ANZPT Adelaide: Sun rises on season two
Welcome to season two of the PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) from Adelaide, the most populous city of South Australia. It's another stunning summer's morning but with the mercury tipped to top 100°F (38°C), we're looking forward to taking our seats on media row in the cool of Adelaide Casino for the opening day of the ANZPT for 2010.
Adelaide has a superb setting, surrounded by open parkland separating the business heart from the suburbs and is sheltered on a narrow coastal plain between the protective ring of the Adelaide Hills and the Gulf of St Vincent.
The city features many colonial-era buildings including the historic Railway Station, which is also home to Adelaide Casino. Opened in 1985, the casino quickly became the spiritual home of Australian poker as the host venue for the Australasian Championships from 1987 until 2001.
Appropriately, Adelaide hosted the first event in the inaugural season of the ANZPT and has again been chosen as the host casino for the opening tournament of the region's premier poker tour. Season two of the ANZPT has been extended to six events, with Perth joining Adelaide, Sydney, Queenstown, the Gold Coast and Melbourne.
Last year, more than 1300 players from around the Australia and the rest of the world took to the felt to claim a piece of the AUD $2,982,436 prize pool. Here in Adelaide, Melbourne's Karl Krautschneider beat a field of 215 to earn himself a payday of AUD $170,215 in the first major event held in Adelaide since the days of the Australasian Championships.
ANZPT commissioner Danny McDonagh is hoping those numbers will be surpassed in 2010 as word spreads about the experience provided by the tour. In addition to the prize money and prestigious titles up for grabs, there's a renewed focus on the travel aspects of the ANZPT in 2010, with the opportunity for all players and their friends and families to experience the best aspects of each tour stop.
And the ultra-popular ANZPT Player of the Year award returns this year - PokerStars.net added fabulous value to the ANZPT with almost AUD $100,000 in prizes awarded to the three players who achieved the highest points at all ANZPT events.
"The ANZPT provides Australian and New Zealand poker players with a professionally-executed tour in their own backyard. The ANZPT Player of the Year is now clearly the most coveted poker award in this region. It provides the opportunity for poker players to prove their skills consistently over time, enjoy great experiences playing across Australia and New Zealand, and gain the big prize - a valuable sponsorship with PokerStars.net," McDonagh said.
Reigning ANZPT Player of the Year, PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Tony Hachem, was front and centre at last night's traditional Aussie barbecue along with teammates Emad Tahtouh, Eric Assadourian and Grant Levy. They'll headline a field of top Australian and New Zealand players, along with PokerStars.net qualifiers from across the world.
We look forward to bringing you all the action from the South Australian capital for ANZPT Adelaide over the next six days - the first event on the second season of the PokerStars.net ANZPT. Cards should be in the air at approximately 12.15pm local time (1.45am GMT).