World Poker Tour Increases Australian Presence with New Main Tour Event

The World Poker Tour visited Australia for the first time last year, offering up 10 events at The Star Gold Coast in Queensland. Now, the WPT is heading back Down Under, this time for a true main tour event.

WPT Australia The Star

The World Poker Tour is planning to host its first main tour event in Australia at The Star Gold Coast in September. (Image: StarPoker.com.au)

The WPT announced that it will return to The Star Gold Coast beginning on Sept. 24 for a festival that will include an AU$5,400 ($3,575) main event.

Successful WPT Australia Debut Prompts a Sequel

The World Poker Tour’s main tour schedule now includes WPT Australia, with the winner adding their name to the WPT Champions Cup.

The WPT also added two DeepStacks events at The Star to its schedule: one beginning on April 30, and another starting in late April of 2021.

After the success of the first WPT Australia last season, tour officials are optimistic that an expanded version will be even more successful.

The World Poker Tour’s relationship with The Star Gold Coast continues to blossom and these three festivals will only add more reasons for our loyal players to visit this poker hotbed,” WPT Vice President of Global Tour Management Angelica Hael said in a statement.

Hari Varma won the 2019 WPT Australia main event, taking home AU$274,247 ($181,500) for his efforts.

The new WPT Australia stop is just the second destination officially announced for the tour’s 2020-2021 season. In February, the WPT revealed that WPT Cambodia will take place at NagaWorld from July 21-25, making it the first main tour event in Asia in seven years. The WPT NagaWorld Asia Pacific Championship will also take place during May 2021.

Coronavirus Disrupts Tour Schedule in Asia

The future of World Poker Tour events in Asia is uncertain, however. Last month, the tour canceled or postponed all of its events in the region because of travel disruptions caused by the response to the coronavirus outbreak. The tour canceled WPT Vietnam outright, while officials moved WPT Taiwan to May.

We have come to the conclusion that it is best for WPT to take a break from events in Asia these next three months until a clearer picture about the spread of the coronavirus, and the ability to safely hold the events, can be determined,” the WPT said in a statement. “We once again ask for your understanding of this decision, as we feel it is better to give players some surety as to our plans now.”

The coronavirus has the potential to impact poker well beyond the WPT. Players have expressed concerns that the World Series of Poker could be canceled this summer, with some even looking to place bets on the possibility. Organizers of other major sporting events have also been contemplating scheduling changes, though Japanese officials have downplayed the possibility of canceling or postponing the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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