- »WPTDeepStacks Prepares for Aussie Gold Coast Series
WPTDeepStacks Prepares for Aussie Gold Coast Series
Australian poker players are anxious to get back to the live-action tables. The World Poker Tour is excited to bring its live tournaments back to the masses. It’s a perfect match.
The World Poker Tour’s WPTDeepStacks is headed to the Star Gold Coast in May with 10 tournaments, lots of satellites, and a long-awaited WPT-Aussie reunion.
Good Pre-Pandemic Times
In September 2019, the World Poker Tour crew headed to Lynn Gilmartin’s native Australia for a festival of tournaments. The main attraction, of course, was the $2,500 buy-in WPTDeepStacks No Limit Hold’em Main Event. It was the WPT’s first foray onto Australian soil and the first time for many players in the newly-remodeled Star Gold Coast poker room.
And the Main Event brought in 658 entries for a $1,480,500 prize pool. The top 83 finishers received payouts, with Hari Varma winning the title and $274,247.
It was such a success that the WPT and Star Gold Coast wanted to do it again…as often as possible. In the first week of March 2020, the WPT announced its intention to return to the Gold Coast twice that year. The first stop was going to be for WPTDeepStacks, which was set for April 24 through May 4. The second was going to be a WPT Australia main tour stop along with yet another WPTDS. The entire series had yet to complete its full schedule but would run from September 24 through October 6.
The plans were as firm as could be…unless something like a pandemic halted all non-essential activities worldwide for an indefinite period of time.
Slow but Sure Return of WPT
The WPT’s intentions to restart its efforts in Australia were never disputed. But considering that Covid-19 put everything into question and had the potential to change anything, Aussies wanted some reassurance.
The guys at Poker Media Australia and WPT VP of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael did just that. During a podcast in November 2020, Hael confirmed that the WPT would head back to Australia at some point, whenever possible. Further, she said that they would be happy to do more to weave the WPT League into the action and host two or three WPT stops in Australia each year.
It was also notable that the WPT had marked most of its 2020 and 2021 stops as postponed or cancelled, with the exception of online poker events. That excluded the WPTDS Gold Coast for May, though. That series remained on the website.
WPT League Makes Early Strides
The WPT League has been popular in Australia for years. In February 2021, though, players couldn’t wait to get back to the tables, and the WPT League Quarterly Poker Championship Gold Coast was the perfect opportunity.
The schedule boasted of 22 tournaments from February 24-28, promising $550K in prize pool guarantees. When it was all said and done, the money awarded more than doubled expectations.
- 7,455 entries in 22 tournaments
- $1,202,070 prize money awarded
The highlight was the $175 buy-in with its $200K guarantee. As it turned out, that tournament attracted 2,405 entries to create a prize pool (minus costs) of $334,875. When it all played out, the final two players agreed to a payout deal with Phillip Stamler taking the title and $46,650 for the win.
In addition, Sam Adams won the QPC Player of the Series for $20,340, the lion’s share of the $50,830 prize pool.
Following the end of that series, the WPT League announced that it made a permanent home for its WPT League Sydney at St. Johns Park Bowling Club. The Pavilion Poker Room will open on 31 March with a charity tournament that will precede the WPT League Annual Poker Championship.
That APC series boasts of 16 events over 12 days to run 31 March through 11 April. Buy-ins will start as low as $50, with the Main Event offering several starting flights for its $675 buy-in.
WPT Makes Gold Coast Return Official
The World Poker Tour made official its return to the Star Gold Coast. The WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast Festival will kick off on 21 May, with the WPTDS Main Event starting on 27 May. It will all wrap its 10-event lineup on 31 May.
The schedule, as it appears now, is as follows:
- Event 1 on 21-23 May: $750 buy-in WPTDS GC Opener (2 flights, 1 reentry/flight)
- Event 2 on 23 May: $2K buy-in NLHE (1 reentry)
- Event 3 on 24 May: $330 buy-in Freezeout
- Event 4 on 25 May: $330 buy-in PLO (1 reentry)
- Event 5 on 26 May: $440 buy-in Big Bounty (1 reentry)
- Event 6 on 27-31 May: $1,500 buy-in WPTDS GC Main Event (3 flights, 1 reentry/flight)
- Event 7 on 28 May: $440 buy-in Mega Stacks Super Turbo Freezeout
- Event 8 on 30 May: $550 buy-in PLO (1 reentry)
- Event 9 on 30-31 May: $5K buy-in Challenge (multiple reentries)
- Event 10 on 31 May: $440 buy-in Mega Stack Freezeout
For more information regarding the schedule, registration, and satellites, the Star Gold Coast poker room event page will keep players updated.
The WPT is likely to schedule its WPT Australia stop on the main tour later in 2021. As the vaccines remove more dangers of Covid-19, plans will slowly resume. As Star Gold Coast COO Jess Mellor said, “While prestigious international tournaments like WPT Australia may not be in the cards just at the moment, securing WPTDeepStacks for the city is a really exciting step forward and a promising sign of brighter times to come.”