Poker players turn out in their droves for APT Brisbane 

by William Brown Last Updated
Poker players turn out in their droves for APT Brisbane 

The Australian Poker Tour has hosted a successful tournament in Brisbane, months after Australia’s last poker event.

Casino Aus reports that APT was part of a coalition to work with the NSW government and health officials to find a way to authorise live poker again.

The group, Poker NSW, is still moving slowly but steadily toward a comprehensive plan for live poker tournaments that make players and officials feel safe.

Along the way, as officials authorised then cancelled and then reauthorised poker tournaments, the APT was caught up in it all.

In Queensland, the APT planned its Gold Coast series for the first weekend in September but had to cancel as a new wave of COVID-19 cases surfaced.

The APT had to let its GOld Coast series go to the pile of cancelled events, but was determined to host its Brisbane series in October.

Set for October 7 to 11 with 14 tournaments, the hope was for prize pools to culminate in the $450,000 range.

Eatons Hill Hotel was the location, slightly north of Brisbane.

They set it up with everything from abundant hand sanitiser, masks on sale and available for free, and overall cleanliness protocols in place.

Attendance at the event was unprecedented, with 4,555 total tournament entries, 972 unique players and about $750,000 total prize pools.

“Hosting a tournament series in these troublesome times has certainly been a challenge yet through perseverance and effort, we got there to finish off the year on a high note,” APT wrote on its website.

The opening event on October 7, a $100 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament with two starting flights and one reentry allowed per flight.

Organisers hoped to garner a prize pool of $15,000, but when players lined up to compete, they more than doubled that prize pool, with $33.985 up for grabs.

APT is thinking positively about what comes next.

APT chief executive officer David Miles clarified that he delayed the season three Player of the Year competition due to so many cancelled tournaments and health concerns keeping others from attending the most recent event.

So all players who qualified with points on that leaderboard will carry over into next year.

The 2021 Player of the year competition will offer more events by which to qualify, and all 2020 and 2021 qualifying players will be up to win shares of the $50,000 award money.

Speaking of 2021, the next event will kick off APT season four in Brisbane.

There will be six days of poker tournaments, the largest series in the APT’s history, set to go live from January 19 to 24, 2021.

Online poker play is booming

With casinos and clubs in Australia shut amid the coronavirus pandemic, gamblers have flocked to online casinos. 

News.com.au reported in May that Australia’s online gambling scene has reached new heights since casinos closed in late March.

Experts say billions of Aussie dollars are lining the pockets of illegal online gam operators.

“I average $3000-$4000 a week,” said Daniel, from Sydney, who runs unregulated gambling tournaments online.

He says that he makes six figures “easy” from the illegal practice – and that was before the coronavirus crisis.

Since pubs and clubs closed their doors due to lockdown regulations, Australians have saved $1.5 billion not using poker machines, according to the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

However, this doesn’t take into account online gambling.

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