APPT Sydney: Prawns on the BBQ, Aussie-style

By James Potter

The Astral Bar is a penthouse bar and restaurant perched on top of the 17th floor right on the edge of Sydney Harbour and the City. It is one of Star City Casino’s many jewels and was a fitting place to launch the Pokerstars APPT Grand Final.

Local beer and local Aussie fare including specials such as meat and mushroom pies and skewered king prawns gave players a real flavour of the land Down Under. The funky grooves of the band belted out some tunes as the sun set over the city and the players relaxed before the action in the main event starts.


Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Rousso and Lee Nelson party it up.

Notable early arrivals include Team PokerStar Pros such as Vanessa Rousso, Chad Brown, Gavin Griffin and Lee Nelson plus last year’s winner Grant Levy were among the guests.

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• Andrew Johns is considered by many as the best rugby league player to ever lace on the boots and can now lay claim to being the Star City Charity Poker Event Champion. So who did he beat? Well, he did it the hard way, having to take down Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem.


Andrew 'Joey' Johns claimed the biggest scalp in poker to win the charity event.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever played to be honest so to beat a world champion, I don’t know. I can assure you it’s all luck! I’ve been bitten by the bug, though. My mates are going to hate me but it’s something else I can lair them up about. I loved it,” Johns said.

Other notable sporting champions who took to the green felt were former Wallabies full-back Matt Burke, triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss and former world heavyweight boxing champ “Aussie” Joe Bugner.

The fairer sex was also represented by marathon swimmer Susie Maroney and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jane Flemming. The day, however, belonged to Johns who donated $10,000 to his chosen charity Ronald McDonald House.