Aussie Millions article:

History of The Aussie Millions Poker Championship

Poker was introduced to Crown in June 1997 with the first major championship, then known as the Australasian Poker Championship, held in July 1998. The Main Event was a $1,000 buy in Limit Holdem tournament that attracted 74 entries with a total prize pool of $74,000.

Now that the 2018 Aussie Millions Poker Championship has concluded we can congratulate the winner of the largest ever Aussie Millions Main Event in history. Toby Lewis claims the title along with AUD$1,458,198 in prize money, and the custom made diamond-encrusted gold bracelet by ANTON Jewellery. This year's Aussie Millions Main Event attracted a record field of 800, defeating the mark of 781 set back in 2008, and in the process created a huge prize pool of AUD$8,000,000.

In 2017 Shurane ‘Shaz' Vijayaram of Melbourne emerged as the victorious winner of the 2017 Aussie Millions ‘Main Event', collecting a whopping AUD$1.6 million in prize money after qualifying in a $130 satellite. A True Cinderella story. Crown congratulates Shurane on his tremendous accomplishment.

In 2016 Ari Engel of Toronto, Canada, emerged as the victorious winner of the Aussie Millions Poker Championship ‘Main Event', taking home a whopping AUD$1.6 million in prize money, and the iconic custom made diamond-encrusted rose gold bracelet by LK Jewellery, valued at AUD$40,000. The Aussie Millions ‘Main Event', with a buy-in of AUD$10,600, began on Sunday 24 January, and took eight days to complete, with the final duel being played in front of a worldwide audience following the action on - broadcast exclusively for Crown by the world's most successful poker streamer Jason Somerville. Crown congratulates Ari Engel on his tremendous accomplishment.

Do you have what it takes to be the next Aussie Millions Champion?

The 2015 Aussie Millions Main Event has crowned a new champion with local hero Manny Stavropoulos claiming the most prestigious poker prize in the Asia-Pacific region. Stavropoulos overcame a field of 648 players from all over the globe. Crown congratulates Manny Stavropoulos on his tremendous accomplishment after playing superb poker over a prolonged period against a field that included many top poker professionals and hundreds of talented amateurs from Australia and around the globe.

In 2014 Ami Barer of Canada, emerged as the victorious winner of the 2014 Aussie Millions ‘Main Event' collecting AUD$1.6 million in prize money. Barer was presented with the widely-cherished and universally-revered custom made diamond-encrusted rose gold bracelet by LK Jewellery valued at AUD$40,000, representing the game's ultimate achievement, a trophy and all the glory for his efforts. The triumph was both a mental and physical marathon, after Barer overcame a field of 668 entrants from all over the globe, who participated in Crown's Aussie Millions ‘Main Event'.

In 2013 29 year old Mervin 'The Cat' Chan of Malaysia emerged victorious as the winner of the 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event. Collecting a massive $1.6 million prize as well as a Chrysler 300C, trophy and stunning Aussie Millions diamond and rose gold bracelet by LK Boutique, the official Aussie Millions jewellery sponsor. Overcoming a field of 629 entrants, the win was the culmination of a mental and physical marathon.

In 2012, an Australian again kept the Aussie Millions trophy in the country. 26 year old Melbourne banker Oliver Spiedel collected a whopping $1.6 million in prize money after winning the Main Event, overcoming a field of 659 entrants from all over the globe.

In 2011 for the third consecutive year an Australian player captured the Aussie Millions Main Event title. A 67 year old grandfather from Melbourne, David Gorr dominated the final table on his way to the win and the $2,000,000 first place prize. David has been a long time player in the Crown Poker room and his is the first victory for a true local.

In 2010 the Championship remained on home soil once a again with a local university student, Tyron Krost, taking out the top prize. The 23-year-old battled 746 players over five days to take the title home to Sydney, along with the $2 million AUD first-place prize.

More recently, the 2009 Aussie Millions Main Event saw the title remain on it's own soil with the first Aussie ever to win the Aussie Millions - Stewart Scott. The Main Event was the culmination of 18 individual events, which generated more than AUD$13 million in total prize money.

Following on from the enormous ratings success of the US screening of the 2007 and 2008 Aussie Millions Main Event, Crown and Fox Sports Net (FSN) partnered up for another year that again saw the Aussie Millions filmed for broadcast internationally in 2009 with a reach of over 81 million homes. A coup for Australian Poker, Crown's collaboration with FSN further consolidates the prestige, recognition and credibility of the Aussie Millions, particularly in America, the home of Texas Holdem, and a country that widely considers poker its national game.

