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Australia’s Premier poker and sports magazine

Issue #1

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December 2011/January 2012

CANNES Andrew Hinrichsen joins list of Aussie WSOP bracelet winners


Welcome to Australia’s newest poker, sport & lifestyle magazine


• New look & new tournament series for The Star • We preview THE FIRST KFC T20 BIG BASH LEAGUE • LIVIN’ ON THE RAISER’S EDGE WITH ELKY & LEE NELSON




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Serious knowledge for the serious player

Featuring 2011 World Series of Poker bracelet winner Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier

Authored by respected poker champions Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Lee Nelson and Tony Dunst, along with maths whiz Tysen Streib, the Raiser’s Edge shows you how to adapt to the current state of all stages of tournament play, analysing how and why the LAG and hyper-LAG styles work, and instructing on how to apply – and defend – against them.

Available exclusively at

ORDER NOW • Only $34.95 Authors: Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Lee Nelson, Tysen Streib and Tony Dunst

Welcome to Australia’s newest poker magazine, The Real Deal Welcome to the first edition of Australia’s newest poker magazine, The Real Deal. To be honest, going back a few months, we thought this day would never arrive. In the wake of the events of Black Friday and the flow-through impact to virtually every poker media organisation on the planet, we were forced to close PokerNews Australasia & Pacific magazine. But through adversity comes opportunity and, for the first time since we started Bluff Australasia almost six years, we had a chance to step back from the coalface and reflect on the Australian poker industry and how we could best service our players and key stakeholders from a media perspective. First up, we launched the PokerMedia Australia (PMA) website (www. To be honest, we were overwhelmed with the response, which quickly confirmed that there was still a demand for news and commentary on Aussie poker from all levels of the industry. Next step in the evolution of our new poker media paradigm comes with the launch of this magazine, The Real Deal. Initially, the magazine will be available in digital form only and we hope to one day have the magazine in print form. This preview edition aims to update everyone on the happenings of the past few months during the lull in local poker coverage. It also provides a taste of what The Real Deal will offer – insightful commentary and features relating to poker plus substantial lifestyle and sports sections. We’d like to thank our Aussie poker icon Joe Hachem for being the first to sign-up as a contributor for The Real Deal, and we’ll be announcing more columnists in the lead-up to the next edition, which will be available in early February. In the meantime, enjoy this magazine, which includes previews of the 2012 Aussie Millions and inaugural Star Poker Summer Series along with news of our latest WSOP bracelet winner Andrew Hinrichsen. It’s good to be back! Bet smart and be lucky. Sean Callander


PMA News 4


Poker greats honoured in the US and Australia with induction to their respective hall of fame


The latest news from around the poker world, including plans for the most ambitious tournament in the game’s history


Pius Heinz becomes one of the biggest winners in tournament history and Germany’s first WSOP Main Event champion


All the major results from the past few months including the Sydney Champs, JHDSS, Adelaide Champs & ANZPT Darwin


The US Government continues to turn the screws on the biggest online poker operators – we look at the latest happenings

The Poker Room 22 HAPPY BIRTHDAY

What’s in store for the 10th anniversary edition of our most prestigious event – the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship


The New Year promises fresh challenges and some exciting new projects for our 2005 WSOP champion

30 SPOTLIGHT ON SYDNEY We preview the first Star Poker Summer Series, continuing the proud tradition of this December tournament series

34 HANDY ANDY Young gun Andrew Hinrichsen highlighted a successful summer for the Aussies in Europe by claiming our latest WSOP bracelet

38 THE RAISER’S EDGE An exclusive excerpt from Lee Nelson’s latest poker book, including contributions from Bertrand ElkY Grospellier and Tony Dunst

THErealdeal Contents


We go behind the scenes of the stunning redevelopment of Sydney’s Star City Casino, now known as The Star


black by Teage Ezard is among the world class lineup of dining options now available at The Star


Melbourne has plenty to offer for visitors planning to head south for the 2012 Aussie Millions


Foreign currency trading is among the most dynamic forms of investing, and it’s more accessible than ever

