Online poker may not be as accessible for Australians as it was during the years of the poker boom, but the game of poker is as popular as ever. Aussies frequent live poker games regularly in casinos and play tournaments whenever they come through the Land of Oz.
In the coming month, Australia will play host to several special events. Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker will be sponsoring one event. The other is a part of the World Poker Tour’s next season of tournaments.
Moneymaker Poker Series
There are few poker players more well known than Chris Moneymaker.
When he won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event for $2.5 million, he took the world by storm. Not only did the recreational poker player and full-time accountant from Tennessee achieve his dream by winning the biggest poker tournament in the world, he did it by investing less than $100 onto an online poker site – PokerStars – and turning that into a seat into the $10K buy-in Main Event. Moneymaker then made a poker name for himself by defeating players like Phil Ivey and Sam Farha at the tables.
Moneymaker subsequently joined an elite team of sponsored pro players at PokerStars. He has been with the company as a member of Team PokerStars Pro ever since. Moneymaker’s responsibilities include promoting PokerStars by playing online poker and live tournaments around the world.
Moneymaker also spends time promoting the game of poker. His passion for poker and his desire to bring more people into the game keeps him playing at the tables.
– Moneymaker Series Details
With that, Moneymaker decided to launch his own series aside from his relationship with PokerStars, and based on his own reputation. That endeavour is the Moneymaker Poker Series.
The idea is still coming together. However, Moneymaker announced four primary stops when he revealed the series in May.
- July 22-28: Acacia Ridge in Brisbane, Australia
- July 30 – August 3: Royal Poker Club in Adelaide, Australia
- August 14-18: The House Club Poker Room in Edinburgh, Texas, USA
- August 20-25: Poker Kings Card House in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Details of the tournaments have yet to be announced, but Moneymaker mentioned in an interview that a $500 buy-in might be a popular price point. As soon as the website for his series is live, more information will be published.
Taking the Least-Travelled Poker Tournaments Path
Most tournaments that come through Australia settle in at Crown Casino or some other large venue. Moneymaker has chosen smaller card rooms and poker clubs for his tour stops.
The Acacia Ridge property is in a hotel in Brisbane South, Queensland. Its poker room hosts games nearly every day of the week for an hour at a time, often working with APL to host free-play live poker league games (though cash prizes are awarded). There are also pokies and keno at Acacia Ridge.
As for the Royal Poker Club, the Adelaide room offers cash games and even a progressive jackpot. Hours are every evening until 1am, and the facility has a bar and poker tables.
Both poker locations are seemingly odd choices for a well-known poker pro hosting tournaments in Australia. However, Moneymaker seems to want to bring the game to places it isn’t typically offered.
His choices of poker rooms in Texas are also “off the beaten path”. After all, Moneymaker chose smaller card clubs rather than more popular ones in cities like Austin or Houston.
World Poker Tour Down Under
As for the World Poker Tour, its recent announcement partners with The Star Gold Coast in Queensland, a popular casino and tourist destination.
The WPT Australia event is the first time the World Poker Tour will host a tournament in Australia in 17 seasons. As it launches into Season XVIII, Aussies will be a part of the action.
The entire series of tournaments called WPT Australia will start on September 27 and run through October 7. There will be 10 tournaments in total, ranging from an A$330 buy-in to an A$5,000 high-roller buy-in. And it will culminate in the WPT Main Event from October 4-7 with a buy-in of A$2,500.
WPT VP of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael is an Aussie by birth, so the move to add this stop to the tour is personal for her. “As a native Australian, I am thrilled to have a WPT event take place in my home country and even more pleased to have it hosted at such a wonderful property,” she said.
Casino Managing Director Geoff Hogg called the partnership a “monumental” one that highlights its past several years of transformation and investment. “Australia is one of the top nations for poker in the world,” he said, “and this event further establishes The Star Gold Coast as a leader in the industry.”