The coronavirus pandemic sweeping across Australia is being felt the local poker industry with The Star Sydney announcing the cancellation of all weekly tournaments until further notice.
The temporary measure, coming after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced a range of social distancing policies including a ban on mass gatherings of more than 500 people, covers Star Poker’s popular Monday Night Turbo and Weekly Wednesday tournaments as well as all Sydney Championships satellites.
Cash games will still be available but with a maximum five players per table in order to leave sufficient spacing between seats.
The news isn’t any better in Sydney’s west where the Poker Palace has also been forced to cancel its popular Marconi Cup Carnival, which had been scheduled to run from now until Monday 30 March.
The Poker Palace said in a statement that although it could have operated within the government’s social distancing guidelines, “the reality remains that operating live poker tournaments in the current climate contributes to a public health crisis that requires collective action if we are to slow its progression.”
Management added that the Poker Palace would close completely with all weekly games cancelled until further notice.
“These are unfortunate circumstances however the safety and well-being of the community, our players and our employees is our top priority,” management said.
The Australian Poker Tour has already cancelled APT Sydney, which was due to run from 1 to 5 April at Bankstown Sports Club.