The poker landscape in Australia has been re-fashioned in the last two years with the appearance of the PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT). The tour now has eight events crossing the world's largest island and its nearest neighbour. All the best and brightest players in Australasia have taken their seats at an ANZPT table in the first two seasons. There have been some great winners and future is looking bright for a tour which has already stamped itself on the local poker scene.
In the first season the tour saw 1,309 players take part with 25% qualifying on PokerStars and it awarded $2,982,196 AUD. Season Two attracted 1,901 players from 37 countries awarding $4,318,979 AUD.
There were three events added in season two: Perth, Canberra and Darwin. The Perth event saw Team PokerStars PRO Australia's Tony Hachem win his first event of the ANZPT, after winning the inaugural ANZPT Player of the Year, Tony came out of the gates firing, final tabling the first event and then winning the second. He looked set to take down back to back Player of the Year titles. That was before John Maklouf made three consecutive final tables (plus a deep run in the following event) and Andrew Scarf continued to consistently cash in the events. The race for Player of the Year has kept interest in the tour at the highest level; the final event in Darwin had any of six players still able to win Player of the Year.
Tony Hachem however, was able to cash to overtake both John and Andrew and win his second consecutive ANZPT Player of Year title. This achievement puts him at the very pinnacle of the Australian and New Zealand poker scene and cements his place as one the countries all time great players.
Season 3 of the ANZPT is back at Adelaide Casino from February 2-6, 2011. The venue is part of Australian poker's humble beginnings; Adelaide Casino is widely regarded as the 'Original home of Australian Poker,' when the casino first introduced Texas Hold'em to the Australian shores in 1987. All stops will be returning to the tour and there is a strong chance there will be one more event added to the schedule.
The tour continues to allow poker players from across the world to see the best parts of Australia and New Zealand. Queenstown is the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere where players can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, bungee jumping, jet boating, fine wines and beautiful scenery. The Gold Coast is a beachside paradise and haven for anyone trying to escape to colder southern states in the middle of winter. The other great addition to the tour is Darwin, Australia's most northern capital city, where heritage listed national parks are on the doorstep as well as some of Australia's most terrifying reptiles this provides an amazing backdrop for poker players. The tour really offers much more than poker as so many are discovering.
We look forward to seeing you down under!