First Poker Tournament in Australia Since Pandemic

Australian poker players based on the sunshine coast rejoiced this week as The Start Gold Coast hosted the first casino-based poker tournament in the country since the pandemic began. It’s been well over 18 months since any poker tournaments have been permitted on the scale witnessed here today, and that caused a lot of excitement around the player tables.

Poker table and cards.

The first poker tournament in Australia since the pandemic gathered momentum has gone down as a massive hit. The pent-up demand and local excitement culminated in a hugely successful World Poker Tour event at The Start Gold Coast. ©Dutchman1887/Pixabay

The Star Gold Coast was certainly the place to be this week as local poker players descended on the venue for their first taste of live poker action in over 18 months. The many cancelled poker events and immense time-lapse since the last time this privilege was allowed has created a strong appetite amongst players for some live poker action. This excitement was thoroughly reflected in the huge popularity and record-breaking numbers seen flocking towards the Queensland casino to participate.

The World Poker Tour was the federation behind the organization of the event, and it was named the DeepStacks game running from 21st to 31st May. The event pulled in over 4,000 entrants across 10 different game structures, and the main event enjoyed over 1,000 professional players vying for a chance at the big prize on offer. All in all the participation numbers were extraordinarily high, and truly help quantify the extent of pent-up demand that still exists in high-end poker games.

Taking a look back through the history books and it’s clear to see that this event was one on the scale of the likes never seen before. The main event field list was the largest ever recorded in the Asia & Oceania region in the World Poker Tour history, beating the previous record from 2014 in China where 820 players were present at the event. The total prize money available to the pool of players $1.5 million also broke the record for being the largest sum ever, breaking the previous record of $1.48 million set at the World Poker Tour Australia back in late 2019.

Huge Demand Still Exists for Elite Poker Tournaments

If anything is proven by the events of this week it’s that the pandemic has failed to dampen the interest in land-based casino gambling activities. Poker has always existed in a unique space, whereby the collaborative and social dimensions make it a wholly different gaming experience from regular casino gaming. For these reasons, the quarantine measure imposed by local authorities caused major disruption to the elite end of the game.

The World Poker Tour DeepStacks that took place last week at The Star Gold Coast was the first opportunity many players had to enjoy poker tables in the physical realm for well over a year. The enormous turnout on the day truly epitomizes the massive demand that still exists for poker, and gives reassurance to the industry as a whole that the pent-up demand is eagerly awaiting more events of a similar nature. The local playing community turned out in their troves in what can only be described as a one-of-a-kind celebration of poker.

The 11-day event is already being hailed as a huge success by everyone in attendance. With multiple records smashed for attendance and prize pool money, there are plenty of reasons for the organizers to plan another event of a similar scale in the coming weeks and months. The Star Gold Coast has always been a friend of the World Poker Tour, so we can all expect to see another event held at their venue very soon.

Poker Thrives in Australia

The hugely positive response to the first poker tournament down-under since the start of the pandemic is true confirmation that the game continues to thrive. By invigorating the player base with a state-of-the-art poker playing facility in the heart of Australia, The Star Gold Coast has made a huge contribution to the health and prosperity of the entire ecosystem. The five-star accommodation and award-winning restaurants all culminate in a truly breathtaking and incredible service for poker enthusiasts in the region.

Following the enormous success of their first pilot event together, it is certainly not surprising to hear that the World Poker Tour and The Star Gold Coast have ambitious plans to continue their partnership together. The coming weeks and months will provide ample opportunities to organize many similar tournaments, but the hope is that this time around their will is a larger cohort of international players, obviously, this is dependant on travel restrictions into Australia being relaxed.

The winner of the first event was a Sydney local by the name of Will Davies. The young professional player represents a new crop of players who rely less on instinct and more on mathematics of the poker table. Davies and many other elite poker players in the region will be seeking a quick turnaround as the World Poker Tour has announced The Star Gold Coast is a potential stop on its main tour, although these dates and exact venue selection are still to be confirmed.

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