Behind the Aussie Millions Schedule with Jonno Pittock

Posted at 11:46 2011-01-16

If you love No Limit Holdem, the Aussie Millions is your kind of championship. The Draw and Limit events have been replaced with more No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha. And the HORSE has morphed into the 8-Game Mixed (which, of course, includes NL and PLO).

Crown’s Director of Poker, Jonno Pittock, took time out of his busy day to sit down with PokerNetwork’s Paul Birman to explain the choices that make up the 2011 Aussie Millions schedule.

“We try and give the players what they want but also at the same time we need to diversify the schedule. From our point of view nothing but No Limit Holdem events would be better for the room as they’re big volume drivers but we need to give the players some variety and make it a real sort of championship.”

“We asses every event from the schedule individually. The opening event has experienced 50 per cent year on year growth – it’s a strong event so obviously it will go into the next year’s schedule.”

“Pot limit Omaha grew last year so that was put back on the schedule. While Limit Holdem declined over the last three years.   There doesn’t seem to be enough demand for that event, so we replaced it with a No Limit Shootout this year. While the 6-max variation is growing, so we have added an extra one this year.”

The Stud events were played on the poker pro tables last year but still didn’t receive the necessary support.

“We want upwards of 100 players for every event – that justifies the Aussie Millions title, the championship ring and the prestige of the event.”

Crown also considers and follows international trends. The World Series of Poker and EPT London tournaments both introduced the 8-Game Mixed event as an alternative to HORSE.

“2-7 Triple Draw attracts the big gamblers and no limit and PLO attract players that would not necessarily play the HORSE tournament – so HORSE players get their games plus the extra games. They also get some new blood that will regenerate the prize pools.”

A number of $550 NL events have also been introduced late into the schedule for local players who perhaps can’t afford the bigger buy-in events. They will also be popular with out-of-town online qualifiers who bust out of the Main Event and want something else to play.

And what can we expect in the future? A Badugi championship ring perhaps?

“We trial around and see what events are popular in our other championships during the year.    I get a lot of emails from the players, I read the forums and players will hit me up on Facebook and Twitter. The other option is a big Chinese poker tournament. But obviously for us we want big prize pools or big fields.”

So it’s up to you – vote with your buy-in or have your say. But the only way to win an Aussie Millions title is to head down to the Crown Poker Room, buy into a tournament and take your shot!

- Paul B Birman

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