The World Poker Tour is planning to hold up to three regular tournament series on Australian shores each year once an easing of the COVID-19 pandemic allows international travel to resume.
The success of the WPT’s first ever Australian event – held at The Star Gold Coast in September 2019 – and its plans to return were among the topics discussed during the latest episode of PokerMedia Australia’s PMA Podcast, featuring WPT Vice President – Global Tour Management, Angelica Hael, as special guest.
Asked what the long-term ambition was, Hael told PMA, “Well if COVID didn’t happen this year we were supposed to be there in March and April of this year (for WPTDeepStacks), and in October (for WPT Australia), but we’d really like to have two or three stops there each year. That’s the plan.”
Hael, from Melbourne, also touted the enormous success of the inaugural WPT Australia event last year, which attracted a main event field of 658 players.
“When you wait for something for so long, 19 years of waiting to get into Australia – and not for lack of trying – but to find a partner at The Star Gold Coast and be welcomed … obviously I’m biased, being an Aussie, but taking off the lenses, that property is just world class with the amenities it has, the facilities, the proximity to the beach.
“And for players going in there who haven’t had much Aussie experience, you get such immense pride showcasing your country and your people.
“We really just can’t wait to return because it was worth the wait to come to Australia with our partners and the property. I really hope we can come back in April next year.”
The WPT had previously announced its second WPTDeepStacks event for April 2021, while the event originally planned for September and October 2020 was to include the WPT’s first ever main tour event in Australia featuring an AU$5,400 buy-in.