Shurane Vijayaram has his first official tournament win, and it’s a big one. Soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Andre Akkari are taking a gamble on eSports. Bill Perkins has a Twitch channel.

The Dream Poker is Built On

They’ve become less frequent in recent years, but stories of unknown players showing up for their first tournament and crushing it have been a fundamental part of poker culture and the poker economy since the very beginning of the boom. Naturally, those of us in the media are eating up the fact that Shurane Vijayaram, a tournament rookie though an experienced cash game player, won the Aussie Millions Main Event last night for AUD $1.6 million. He says his previous tournament experience amounts to having cashed a few times in his local bar league.

Vijayaram was convinced by his friends to attempt a $130 rebuy satellite to the Main Event. He won his seat and began to build confidence after a Day 1 spent sitting to the right of Mustafa Kanit. In the end, he outlasted the likes of Fedor Holz (who finished 5th) before correctly reading heads-up opponent Ben Heath for a missed straight draw and hero calling with fifth pair in a massive pot to end things.

Virtually every poker media outlet has covered the story, but HighStakesDB has the version with the most detail about how the final table went down, and the least fluff, and so gets my nod.

Quick Hitters

Like all journalists, my peers are largely reeling from the past week’s political events in the US, so it’s been slim pickings for stories this weekend.

– The poker AI Libratus has extended its lead over its human adversaries to $1.6 million. It was already looking like a steep climb with the humans at a $1 million deficit mid-week, so at this point it’s probably safe to call it in favor of our new robot overlords.

– Opinions about the future of eSports vary, but soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Andre Akkari see the potential in virtual as well as physical competition. Along with Igor Trafane, the owner of the Brazilian Series of Poker, they have acquired a 50% share in CNB eSports Club, South America’s most successful professional eSports team.

– Billionaire investor and Bilzerian-enabler Bill Perkins now has a Twitch channel. Details are vague, but it seems he’s set a goal of 10,000 paying subscribers (a very lofty goal) and to that end is offering a $160,000 freeroll tournament for subscribers.