APPT9 Aussie Millions Day 1a: Mainstream love
It's not too often that poker attracts mainstream attention and especially not in Australia.
There was definitely a spotlight on Joe Hachem when he won the WSOP Main Event in 2005 and the champion of the Aussie Millions is usually mentioned in the major papers and nightly news programs.
But outside of those massive results poker barely gets a sniff of attention.
That's why it was so great when we heard of two instances this week that saw some respect sent poker's way during the 2015 Aussie Millions.
The first example of mainstream media love came in the form of a hefty article focusing Australian poker pro Jackie Glazier that ran in one of Australia's largest newspapers, the Sunday Age.
There was lots of positives about this piece including the fact that the writer wasn't once negative about poker.
It was also about a prominent female poker player and this is a huge positive considering ladies are still greatly underrepresented in poker tournaments.
If even one female reads this article and thinks they might give poker a go, well, that's a victory right there.
The next example of some mainstream attention on poker came here on Day 1a of the Aussie Millions Main Event as Melbourne's major sporting radio station, SEN, crossed live to the new Exhibition Hall at the Crown Casino to chat about the Aussie Millions.
The radio show was hosted by respected radio presenter Kevin Hillier who perhaps more often focuses on major sports like the Australian Football League.
Not only did Hillier chat to Crown Director of Poker Jim Preston about the Aussie Millions in general, he also had Joe Hachem and Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree and Isaac Haxton on the show.
Sure, at one point Hillier asked Haxton if playing online meant playing against a computer simulator, but if anything the radio host asking this might mean others aren't aware what being a professional online poker player means.
Maybe this sort of attention will mean a couple of new players decide to give poker a crack, either online somewhere like PokerStars, or in an event like the Aussie Millions.
And hey, maybe some of this attention has already helped the Aussie Millions considering today's number of 180 entrants so far is an improvement on last year's Day 1a equivalent.
Boeree is amongst those entrants trying their hand at Aussie Millions glory and perhaps the radio appearance will inspire a deep run and possibly even an eventual victory.
Haxton, meanwhile, is busy battling it out with some of the biggest names in the world in the $100,000 Challenge on the other side of the room. It's not quite like playing a computer simulation, but something tells me he will be just fine.