ANZPT Adelaide: Train stations, churches and red wine

The inaugural PokerStars ANZPT - Australia New Zealand Poker Tour - kicks off in the delightful capital of the Australian state of South Australia, Adelaide. Adelaide is the fifth largest city in Australia, population now officially over 1.2 million. European colonisation starting in the mid 1830s with the English looking for foreign lands in which to reside. The settlement was divided into two distinct areas North Adelaide and Adelaide by the Torrens river and it remains that way today.

In a fine show of 19th-century land developing, the principal area of Adelaide, named after the English King's consort Queen Adelaide, was designed, named, planned and sold prior to anyone setting foot on a boat in England.

The planning of the city naturally encompassed the street patterns and similarly to Melbourne, Victoria the streets are set out on a very formal grid pattern. Foresight had allowed its designers to include many squares and park areas either within the city precinct or in the adjoining areas.


Victoria square today - designed as the centre of the city


Ah! Tranquility, the river Torrens in the middle of the city

The city, which has resulted from those early efforts, still has the open space charm with amply wide streets for 21st century living. The style and spirit of the place is one of an overall easy living feeling. I hailed a taxi to make my way from the airport on monday and the Pakastani-born driver, who had come here for education, summed up the city stating that it was a calming and tranquil place.

Adelaide has often been called he City of Churches and many examples of these buildings still in their original sandstone form line one of the main thoroughfares. Adelaide has also established itself in the past 40 years as the arts capital of the country. It hosts both the very formal Adelaide Festival and at the other end of the scale the more irreverant Fringe Festival.

Over ensuing years South Australia developed itself as a wine, meat, seafood, dairy products vegetables and confectionary supplier to Australia and the world. It currently provides 50% of Australia's wine and 60% of that exported. Just to venture an opinion my personal preference for red wine is South Australian first and second.

In sport one of the biggest things to happen in recent times was the hosting of a round of the Formula 1 Grand Prix series during the years 1985 - 1995. This move by the city of Adelaide heralded a resurgence in top end, quality car racing in Australia and somewhat changed the feeling of the city for a period of about one month. The interuption occured because the track was mostly composed of streets just outside the city centre. I made the trip from Melbourne to see the event four times and upon arriving in the city it was very apparent the the calm tranquil city had undergone a transformation - Grand Prix crowds tend to have that effect.

The Casino
The Skycity Adelaide Casino resides in one of the spectacular sandstone buildings on the edge of the city central precinct. This heritage listed building began life in 1924 as the railway buildings. Administration offices took up the upper floor with the main Adelaide central railway station occupying the lower floors.



The 1925 railway building now the Skycity casino - note the two almost hidden entrances - no gaudy signs or neon lights

During the 1980s redevelopment of the site was proposed with the Adelaide Casino opening for business in 1986. Not long after casino tournament poker found a new home in Adelaide with many events being run during the 1980s and 90s. 2009 sees the probable resurgence in big buy-in no limit tournament poker with the arrival of the PokerStars-sponsored ANZPT $3,000 event starting Wednesday 4th of February.

Stay in touch and I will do my best to bring you coverage of the event starting 12.15.