In the ever-changing world of Australian pub poker, one event has outlasted all others – Aussie Hold’em Poker’s Newcastle Poker Championships (NPC). First held in 2007, the nation’s longest running pub poker championship series will be held for the sixth time in 2012.
Steve Cockerill was the inaugural winner (taking home $5000) while others on the NPC honour roll include Mark Blandon (2008), Chris Rowlands (2009) and Ken Curry (2010) with Dean Allison the defending champion from 2011.
Befitting a series of this stature, events will run over a 10-day period from June 8-17 at Club Macquarie. Servicing the communities of Western Lake Macquarie and surrounding districts with a modern club and relaxed friendly atmosphere, Club Macquarie has become a key partner of the NPC.
Not only is the club conveniently located within easy reach of all Newcastle suburbs, it is also has nearby access to the F3 Motorway. The club also has its own award winning four-star luxury accommodation, The Macquarie Inn, which will offer a special NPC rate across the duration of the series.
Without a doubt, the NPC schedule is the most diverse for any Australian pub poker championship series. Indeed, for versatility, it’s right up there with the best casino tournament series.
NPC VI kicks-off with a NLHE Freeroll with $10 rebuys. This was one of the most popular events in previous years, with a prizepool of more than $5000 in 2010 and 2011.
The NPC also offers an innovative heads-up event played under modified Swiss rules, meaning all entrants play seven rounds of heads-up play with points awarded for each round before the top eight is decided.
No Limit Pineapple (the format for event 4) is a great action game. Pineapple is a variant of Hold’em where players are dealt three cards. At the end of the first betting round before the flop is spread, players discard one of their cards. The remainder of the hand is played out the same as Hold’em.
The Aussie Hold’em team have also devised an intriguing bent on the traditional team’s event format. Event 5 is a three-man team’s event featuring No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Pineapple. All team members will play the first three levels then after the first break, the stacks will be combined and players will switch every blind level.
The NPC VI schedule also features a NLHE bounty event, a Semi-Shootout (played as a freezeout until there are 64 or less players remaining) leading up to the two-day $220 Main Event, which is the single largest event run annually in the Newcastle region. The series concludes with a $550 NLHE High Roller tournament.
NPC VI schedule
Friday, June 8 (7.30pm) Event 1: No Limit Hold’em Freeroll with $10 Rebuys (two-day event; $3000 guarantee; starting stack 2000; players can rebuy anytime during the first three levels if they hold 2000 or less; add-on at the first break 2000 for $10, 5000 for $20, 10,000 for $30)
Saturday, June 9 (4pm) Event 2: $33 No Limit Hold’em Six Handed ($2000 guarantee; 5000 starting stack)
Sunday, June 10 (1pm) Event 3: $22 No Limit Hold’em Heads Up Championship ($1000 guarantee; starting stack 2000 (Swiss rounds), 3000 (quarter-finals), 5000 (semi-finals) and 10,000 (Grand Final)
Sunday, June 10 (7.30pm) Event 4: $11 No Limit Pineapple w/ one rebuy and one add-on ($1000 guarantee; starting stack 3000)
Monday, June 11 (7.30pm) Event 5: $66 Mixed Games Teams Event ($1500 guarantee; starting stack 5000 per team member)
Tuesday, June 12 (7.30pm) Event 6: $80 No Limit Hold’em Feature Event w/ Bounties ($3000 guarantee; starting stack 8000)
Wednesday, June 13 (7.30pm) Event 7: $22 Pot Limit Omaha Championship ($1000 guarantee; starting stack 5000)
Thursday, June 14 (7.30pm) Event 8: $55 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack Event ($3000 guarantee; starting stack 10,000; antes from level 5)
Friday, June 15 (7.30pm) Event 9: $22 No Limit Hold’em Semi Shootout ($1000 guarantee; starting stack 5000)
Saturday, June 16 (noon) Event 10: $220 No Limit Hold’em Main Event (two-day event; $10,000 first prize guarantee; starting stack 20,000; 45-minute levels; antes from level 5)
Sunday, June 17 (2pm) Special Event: $550 No Limit Hold’em High Roller (starting stack 30,000; 30-minute levels; antes from level 5; dealers used at each table)
• To find out more about the special NPC accommodation deals at The Macquarie Inn, call (02) 4958 8499. For more information, check out www.newcastlepokerchampionships.com.au.