Sportsbook 52 BIG BASH IS BACK


The 2011-12 KFC T20 Big Bash League represents another exciting new chapter for Australian cricket

HORSES FOR COURSES Fancy yourself leading your Melbourne Cup winner back to scale on that first Tuesday in November? Here’s how to get started

Published by Poker Media Australia Pty Ltd. ACN 152 305 667; 518/1 Queens Road, Melbourne VIC 3004. © 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior permission of the publisher. The publisher will not accept responsibility or any liability for the correctness of information or opinions expressed in the publication. PUBLISHER: Sean Callander GENERAL MANAGER: Stephen Doig



ADVERTISING: +61 3 9863 8223

Betting on live sports is the fastest growing segment in the industry and is as close as your nearest phone


In our first Beyond the Back Page feature, we chat with TNA World Heavyweight champion Bobby Roode


Our top 10 of the worst sporting uniforms that have ever graced professional sporting arenas around the world


The first stop on our Ultimate Sporting Tour is the Banzai Pipeline on the north shore of O’ahu in Hawaii

December 2011 / January 2012

WEBSITE: PARTNERS: We kindly ask all readers to notify the advertisers that you saw their advertisements in The Real Deal. We recommend you use the advertisers wherever possible. DISCLAIMER:

Warranty and Indemnity: Advertisers and/or advertising agencies, upon and by lodging material with PokerMedia Australia for publication or authorising or approving of the publication of any material, indemnify PokerMedia Australia, its servants and agents, against all liability claims or proceedings whatsoever arising from the publication and without limiting the generality of the foregoing to indemnify each of them in relation to defamation, slander of title, breach of copyright, infringement of trademarks or names of publication titles, unfair competition or trade practices, royalties or violation of rights or privacy regulations and that its publication will not give rise to any rights against or liabilities in the Publisher, its servants or agents and in particular, that nothing therein is capable of being misleading or deceptive or otherwise in breach of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974.



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Greenstein & Johnson earn poker’s ultimate accolade One is known as “The Robin Hood of Poker.” The other is “The First Lady of Poker.” As of November 8, 2011, both added “Poker Hall of Fame” to their illustrious resumes. Barry Greenstein and Linda Johnson recently became the 41st and 42nd individuals to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. The two newest members were initially nominated by the general public and then voted in by a 35-person panel made up of existing Poker Hall of Famers and members of the media. Greenstein has amassed more than USD $7.5 million in worldwide poker tournament winnings and for nine consecutive years has won at least six figures on the tournament circuit. Greenstein possesses three World Series of Poker bracelets, two WPT titles, and plays in many of the highest stakes cash games in the world. The 56-year-old Greenstein was born in Chicago, Illinois and learned poker and other card games from his parents while growing up. He went to work for a start-up company named Symantec in the 1980s in Silicon Valley, California and was part of the team that developed its first product called Q&A. He left Symantec in 1991 at age 36 to play poker full-time. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed poker book Ace on the River, and as is his personal trademark, Greenstein autographs a copy of the book for players in tournaments that eliminate him. Greenstein is a father of six, including four stepchildren, and has made a career of donating to child-focused charities. He has donated more than USD $3 million to various charities through his poker winnings, earning him his nickname “The Robin Hood of Poker”. This year’s other inductee – Linda Johnson is a 58-year-old poker player originally from Long Island, New York, now living in Las Vegas, who captured her WSOP gold bracelet in 1997 in a Seven-Card Razz event. Johnson is one of only 15 females to win a WSOP open event championship, and she has seven WSOP final table appearances on her poker resume. Nicknamed “The First Lady of Poker” by fellow Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, Johnson has been a leading force in the poker world for much of her life. She began playing poker in the 1970s after buying some poker books and teaching herself how to play. In 1993, Linda purchased Card Player magazine. Over the next eight years, the magazine grew from a 68-page, black and white newsprint publication into a 132-page, full-colour, glossy magazine. She has co-written three poker books and was instrumental in helping to establish many influential poker projects including the World Poker Industry Conference, the World Poker Players’ Conference, and the Tournament Directors’ Association. Her next project was helping to establish the World Poker Tour for which she had the role of studio announcer during its first six seasons.


