Even with the ominous threat of Omicron, the last few weeks and months have given us so much to reflect upon – and even more to look forward to in the New Year – when it comes to poker, as PokerMedia Australia reveals in our final bumper edition of the Oz Poker Report for 2021.
NEW SOUTH WALES
After last year’s Northern Beaches outbreak forced organisers to wrap up the series a day early, the 2021 edition of the Poker Palace Marconi Christmas Cup went off without a hitch, taking in more than $1.7 million in total prize money and obliterating the $800,000 series estimate.
Sydney grinder Chad Aberwuch, who first broke into the poker scene after a deep run in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, picked up his largest-ever career tournament cash for $95,000 in the Super High Roller, while Elton Muzha took out the Main Event for $90,600 from a field of 408 entries, cutting a deal with runner-up George Mitri.
Poker Palace management have since confirmed dates for their next Autumn Championship series, running through from March 6-20. The $550 buy-in Australia Day special will also return in the New Year, and due to popular demand, the 40/40 Series will now become a regular monthly fixture.
Further up the coast, the team behind WPT League Newcastle have revealed an expanded schedule for their inaugural QPC, now running from January 13-23 at the Edgeworth Sport & Rec Club and featuring a $150 buy-in Main Event as well as a two-day $1,150 buy-in Super High Roller.
That said, there are concerns that the exponential rise in COVID case numbers could potentially damage efforts to reignite the poker scene (and indeed, the entire hospitality and entertainment industry), particularly in NSW. Watch this space.
DIARY DATES – 2022
|January 13-23||WPT League Newcastle QPC||Edgeworth Sport & Recreational Club|
|February 2-13||The Kingdom End of Summer Series||Blackbutt Hotel, Newcastle|
|February 10-20||WPT League Sydney QPC||Pavilion Poker Room, St Johns Park Bowls|
|February 18-20||Poker Nation On the Murray III||Tattersalls Hotel, Tocumwal|
|February 21-27||Kings Poker Sydney Deepstack Series||Churchill Sports Bar, Kingsford|
|March 6-20||Poker Palace Autumn Championships||Poker Palace, Club Marconi|
|March 21-26||APT Sydney Season V||TBA|
Poker in the Sunshine State continues to go from strength to strength, with Queensland’s finest on show during the inaugural Star Poker Gold Coast Summer Series this month. True to The Star Gold Coast’s mantra of providing the ultimate poker experience, the room was resplendent in beach-themed décor, complete with deck chairs, beach balls and a bright orange Kombi van which made for arguably the best final table photos ever seen at any Aussie poker event.
The Star have since revealed that they’ll be hosting another major series early in the New Year, this time at The Treasury Brisbane from January 28 to February 7, culminating in an $1,100 buy-in Main Event. Online registration for the Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival is now open at starpoker.com.au/registration.
Meanwhile, WPT League Queensland maestro Mitch Caton has revealed the schedule for the first QPC of 2022, which returns to the iconic Seagulls Club in Tweed Heads for what can only be described as the ultimate homecoming party.
Running from February 23-27, the QPC features 22 championship ring events, including the $3,000 buy-in three-day Alpha3, along with all the fan favourites with buy-ins starting from as little as $40. Search for the WPT League Tweed Coast on Facebook for more information.
Asti Savage is also back in the headlines after launching her new brand, Savage Poker, at the Townsville RSL. Naturally, the name caught the attention of another poker industry legend that shares the same surname (sadly, no relation), who sent the former Commonwealth para-sport gold medallist his best wishes for her new venture.
DIARY DATES – 2022
|January 6-9||APLPT Queensland III||Southport Sharks|
|January 17-23||APT Brisbane Season V (Series 1)||Eatons Hill Hotel|
|January 28-February 7||Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival||Treasury Brisbane Casino|
|February 7-13||APL North Queensland Classic||The Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville|
|February 23-27||WPT League Tweed Coast QPC||Seagulls Club, Tweed Heads|
|April 26-May 1||APT Gold Coast Season V||Southport Sharks|
|June 1-5||APL Townsville Winter Series||The Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville|
|September 5-11||APT Brisbane Season V (Series 2)||Eatons Hill Hotel|
|October 16-23||APL Ville 600||The Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville|
Arguably one of the biggest industry success stories over the last two years, the team behind the Southern Poker Tour (SPT) are kicking off 2022 with their biggest series ever: Havoc in the Hills II, locked in for February 23-27 at the Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel.
