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Live Poker Slow to Return to Australia as Online Thrives
More than six months after the coronavirus pandemic forced live poker to stop in Australia and most other parts of the world, the virus still hangs on. As some venues and even casinos reopened their doors in the last month or two, positive coronavirus cases rose. The consensus seems to be that live poker will not return in large volume again until there is a vaccine available to the public.
This does not bode well for poker in Australia.
Some entities are working eagerly with government and public health officials to launch some type of poker tournaments. In New South Wales, for example, poker tours banded together to form Poker NSW. And it appears that entities like the National Poker League (NPL) and Australian Poker League (APL) are ever closer to relaunching some type of live poker options for Aussie players.
Live Asia-Pacific Tournaments Scheduled
In Australia, the only live tournament option available in the near future is the APT Brisbane series, set for October 7-11. There are 14 tournaments scheduled during that time at Eatons Hill.
The APT Brisbane Main Event will be a $200 buy-in affair and offer four starting flights on October 8-10. The final day of play will be on Sunday, October 11.
In Taiwan, the Asian Poker Tour was preparing to kick off its APT Taiwan series at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association in Taipei City. The series was scheduled to run October 7-18, but that seems to have been cancelled.
In its place, the APT will host some special events at the Taiwan Millions Tournament (TMT) Season 9. At the same location in Taipei City, the APT will host four events in the TMT series:
- Event 10: APT NT$5,500 buy-in NLHE on October 28
- Event 21: APT NT$6,600 buy-in PLO Hi on November 3
- Event 23: APT NT$33,000 buy-in NLHE Super High Roller on November 4
- Event 25: APT NT$33,000 buy-in NLHE Super High Roller on November 5
The entire series at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Club will run October 23 through November 9.
The APT intends to move forward with APT Korean in Busan November 4-11. And tentatively, the APT Finale Philippines will take place either November 24 through December 4 or December 2-13.
Further north, the Japan Open Poker Tour Season 19 plans to host its Tokyo event October 23-25 at Bagus Place Ginza in Tokyo.
Finally, the Korea Open Poker Tour is keeping its Paradise City Incheon event on the calendar for November 20-23.
Online Asia-Pacific Events Scheduled
Global online poker sites have been hosting numerous tournament series this year. The issue for Australians is that they often cannot access the sites from their homes in Australia. They must travel to New Zealand or a nearby Asian country in order to play.
On 888poker, a massive series began on September 10 and continues through October 11. The 888poker Millions Superstorm 2020 offered 480 total tour aments and guaranteed more than $8 million. One week of action still remains, though, and that includes the Main Event.
The 888poker Millions Superstorm started its opening flights on August 23, and players still have many opportunities to play. Those who make it through their initial flight will compete in Day 2 on October 11. The buy-in for the Main Event is $320, but satellites offer many ways to play at a discount.
The World Poker Tour just started its inaugural WPT Asia Online Series this weekend on October 3 on Natural8, the Asian arm of the GGNetwork. It will run through October 25, complete with numerous tournaments, 22 of which will award official WPT trophies. The cumulative prize pool guarantee is HK$100 million.
Buy-ins in the series range from HK$300 to HK$27,000, with the WPT Asia Main Event set as a phased event starting October 18. Players can compete in starting flights to move forward. The buy-in is HK$10,000 but the guarantee is HK$10 million. The final day of play will be October 25.
In addition, the World Poker Tour partnered with Adda52in India for the first WPT Online India series to run November 5-22. There will be 154 events with a total of INR$135 million in guarantees.
Its Main Event will start on November 11 with 10 starting flights that will cost INR$11,000 to buy in. That event will guarantee INR$25 million on its own, and the winner will also win an Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Titanium timepiece.
This WPT series in the Indian market will also feature a special charity-based tournament on November 22 to honor Mike Sexton. The longtime World Poker Tour commentator and poker ambassador died in September at the age of 72. The special Mike Sexton Tribute tournament will donate all entry fees to Poker Gives, an organization founded, in part, by Mike Sexton to encourage philanthropy in poker.