With international travel opening up again after the COVID pandemic, it’s only fitting that the team at PokerMedia Australia also begin exploring more of our poker world, and especially after last year’s epic Vegas adventure. So, without any further ado, it’s time to pack your bags and take off with the first issue of the PMA Passport!
YOU’RE A WINNER, BABY: Dates for 2023 Global Poker Awards set
Recognising the best of the best throughout the poker industry worldwide, the Global Poker Awards ceremony will take place once again inside the PokerGO Studios at the Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas on 3 March, with live streaming of the event to be made available exclusively through PokerGO.
According to the official press release, more than 25 awards will be presented and several new categories being announced, including the Rising Star in Content Creation, which “will be presented to a new content creator who made the biggest impact [last year].”
Poker fans will also have the chance to vote on some of their favourite moments from 2022, and official voting for the awards is due to commence very soon. For more information and the full honour roll, visit the Global Poker Awards website.
THANKS, I’LL TAKE IT: Jason Koon wins High Stakes Poker Duel III
There has been a massive turn of events in the third season of the popular High Stakes Duel (HSD) series, as it was officially announced that Jason Koon has clinched the HSD championship belt by default.
The West Virginian crusher, who is currently ranked fifth on the global All-Time Money list and has more than USD $42 million in prize money to his name, defeated Phil Hellmuth in their most recent match and denied him the three-game streak required to cash out for a USD $1.25 million profit.
Per the HSD rulebook, however, Koon still had to give ‘The Poker Brat’ the chance of a rematch, but when that was declined, the offer was then extended to other players – and with a USD $1.6 million buy-in required, it perhaps came as no surprise that they all baulked.
And although Season IV has yet to be announced, you can still catch all the action from every episode of High Stakes Duel over at PokerGO.
OUI, TOUT EN: World Poker Tour returns to Paris
As reported in the PMA Vegas Diaries last December, the World Poker Tour (WPT) has already laid out its plans for the first half of 2023, with 12 stops confirmed throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific, including the WPT Prime Gold Coast series, which will kick off at the end of February.
But the official launch of WPT Season XXI will be taking place at the Club Circus Casino in France, with the WPT Prime Paris series commencing on 22 January and running through until 5 February, with the first flight for the EUR €1,100 (AUD $1,712) buy-in Main Event on 31 January.
It’s the first time since 2020 that the WPT has hosted a tournament in the City of Lights, but although France has produced a wealth of talent over the years – including Anthony Cierco, Elise Depauw, Romain Morvan, Lauren Bonte and Antoine Follet, along with WPT Champions Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier and David Benyamine – many Aussie poker fans would have drawn their first ‘French connection’ through the antics of one Antanas Guoga (AKA ‘Tony G’) at the Aviation Club de France way back in Season III (thankfully, everyone’s come a long way since then).
Check out the WPT Prime Paris preview below with Alex Gray from the WPT Royal Flush Crew, and for the full schedule of events, visit worldpokertour.com. Bon chance!
CHANGE OF PACE: Huck Seed makes a rare appearance
There is certainly no shortage of poker action throughout the Asia-Pacific region; several major series have already been run and won, the Hanoi Series of Poker (HSOP) among them – and several days ago, one of the all-time American greats was spotted in the VND ₫16,500,000 (AUD $1,025) buy-in HSOP Main Event.
With more than USD $7.6 million and four bracelets to his name, 1996 WSOP Main Event Champion and 2020 Poker Hall of Famer Huck Seed spoke briefly with local media, telling reporters that he was no longer actively following the poker scene, and only jumped into the tournament at the last minute whilst visiting friends in the area.
Seed also said that he hadn’t “played in over ten years” (despite his Hendon Mob profile showing that his last ITM finish was in 2016) and claimed that he has no plans to continue after.
“Life is short,” Seed explained, “and I don’t believe you should do one thing all your life.”
Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that poker is very much alive and well in Vietnam, especially given the most recent announcement from Triton Poker, which will host its next Super High Roller series at Hoiana Resort & Golf from 1-13 March. Check out the official trailer below, or log onto triton-series.com to find out more.
BAHAMA-RAMA: PCA festival returns after three-year hiatus
Finally, in what could be one of the greatest signs that the global poker industry has well and truly recovered from COVID, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in the Bahamas is making the ultimate comeback later this month.
Hosted at the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau from 22 January to 3 February, the 70-event schedule will feature not one, but three Main Events: the USD $1,100 buy-in BSOP Bahamas Main Event, the USD $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship, and the USD $10,300 buy-in PCA Main Event, which will see Chino Rheem return to defend his title after he won it back in 2019.
With the return of the PCA, it also raised questions about whether or not another world-renowned poker festival held around this time of year – the Aussie Millions Poker Championship – would also return.
Although an official response has yet to be received from our email sent to Crown Resorts last Wednesday, PMA has since obtained further information on the future of tournament poker at Crown, which we’ll be revealing in our upcoming debut episode of Run it Out, hosted by PMA‘s Ben Blaschke and Landon Blackhall. Watch this space.
There’s so much happening in our poker world – and you can read all about Australia’s rich and colourful poker history in Jon Stark’s new book, Poker World, available for purchase online or direct from any SA Poker venue.