ANZPT Perth: From flops to Flipper

Despite a long day on the felt yesterday, there weren't too many long faces when the bus arrived to pick up players from Burswood for the 180-kilometre trip south from Perth to the regional centre of Bunbury for the ultimate poker tourism experience. Destination: the Dolphin Discovery Centre.

Western Australia offers several unique opportunities for visitors to interact with the wildlife, and for a lucky band of ANZPT Perth players, they selected to take a dip in Bunbury's Koombana Bay with the local population of bottle-nosed dolphins.

anzptwatour11.jpg

World renowned Monkey Mia, one of several places along the WA coast where visitors can interact with dolphins

There are numerous spots along the 12,000 kilometres of Western Australia's coast where dolphin wallow in the shallows, none more famous than Monkey Mia, about 850 kilometres north of Perth, where dolphins are known to swim right up to the shoreline.

A further 350 kilometres north lies Ningaloo Reef, a massive fringing reef that can accessed directly off the beach and one of the few places in the world where visitors can swim with the world's largest fish, whale sharks. From March to June each year, these gentle giants (which grow up to 16 metres in length) frequent the area, along with a myriad of tropical fish, dolphins, manta rays and dugongs.

anzptwatour07.jpg

Thankfully, whale sharks prefer krill to humans, making the chance to join them in the water a once-in-a-lifetime experience

It might take some effort to get to Perth and Western Australia, but the rewards are well worth it, as some of the players in the ANZPT Perth Main Event will discover today.

Meanwhile, it's another glorious Perth morning where players are charging their batteries before the start of day 1B at Burswood Casino. Cards should be in the air at 12.30pm, with seven one-hour levels once again scheduled.