The Aussie Millions, one of the most prestigious poker festivals on the calendar, is returning to its roots and becoming a standalone event.
Since launching in 1998, the Crown Casino’s Aussie Millions has not only be a must-attend event for the world’s top players, but it’s held an independent status.
However, all that changed in 2014 when the event become part of PokerStars’ Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT).
Although the overall dynamics of the festival remained the same, the coalition with PokerStars did mean a few more opportunities for small stakes players to qualify online.
However, following PokerStars’ announcement that it will be disbanding its main tours and focusing on Championships and Festivals (two separate events for elite level and recreational players), the Aussie Millions will now revert to a standalone event.
For many poker festivals, this split from a high profile sponsor like PokerStars might be something of a death knell, but the Aussie Millions has always been something of an outlier on the APPT.
Owing to its longstanding reputation in the industry, as well as big money events such as the $250,000 Challenge (which Phil Ivey won three times), the Australian festival has always been a pro-favorite.
To ensure a smooth break from PokerStars, a spokesperson for the Crown Casino has confirmed that all previous satellites will remain in place for the 2017 Aussie Millions.
Quite how the festival will look in the coming years is unclear, but the organizers have already confirmed that the new standalone event will take place between January 11 and January 30, 2017.
While the full breakdown of events is yet to be finalized, the AU$10,600 ($7,960) Main Event will feature three starting flights in order to deal with the projected number of entrants.
Back in January, Ari Engel overcame 730 entrants before beating Tony Dunst heads-up to claim the $1,120,110 top prize. This trend of high profile players winning the Aussie Millions Main Event is one that’s played out numerous times over the last few years.
From former stars like Tony Bloom winning back in 2004 to Gus Hansen (2007) and Alexander Kostritsyn (2008) taking the title, the Aussie Millions has certainly benefited from the star power on show.
In fact, if there’s one reason the event will continue to thrive without PokerStars, it’s the big name players who make the trip to Melbourne.
Between the Main Event, super high rollers and the high stakes cash games, the festival is one that always draws an elite crowd and that above all else should make the 2017 event a success.