OZ POKER REPORT: The Kiwi player’s guide to Aussie poker

As the envy of the world in the face of the ongoing global pandemic, Australia and New Zealand are now embracing greater freedoms resulting from their success in containing the spread of COVID-19, including quarantine-free travel between the two nations as of April 19.

One major drawback, however, has been the lack of live poker throughout the Land of the Long White Cloud (with the noted exception of our friends at Christchurch Casino), so it’s only fair that we share the wealth for toil with our Kiwi cousins.

Therefore, in honour of the long-awaited trans-Tasman bubble, PokerMedia Australia is proud to present this handy guide to all that’s happening on the Aussie felt over the coming months.

QUEENSLAND           

After COVID restrictions first began to be lifted throughout the Sunshine State late last year, Queensland has quickly established itself as the new poker capital of our nation, with a raft of regular weekly games in pubs and clubs throughout Brisbane and beyond.

Since then, both the Treasury Casino in Brisbane and The Star Gold Coast have re-opened cash games, with the latter also having relaunched regular tournaments and a satellite programme into the highly anticipated WPTDeepStacks – the first casino-based poker series to be held since the 2020 Aussie Millions in Melbourne.

The Star Gold Coast: Australian custodians of the World Poker Tour

That’s immediately followed by the second WPT League Gold Coast QPC down the road at the Turf Club before the APL Poker Tour Queensland II series at Southport Sharks, but for those planning a trip across the ditch later in the year, the stunning Ville Resort-Casino in Townsville will once again play host the APL Ville 600 in October, featuring the biggest schedule in the event’s history.

Queensland Diary Dates (click event name for more information)

DatesEventVenue
May 21 to 31WPT DeepStacks Gold CoastThe Star Gold Coast
June 2 to 6WPT League Gold Coast IIGold Coast Turf Club
June 9 to 13APL Poker Tour Queensland IISouthport Sharks
October 17 to 24APL Ville 600The Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville

NEW SOUTH WALES

The NSW poker industry has been at the forefront of leading the game into a post-COVID normal, particularly with their collaborative efforts in establishing a COVID Safe plan for all card room and league operators, large and small.

As a result, there’s been a number of major events successfully run so far and even more on the horizon, including the Poker Palace Autumn Championship, the APLPT Sydney series and two WPT League QPC festivals on opposite ends of the coast. The poker room at The Star Sydney is also running eight-handed $2/$5 NLHE cash games from 6pm to 2am daily, though there have been rumours circulating of at least one major series to be hosted there later in the year.

The Cube: set to play host to what could be the biggest poker series of the year

All eyes, however, are on the upcoming Australian Poker Tour (APT) Sydney series out at ‘The Cube’ in Campbelltown, with 31 events scheduled across seven days and a total prize pool estimate of an eye-watering $1.75 million!

New South Wales Diary Dates

DatesEventVenue
April 27 to May 17The Poker Palace Autumn ChampionshipsClub Marconi
May 11 to 16APL Poker Tour SydneyCastle Hill RSL
June 21 to 27APT SydneyThe Cube, Campbelltown
June 24 to July 4WPT League Illawarra QPCWests Illawarra
July 8 to 11WPT League Newcastle QPCEdgeworth Sport & Rec Club

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Over the last month or so, the majority of South Australian league and card room operators have established a working group via social media to ensure that major event date clashes are avoided, as well as providing information to all upcoming events throughout the state.

After their breakout success in the Barossa Valley, the Southern Poker Tour (SPT) will be heading out to Victor Harbour next month, which then leads into the Stacked Social Championship in North Adelaide before the ever-popular Jen’s Poker Johnnie Walker Classic at Mount Gambier in June.

The historic Jens Town Hall Hotel in Mount Gambier

From the many tentative dates announced, one of particular interest is that of the SA Poker Super Series in November, flagged as a “combined mega event”; whether that includes the newly refurbished District Poker Room at the Adelaide Casino (running cash games and tournaments nightly from Tuesday to Sunday) and/or the APL after their pending Poker Tour stop, remains to be seen.

South Australia Diary Dates

DatesEventVenue
May 13 to 16SPT ‘Face-off in the Fleurieu’McCracken Country Club, Victor Harbour
May 16 to 24Stacked Social ChampionshipStacked Social, North Adelaide
June 11 to 13Jens Poker Johnnie Walker ClassicJens Town Hall Hotel, Mount Gambier
July 4 to 11Matchroom Poker ChallengeMatchroom Poker, Adelaide
TBCAPL Poker Tour AdelaideTBC
TBCSA Poker Super SeriesTBC

TASMANIA, VICTORIA & WESTERN AUSTRALIA

As part of ongoing changes to the poker landscape in the Apple Isle, APL Tasmania announced on Facebook last week that that they will be hosting an APL Poker Tour Tasmania series later in the year, including a new $600 buy-in high stakes event to replace the Three Diamond Poker Classic at Wrest Point Casino Hobart. APL players who had originally won tickets into that tournament will instead have 600 Poker Tour Credits (PTCs) transferred into their player accounts.          

On the other side of the Bass Strait, Club Italia will once again play host to the APL Poker Tour Victoria series starting next week, which also marks the debut of the $2500 buy-in Centurion, featuring a 100,000 starting stack and one-hour blind levels.

Club Italia has retained hosting rights for the APL Poker Tour Victoria series

And while it looks as though we may not see any major tournaments at Crown Melbourne this year, their social media pages have been issuing a daily countdown which, as PMA understands, will lead to the re-opening of cash games at the property on April 23. Response from followers suggests that there will be limited space and trading hours, spreading five-handed games of $2/$5 No Limit Hold’em, as is the case at their sister property, Crown Perth.

Speaking of our friends out west: Shark Poker are due to launch their Autumn Poker Championship Series across various locations around Perth, beginning with a $400 buy-in High Roller Event this Sunday at the Osborne Park Bowling Club, along with various offerings of cash games, right through until May 10.

Tasmania, Victoria & Western Australia Diary Dates

DatesEventVenue
April 25 to May 10Shark Poker Autumn ChampionshipVarious, Perth, WA
April 28 to May 2APL Poker Tour Victoria IIClub Italia, St Albans, VIC
TBCAPL Poker Tour TasmaniaTBC, TAS

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