On Tuesday 23 January 2018, Hosted by Crown Melbourne, Asia-Pacific’s largest poker event, Aussie Millions had welcome back 25-year-old American professional poker player Samantha Abernathy for the second time and this year it was as an ambassador for the highly acclaimed Main Event.
It was the Aussie Millions Main Event in 2016 that gave this former graphic designer/illustrator a golden opportunity for her breakout performance. Abernathy made it to the final table then and played one of the most iconic hands in Aussie Millions history where she got a slow roll from local Mike Habb and then managed to spike a two-outer on the river to eliminate him. Habb has been taunting Samantha by saying, “Ship it to Papa” for much of the tournament and so when Jason Somerville decided to adopt it for Abernathy after she took all Habb’s chips and the phrase ‘Ship it to Mama’. Abernathy finished the Main Event at third place against some of the world’s leading poker players and took home an impressive sum of $625,000.
With her winnings growing at a rapid rate, Abernathy became a part of the new generation of poker player and a force to be reckoned with at this year’s tournaments, finishing in the top ten of her last eight tournaments.
She had a great time at Aussie Millions in 2016 and was really happy with the result as she had only been taking poker seriously for a couple of years. This year she got double the experience and a lot more tournaments under her belt, she definitely became more confident that she can go further, says Abernathy in one of her statements after the 2016 Aussie Missions.
A fondness for strategy games and earning money off bets as a kid has led Abernathy to a career in poker, as in the beginning at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Florida in 2012 she registered for a poker tournament for fun. A week later, Abernathy flew to Prague to play World Poker Tour events then returning back to her home town of Gainesville, Georgia only to decide and make the move to the hub of gaming, Las Vegas.
Since it was inaugurated in 1998, the Aussie Millions tournament has fast become a key stop on the international poker circuit for the world’s greatest poker players. With an ever-increasing number of women participants, there are more opportunities than ever for women to showcase their skills on the poker scene.
Aussie Millions Tournament Director, Joel Williams says, “It is brilliant to see so many women getting involved in Aussie Millions and embarking on poker as both a hobby and career. That is why we looked up to Samantha as one of our ambassadors this year – she is an ideal role model and her own Aussie Millions experiences in particular show the breadth of opportunity the poker landscape provides to women”
Nearly 100 poker tables were in set up across the award-winning complex over the weeks to lodge the thousands of players from around the world for participating in the event.
This year’s tournament began on Wednesday 17 January and goes on till today, Monday 5 February, with anyone able to enter via the satellite events until Monday 29 January. Jason Somerville is streaming the Main Event exclusively through his channel on Twitch.tv on Thursday 1st, Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th February 2018.