For the past three weeks, the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship has taken place in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-six action-packed events were held, and numerous headlines emerged such as Phil Ivey making a deep run in the Main Event and then winning the $250,000 Challenge, Dan Smith capturing the $100,000 Challenge title, and the appearance of Tom “durrrr” Dwan.
The Main Event concluded a few days earlier, but two preliminary events hadn’t yet finished. Of course, you can find those results below and may be interested in hearing what Oliver Speidel had to say about his $1.6 million win in the Main Event. The Melbourne local was kind enough to sit down with PokerNews shortly after his win to discuss his Main Event run.
How does it feel to win the Aussie Millions Main Event?
It’s really . . . words can’t describe it. People say that a lot, but it’s true. The feeling you get from it, it’s a mixture of exhilaration and relief a little bit, but mainly exhilaration. It’s crazy. You can’t help but think about the money and everything, what sort of freedom that can give me. I feel just amazing.
Being from Melbourne, does it feel even more special capturing such a prestigious title on your home turf?
I think so. This is the biggest tournament in the Southern Hemisphere, and to win it in my home city, it’s almost like a fantasy, it’s crazy.
Even before your success in the Main Event, officials at Crown were praising your ability and past success in the Aussie Millions. You won a ring in 2011, had a runner-up finish here in 2012, and then won the Main Event. What is it about the Aussie Millions that keeps you coming back?
I think last year or the year before was the first time that I played, but last year was the first time I played the Main Event. The dealers are really good here compared to all the places I’ve played around the world, and it’s in a great city. Melbourne is my home and I think it’s a great city. I’m not sure what makes it so special. I think it’s the Crown Entertainment Complex, it’s just a great casino, it’s probably the best one.
Do you have any plans for what you will do with the prize money?
No. I haven’t thought about it actually. I promised myself I wouldn’t think about it and that I would focus on poker. That’s what I did, but now I’ll have to think about it.
Did anyone have a piece of you?
No, I have it all.
Did you satellite in or buy your way in?
I just bought it. I ponied up the $10,600. It turned out pretty well.
You were crippled when there were about 20 players remaining in the tournament. What was it like taking a big hit and being one of the short stacks looking up? Also, what was it like playing against Phil Ivey?
I made a pretty big mistake against Phil Ivey in one hand. I made a call on the river after he raised me, and I think it was just because it was Phil Ivey, because he makes you do that, so I made a bad call against him. I was feeling pretty stupid after that, but I thought alright, I’m kind of short stacked and I know how to play the short stack. It’s all automatic when you’re short and the decisions are easier. I got it in with pocket jacks, tripled up, and from then on it started to go a lot better.
Can you describe what it was like at the final table for those who weren’t there?
In the beginning, I didn’t have the best start, but then all of a sudden I hit a rush. To be honest, it’s all a blur. I don’t even know how long it lasted. I picked up some hands and got paid off on them. Basically that’s what happened.
What’s the story behind your Captain America shirt?
My good friend, Kim, bought me this shirt, and I think she’d be really happy I’m wearing it. She’s really into Captain America and super heroes, so I thought she’d think it’s pretty cool to see it in pictures and on TV.
Here’s a look at the action from the closing day of the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship:
Event #25: $550 Australian Poker Hall of Fame Classic
On Sunday night, the Crown poker room was rocking with Event #25: $550 Australian Poker Hall of Fame Classic, which featured members of Australia’s most prestigious poker club playing against an eclectic mix of locals, amateurs, and seasoned pros. Every Poker Hall of Famer had a $1,000 bounty on their head. Even so, two members managed to navigate the 132-player field to make their way to the final table.
Event #26: $10,500 8-Game Mixed Event
The final event of this year’s Aussie Millions, which didn’t conclude until Monday afternoon, was Event #26: $10,500 8-Game Mixed Event. The tournament drew 18 players including Barry Greenstein, David Bach, Jeff Lisandro, Van Marcus, David Steicke, Sebastian Ruthenberg, and Gary Benson, all of whom failed to cash.
Chicago pro Tom Koral emerged victorious after a tough heads-up battle against Jan Suchanek. In the last hand, a pot-limit Omaha, Koral made a flush on the river holding on a board to send Suchanek to the rail.
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