APPT9 Aussie Millions Day 1b: Australia Day honours for poker philanthropist

January 26.

Day 13 of the 2015 Aussie Millions Poker Championship.

Day 1b of the $10,600 Main Event.

Australia Day.

It's a day that Australians get to celebrate this wonderful sunburnt country. Beer and BBQs are normally the agenda of the day, but for around 150 poker players inside the Crown Poker Room, the beer will be replaced by chips and the BBQs by poker felts.

The day was kicked off in style with a rather unique welcome to proceedings.

Lawyer and businessman Julius Colman made the final table of the Aussie Millions back in 2007 with his fourth place finish earning him a handsome $500,000 score. He has almost $1 million in career earnings, and just yesterday Colman bagged up 73,500, but that's not why he was invited to be part of today's welcome ceremony.

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A half million dollar score is a life-changing amount of money for most, but this philanthropist donated the entire amount to a school for significantly underprivileged children that has a high migrant and refugee population.

Today, Colman's ongoing work with disadvantaged children and communities was recognized by the Australian Government it's in Australia Day honours list.

Colman was awarded an Order of Australia and before play kicked off in the Main Event today, Colman was congratulated by the Australian poker community and asked to say a few words.

"I'm deeply honoured," said Colman. "We're extremely lucky people to be here. Lucky to be able to live in Melbourne and privileged to be able to play poker. Enjoy your game today!"

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And with that Colman was given the official honours to "Shuffle up and Deal".

It's wonderful to see a member of our poker community recognized for the act of giving. Poker is so much about taking from others, so hopefully Colman's gestures will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.