Tournament poker is finally coming back to Crown Melbourne, with a new weekly event starting next Wednesday 29 November and more to come in the months ahead.
The Weekly Wednesday event, to feature a $250 buy-in, will become the first poker tournament to be held at Crown since early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic shut the industry down nation-wide.
Subsequent regulatory issues in the wake of the Finkelstein Royal Commission into Crown’s Melbourne casino license have also delayed the return of tournament poker, however PokerMedia Australia understands Crown is now ready to re-establish its position as a leading provider of tournament poker nationwide.
While the Weekly Wednesday represents a modest comeback, PMA also understands Crown has more ambitious offerings in the works including major tournament series, although the company would not be drawn on whether this would mean a return of the Aussie Millions.
“Our aim is to [start by bringing] back the weekly tournaments to gauge where our customer base is,” explained Crown Melbourne’s Casino Manager – Table Games, Daniel Trubiano. “Our aim is to bring tournament poker to back better than it was.”
Complementing the return of tournament poker, Crown Melbourne is also relocating the poker room from its traditional home in the Las Vegas Room upstairs to Level 1, with the new area to be in use well before the end of this year. It is Crown’s belief that the new location will provide poker with greater visibility to the public while providing players with a better overall guest experience.
“The Las Vegas Room has served a very good tenure for us, but to reinvent the brand there is no doubt we need complete revamp,” Trubiano said.
“A significant change to what we offer is required so we can become a more guest-focused operator on what we deliver.”
Trubiano added that tournament poker would again become central to Crown’s poker offering, having in years gone by been considered Australia’s undisputed poker champion.
“It goes hand-in-hand,” he said. “If you want a complete product in terms of poker, you’ve got to run tournaments – there is no doubt about it. We want to show that we run a tournament better than anyone.
“We will start with the weekly tournaments but over time we will keep adding. Our train of thought is to engage the player base and find out what they want us to offer.
“The future is looking bright for poker at Crown. There is a lot of news to come and exciting news at that.”