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APL Millions 2020 Recap

With all that’s going on in the world today, the APL MIllions tournament was that little sparkle of light that many people needed. The event took place back in March before everything started to get a little out of control with coronavirus. The APL has since canceled all tournaments due to take place over the coming weeks, but we were definitely treated to some awesome action before this decision was made.

This year’s APL Millions event took place in Sydney, and there was some serious prize money at stake during this tournament. There was a grand total of $1,755,000 up for grabs for the total prize pool, and the winner got to take home $315,000 in cold hard cash. Those are some pretty heart-racing numbers by anyone’s standards, but for now, let’s take a look back at some of the key features of this year’s APL Millions event.

Arbabi goes home with $315,000 in cash

Having kept his head for four intense days of poker, and outlasted just over 1,400 other players, Arabi finally took down the final table in exchange for a rather huge $315,000 in cash. This was the highest prize pool that there has ever been in the APL Millions event. The winner of last year, Huss Hassan walked away with $300,000 for winning the APL event, making this year's win the biggest amount won by any individual in the history of the tournament.

On the subject of prize money, the first 144 players all received a share of the prize pool with all of them going home with an absolute minimum of $2,500 once they reached this stage. What’s even cooler about how this all panned out is that the last two came down to two NSW based players, both battling things out on home-soil.

Most exciting hand of the final table

Usually, when you get down to the final table of any tournament, there is always going to be some incredible hands of poker going down. This was no different for the final table at the APL Millions event, but there was one hand in particular that caught our attention. It would seem that it also caught the attention of the spectators on the rails, with the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ in full flow.

As it happens, we are referring to the final hand played at the table here that ultimately decided the tournament winner. This final hand was between Arbabi and James Broom, with James receiving QA and Arbabi receiving QJ. With James holding an Ace-high and a Queen in a head-to-head showdown, he did what any good poker player would - he raised and started on the attack.

Arbabi made what would be the call of the tournament for him, as he called the initial $800K raise by Broom and flopped a straight. This proved fateful for James Broom as he paired his Ace, but had no idea that Arbabi had him beat with a straight. After an agonizing battle of raising and calling, Arbabi ultimately won.

Alternative entertainment

Away from all the high-adrenalin action at the poker tables, the APL Millions is an event that also serves as a bit of a party as well as being a huge tournament. For those players that are unfortunate enough to have been knocked out, there was unlimited drinking in the 24/7 sports bar, and even a bingo game hosted by a DJ. Talk about a rather handy consolation prize!

This was all going on away from the hours and hours of concentration and battle of the mind going on at the final table. All of this was hosted by one of the all-time legends of the AFL as well to make it even better - in the form of Warwick Capper.

Final Thoughts

This year’s tournament provided days of top-class and somewhat inspirational poker play. In the end, we feel that Arbabi truly deserved the win as he kept his head and played his opponents with tactical genius. He is clearly an incredibly talented poker player and we hope that his success will pave the way for this tournament to become even more popular in the future.

Next year’s APL Millions tournament will hopefully be another record-breaking event, and given that this year saw more than $300,000 in cash for the winner, we feel that next year will attract some of the top talents in Australia to take part again. We will surely be keeping our attention fixed on the APL tournament in 2021, and poker fans all over the world can tune in once again for all of the action.