Two new faces join Australian Poker Hall of Fame After the shock decision not to induct a player at its annual general meeting in January, the Australian Poker Hall of Fame has already announced that two members of our poker community will add their names to the esteemed list of Joe Hachem, Jeff Lisandro, Gary Benson, Bill Argyros, Mel Judah, Tony G, Maurie Pears and Marsha Waggoner. • Leo Boxell (pictured right )is the patriarch of one of Australia’s great poker families, he has won a string of events in Australia and NZ and finished second in the 2003 Aussie Millions Main Event earning him PokerNetwork player of the year honours. He was also Crown Champion (the precursor to the Aussie Millions) in 2000. Like a fine wine, Boxell seems to be getting better with age, as shown by his third in the 2009 APPT Grand Final for $213,000 and victories in the 2011 Aussie Millions Six-handed event and 2011 APPT Melbourne Main Event. • Since the first day of the Crown Poker room back in the mid 1990s, Danny McDonagh (pictured below) has been a constant at virtually every major tournament played in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Danny was an original partner of Poker Network and he established poker tours to, and live Internet coverage of, the WHUPC in Vienna, St Petersburg, Moscow, New Zealand and Slovenia. His is currently charged with most of PokerStars’ live operations in the Asia-Pacific region including chief of both the APPT and ANZPT and as tournament director of the PokerStars Macau room at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino in Macau.


29 NOVEMBER TO 11 DECEMBER 2011* Here is your chance at securing a Main Event seat for the 2011 Star Poker Summer Series via our satellite tournaments, running through to 7th December in The Star Poker Room. O N LY AT T h E S TA R . S Y D N E Y ’ S C A S i N O & E N T E R TA i N M E N T D E S T i N AT i O N .

Register at *Conditions apply. To enter any Star Poker tournaments, you must be 18 years or over and an Absolute Rewards member. Prize pool dependant on number of players. Please refer to the Pay Out Breakdown in the tournament conditions for details of available prize pools and prize values, available at Player activity statements for slot machine play are available on request. Think! About your choices. Call Gambling Help 1800 858 858 The Star Pty Limited.


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Aussie poker pro facing long jail sentence after being found guilty on drug charges

Moneymaker still makin’ money (for someone), eight years on Chris Moneymaker’s place in poker history is undeniable. His amazing win in the 2003 WSOP Main Event is one of the most important moments in poker history. In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a poker tragic, the actual cards used in the final hand including Moneymaker’s 5d-4s and Sammy Farha’s Jh-10d were recently sold on eBay. According to the anonymous seller, “I was there when it all happened, working behind the scenes at Binion’s Horseshoe. I obtained permission to keep the deck, so right after Chris had posed for those famous photos where he was holding wads of cash high in the air, I carefully placed all of the cards from that final hand on top of the rest of the deck, kept in sequence, along with the dealer’s cut card, and put the complete deck back into the double Kem box along with the unused deck.” The framed unit also included a letter of authenticity signed by Moneymaker and 2003 WSOP tournament director Matt Savage. The winning bid was USD $7500.

Australian poker pro David Saab has been sentenced to a 14 years in jail for his role in organising the shipment of a major cocaine haul to Australia earlier this year. The Australian reported that Saab, 37, of Balwyn North, will serve at least 10 years behind bars for importing 14.6kg of cocaine with a street value of between $6.5 million and $8.5 million in January this year. His two co-accused, Darren Francis Hughes, 27, of Kew, and Robert Alan Remeeus, 28, of Vermont South, have each been sentenced to eight years in jail with a five-year minimum term. The drugs were imported to Australia from Canada concealed in agricultural equipment. The shipment arrived in Sydney on January 17 and was tracked to its Melbourne destination, where the three Melbourne-based men were arrested and charged with importing and possessing a commercial quantity of cocaine.

