ANZPT Canberra: Who ya gonna call?
Global travel is often reduced to a series of clichés and stereotypes, and Canberra hasn't escaped unscathed. Forget that the city is Australia's national seat of government, or its unique position as one of the world's few entirely planned cities.
Ask any sunburned Scandi backpacker about Canberra and the answer is likely to come "porn, fireworks and drugs". So let's set the facts straight. You can no longer buy fireworks here, possession for small - very small - amounts of cannabis is decriminalised in the Australian Capital Territory and porn, well, does anyone really have that much trouble finding porn?
Perhaps there's some karma at play for all those hopheads and pyromaniacs planning a wacky weekend in the nation's capital in the fact that Canberra is also recognised as Australia's most haunted place.
A number of operators run ghost tours through the city, none more famous than local character Tim the Yowie Man. In 2006, Tim released Haunted and Mysterious Australia, in which he suggested there was "hardly a national institution in Canberra that's not harbouring a pesky poltergeist or two". Call the Ghostbusters.
He suggests stops at the Hotel Kurrajong to check on the apparition of former PM Ben Chifley, old Parliament House, the National Library and the National Film and Sound Archive, which is built on the site of the former National Institute of Anatomy.
Not for a moment are we suggesting that there's any connection between taking a toke or two and the likelihood of seeing a ghost in Canberra, but we suspect that the odds are greatly improved.
No pesky slimers have been spotted at Casino Canberra, where we'll be this afternoon for the race to the money in the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Canberra Main Event. It will be one of the longer days in ANZPT history, with nine one-hour levels scheduled as the 90 remaining players chase a slice of the $362,000. Play starts at 12.15pm.