APPT season set for grand finale in Sydney

Season four of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour has certainly been one to remember. We started way back in March with the special PAGCOR Chairman's Cup APPT Manila event which produced a record breaking prize pool for tournament poker in the Philippines. From there, the APPT has continued to cement itself as the premier poker tour in Asia with hugely successful events in Macau, Auckland and Cebu.

So here we are, at the final frontier, and once again the APPT will reach a thrilling finale in the harbour city as Sydney plays host to the season-ending APPT Grand Final.


The Sydney harbour provides a stunning backdrop to the APPT Grand Final
(Image courtesy of Tourism Australia)

It's a glorious time to be in Australia as the warm climate brings out the best of Sydney - it's stunning harbour, alfresco dining and lazing on the perfectly shaped beaches. From the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House to a backpacker's dream on Bondi Beach, Sydney offers so much to International visitors that we're no longer surprised when many confuse it as Australia's capital city (Canberra is the capital for those playing along at home).


The postcard picture of Bondi Beach

It's no wonder that the APPT Sydney event attracts players from all over the world for this event. Big fields and a strong Aussie dollar equal a massive prize pool for those heading down under in December. In the past we've seen numerous world champions and Team PokerStars Pros in attendance and this year will be no different with Joe Hachem and Daniel Negreanu just two of those already confirmed for the Main Event.

In order to succeed here in Sydney, the overseas invasion will have to overcome a unique "home felt advantage" which has seen the locals claim victory here in each of the event's three year history. Grant Levy, Martin Rowe, and last year, Aaron Benton, all wrote their name in the Australian poker history books when they took down the APPT Sydney crown. Can the Aussies make it four in a row? Or is it time for the trophy to head overseas?


Aaron Benton collected $594,000 for his historic 2009 APPT Sydney Grand Final victory

For the next week the PokerStars blogging team will be part of the furniture at the Star City Casino which is currently undergoing a massive AU$575 million redevelopment of its facilities. A second hotel, additional restaurants and bars, and expansion of gaming facilities which will include a brand new poker room awaits us when the redevelopment is completed in time for next year's APPT Grand Final.

The poker room currently has a temporary home on Level 2 and features 25 tables, dedicated food and beverage service and a convenient location to many of Star City's most popular dining destinations. As the tournament progresses, we'll relocate to the super-impressive Star City Sports Theatre which provides a fantastic setting for players and spectators alike. The crowd will have an elevated, stadium-style view of all the action displayed on the big screens as the Star City Sports Theatre provides one of the best final table atmospheres in the world.

All that lies ahead of us. For now, we're off to the another highly-anticipated event - the Welcome Party - to be held in the Astral Bar on Level 17, with a quiet beverage or two watching the sun set over the Sydney city skyline. Ahhhh.


(Image courtesy of Tourism Australia)

Hopefully we'll pull up ok tomorrow because it will be game on from 12:30pm (GMT +11) as the first contenders hit the felt for Day 1a of the $6,300 Main Event. We'll also be keeping an eye on the $15,300 High Rollers Event which kicks off the same day.

We look forward to your company tomorrow, and throughout the week, as we bring Season 4 of the APPT to an exciting conclusion.