WPT, Star Entertainment Group reach agreement for three Australia stops

Haley Hintze
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Posted on February 2, 2022 12:54 am EST

The World Poker Tour (WPT) and Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has inked a deal that will bring three new WPT stops to Australia during the WPT’s just-underway Season XX. Among the three stops to be held during 2022 are the WPT’s first-ever visit to Sydney and the first ever main-tour WPT stop ever held in Australia.

The first of the three new WPT stops Down Under will be at The Star Sydney from March 30 to April 11, 2022, and is scheduled to be a WPTDeepStacks™ series. The 13-day series will include 12 separate WPT-branded events, including the WPTDeepStacks™ Sydney Main Event April 7-11.

According to the WPT, the Sydney stop’s main event will offer an AUD $1,500 buy-in and three starting flights. A 2021 WPTDeepStacks stop main event held in Gold Coast, near Brisbane, drew over 1,110 entries and generated an AUD $1.5 million prize pool.

Other events on the WPTDeepStacks Sydney slate include a $750 buy-in opening event, a two-day $2,000 event, and the ‘$5,000 Challenge’. Full schedule details for the stop have yet to be released.

Later in the year, the WPT moves further to the north along Australia’s eastern coast. The second and third WPT stops in Australia will be held at Star Gold Coast. One of those will be the upcoming first WPT main-tour stop, though the dates have yet to be released, due to the stops needing final regulatory approval from Queensland’s gaming regulators.

WPT stops increase poker’s profile in Australia

Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, rivals Melbourne as the country’s most populous city, though in earlier years, Melbourne has been the country’s true poker destination. However, the country’s most famed series, the Aussie Millions, has been shelved since early 2020. That continuing gap has allowed Star Entertainment to pursue its own major poker offerings, with the WPT willing to step in as a prominent tour partner.

Star Sydney’s CEO, Damian Quayle, has that preeminence in mind. “The Star has hosted some of the biggest names in sport, music and entertainment, and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best poker players,” he said. “The Star is the home of poker in Australia, and we are thrilled with our partnership with WPT to host this globally-recognised tournament for the first time ever in Sydney.”

“Poker players in Australia have always been passionate about the game and the partnership with The Star Entertainment Group allows us to expand our presence there,” said the WPT’s CEO, Adam Pliska. “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.”

Featured image source: World Poker Tour