ANZPT Sydney: The oasis of the casino
As we mentioned a little earlier in the day, we have four tables set out in an overflow area that has been setup in the Oasis Lounge - just a short stroll from the end of the poker room. Heading out there to check out the action and we were pleased to learn that things are quite pleasant out there. It really is an oasis at the end of the long casino desert.
The Oasis Lounge is a nice spacious area with mirrored tiles on the ceiling and plenty of space to walk around the tables. There are half a dozen blackjack tables at one end of the room, a disused drinks bar and a few rows of chairs stacked up to form a mini-grandstand which we assume will probably play host to the final table later in the week. The area overlooks the main gaming floor with the ringing of pokie machines lingering in the distance.
Some of those in action in the Oasis Lounge at the moment include Liam O'Rourke, Ricky Kroesen, Jie Gao, Dave Lee, Kahle Burns, Ian Parnell and Aussie Millions champ Oliver Speidel.
Chatting with one of the floor staff in the Oasis Lounge we learned that this area isn't actually open to the public at the moment.
"There's no bar and no toilets up here. That's the problem," commented the staff member as he filled us in on the details.
The blackjack tables are currently used as training tables for new dealers, while the poker tables were moved in especially to cater for the large numbers in the ANZPT Sydney Main Event.
Of course, it's all just temporary as the The Star Poker Room will be on the move as soon as this event concludes Sunday evening. On Monday the poker tables will be relocated and the poker room will re-open with twenty tables in action down on the main gaming floor near the aquarium.
"It's five less tables than we have at the moment, but it will be good to finally find a permanent home for the poker room," commented The Star Poker Room manager Stephen Ibrahim. He went on to tell us that once the finishing touches are made to the new home, with suitable registration desks and the like, then he's hopeful of getting the games underway down there by next Friday.
It's all part of the recent $850 million redevelopment and rebranding of The Star. Finally the casino now faces onto the picturesque harbour of Sydney with an impressive glass-windowed front and state of the art facilities including a redesigned gaming floor, brand new restaurants and more.
And what will happen to the Oasis Lounge? No one seemed certain, but if we know casinos, then we're sure the valuable real estate will be utilized to its maximum potential!
If you're in Sydney then make sure you get yourself down to The Star and check it out for yourself!