The WPT League will soon have a new Sydney home, with a permanent poker facility at St Johns Park Bowling Club nearing completion.
The Pavilion Poker Room, dubbed “Home of the WPT League”, will officially open on Wednesday 31 March with an “All in for Cancer” charity event to launch the WPT League Sydney’s Annual Poker Championship (APC).
Located on the lower level of St Johns Park Bowling Club in an area previously called the Pavilion Bar, the new poker room will have capacity for 150 players at any one time plus casino-grade tables, chairs and playing equipment, a service desk and a poker room membership and rewards program. It will also boast its own bar and seating area – not dissimilar to the set up at Crown Melbourne – with 15 LCD screens around the room showing live sport and pay per view events.
“The whole concept behind the room was to create a facility for the middle market that would give them that poker room experience,” explains Bruno Rao, WPT League licensee for Sydney.
“The whole facility [St Johns Park Bowling Club] is a $3 million complex but downstairs will now be the poker room. We are upgrading the equipment and attached facilities to casino-grade and we will run our series here and have this as the home of the WPT in Sydney.”
The launch event on 31 March – the first of 16 events on the schedule for the APC – will be attended by an array of celebrities including NRL players, with a $250 buy-in and 50% of proceeds donated to the Cancer Council. Running through until 11 April, buy-ins for the APC will range from $50 to $1,150 with the first of four Day 1 flights in the $675 main event starting on Thursday 8 April.
Once regular operations resume, the Pavilion Poker Room will be home to nightly events seven days a week, with single or multi-table tournaments available on demand, plus a monthly championship (MPC) and a quarterly championship (QPC).
“We will also use the room as a gateway for WPT events internationally, whether that be Asia or the US,” says Rao. “It will likely be a satellite format to WPT Gold Coast, WPT events in Asia like Japan and Korea, and WPT500 in the US when that comes back on board.”