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The poker dream is alive and well in the Southern Hemisphere.
Always one of the most popular tournament series of the year, the 2017 Aussie Millions delivered again with a 725-player Main Event – the third largest in its history.
With Fedor Holz, Ben Heath and Jeff Rossiter at the final table it also looked to deliver another A-list name to its illustrious winners list but Melbourne local Shurane Vijayaram had other ideas.
Usually a cash-game player Vijayaram jumped into a few pub poker tournaments a few months ago and, with a bit more confidence under his belt, threw $130 down on a Main Event satellite Sunday night.
He won, and just a few days later thwarted all of the above-mentioned big names to claim the Aussie Millions crown – his first tournament cash ever! – and AUD $1.6m.
Sick Call for All the Money!
With the lead coming into the final table the chips were in Vijayaram’s favor but with the always daunting Holz around it was far from a sure thing.
Add the presence of Charlie Carrel’s pal/playing partner Ben Heath and the ultra-tough Aussie Rossiter and a first-ever tournament win for Vijayaram seemed like a long shot.
The long shot paid, though, as he held Heath off heads-up and even finished things off with a fantastic hero call with just 55.
The blistering hot Holz, fresh from his third-place finish in the $100k event, pocketed another AUD$335,000 for fifth. Rossiter took fourth for AUD$445,000.
“Honestly, I was just getting back into pub poker about four months ago,” Vijayaram told PokerNews after his win.
“One of the guys at pub poker, and he’s here tonight, asked me if had played any Aussie Millions satellites. I was like ‘No, I don’t really play that often.’
“But then I thought about it and thought ‘Maybe I will play.’ I went down last Sunday, played it, won it and now I’m here.”
For a full replay of the final table and the incredible final hand, watch Jason Somerville’s RunItUp Twitch broadcast here. Final-table results and payouts below:
1. Shurane Vijayaram 1,600,000
2. Ben Heath 1,000,000
3. Tobias Hausen 620,000
4. Jeff Rossiter 440,000
5. Fedor Holz 335,000
6. David Olson 270,000
7. Luke Roberts 210,000