It was another busy week in poker. After an NBC Heads-Up Championship that saw a thrilling finish and a victory by Mike Matusow, the Aussie Millions took over the headlines this week. Our coverage from the Crown Casino in Melbourne focused on three of the biggest tournaments of the year, with an added bonus of some insight into the future of online poker from Nate Silver. Add in the return of the World Poker Tour and you have all the poker you could want and then some, and here’s how it all went down.
Antonius Leads Final Three Players as Main Event Extends to an Extra Day
It’s been quite some time since Patrik Antonius has been in a position like this. Other than High Roller final tables at the EPT Grand Final and Aussie Millions in 2012, Antonius’ last live tournament success came in 2011, when he finish ninth in the WSOP Europe Main Event and eighth in the Aussie Millions Main Event. Antonius is back at the final table in Melbourne and in great shape to earn his first live title since the EPT Baden Main Event in 2005. After playing for 15 hours on what was supposed to be the last day of the tournament, officials brought the tournament to a hault with just three players remaining. Antonius is the shortest of three close stacks, and he’ll battle Joseph Cabret and Mervin Chan Sunday afternoon at 4 pm local time (Midnight Saturday for those on the east coast of the United States) for the title and $1.6 million.
Robl Wins $100,000 Challenge, Trickett Tops $250,000 Event
The Aussie Millions was the first to offer a $100,000 tournament, and then the first to hold a $250,000 event. The high stakes pros and rich businessmen alike continue to flock to Melbourne for these two events every year, which bookend the series. Andrew Robl kicked off the Aussie Millions by winning the $100,000 Challenge for $1 million, taking advantage of a second chance during the re-entry period. Dan Shak finished fourth in that tournament before finishing in the exact same spot in the Main Event. Less than a week later Sam Trickett won the $250,000 event for $2 million, adding to a career that already saw him finish second in that tournament in 2011, win the $100,000 Challenge that same year, and finish second in the $1 million Big One for One Drop.
Nate Silver on the Future of Online Poker in the United States
If you could select one person in the world to do a statistical breakdown of an important issue there’s a good chance it would be Nate Silver. After thoroughly and accurately breaking down the 2012 Presidential Election, Silver took some time off as he traveled down to Melbourne to play his first poker tournament since the 2011 WSOP Main Event. A former online poker player in his own right, Silver has kept tabs on the ongoing situation regarding legislation in the United States and how the current political climate will affect it. BLUFF sat down with Silver this week to talk about how he sees the future of legal online poker playing out in both the short and long-term.
Andy Hwang Wins the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open
The World Poker Tour returned this week with its first event of 2013 and the first of five events that will be held in the next six weeks. The Borgata Winter Poker Open drew 1,042 players for its $3,300 Main Event, with deep runs for Daniel Buzgon (44th), Bryn Kenney (38th), Matt Glantz (36th) and Joe Serock (14th). WPT Paris winner Matt Salsberg made the final table but was turned away in sixth place, with Andy Hwang eventually going on to defeat James Anderson to win his first major title and over $730,000.
Chris Christie Yet to Make Decision on Online Poker Bill
Finally, we have news regarding the online poker bill sitting on Governor Chris Christie’s desk in New Jersey. The news, unfortunately, is that there’s really not much to report, as Christie has still not made a decision as to whether or not he will veto the bill. He has until February 7 to make a decision on whether or not to sign a bill that made it through the New Jersey legislature and would allow Atlantic City casinos to provide internet gaming under certain circumstances.
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