Crown has announced an innovative celebration for the 10th anniversary of its marquee Aussie Millions Poker Championship. All nine past Main Event winners have been invited to compete in a Tournament of Champions Freeroll on Saturday, January 21. The players will be competing for an equally unique prize – a lifetime of Main Event buy-ins!
Credit to the Crown Poker management who had to put in some hard yards in recent weeks to ensure the maximum possible number of entrants. For a time, it seemed unlikely that inaugural Aussie Millions winner Peter Costa (2003), reigning New Zealand champion Jamil Dia (2005) and Lee “Final Table” Nelson (2006) would make the trip.
Costa has been rarely sighted in poker rooms through a combination of ill health and other business interests in recent years but he confirmed his entry in this event and is making his first trip to Melbourne since contesting the 2005 Main Event.
Jamil Dia holds the distinction as the only man to win both the Australian and NZ national championship but despite that impressive record, he’s been an infrequent entrant in major regional events over the past five years. He’ll also be back to the Aussie Millions, for the first time since 2006.
In contrast, Nelson is still a semi-regular on the trans-Tasman tournament circuit but his primary focus is now his stunning Split Apple Retreat in the north of New Zealand’s stunning South Island. Despite the pressures of running a five-star resort, Nelson was also able to free up his diary for a quick trip to Melbourne.
Disappointingly, the line-up won’t be complete. Despite being a regular at Crown each January since winning the Main Event in 2008, Alexander Kostritsyn is awaiting the arrival of his first child any day and was unable to travel for this year’s tournament.
Costa, Dia and Nelson will be joined by other past champions Tony Bloom (2004), Gus Hansen (2007) and Aussie trio Stewart Scott (2009), Tyron Krost (2010) along with reigning champion David Gorr (2011) for the single table event.
Speaking on aussiemillions.com. Crown Poker tournament director Christian Vaughan said: “I’m really excited about having all of the former champions return to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It’s thrilling to have all these great players under the same roof and battling it out for a lifetime freeroll at the Aussie Millions.”