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Aussie Millions Main Event Getting Underway in Melbourne

A poker player stacks chips at the Aussie Millions.

Aussie Millions Main Event Starts Friday, Hat Trick for Lewis, and Gilmartin Raises Money for Koalas

The new year is stoked in tradition – skyrocketing gym memberships, bold resolutions that are made and subsequently given up on, and giant poker tournaments have all become synonymous with January. 

While this is the first year since 2004 that we won’t ring in the new year with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, the Aussie Millions is still helping the year start off strong down under. The Aussie Millions began in 1998 and has been held at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia ever since. 

The series kicked off on January 4 this year with a A$1,150 NLHE event with a A$1-million guaranteed prize pool. There will be 23 events total, including a A$10,600 Main Event, the Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions and the A$100,000 Challenge. 

Millions of Australian dollars have been awarded and there are millions more to go. Several champions have already been named, including one three-peat Aussie Millions champ, Toby Lewis.

This year’s Aussie Millions is also taking place while the country is enduring its most devastating bushfires in history. In the face of this, some poker players have come together to raise money to help fight these fires and aid Australian wildlife affected by them. 

Main Event Kicks Off on Friday

While small buy-in events draw the largest fields and high buy-in events draw the deadliest fields, main events are where dreams are made. That dream is about to start as the A$10,600 event kicks off this Friday at 12:30 p.m. local time. There will be two other starting days, on Saturday and Sunday, both starting at 12:30 p.m. as well. Players will keep battling it out throughout the week and the tournament is scheduled to hit a final table by next Friday. 

The Aussie Millions Main Event has had a record number of players the last two years in a row. The 2018 Main Event drew 800 players while 822 players signed up for the Main Event in 2019. Those tournaments were also dominated by pros. Bryn Kenney took down last year’s Main Event and won $1,272,598 for his victory. While anybody would be happy with that being their biggest result of the year, it turned out to be just the start of a legendary year for Kenney. By the time 2019 was over, he had won $30.3 million, the highest-earning year in poker history. 

In 2018, Toby Lewis took down the Main Event and won $1.46 million for his victory. It seems like the British pro tends to do well in Australia since he scored another victory this year. 

Toby Lewis Wins Third Aussie Millions Title

Toby Lewis hit the Aussie Millions hat trick this week after he won the A$2,250 NLHE Shot Clock Six Max for A$148,000. This marks the third consecutive year that Lewis has won an event at the Aussie Millions. 

It seems like the Brit has adapted well to the Australian tables. Last year, a quarter of his cashes were at the Aussie Millions. Not only did Lewis win the 2019 A$50,000 Challenge for A$818,054, but he finished second in the A$25,000 Challenge for $781,214.

The year before that, Lewis took down the most prestigious and coveted event of the series, the A$10,600 Main Event. Lewis defeated Stefan Huber heads-up in that event to take the title and A$1.5 million. 

Poker Players Fight Fire With Cash

Australia has been all over the news this year after a record-low average rainfall helped lead to massive fires that have burned through more than five million hectares of land, destroying homes and forests, killing millions of animals and causing massive amounts of smoke that NASA says will travel around the world. 

In the face of this, WPT anchor and Australian animal lover Lynn Gylmartin started a campaign to raise $100,000 to help the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, who are helping animals affected by the bushfires. 

Since kicking off the campaign, more than 600 people have donated to the cause. The fundraiser reached $50,000 in five days and was up to $72,000 as of January 15. Here’s how to donate to the campaign: