$1m Casino Poker Stakes

5/11/2001 (By BOB HART, Herald Sun) MELBOURNE has a new major event: the southern hemisphere’s first $1 million poker tournament will be held at Crown casino in January, 2003.

The world’s best and richest players will enjoy subsidised two-week stays in Crown Towers.

The tournament will be called Aussie Millions. The winner will walk away with at least $500,000 and a trophy.

The prize pool will be no less than $1 million, probably closer to $1.5 million.

“And this is just the beginning,” Richard Longhurst, the casino’s executive general manager, said yesterday.

“Our aim, within a couple of years, is to offer a first prize of $US1 million.”

Entrants will require $10,000 in stake money and will play until one – the tournament champion – remains.

The prize pool will be shared among the 10 finalists.

“This will strongly position Melbourne, and Crown, on the world poker circuit,” Mr Longhurst said.

“Between now and 2003, many of the world’s top players will visit, as our guests, to see what Melbourne has to offer.

“Melbourne has a slow spot, a two-week gap, between the end of new year festivities and the start of the Australian Open tennis.

“That’s an ideal time for us to hold the tournament. We want to brand Crown, and Melbourne, as having the biggest and the best of everything, and that certainly includes poker.”

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