EXCLUSIVE: Fewer stops on season four of the ANZPT

The Australian tournament landscape looks set to be significantly different in 2012 with news of a greatly reduced Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT).

While PokerMedia Australia cannot yet reveal the line-up of events for the 2012 ANZPT, we can confirm that four stops have been axed from this year’s schedule.

The fourth season of the ANZPT will not include events in Adelaide, Perth, Canberra or Darwin. While the tournaments at Casino Canberra and SKYCITY Darwin had attracted relatively small fields in the past two years, the Adelaide and Perth stops have been among the most popular on the tour.

Adelaide hosted the first ANZPT event back in 2009, and attracted bigger numbers in each year with Main Event fields of 215, 236 and 253 players. Perth’s numbers were also solid in the two years it hosted ANZPT events, with 222 players in 2010 and 220 contesting last year’s Main Event.

Credit to the poker managers in Adelaide and Perth, with schedules for new tournament series quickly announced. Adelaide Casino will host the first Poker Zone Cup from February 13-18, with an $1100 Main Event scheduled for February 15-18.

Meanwhile, Crown Perth (formerly Burswood) will host the inaugural Perth Poker Championships from April 26-May 5, culminating in an $1100 buy-in Main Event from May 2-5.

PMA believes that Crown Melbourne will be included on the 2012 ANZPT along with one event in New Zealand. Events may also be played at The Star in Sydney and Jupiters on the Gold Coast but are yet to be confirmed.

Jupiters has already committed to a World Professional Poker Tour event in March (7-12) meaning an ANZPT event could not be played at the casino until June at the earliest due to an exclusivity clause applied to casinos not to run another major series three months before or after a PokerStars tournament.

PMA sought comment from PokerStars (the owner of Global Poker Tours, which operates the ANZPT) on the decision to scale back the ANZPT and details of ANZPT schedule for 2012, but are still awaiting response after seven days. If a response is received, we’ll publish further details.

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