SPT organisers have also been working closely with Stacked Social, Matchroom Poker and Jen’s Poker Mount Gambier on a number of new and exciting initiatives, including a cross-branded Player of the Year leader board, as well as establishing the SA Poker Awards and Hall of Fame, with a gala event to be hosted at Matchroom on January 22.
It’s some much-needed good news for the state’s poker community as of late, many of whom are still reeling from the passing of former SkyCity Adelaide Poker Manager David Galpin, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 57.
Lovingly known as “The Falcon,” Galpin was renowned for ruling his poker room with an iron fist in a velvet glove, overseeing some of the most historic poker events in the country during his 31 years at the property, including the very first ANZPT series in 2009. Galpin is survived by his fiancée Stacey, mother Jeannette and brothers Jonathan, Timothy and Andrew.
It also comes in the wake of the continuing fallout from the alleged Royal Poker cheating scandal; although official findings are yet to be released from the club’s integrity forum held last Tuesday, PMA has been contacted by multiple sources claiming that the use of the UV deck during the course of play was not a once-off occurrence.
PMA has also obtained surveillance footage from the Royal Poker Club depicting the alleged perpetrators switching out decks in full view of the camera, however upon closer inspection, the timestamps from those clips are dated from September 2020. PMA will bring you more on this story as it develops.
DIARY DATES – 2022
|January 22||SA Poker Hall of Fame & Poker Awards Gala||Matchroom Poker, Adelaide|
|January 28-29||Jen’s Poker ‘Little Blue’||Jen’s Hotel, Mount Gambier|
|January 28-February 7||Stacked Poker Championship||Stacked Social, North Adelaide|
|February 23-27||SPT Havoc in the Hills II||Old Mill Hotel, Hahndorf|
|March 21-27||Adelaide Poker Series||Matchroom Poker, Adelaide|
|May 18-22||SPT Series||TBA|
|June 10-12||Johnnie Walker Classic||Jen’s Hotel, Mount Gambier|
|July 12-17||APT Adelaide Season V||TBA|
|July 12-18||Matchroom Poker Challenge||Matchroom Poker, Adelaide|
|November 11-20||Matchroom Big Stack Poker Festival||Matchroom Poker, Adelaide|
TASMANIA, VICTORIA & WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Some more sad news out of both Victoria and Western Australia, with the passing of two more members of the Aussie poker community.
Earlier this month, the Perth poker faithful came out in droves to pay their respects to the late Darren Parker, regarded as one of the best community poker tournament directors in the state. A special $150 buy-in tournament will be hosted at the Osborne Park Bowling Club in his honour on Boxing Day; search Shark Poker on Facebook to find out more.
Just over a week later, the Melbourne community learned of the death of Bev Boxell, beloved wife of Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell. Bev was undoubtedly Leo’s biggest supporter and was always given a ringside seat to watch her husband play in every major poker event at Crown Melbourne and beyond. She was 77.
In lighter news, the Bullets Poker League in Tasmania celebrated its fourth birthday last Sunday, hosting a special three-person teams event at the Devonport Football Club. APL Tasmania have also released a special poker tournament ‘advent calendar’, kicking off at the Granada Tavern in Berriedale on Boxing Day and running regular games through until January 3.
And finally, although it may be some time before we see major tournaments back at Crown, players in the Garden State will still get their fair share of action, beginning with the third APLPT Melbourne series from February 3-6 at Club Italia, which also was the backdrop for a major milestone reached by veteran APL TD Craig King, who notched up his 2,000th game last Friday. Congratulations, sir!
DIARY DATES – 2022
|February 3-6||APLPT Melbourne III||Club Italia, Sunshine (VIC)|
On behalf of all of us at PMA, we’d like to thank the entire poker community for your ongoing support. After we take a short break over Christmas, our Live Reporting Team will be back on deck to bring you all the action from many major events across the country, starting with the APLPT Queensland III series at Southport Sharks.
Until we next see you at the tables: enjoy the festive season and have a safe and prosperous 2022!