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The WSOP final table is set...

The last day of competition before the WSOP resumes in October began with 27 players all hoping to fill one of the nine seats at the final table, and after a bruising dayís play, those nine seats have players laying claim to them, all hoping to walk away with the championship bracelet (and the small matter of more than AU$8million in prize money).

With the WSOP set to make its first appearance on our shores next year, at the Crown Casino Melbourne resort, there is understandably a little more interest in the players we will get to see. Thereís little doubt about the talent of the final nine, but what was really good to see was the ferocity of the competition to get there.

It could have been any of the final 27 booking their seats at the final table, and all of them on merit. The only low note for fans of Poker in Australia was the lack of one of our own at the final table. In fact, itís eight Americans and a Hungarian who will compete for the prize in October.

But thatís not to say things wonít change. If the Aussie Millions is anything to go by, the game is thriving in Australia, and weíre producing more and more players who can compete with the very best in the world. Another good indicator of the health of Poker Down Under is the popularity of the online Poker rooms, where the online casino fans can go for a hand of Poker any time of the day or night.

Itís a different experience to the Online Pokies, especially with the introduction of the most recent technology that lets you interact with the other players around the virtual table in a way we wouldnít have thought possible even ten years ago. A look at the numbers of players booking their spots at the satellite tournaments (that feed into events like the Aussie Millions) gives you the same picture: Poker in Australia is in rude health.

And long may it continue. We talk a lot in these pages about the online casinos that are bringing the best the internet has to offer to players wherever they are in Australia, but itís fair to say that Poker has had a great few years, with a high profile in the press, and a series of great events at casino resorts like The Star and Crown Casino Melbourne. And with the Poker rooms in those Australian Casinos filled with players, and the online Poker rooms thriving, Poker in Australia is only heading in one direction...

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