OZ POKER REPORT: Here comes the boom!

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.


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.

Chad Aberwuch: 2021 MCC Super High Roller Champion

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.


January 13-23WPT League Newcastle QPCEdgeworth Sport & Recreational Club
February 2-13The Kingdom End of Summer SeriesBlackbutt Hotel, Newcastle
February 10-20WPT League Sydney QPCPavilion Poker Room, St Johns Park Bowls
February 18-20Poker Nation On the Murray IIITattersalls Hotel, Tocumwal
February 21-27Kings Poker Sydney Deepstack SeriesChurchill Sports Bar, Kingsford
March 6-20Poker Palace Autumn ChampionshipsPoker Palace, Club Marconi
March 21-26APT Sydney Season VTBA


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.

Matt Savage (video courtesy of Savage Poker)


January 6-9APLPT Queensland IIISouthport Sharks
January 17-23APT Brisbane Season V (Series 1)Eatons Hill Hotel
January 28-February 7Treasury Brisbane Poker FestivalTreasury Brisbane Casino
February 7-13APL North Queensland ClassicThe Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville
February 23-27WPT League Tweed Coast QPCSeagulls Club, Tweed Heads
April 26-May 1APT Gold Coast Season VSouthport Sharks
June 1-5APL Townsville Winter SeriesThe Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville
September 5-11APT Brisbane Season V (Series 2)Eatons Hill Hotel
October 16-23APL Ville 600The 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.

David Galpin

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.


January 22SA Poker Hall of Fame & Poker Awards GalaMatchroom Poker, Adelaide
January 28-29Jen’s Poker ‘Little Blue’Jen’s Hotel, Mount Gambier
January 28-February 7Stacked Poker ChampionshipStacked Social, North Adelaide
February 23-27SPT Havoc in the Hills IIOld Mill Hotel, Hahndorf
March 21-27Adelaide Poker SeriesMatchroom Poker, Adelaide
May 18-22SPT SeriesTBA
June 10-12Johnnie Walker ClassicJen’s Hotel, Mount Gambier
July 12-17APT Adelaide Season VTBA
July 12-18Matchroom Poker ChallengeMatchroom Poker, Adelaide
November 11-20Matchroom Big Stack Poker FestivalMatchroom Poker, Adelaide


Some more sad news out of both Victoria and Western Australia, with the passing of two more members of the Aussie poker community.

Darren Parker

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!

Craig King (right) earns his 2,000th cap as an APL TD


February 3-6APLPT Melbourne IIIClub 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.

Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Discord so you can keep up with all that’s happening on and around the felt in Oz and beyond with the PMA community.

Until we next see you at the tables: enjoy the festive season and have a safe and prosperous 2022!

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