The Australian Poker Tour is hoping its new APT App will eliminate queuing as part of its COVID Safe plan when the tour returns to action at Eatons Hill Hotel in Brisbane this Wednesday 7 October.
The shortened five-day schedule will see fewer events and more spacing in order to meet Queensland government health guidelines but also serves as the ideal opportunity to test run the app – in development since last year but introduced just in time for this first APT series since the COVID-19 pandemic put Australia’s poker industry on pause.
“Hopefully it means players can expect no queues,” explains APT CEO David Miles, speaking to PokerMedia Australia during the latest edition of The PMA Podcast.
“We’ve introduced the new app for players and it’s basically a self-registration tournament. The app gives us an advantage in that they can create an account with driver’s license, name, phone number and that helps us with our COVID Safe planning.
“Once they’ve created that account they can contact us, we’ll issue them a QR code that is stored on the app and when they turn up to the venue they can walk straight up to a ticketing machine, scan the QR code and get their seat number.
“So there is no lining up to register and it will eliminate queuing which is what we want. Hopefully enough people pre-register with the app to make a big difference for all the players.”
Having been forced to cancel events in Brisbane and Sydney during 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, next week’s event at Eatons Hill will look a little different than previously with tables capped at eight players – larger tables allow for the greater capacity – and the total number of tables in play reduced from 72 to 58.
There will also be fewer events with 14 scheduled for the five days rather than the usual 18 or 19 in order to avoid crossover.
“We are confined in the venue under the COVID safe plan that the venue has to 490 people allowed in the area, excluding Eaton’s Hill staff,” Miles says.
“That’s why we’ve capped our events at 420 players because we’ve got our staff and we want that little buffer. Hopefully there will be a little bit more space, tables will be spaced further apart and then we’ve got other COVID Safe requirements like hand sanitizer and temperature checking, but apart form that it should be all steam ahead. Hopefully it will be a very successful event.”