Aussie Millions: Australia’s Premier Poker Event


The Aussie Millions Poker Championship is one of the few titan events when it comes to high-stakes tourney poker. It has run annually at the Crown Casino in Melbourne until 2020. The championship typically unfolds in January with the highlight being the Main Event (featuring a variety of events for different buy-ins during the series).

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the Aussie Millions Poker Championship is a big deal in the poker community. It’s nothing short of some of the most prestigious events, with world-class players & celebs competing for the millions in prizes. 

If you ever decide to play there, you can expect:

Large prize pools reaching millionsHigh roller tournaments and high stakes side cash games, some of them being aired and televised World-class premises (The Crown Casino is a luxurious entertainment venue where all players can access a variety of dining options, bars, and entertainment shows)Presence of famous poker professionals & celebrities

Historical Significance in the Poker World

What makes Aussie Millions a significant poker event then? This one is clear: It keeps attracting  crème de la crème of high stakes tournament professionals. It also starts the calendar year of major live poker tournaments, as it’s held usually in January. The Aussie Millions has greatly contributed to the popularity of poker in the Asia-Pacific region – many players try to qualify through satellites for the Main Event to play for life-changing money.

From Humble Beginnings to Global Prestige

The Aussie Millions Poker Championship saw its inception in 1998. It was initially known as the Australasian Poker Championship, and didn’t have too many runners at the start. 

Originating as a small tournament in the late 1990s, it has burgeoned into a globally recognized event, attracting poker’s elite. Over the years and due to the poker boom starting from the US, the event grew significantly. It gained global recognition already in the early 2000s. Its growth mirrors the increasing popularity of poker in the 00s. 

Notable Winners and Record-Breaking Tournaments

The Aussie Millions has been a real show stage for poker legends. Champions like Gus Hansen, Alexander Kostritsyn, and Ari Engel have etched their names in poker history through this championship. You can even find all the hands played by Gus Hansen in his winning run for the 2007 ME trophy described in his book Every Hand Revealed.

What is the Aussie Millions Main Event?

The Aussie Millions Main Event is an annual high-stakes poker tournament held at Melbourne’s Crown Casino. It’s the crown jewel of the Aussie Millions with many players going after the prestigious title. As the highlight of the Aussie Millions Poker Championship it lasts for several days, combining the best elements of large-field tournament poker and making it a must-watch spectacle in the international poker calendar.

How much money has been won over the years in the Aussie Millions Main Event?

The 2019 Main Event saw a record 820 players going for the title and the total prize pool was AUD $8.22 million. Here’s a table showing statistics of the Aussie Millions ME for each year including the number of runners, the name of the winner and their prize & size of the total prize pool:


YearNumber of PlayersWinnerWinner’s Prize (AUD)Total Prize Pool (AUD)2007747Gus Hansen$1,500,000$7,470,0002008780Alexander Kostritsyn$1,650,000$7,758,5002009681Stewart Scott$2,000,000$6,810,0002010746Tyron Krost$2,000,000$7,460,0002011721David Gorr$2,000,000$7,210,0002012659Oliver Speidel$1,600,000$6,590,0002013629Mervin Chan$1,600,000$6,290,0002014668Ami Barer$1,600,000$6,680,0002015648Manny Stavropoulos$1,385,500$6,480,0002016732Ari Engel$1,600,000$7,320,0002017725Shurane Vijayaram$1,600,000$7,685,0002018800Toby Lewis$1,458,198$8,000,0002019822Bryn Kenney$1,272,598*$8,220,0002020820Vincent Wan$1,318,000*$8,200,000


*The prize amounts for winners in 2019-2020 (Bryn Kenney and Vincent Wan) are based on deals made at the final table.

To win a big live poker tournament like Aussio Millions, you need both skills and a great deal of luck. Sometimes luck is not on your side, as you can see from the picture below from our Team Pro Samuli Sipilä, who faced a set-over-set situation holding Pocket Jacks and getting outdrawn on the river!

Samuli Sipilä Set Over Set at Aussie MillionsSamuli Sipilä Losing to Rivered Quads at Aussie Millions, After Having Set Over Set On The Flop Holding Red Jacks

High Roller Tournaments at the Aussie Millions

Like all good poker events and festivals, high roller tourneys can be found at the Aussie Millions. Except some steep buy-ins and a player field consisting of wealthy and top-skilled players. 

Some famous poker players like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and Erik Seidel have taken part in the Aussie Millions Poker Championship. Celebrities like Tobey Maguire, Shannon Elizabeth, and Matt Damon have played in the tournament, showing their love for the game and competing amongst some of the biggest all-time winners in poker. The poker scene in Australia is growing, attracting more pros to the tournament because of its prestige and big prize pool. This has made the championship more competitive, drawing attention from seasoned pros and up-and-coming players..

The most notable high roller events are the 100K & 250K

$100,000 Challenge: This is a recurring high roller event at the Aussie Millions. The buy-in for this event is AUD $100,000.

$250,000 Challenge: This is another major high roller event at the Aussie Millions and is known for attracting some of the world’s best poker players. The buy-in for this event is AUD $250,000.

Author: Dennis Williams