Gold Coast poker tournament sets new Asia-Pacific records

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Gold Coast poker tournament sets new Asia-Pacific records

A record number of poker players attended Australia’s first casino-based poker tournament series since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Inside Asian Gaming reports that the Star Gold Coast hosted the WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast series from 21 to 31 May and attracted more than 4,000 entries across 10 events, including 1,113 entries to the A$1,500 main event.

The size of the main event field made it the largest in Asia-Pacific history for the World Poker Tour, bettering the 898 players that took their seats at WPT National China in 2014.

It also created the largest prize pool for a WPT tournament at the Star Gold Coast of in excess of $1.5 million, eclipsing the $1.48 million from WPT Australia in 2019.

WPTDeepStacks GOld Coast was the first casino-based tournament series in Australia since the APL Million at Star Gold Coast in March 2020.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the results from the tournament, not only breaking multiple records across Asia Pacific, but also treating visitors to our city for 11 days of great fun and world-class hospitality,” Star Gold Coast chief operating officer Jessica Mellor said.

“These results are not only a wonderful sign for the future of Australian poker but are also a coup for our tourism industry.

“Poker is thriving in Australia and The Star Gold Coast has proven it can meet this rise in popularity with our state-of-the-art poker space, five-star accommodation offering, suite of award winning restaurants and bars and of course our stunning weather and coastal location.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with WPT to bring more tournaments to The Star and the Gold Coast.”

The WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast main event was eventually won by Sydney’s Will Davies.

The WPT announced during the event that it plans to host its first ever WPT main tour stop in Australian soil at The Star Gold Coast in October, with the exact dates yet to be confirmed.

American online poker boom in the face of pandemic

In March, New Jersey hit a monthly revenue record of $93.5 million in October from online poker and casinos, up 106.7 per cent from the same time last year.

Pennsylvania saw its online casino and poker rooms generate a record $59.8 million gross revenue in October, a record for the state.

Those two states, along with Nevada, have typically the most gaming revenue in the United States and are good indicators for the industry.

“On a purely business level, it strengthened our business. Our business has really thrived,” vice president of US Business at Gambling.com Max Bischel said.

“We had more people focused on online casinos. The online business grew substantially throughout quarter two and three to a new level.”

Gambling.com connects bettors with online gambling companies.

While no major professional and college sports were being played from March to May, the industry saw a big jump in its total players.

Bischel claims players who might normally bet on sports would play “a couple of hands of blackjack or sprint the roulette wheel a few times” during the summer sport hiatus.

Now that sports are back, bettors are not choosing to either bet on sports or play online poker, they’re doing both.

“You’re back to pre-pandemic levels with sports, coupled with the increase in online casino activity,” Bischel said.

“It’s hard to think in retrospect what would have happened with a pandemic, but as the situation stands today, it’s pretty positive for the industry.

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