Things looked very grim for regulated and legal online poker in Australia when the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 was passed in 2017, essentially shutting down the option to earn a living in front of their computers for aspiring poker players living in Down Under. Possible solutions? Relocating or focusing on live poker, after all the Crown Casino in Melbourne is the biggest casino complex in the southern hemisphere.
One of the affected Aussie online grinders was Michael Addamo, who earned most of his early merits in poker on the virtual felt. Addamo had already made the transition to live poker by then, even though the vast majority of his live cashes were still on home soil until the summer of 2016. A group of Australians can now regularly be found at the international poker tables such as Alex Lynskey, Kahle Burns, Aaron Lim and Martin Kozlov.
“I think I am actually one of the youngest from them,” Addamo said with a smile on the face. Not so much, there is less Australians playing MTT's now. There are a few guys that jump to events, but there are not so many that actually travel around actually. Not many of them have relocated.”
Addamo had won his first coveted gold bracelet in Las Vegas and added a second title to his WSOP resume at the King's Casino in Rozvadov after taking down Event #8: €25,500 No-Limit Hold'em Super High Roller for €848,702. Three six-figure scores and several five-figure cashes in the past two years have vaulted his live earnings to more than $3.1 million according to the Hendon Mob and he jumped to 9th place in the Australia all-time money list, narrowly ahead of WSOP bracelet winner Kozlov and close behind fellow rising stars Burns and Lynskey.
His outfit during the two days of the €25,500 Super High Roller? A t-shirt, shorts, long scarf around the neck and slippers, as if he'd just come out of the spa. But which of the two victories feels more special for the Aussie after one night of sleep?
“I think this one feels a bit more special: I previously played in a lot of High Rollers and didn't run good in those, so it feels good to get a High Roller win.”
Since 2016, Addamo has traveled to more international events and enjoyed quite some success in the United States and Macau. His biggest buy-in was a High Roller Event in Macau, where he already faced some of the players from Hong Kong and Malaysia that made the trip over to Rozvadov to take part in the ongoing high-stakes action.
The Aussie entered Day 1 of the €100,000 King's Super High Roller in level four and currently competes in his second most-pricy event, just one of many new young players that have emerged on the live poker circuit over the past few years.
“I played one in Macau that was maybe $120k, yeah, but it's pretty close. Having a hand sample on the players (from Asia) is definitely very important,” Addamo admitted in the break just before he officially received his second gold bracelet from WSOP tournament director Jack Effel over on the feature table set at King's Casino.
That this indeed happened has not quite sunk in yet, however.
“No, I mean, this is obviously quite absurd. I ran ridiculously good and I don't know what else to say. It has been a really good year.”
There may be more to come for the Aussie with plenty of big poker events on the horizon until the end of the year, and a certain festival on home soil is also not too far away with the Aussie Millions taking place in Melbourne in January 2019.
“I think this year there are still quite a few good events. I will probably do the partypoker event on the Bahamas after this, in December I am not sure, there are a few options. Prague or maybe Bellagio for Five Diamonds, then Bahamas in next year and Aussie Millions. And after that, I might take a little break.”
Addamo came close at winning an Aussie Millions ring three times and won a High Roller event at the Crown Poker Championships in 2017. With his success, he is certain to be taken even more serious at the tables on home soil from now on.
“Sure, I get more recognition. There was a lot of guys that I have played with coming up the stakes. I played 1/2 at the casino when I started and there's just a lot of guys that know me for a while. I am from Melbourne originally. When I started I played a little bit at Crown and mostly online. It would be quite nice to win a title in my hometown.”
Make sure to follow along the PokerNews live updates to find out if Addamo will make another deep run during the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe.