Guest Commentary from the Aussie Millions
This week, SwoopAE, one of the most active members of our poker forums, is serving as a guest author of the Weekly Shuffle to share some commentary from the Aussie Millions. Swoop, who goes by Oliver Gill in real life, is a 23 year old Australian currently making a living at midstakes multi-table online tournaments. This was his second year participating in the Aussie Millions. Take it away, Oliver!
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Every few months, Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia hosts a series of events with the pinnacle of each year's calendar being the Aussie Millions series. Last year, I satellited into the Main Event and finished 93rd, just outside of the money.
This year, I didn't have a Main Event seat but I decided to head to Melbourne anyway with about $6k to blow on tournament buy-ins in an attempt to get rich or die trying. I played the $1100 NLHE, $1100 HORSE and $1650 NLHE Bounty events. After washing out of the first two, I was left with one shot at glory.
$1650 Bounty Event
First big pot of the day, it's folded to me in middle-position and I raise to 400 with pocket Kings. It folds around to the bounty player at the table who is short stacked with 1000. He quickly moves all-in. One-tenth of the field consists of celebrity 'bounty' players. Each bounty is worth $1000, almost two thirds of the buy-in. After he moves in, it folds around to the big-blind, a player who has about 15k. He asks me how much I have behind. Oh, how I love bounty tournaments. I tell him I have about 6,500 behind and he instantly moves all-in. I beat him into the pot and he shows suited Ace-King. The bounty player shows Jh Jd.
With 14,000 in the pot now and a $1000 bounty on the line as well, my Kings manage to hold.
Later, I find myself in a five-way limped pot with Jack-Six on the big blind. The flop is Six-Four-Two all diamonds, and I lead out for 800 with the Jack of diamonds. A player moves all-in for about 3,500. I quickly call and the villain flops 6h 4h for two pair. The turn is the Queen of diamonds boosting my stack to nearly 20,000 in chips.
It is at around this time that my table talk begins to annoy Michael Pedley, a heavy-set calling station who is sitting to my left. Out of nowhere, in the middle of a hand, he tells me to "shut the f--- up, stop acting like you're top s---, you're a f---ing nobody" and so on and so forth.
I tell him I agree, I'm a nobody, but that I'm still going to take his chips. Pedley pulls out his wallet, takes out four $50 notes and says "I'm putting a bounty on this guy, $200 to whoever eliminates him". Needless to say, the PokerNews live reporting was having a field day at our table.
By the time the blinds have hit 800/1600, my stack is hovering at about 17,000. I pick up Aces on the big blind and smooth call a late position raise to 4,800. After a flop of Queen-Seven-Six, I check and call when the villain announces that he puts me all-in (villain covers but only by about 10k) and I quickly call. The villain proudly tables his Ace-Queen and then winces when he sees my aces. After that hand, I was back to about 35k.
Near the end of day one shortly after the money bubble burst, I peek down at pocket Aces in the big blind and quickly announce all-in after a tight player raised to 5k. He immediately calls with pocket Queens and is sent packing when an Ace hits the flop. I count my chips and find that I have 54,100 with an average stack of about 70,000.
I take a look at my table draw and find that I have Michael Christantopolous (3rd place in Aussie Millions Main Event 2008) and Neil Channing (9 cashes at the WSOP this year) at my table.
I start a hand with 42,000 and pocket Threes under-the-gun. I raise to 5,500 and Channing immediately moves all-in for his remaining 26k. Everything about Channing's body language suggests that he wants me to fold. "This could be the sickest call of my life," I announce. "I call." Channing tables Ace-King celebrates with his entourage when a King hits the turn.
A bounty-player moves all-in for 11,500. Having him barely covered, I call with Ace-Seven. He turns over pocket Tens. I fluke out and hit an Ace on the flop to add another $1,000 to my payout. I'm back to about 25k.
On my next button, I peek down at pocket Sevens. A weak, passive player with a deep stack decides to limp in and Con Angelakis calls from the cutoff. I quickly move all-in and it's folded around to Angelakis who reluctantly calls with Ace-Nine. The dealer promptly mucks Con's cards just as I flip over mine. The table goes bonkers. Con looks panicked and the table, myself included, try to tell the dealer that we heard him say call. Eventually a floorman is called over who rules that because everyone heard him call and his cards were flipped over, they will be will be retrieved from the muck.
"SEVEN IN THE WINDOW, DEALER!" I shout at the table while pointing to the flop. The flop is a truly action-packed Seven-Ace-Nine! It held and suddenly I'm back to almost the exact stack that I started the day with.
Later, it folds around to the button who is loose and aggressive with 90k. He raises to 10,500. I look down in the big blind at King-Seven and figure that plays good enough against his calling range. I move all-in and he takes about five minutes to call with Ace-Eight. There are almost 100,000 chips in the pot. Unfortunately, his hand holds.
I collected $5040AUD for the cash and $2000AUD in bounties for a net profit of $2190AUD for the trip.
When I was out and about in Melbourne, I went to St. Kilda beach to see the penguins. Unfortunately, since I was too cheap to pay for a guided tour, I didn't see any penguins. Not giving up on my desire to see penguins, I went to the Melbourne Aquarium to see some.
One piece of advice for anyone hoping to head to Melbourne for next year's Aussie Millions: bring summer clothes and winter clothes. One day it's 38 degrees Celsius, the next it's 8. I have never seen more schizophrenic weather in my life. Oh, and bring lots of money. Live poker is expensive. Sure is fun though!