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21-year-old Russian young gun crowned 2008 Aussie Millions champion

24 January 2008

MELBOURNE, Australia – (PRESS RELEASE) -- The new king of poker was crowned on Sunday night when Alexander Kostritsyn won the No-Limit Texas Hold'em "Main Event" at the 2008 Aussie Millions Poker Championship held at Melbourne's Crown Casino. He had to beat one of the toughest NL Hold'em tournament players in the world in Erik Seidel for the victory.

Kostritsyn took home a cool AUD$1.65 Million, the largest prize ever awarded in a live poker tournament in the Southern Hemisphere. The 21-year-old Kostritsyn from Moscow, who began playing poker full time at the age of 18, was the youngest player and only European at the final table. Before winning the Aussie Millions jackpot, his best tournament cash was third in the 2007 Russian Summer Poker Tournament (worth $8,900). He bought in directly to the Aussie Millions 'Main Event'.

Kostritsyn outlasted a record-field of 780 players who anted up the AUD$10,000 buy-in for the 'Main Event', creating an unprecedented prize pool of AUD$7.80 Million. The Main Event at Melbourne's Crown Casino was the culmination of the 16 individual events, which this year generated more than AUD$10 Million in total prize money.

"We congratulate Alexander Kostritsyn on his tremendous accomplishment," said Peter Mim, Executive General Manager of Table Games at Crown. "He played superb poker over a prolonged period against a record field that included virtually every top professional and hundreds of talented amateurs from Australia and around the world."

Finishing third and collecting AUD$700,000 was Michael Chrisanthopoulos. Hailing from 'Hachem territory' in Melbourne's northern suburbs, the 26-year-old brought a massive chip stack to the Final Table. Chrisanthopoulos has been playing poker for three years, and recently won a qualified via a Crown $120 Satellite to enter into the Aussie Millions 'Main Event'.

The remaining players at the final table were:

4th place: Peter Ling - $500,000 5th place: Nino Marotta - $400,000 6th place: Antonio Casale - $300,000 7th place: Peter Mobbs - $225,000

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