Addamo Wins Australian Poker Open Main Event

Poker players in Australia had quite a few tournament options in early 2020. The Aussie Millions consumed most of the month of January and found several Australian players in the winner’s circle.

After that series was complete at Crown in Melbourne, the high-stakes players traveled to The Star Gold Coast in Queensland to play in the Poker Central-sponsored tournaments – the inaugural Australian Poker Open (APO) and the first-ever Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB) Australia.

Australian Poker Open

The poker players with the bankrolls to compete in high-stakes tournaments are an elite group. And considering the buy-ins for the Australian Poker Open ranged from $10K to $250K, that limited the number of players who could compete.

The series was set at The Star Gold Coast in Broadbeach and kicked off on January 25. All of the events offered a waived entry fee if players registered by the start time, but each player was also allowed two reentries during the first nine levels of each event.

The first six tournaments of the seven-event APO series played out with these results, all amounts listed in Australian dollars:

Event 1: $10K buy-in NLHE with 59 total entries and $590,000 prize pool

  • 1st place: Mike Watson (Canada) $177,000
  • 2nd place: Michael O’Grady (Australia) $118,000
  • 3rd place: Benjamin Shannon (Australia) $82,600
  • 4th place: Orpen Kisacikoglu (Turkey) $59,000
  • 5th place: Jamie Lee (USA) $47,200
  • 6th place: Andras Nemeth (Hungary) $35,400
  • 7th place: Elio Fox (USA) $29,500
  • 8th place: Ben Lamb (USA) $23,600
  • 9th place: Luc Greenwood (Canada) $17,700

Event 2: $10K PLO with 43 entries and $430,000 prize pool

  • 1st place: Andras Nemeth (Hungary) $146,200
  • 2nd place: Najeem Ajez (Australia) $93,600
  • 3rd place: Mike Watson (Canada) $64,500
  • 4th place: Joni Jouhkimainen (Finland) $43,000
  • 5th place: Sean Winter (USA) $34,400
  • 6th place: Erik Seidel (USA) $25,800
  • 7th place: Chino Rheem (USA) $21,500

Event 3: $25K NLHE with 49 entries and $1,225,000 prize pool

  • 1st place: Timothy Adams (Canada) $416,500
  • 2nd place: Stephen Chidwick (UK) $269,500
  • 3rd place: Andy Lee (Ireland) $183,750
  • 4th place: Steve O’Dwyer (Ireland) $122,500
  • 5th place: Orpen Kisacikoglu (Turkey) $98,000
  • 6th place: Aaron Van Blarcum (USA) $73,500
  • 7th place: Chino Rheem (USA) $61,250

Event 4: $25K PLO with 29 entries and $725,000 prize pool

  • 1st place: Farid Jattin (Colombia) $290,000
  • 2nd place: Joni Jouhkimainen (Finland) $188,500
  • 3rd place: George Wolff (USA) $116,000
  • 4th place: Andras Nemeth (Hungary) $72,500
  • 5th place: Alex Foxen (USA) $58,000

Event 5: $25K NLHE with 47 entries and $1,175,000 prize pool

  • 1st place: Stephen Chidwick (UK) $399,500
  • 2nd place: Erik Seidel (USA) $258,500
  • 3rd place: Seth Davies (USA) $176,250
  • 4th place: Michael Addamo (Australia) $117,500
  • 5th place: Jorryt Van Hoof (Netherlands) $94,000
  • 6th place: Farid Jattin (Colombia) $70,500
  • 7th place: Matthias Eibinger (Austria) $58,750

Event 6: $50K NLHE with 35 entries and $1,750,000 prize pool

  • 1st place: Luc Greenwood (Canada) $700,000
  • 2nd place: Mikita Badziakouski (Belarus) $455,000
  • 3rd place: Andras Nemeth (Hungary) $280,000
  • 4th place: Chino Rheem (USA) $175,000
  • 5th place: Michael Addamo (Australia) $140,000

Aussie Wins APO Main Event

The final event of the APO series required a $100,000 buy-in, along with the same reentry rules of the other tournaments. Only 13 players took seats to start the day, but more entered and reentered. Poker Central did not provide figures to show the number of individual players versus reentries.

As the event played on, Australian Michael Addamo dominated, keeping a significant distance between himself and the rest of the field. He was the first player to accumulate more than one million chips.

Ultimately, the event’s registration closed with a total of 28 entries and a $2.8 million prize pool, out of which the top four players would be paid.

By the time the final table of nine took their seats, Addamo had 1.85 million chips, solidly in front of Aaron Van Blarcum with 814K and the rest of his opponents. After Mike Watson busted in sixth place, play stopped on the money bubble. When the action resumed, Australian Kahle Burns busted on that bubble with no money. And when it all played out, these were the final results:

  • 1st place: Michael Addamo (Australia) $1,288,000
  • 2nd place: Aaron Van Blarcum (USA) $784,000
  • 3rd place: Alex Foxen (USA) $448,000
  • 4th place: Stephen Chidwick (UK) $280,000

Adams Takes SHRB Title

The Super High Roller Bowl started several years ago in Las Vegas with a cap on the field because so many players wanted to participate. Over time, however, the number of players with the ability or willingness to compete in a rebuy tournament with a steep buy-in of $250,000 has dropped significantly.

The first iteration of the SHRB in Australia started on February 2, still at The Star Gold Coast after the APO wrapped. There were only 12 unique players and a few reentries, which showed a total number of entries at 16. That was enough to pay the top three players.

Day 1 finished with five players, Kahle Burns the only one representing Australia and second in chips to Elio Fox. Timothy Adams was third, followed by Aaron Van Blarcum and Poker Central founder Cary Katz.

On the final day, Burns quickly took over the lead and then busted Fox in fifth place. Burns then took most of Van Blarcum’s chips and then busted him on the money bubble. With a massive chip lead, and Katz on a short stack, Adams sent Katz out in third place. Burns took a significant lead into heads-up play, but Adams took a bit pot and then doubled through Burns. Adams kept the momentum and took it all the way to victory.

  • 1st place: Timothy Adams (Canada) $2,160,000
  • 2nd place: Kahle Burns (Australia) $1,200,000
  • 3rd place: Cary Katz (USA) $640,000


Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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