Since the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) 2011 is now a thing of the past, the attention of the poker-loving community has transferred to Aussie Millions 2011. Martin Drewe, Sean Dunwoodie, and Jarred Solomon have already emerged as the winners of the first three events of Aussie Millions 2011.
The Crown Casino was all decked up to receive a crowd of poker celebrities, both from home and abroad, who had arrived to participate in the widely acclaimed Celebrity Poker Challenge, which forms part of the Aussie Millions. Crown Casino’s Studio 3 literally glittered with DJs, show girls, and camera bulbs that flashed every now and then. A fancy dress station also formed part of the event; and professional poker player Billy “The Croc” Argyros got dressed up in over-sized glasses, a hat, and a wig for a photography session. On January 18, Tuesday, the hottest event of Aussie Millions 2011, the Celebrity Poker Challenge was inaugurated in the presence of professional poker players such as Joe Hachem, Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius, John Juanda, Andy Roddick, Shane Warne, and Brooklyn Decker.
Tyron Krost, who emerged as the champion of last year’s Celebrity Poker Challenge, was also present, along with internationally acclaimed poker players such as Howard “The Professor” Lederer, Barney Boatman, and Mike “The Mouth” Matusow. A number of local talents had also arrived to participate in the event. Poker pro Matusow had a quick chat with Lynn Gilmartin of PokerNetwork that evening.
Scott Montgomery and Annette Obrestad, who are to the online poker world what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are to Hollywood, were also present. Tony Hachem, who shuffled around the poker room on a crutch, was one of the highlights of the event; so were the complimentary snacks and drinks. The welcome address was delivered by Shane Warne.
The profits generated by the Celebrity Poker Challenge will be donated to Variety through the Shane Warne Foundation to help Australia’s flood victims. The participants wore blue ribbons in warm sympathy toward all those who were affected by the floods in Australia. Last year, the Celebrity Poker Challenge was a 16-table tournament; but this year it was a team showdown on four tables.
The excitement of Aussie Millions 2011 will continue till January 30. The most lucrative high-stakes poker event, which has a buy in of $100k, will be played on January 23 – 24; and the $10k Main Event will be run on January 23 – 29.

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