First winners of Aussie Millions 2019

Outside of Las Vegas, you would be hard pressed to find a bigger or more prestigious poker tournament series than the Aussie Millions. The series is now over twenty years old, and the hallways of its history are decorated with the names of great players who have made the trip down under and won an Aussie Millions event.

Millions of dollars are guaranteed across twenty-seven events this year. The Main Event alone carries a guarantee of AU$8 million (US$5,708,984) and will get underway on January 27th.

Muhammad Asad wins opening AU$1,150 Hold’em event

Muhammad Asad
Muhammad Asad – Photo Crown Poker / PokerNews

The first event of the series was a $1,150 (US$821) buy-in Hold’em tournament which attracted 1,752 runners, an increase of 214 on last years field. This allowed the AU$1 million (US$713,623) prize pool to be very comfortably surpassed, with the final prize pool figure soaring to AU$1,795,800 (US$1,281,524). Five starting day flights were needed to bring the field down to a manageable enough size to fit everyone in the same playing area, with 262 players advancing to day 2.

Artur Koren led at the end of the starting day flights and also led at the end of day 2 with 1,978,000 chips, with only 15 players remaining at the end of the second day, with 171 having made it to the money. Koren had an unfortunate third day in the event, busting in 12th place, and before long, the final table was set. Muhammad Asad, who had come into the final day as a middle stack, quickly rose through the standings, eventually defeating Jason Pritchard heads-up to win the opening event and AU$219,908 (US$156,931) after a three-way deal was struck.

Place Name Payout (AUD)
1 Muhammad Asad $219,908*
2 Jason Pritchard $285,000*
3 Matt Edwards $195,000*
4 Didrik Mantok $93,920
5 Pierce McKellar $62,493
6 Kim Macnaught $44,535
7 Ning Zhang $37,173
8 Justin Bernstein $31,785
9 Tou Ta Wei $26,398

Daniel Mayoh crowned champion of the AU$2,500 HORSE

Daniel Mayoh
Daniel Mayoh – Photo Crown Poker / Aussie Millions

The second event of the 2019 Aussie Millions was the $2,500 (US$1,784) HORSE. The tournament saw 54 entries create a prize pool of $121,500 (US$86,705) and as it entered the second day of play, Daniel Mayoh was the second shortest stack remaining. Things can swing quickly in mixed games though, and he soon picked up a few pots, including a triple up in Stud hi/lo to re-establish himself as a contender. Australian Poker Hall of Famer and 2006 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Lee Nelson made a deep run to the final table in this event, eventually falling in 6th place.

By the time the action was three-handed, Daniel Mayoh and Serdjan Mrkic were the strong stacks, with Timothy Marsters battling away with a shorter stack. The players discussed a deal twice, before finally agreeing one at the third attempt, after Marsters had doubled twice to make his way back into the game. Marsters would go on to finish 3rd and Mayoh eventually overcame Brkic heads-up to take the championship ring and AU$24,000 (US$17,127), while Brkic picked up AU$25,000 (US$17,841) due to the three-handed deal.

Justin Liberto is last man standing in the AU$1,150 Shot Clock Shootout

Justin Liberto
Justin Liberto – Photo Crown Poker / PokerNews

180 players bought into the AU$1,150 (US$821) Shot Clock Shootout, which consisted of a three-table shootout with AU$36,220 (US$25,847) set aside for the winner. By the time the second table had been played out, Justin Liberto, with over US$3 million in lifetime cashes led the way. It seemed it would not be an easy final table for him however, as last year’s Aussie Millions Main Event champion Toby Lewis joined him at the final table.

Despite coming into the final table 3rd in chips however, Lewis was the first to leave, and Liberto’s momentum only grew as the day went on. It eventually came down to Adam Kane and Justin Liberto heads-up, and Kane could not do anything to derail Liberto, who duly triumphed, picking up AU$36,220 (US$25,847) for his efforts.

Place Name Payout (AUD)
1 Justin Liberto $36,220
2 Adam Kane $30,540
3 Jordan Westmorland $19,470
4 Kuo Chen Hung $15,775
5 Christian Nolte $12,550
6 Cooper Smout $10,330
7 Sarah Bilney $8,485
8 Travis Endersby $6,640
9 Toby Lewis $4,795

Paul Hockin wins the AU$1,150 PLO

Paul Hockin
Paul Hockin – Photo Crown Poker / PokerNews

The AU$1,150 (US$821) PLO event was the fourth on the schedule, with 288 runners pulling up chairs at the start of play. The field size was a slight increase on last year, with the event playing down to a final table on the second day. Christine Hia came into the final table with more than double the chips of her nearest rival, but endured a torrid time on the final day, eventually busting in 9th place.

When play got down to the heads-up stage only Paul Hockin and Dylan Kii remained, and the two players soon agreed a deal for the prize money. After playing out the remainder of the tournament for the championship ring and a little extra cash on the side, it was Paul Hockin who won the battle, taking 1st place and AU$60,070 (US$42,867). Dylan Kii had to settle for AU$55,070 (US$39,299).

Place Name Payout (AUD)
1 Paul Hockin $60,070*
2 Dylan Kii $55,070*
3 Michael Hahn $28,780
4 Johan Dalessandri $22,880
5 Michael Seymour $17,270
6 William Mitchell $14,020
7 Ryan Hong $11,070
8 Peter Brasile $8,855
9 Christine Hia $7,085

Article by Craig Bradshaw