Australian Poker Tour cancels Sydney event amid coronavirus fears

The Australian Poker Tour (APT) has announced the cancellation of its upcoming APT Sydney event at Bankstown Sports Club following the federal government’s ban on mass gatherings.

Originally scheduled to run from 1 to 5 April, the APT revealed late Friday that it would no longer be able to run the series, with all pre-purchased tickets to be transferred to its next Sydney event in August instead.

“Unfortunately due to the government recommendation advising gatherings of 500+ people be banned in public, the APT Sydney will not be held,” the group said.

“This is for the benefit of the community’s health and combat on the restriction of COVID-19.”

As of early Saturday there was no word from the Poker Palace at Sydney’s Marconi Club on whether the Marconi Cup Carnival, due to start Sunday, will still go ahead although PokerMedia Australia understands the organizers are currently considering their options. 

The APT’s decision on Friday also saw Deaf Poker Australia (DPA) cancel its Sydney Auslan Poker Open, which had been due to take place on 1 April alongside APT Sydney in Bankstown. Likewise, the 2020 Victorian Deaf Poker Championship, scheduled to take place at the Hays Paddock Pavilion in Kew on Saturday 28 March, has been cancelled upon the recommendation of Melbourne Kings Deaf Poker.

In a statement, the DPA said, “As we’re sure you are aware, the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic has been constantly changing and evolving quickly. 

“All around the world, more and more countries are now implementing travel restrictions, self-isolation protocols and either postponing or cancelling major sporting and cultural events in order to mitigate the rising risk of infection from COVID-19 and to aid in slowing down the spread of the virus so that health systems are not overwhelmed. 

“The DPA Board of Directors have been closely monitoring this situation, taking in recommendations from credible information sources such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and consulting with poker industry experts. We have since had an in-depth discussion both amongst ourselves and other members of state Deaf poker leagues before addressing you today.

“The DPA Board of Directors strongly recommends suspending any and all Deaf poker tournaments, including home games, regular tournament series and state Deaf poker championships, for a period of 60 days. 

“Assuming that the full term is required, Deaf poker tournaments would be wholly suspended throughout Australia until 11:59pm local time on Tuesday, 12 May 2020. 

“This period of suspension may be reduced or increased based on updated information from the WHO and relevant state and federal government authorities.”

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