OZ POKER REPORT: Players given the royal treatment as epic summer of poker begins

Even with COVID-19 still looming in the shadows, the Australian poker industry is slowly but surely forging a path to recovery nationwide, starting with a string of major events in the spring before the Poker Palace in Sydney kicked off the Marconi Christmas Cup (MCC) in early December.

It was a profitable series for Sydney’s Michael Oscuro, who pocketed a total of almost $40,000 after winning both the $550 Main Event Warm Up and $330 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha events, but the big money went the way of birthday boy Joe Antar after he took down the $2,500 High Roller Event.

Nathan Susnig then went on to win the $1,150 buy-in MCC Main Event, which was cut off a day short as a result of safety precautions put into effect across Greater Sydney in the face of the increasing Northern Beaches outbreak.

Still, the entire MCC series was a phenomenal success, with more than $800,000 given away over the course of the series – more than double the original estimate.

($1,150 buy-in, 292 entries, 29 players paid)

1stNathan Susnig $80,000
2ndMoney Elkassir $50,000
3rdDavid Truong$34,000
4thPrav Singh$23,000
5thChris Tran$16,000
6thMichael Brahim$12,000
7thSuzy Khouiss$9,300
8thJason Dunkley$7,000
9thMichael Henderson$5,270

($2,500 buy-in, 107 entries, 11 players paid)

1stJoe Antar$75,000
2ndSteve Gergis$51,000
3rdHasan Onay$31,000
4thNeerwain Hussaini$20,000
5thDaniel Gabriel $16,535
6thDavid Hanna$11,000
7thMorten Mortensen$8,500
8thMichelle Psarras$6,800
9thDean Boskovic$5,500

The City of Churches was treated to high-stakes action at the inaugural Royal Poker Club High Roller Series; although fields were modest, it certainly didn’t diminish the quality of play, with Adelaide veterans Costa Cavaiuolo and Jim Mourafas winning the $550 Opening Event and $1,150 Main Event respectively.

Jin Li then went on to claim victory in the $3K Challenge, fending off Adam Cusenza heads-up for the title, while Queenslander and former APT Dracakis Players Championship winner Jigs Reyes finished third.

($3,000 buy-in, 18 entries, four players played)

1stJin Li$21,500**
2ndAdam Cusenza$21,000**
3rdJigs Reyes$12,000
4thTony Zhu$7,800

**Denotes two-handed deal.

($1,150 buy-in, 60 entries, 11 players paid)

1stJim Mourafas$19,750**
2ndJosh Smith$19,750**
3rdLing Lan$11,000
4thKarl Fielke$8,500
5thRamin Hurmuzinya$6,500
6thJerry Zhang$5,000
7thJin Ho$4,000
8thDavid Abram$3,200
9thJaiden Graham$2,700

**Denotes two-handed deal.

Out west, Shark Poker is gearing up for its Summer Series, with 16 events running across multiple venues from 17 to 31 January, but all eyes will be on the Eatons Hill Hotel when Season 4 of the Australian Poker Tour (APT) gets underway from 19 to 24 January.

APT management has confirmed that as well as revised caps on the number of entries for all of their scheduled events, the use of masks by players and staff will be mandatory. For more information, log onto www.australianpokertour.com.au or search for APT on Facebook.

This will be followed by an all-Queensland Australian Poker League (APL) double-header from 4 to 7 February, with the NQ Classic Series up at The Ville Resort & Casino in Townsville, along with the launch of the all-new APL Poker Tour at Southport Sharks on the Gold Coast.

There are also whispers that the second leg of the APLPT will be held in Melbourne in March, which is sure to attract huge numbers after the Garden State had been denied any major poker events for almost a year.  Head on over to www.playapl.com to find more.

Then from February , the WPT League will launch its first Quarterly Poker Championship (QPC) event of 2021. Unlike their competitors, however, Head of League Management Mitch Caton and their team are eyeing off a $550,000 guaranteed series prize pool.

And for the first time in six years, the QPC will move onto the other side of the NSW/QLD border and will be hosted at the Golf Coast Turf Club. For the full schedule and Players Guide, search for WPT League on Facebook or visit www.wptleague.com/au.

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