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Australian Poker Tour Stronger Than Ever with the 2013 ASIA-Pacific WSOP

It seems that with every Poker event that hits the news, we’ve got something positive to report on the state of Poker in Australia. Only a few years ago it was the online casinos that were making all the running for Poker in Australia, with players all across the country logging onto their favourite online casinos or online Poker rooms to compete with players all around the world.

But now the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour is coming to the end of a fourth season, and it’s just going from strength to strength. Crown Melbourne was a worthy venue again for a main event that saw a massive prize taken in the end by Brit Sam Razavi. In the final he beat off a strong challenge by local hope Keith Walker – and we couldn’t be happier at that sign of the health of Poker in Australia.

It isn’t all that long ago (some of us here are older than others, and can remember better...) that Poker in Australia was only played in the occasional upstairs room in a local pub, or at a social club, where it played second fiddle to the Online Pokies.

But now look how far the game has come: all the way to the bright lights of the Crown Room at Crown Melbourne, and an international TV audience watching a main event cash prize in excess of AU$300,000 dollars being won and lost by a final table that included some genuine Poker superstars.

The change in fortunes that Poker has enjoyed over the last few years is owed in no small part to the media coverage that has done so much to raise the profile of the game, and to bring it into the mainstream. Televised games have been such a success that players are signing up to online Poker rooms literally in their millions, and enjoying dozens of innovative variations on the game against other players all around the world – all in real time and sometimes with streaming video, too.

And where did it all start? Way back in 1970, the World Series of Poker was born in the Horseshoe Casino off the Vegas Strip, and it has grown into a brand that has spread to every corner of the globe. The first WSOP event saw seven players around a table at the Horseshoe, and the following year, Johnny Moss took the first cash pot, beating half a dozen other players in a US$10,000 buy-in main event that saw him walk away with US$30,000.

Not a bad haul for the seventies, but by the time the eighties had come around, the WSOP was being contested by a field of more than a hundred players, and the prize money was more than half a million dollars. Fast forward to 2012, and the main event features nearly 7,000 players, and from a prize pool of about US$62million, the winner is made about US$8.5million richer.

Why is this important for Poker fans here in Australia? Because the inaugural event of the Asia-Pacific WSOP will be held at Crown Casino Melbourne next year, and if you want it to be you flying the flag for Australian Poker (and treating yourself to a serious cash prize), now’s the time to get practising!

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