Loving the PokerStars ANZPT, by Joe Hachem
by Joe Hachem
Summer truly is the sporting tournament season for Aussies and poker is no exception. Just days after a hugely successful Aussie Millions, we looked forward to the very first tournament in the PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tournament (ANZPT). This is the second year of the tour and it has a special place in my heart as my brother Tony is the reigning champion.
There's so much to enjoy about the ANZPT because it capitalises better than any other tournament on the opportunity to combine travel with poker. PokerStars.net put together such a comprehensive year-long tournament schedule, covering not only some of the toughest events and most challenging competitors, but also the best in sightseeing and local activities ranging from the beauty of the Adelaide hills and wineries, to my home town casino Crown, and the adventures (and extreme sports) of Queenstown.
At the opening Adelaide event, which is happening right now, there is the chance to compete with some great local and international talent (the proximity to the Aussie Millions means many players stay in Australia to compete in both) and to take peaceful afternoon trips through the local vineyards - a very pleasant way to spend a week.
Players taking advantage of the trips through the local wineries should bear in mind though that this is not an event to let down your guard, or indulge in a little too much vino. Because the ANZPT has a truly unique structure in the poker world, meaning a serious player needs to bring his best performance to every single event.
Unlike other tours the ANZPT is designed to reward consistency throughout the year- long calendar of events. While most tours are a collection of individual tournaments, the Pokerstars.net ANZPT operates on a points system that runs throughout each event. The overall winner is declared, not on performance in one particular event but is based on their consistent performance throughout each state heat of the tournament.
It's a unique structure for a poker tournament, to reward consistent performance across a year and one that I personally encourage, as it very simply dispels the myth that poker is about luck. By claiming the overall ANZPT tournament championship a player has to prove that they can achieve high results again and again, against a wealth of different challengers, when they are faced with great cards or when they're hit with a bad beat.
The ANZPT structure proves one of the things that I firmly believe about poker, that it is a game of consummate skill, not a game of luck. Unless you take into account the chance to travel the world, visiting beautiful tourist spots, playing a game that you love. That's pretty lucky after all.
So until Adelaide is over, pass the sugar.