In 2008 21-Year-Old Russian Young Gun Alexander Kostritsyn was Crowned Aussie Millions Champion where he took down one of the toughest NL Hold'em tournament players in the world in Erik Seidel for the victory. Seidel walked away in second place with a cool AUD$1 Million. Kostritsyn took home AUD$1.65 Million, the largest prize ever awarded in a live poker tournament in the Southern Hemisphere. He outlasted a record field of 780 players who anted up the AUD$10,000 buy-in for the ‘Main Event', creating an unprecedented prize pool of AUD$7.80 Million.

The 2007 Aussie Millions again exceeded all expectations with main event player numbers increasing by over 70% year on year, attracting 747 entrants. The event was filmed by Fox Sports Net for the second consecutive year and with high profile pro player Gus Hansen winning the event and collecting the $1.5 million first prize, the 10 episode series attracted a wide audience.

In 2006 the Aussie Millions proved itself as one of the world's top multi-million dollar Poker events when 418 players competed for a slice of the AUD$4,180,000 prize pool including some of the biggest names in the Poker world; WSOP Champion Joe Hachem, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Kathy Leibert, Scott Fischman, Chip Jett, David Williams, Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Sexton, Tony G, Jesse Jones, Clonnie Gowan and many more.

In 2005, the Aussie Millions reached new heights with a record 263 participants paying $10,000 each to enter the No Limit Holdem Main Event, generating a total prize pool of $2,630,000, the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. Over half the field travelled internationally from New Zealand, England, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, USA, Sweden, Holland, Canada, Italy and Lebanon.

In January 2001, the Crown Australian Poker Championship or the ‘Aussie Millions' as it later became known, attracting 40 entrants with a $5,000 buy in for a prize pool of $200,000. January 2003 saw the event go truly international, attracting a field of 122 entrants and a $1.2m prize pool.

Previous Winners

Will you be next?

  • Toby Lewis
    2018 Champion
    Origin: England
    Winnings: $1,800,000
    Defeated: 800 players
  • 170130-Crown-Melbourne-Gaming-Poker-2017-Aussie-Millions-Winner-180x120px.jpg
    Shurane ‘Shaz' Vijayaram’
    2017 Champion
    Origin: Australia
    First Prize: $1,600,000
    Total Entries: 725 players
  • 160208-Crown-Melbourne-2016-Aussie-Millions-Winner-Ari-Engel-180x120.jpg
    Ari Engel
    2016 Champion
    Origin: Canada & America
    Winnings: $1,600,000
    Defeated: 731 players
  • Manny Stavropoulos
    Manny Stavropoulos
    2015 Champion
    Origin: Australia
    Winnings: $1,600,000
    Defeated: 647 players
  • Ami Barer
    Ami Barer
    2014 Champion
    Origin: Canada
    Winnings: $1,600,000
    Defeated: 667 players
  • mervin chan black and white
    Mervin Chan
    2013 Champion
    Origin: Malaysia
    Winnings: $1,600,00
    Defeated: 629 players
  • Oliver Speidel 2012 Aussie Millions Winner
    Oliver Speidel
    2012 Champion
    Origin: Australia
    Winnings: $1,600,000
    Defeated: 658 players
  • Tyron Krost
    2010 Champion
    Origin: Australia
    Winnings: $2,000,000
    Defeated: 746 players
  • Stewart Scott
    2009 Champion
    Origin: Australia
    Winnings: $2,000,000
    Defeated: 681 players
  • Alexander Kostritsyn
    2008 Champion
    Origin: Russia
    Winnings: $1,650,000
    Defeated: 780 players
  • Gus Hansen
    2007 Champion
    Origin: Denmark
    Winnings: $1,500,000
    Defeated: 747 players
  • Lee Nelson
    2006 Champion
    Origin: New Zealand
    Winnings: $1,295,800
    Defeated: 418 players
  • Jamil Dia
    2005 Champion
    Origin: New Zealand
    Winnings: $1,000,000
    Defeated: 263 players
  • Tony Bloom
    2004 Champion
    Origin: England
    Winnings: $426,500
    Defeated: 133 players
  • Peter Costa
    2003 Champion
    Origin: England
    Winnings: $394,870
    Defeated: 122 players
  • David Gorr
    2011 Champion
    Origin: Australia
    Winnings: $2,000,000
    Defeated: 721 players

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