In what will give hope and inspire amateur poker players from all over the world, Shurane Vijayaram outlasted 723 other poker players, including some of the world’s best professionals, to take home the $1.6 million first prize after a gruelling 8 days of play.
Shurane only found out he would be playing in the main event one day before it started, having entered a $130 qualifier tournament which he went on to win. That win earned him a seat worth $10,600 in the main event, which he would eventually turn into $1.6 million. Not a bad return.
What makes this truly a fairy-tale story is that Shurane has never recorded a cash win previously, making this his first ever professional tournament pay day. He also beat out UK professional Ben Heath in heads up play, with Ben taking home a handy $1 million for second place.
Shurane entered the final hand with a commanding 3-1 chip lead but it was his call on the river that many are calling one of the gutsiest calls ever seen for such a large amount of money. Shurane was holding pocket 5’s up against Ben’s K8 off suit, and with the boarding missing them both, running out 6H, 9C, 7S, 3H, QS, Ben bluffed all-in, hoping Shurane would fold. And where any professional player would most likely fold, Shurane had the nerve and confidence to call him down, knowing his hand would only beat a complete bluff, and that is exactly what Ben had.
Although Shurane started the hand with a 3-1 chip lead, if Shurane had have called and lost the hand, both players would have had exactly 11 million in chips and it would have been anyone’s tournament from then on. That makes his call that much more impressive!
Shurane explained after he’d won that his focus was on his own game and to not be intimidated by more experience players.
“I just try to play my best game and not think about people that are really good players…It doesn’t matter who you are, you just have to get the cards” Shurane said.
Even if Shurane manages to spend all $1.6 million he won, he will always have the $30,000 custom made diamond encrusted Anton Jewellery bracelet to remember his incredible journey, and victory.
It just goes to show that as long as you have a bit of skill, a bit of patience, and a bit of luck, anyone can win! From everyone here at Poker Deluxe, we say congratulation to Shurane Vijayaram, on winning the 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event, and we’ll see you at the tables soon!