Well here we go again, another year is upon us with promises and resolutions made by most of us. If our luck, relationships, financial positions were poor at the end of 2008 then the New Year is where we rule a line in the sand and start with a clean slate. If things were going gangbusters we declare that in 2009 we want to start with a win to continue our good fortune.
So with one the Worlds biggest poker tournaments to kick off the New Year how do we know if the luck gods will be smiling upon us? As most of you know I was born in Australia but have a Greek background. Now please don’t laugh your heads off at what I am about to tell you. I want you all to put on your memory caps and ask yourselves this one question.
“Who was the first person to walk into your house in 2009?” I want you to write it down and speak to me on December 31st in 2009. This person will be your lucky or unlucky charm for the year. Just ask Sam Korman when a good friend who was never flushed with cash in the early 90s walked through his door how his year was.
I will never forget the year a friend of the family at 9.30 am on New Years day rang my door bell and came in for coffee. Now this individual was broke had no job and never had more than $5 in his pocket. Well what a year I had, just a disaster and unforgettable year. I bought a restaurant (Café Fiamma) in Lygon Street, which was the start of the end. I never won a poker tournament all year. On my birthday my family surprised me at Cafe Fiamma on a Saturday night which was a very busy night. Finally at midnight I could relax and have a drink with them. On the way home at 1.00 am I was on my knees on the Eastern freeway changing a flat tire on a freezing night. (Please stop laughing its not funny). I lost over 250k on my restaurant venture, worked the hardest I had in all my life packing up chairs, sweeping floors and waiting on tables and show nothing for it. Even the local bum was laughing at me.
In 2008 I was fortunate enough to have Tony G to be the first person through my door. How was year in 2008 you say? I traveled to San Remo , Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, stayed in luxurious accommodation, won the 10k HORSE at the Aussie Millions, won in the 100k cash game and had my best result ever at the WSOP finishing 4th in the 10k PLO.
Back to business with the southern hemispheres premier poker event the 2009 Aussie Millions. In the last 3 years we have seen the following numbers grow each year creating record entrants.
In 2006 there were 418 entrants, Winner Lee (Final Table) Nelson.
In 2007 there were 747 entrants, Winner Gus (The Great Dane) Hansen.
In 2008 there were 780 entrants, Winner Alexander (Young Stud) Kostritsyn.
However with world economy in chaos late in 2008 it will be a miracle if Jonno Pittock and his crew could break last year’s number.
What do we expect to see at this year’s event?
1) This year for the first time ever a Gold ring will be awarded to the Championship events excluding the Main Event and the $100k event. That will be 17 Gold rings in total and believe me they look great.
2) In the Main Event tradition will continue with the winner awarded a Gold bracelet and in the $100k event a beautiful Raymond Viel diamond watch. (NB These prizes are value added not taken out of the prize pool)
3) The inaugural hall of fame induction award to be introduced with 7 local Aussie players selected.
4) A million dollar No Limit holdem Cash buy in game. (Too rich for my blood - deal me out!) I am only guessing but I think the field will have the following players: Phil Ivey, Patrick Antonius, Tony G, Masa Kagawa, M Sampoerno, Eli Elezra
5) Hopefully an Aussie taking out the Main Event.
We are very fortunate to have an event like the Aussie Millions in our back yard and believe me when I tell you its one of the best poker events in the world.
Last year I played in the Monte Carlo event for my first time and the location was surreal with beautiful views and a magnificent facility to play poker in. However besides the main event there were just 3 other tournaments all No Limit Holdem and no cash games were allowed. By the way I had a wonderful time in Monte Carlo and enjoyed it immensely.
At Crown we will have events ranging from $1100 to $100,000 buy ins.
There will be 2 HORSE events, an Omaha Hi LO, a PLO, a Manila event (See Spiro and Nick something for you guys) a teams event and of course the famous Feature Event which has grown in popularity each year plus various other poker events.
Also if at the end of the Aussie Millions you haven’t a pot to piss in you can still attend the famous free party where we all get drunk and wake up saying “I knew I shouldn’t have had those last 10 drinks, by the way honey what’s your name? Well Boris out my bed and go home! Man why does it hurt when I sit down?”
Happy New Year to you all and if you have a year you want to forget just remember who was the first one to walk you through your door and make sure you lose there number in 2010.
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