ANZPT Returns Home to Adelaide for Season 3
A new year is upon us and it brings with it the dawning of a new season of the PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour. In 2011 the ANZPT promises to be bigger and better than ever before with more stops, bigger fields and massive prize pools.
Once again the season commences in the "City of Churches" with the Adelade Casino in South Australia, kicking things off with the season's opening event. While the summer months have brought devastating floods in the Eastern states of Australia, and terrible bushfires in the West, Adelaide has quietly soaked up the hot months of summer. For those that have yet to venture to these parts, the temperature in Adelaide regularly tops 35 degrees Celsius and smacks you in the head when you first venture outside into the dry heat. However it's a place that is worth exploring, as the region offers beautiful parklands, romantic wineries and stunning beaches to escape the relentless heat.
Image courtesy of Tourism Australia
While a trip to the Barossa Valley is awfully tempting, for the next week we'll be tucked away safely in the air-conditioned comfort of the Adelaide Casino. Opened in 1985, the casino is located inside the historic Railway Station building, and is considered the spiritual home of poker in Australia having hosted the Australasian Championships from 1987 until 2001.
So it seems fitting that the Adelaide Casino was also given the honour to host the inaugural ANZPT event back in 2009. The Poker Zone was filled with 215 players as Karl Krautschneider made history as the first ever ANZPT champion, pocketing $170,215. Last year that number increased as 236 players returned for the ANZPT Adelaide event with Rennie Carnevale muscling his way to victory and the $165,900 pay day.
With tournament numbers hitting a bit of plateau around the globe in recent times, it will be interesting to see if this event can match the numbers of previous years. We should get close, with plenty of online satellite winners and PokerStars once again sweetening the prize pool with the 2011 Australia New Zealand Player of the Year awards. It's a slight variation from last year's awards, with points to be awarded across all PokerStars sponsored events in Australia and New Zealand in 2011. Approximately $90,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top three players.
In 2009 and 2010, the ANZPT Player of the Year award has gone to one man - Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem. In the locker room he makes us call him "Back-to-Back Hash" and we bow in reverence to the great man. Jokes aside, his accomplishment is nothing short of remarkable, as Hash pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win with a deep run in the final event in Darwin last season. With seven ANZPT cashes, a pair of final tables and a memorable victory in Perth, Hachem will again be the man to stop in 2011.
Can John Maklouf and Andrew Scarf follow up their impressive 2010 season with another strong showing this year? Will the boys from Wollongong, Aaron Benton and Rennie Carnevale, continue to squash their opponents like bugs? What about the likes of Dodds, Argyros, Neilson, Aristidou, Karamalikis, Spilkin, Gray and Kambouroglou?
Or will it be the year for a new superstar to emerge from the pack?
So many questions, and all the answers set to unfold tomorrow on the felt of the Adelaide Casino Poker Zone as Season 3 of the ANZPT kicks off at the poker-unfriendly time of 11:00am (GMT+9:30). Keep your browser locked into the PokerStars Blog throughout the week for exclusive live updates from the tournament floor.