After you've been doing this job for a while you get used to living out of a suitcase. Life on the road certainly has its perks, but the ability to have a diverse range of fashion options isn't one of them. This evening I find myself landing in Sydney for the first stop of the new season of the ANZPT, and the final stop of a month-long road trip.
It started back in late February with the bright lights of Macau for the Macau Poker Cup, before we were greeted by sub-zero temperatures in South Korea for the return of the APPT Seoul. Since then I've been fortunate enough to hit the beaches of Thailand (thanks to a friend's wedding) where I was greeted by scorching heat every day that required the consumption of copious amounts of fruity cocktails just to stay hydrated. As you can imagine, my suitcase is currently a mismatch mess of dress pants, ski jackets, dodgy t-shirts and board shorts.
Thankfully landing in Sydney I was greeted by a perfectly mild 24 degree Celsius afternoon where the weather chart read nothing but "comfortable". Comfortable I can do.
It's typical of Sydney. The Southerners hate to admit it, but they do a lot of things right up here. Sydney is renowned for its iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Bondi Beach, its vibrant city, wonderful shopping and sensational eating. They're even finally getting things right with their choice of football codes as the brand new Greater Western Sydney franchise are set to debut in the AFL this weekend in the 2012 season opener.
Then there's the beautiful Darling Harbour, with a huge range of restaurants and entertainment, all just a short stroll away from The Star - the recently redeveloped casino and hotel where we will be perched for the next few days. The Star has also done a lot right in recent times and we look forward to sharing more about the fantastic redevelopments here throughout the week.
For now, we look ahead to the four days of poker that will kick off Season Four of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour. A restructured schedule will see fewer events, but bigger prize pools on the tour this year. The preliminary events have showed great numbers as Sydney is set to once again push towards a one million dollar prize pool, with first place looking to get close to a quarter mil.
The $2,200 ANZPT Sydney Main Event kicks off in The Star Poker Room at the working-man-friendly start time of 6:15pm Thursday evening. Join us on the PokerStars Blog as we bring you all the live updates and the stories from behind the stacks as we look to crown the first ANZPT champion for 2012.