First time for WPT in Sydney

[Cracks knuckles, braces himself for a wildly clever opening sentence.] The World Poker Tour is heading down under! This week, the WPT announced that it has signed a deal with The Star Entertainment Group to hold three new events in Australia in 2022.

The only tour stop that has specific dates at this point is WPTDeepStacks Sydney, hosted by The Star Sydney March 30 – April 11. The AUD$1,500 ($USD1,070) buy-in Main Event will run April 7-11, with three starting flights and unlimited re-entries.

Other events include a two-day AUD$2,000 (USD$1,427) tournament, a AUD$750 (USD$535) buy-in opener, and the AUD$5,000 (USD$3,567) “Challenge.”

Last year’s WPTDeepStacks stop in Australia was at The Star Gold Coast in Broadbeach, about a 90-minute drive south of Brisbane. It drew 1,113 entrants, which generated a AUD$1,502,550 ($1,071,949) prize pool. The World Poker Tour is quite confident that WPTDeepStacks Sydney will put that mark in the rearview mirror.

“Hosting the first WPT event at The Star Sydney puts us front and center in the largest poker market in Australia, one of the most iconic cities of the world, adding another element to our 20th anniversary celebration,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska.

Adding to the Main Tour

The other two stops will be at The Star Gold Coast, but the World Poker Tour will not release details until it receives regulatory approval to hold the tournaments. One thing we do know is that one of those events will be a Main Tour stop, the first-ever in Australia.

So that makes just four Main Tour stops that we know of so far in 2022. The World Poker Tour recently announced three stops for the first half of the year, but we expect that at least a couple more will be added. The Australia stop might be one of them, but we just don’t know when it will be yet.

The WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open just finished up last week at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. Alex Yen earned his first WPT title and nearly a million dollars for the win.

There is nothing scheduled for the Main Tour until April, when the WPT will be right back at the Seminole Hard Rock for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. In May, the host venue will be the Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma for the appropriately named WPT Choctaw.

It’s hard to say what we could expect exactly for the rest of the Main Tour schedule, as the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown everything off. World Poker Tour seasons also used to start and end mid-year, using the World Series of Poker as an approximate start and stop point. The pandemic has seemed to allow the WPT to reset a bit, so now it looks as if the seasons will span proper calendar years.

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