2018 – Full Coverage

Article by Triccia David

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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