Wembley Stadium to host the most ambitious event in poker history Groupe Bernard Tapie has already made a splash in the poker world when it emerged as the buyer for the beleaguered Full Tilt Poker. In recent weeks, it’s also been revealed as the same company behind the ambitious International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT). The concept behind the ISPT is to have between 20,000 and 30,000 competing online, on a dedicated software platform and using electronic pads, from their seats in the iconic Wembley Stadium in London. The second step involves the 3000 top-ranked players still in the running taking their seats for a live event on the lawn of the stadium, Each of these players will be assured a piece of the estimated USD $30 million guaranteed prizepool. The first ISPT event has been proposed for Wembley Stadium on a five-day period around August-October next year. The final dates will be released after the English football team confirms its international calendar.

Diesel fuels interest in new poker TV series Raising Blind Vin Diesel’s acting CV may include a fair share of hits and misses but his production company One Race Films is kicking goals and is about to taking a first step into the world of television production, starting with a new series to be called Raising Blind. As reported in Deadline, the FX network has acquired the rights to the pilot for this series that is set in the world of underground gambling. Among the writers is Ben Younger, who also scripted Boiler Room, a critically-acclaimed series that looked at the greed, deception and criminality that flourishes on Wall Street in major brokerage firms. The producers have also landed John Dahl to direct the pilot episode, which is another perfect fit since his seminal poker movie Rounders remains the finest cinematic showcase of the underground gambling world. There’s no word yet on casting prospects for Raising Blind but Diesel will not star in the project since he’ll be busy acting in (and producing) the upcoming Fast and Furious sequels. Maybe for the best.



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Germany captures inaugural IFP Nations Cup Team Germany, skippered by Stephan Kalhammer, has been crowned the first International Federation of Poker (IFP) Nations Cup champions after a dramatic two days of action in London. After day one had been completed, the IFP announced that no teams would be eliminated after technical issues gave rise to uncertainty over scoring during the first stage in which games were played in capsules on the EDF Energy London Eye. Having originally qualified for the second stage of play, Team Australia (comprising Mel Judah, Tony G, Leo Boxell, Jackie Glazier, Marsha Waggoner, Mike Guttmann and Vesko Zmukic) was KOed in the reformatted first round. Group A – Germany (27 points), Team Zynga (25), Spain (24), Ireland (17), Denmark (17), United States (16). Group B – France (30), Holland (23), Brazil (22), Australia (21), United Kingdom (17), Japan (13). Germany was carried to their win by the likes of Sebastian Ruthenberg, Moritz Kranich and Tobias Reinkemeier, ably supported by teammates Sandra Naujoks, Konstantin Buecherl, Hans Martin Vogl and Tim Reese. Team Brazil was second ahead of Team France. • See page 12 for details of the first IFP World Championship

Hometown girls go 1-2 in Australian Deaf Poker Championship In a historic occasion for Australian poker, 41-year-old Stacey Reilly became the first female to win the Australian Deaf Poker Championship, besting a field of 70 players to win $1960 in prize money and defeating fellow South Australian Kathleen Ogders heads-up for the title. The Australian Deaf community flocked to the SKYCITY Adelaide Casino to take part this landmark tournament, exclusive to Deaf, Hard of Hearing (HOH) and Hearing Impaired (HI) players – the first of its kind to have ever been held inside any Australian casino. The heads-up battle lasted just two hands. Odgers open-shoved from the button before the flop; Reilly almost fell out of her chair as she snap-called and the crowd jostled for position as the cards were tabled – Reilly Ad-Ks and Odgers Kd-5s. And just as Daniel Bachi won his 2010 ADPC title, Reilly’s ace-high hand was enough to see her claim victory as the dealer spread the board of 3h-2c-9h-4d-Jd.

List of $1 million entrants grows for The Big One for One Drop The 2010 World Series of Poker winner Jonathan Duhamel and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier are the latest big names to be added to next year’s USD $1 million buy-in One Drop tournament. The One Drop foundation was founded by Cirque du Soleil creator and high stakes poker player Guy Laliberte and raises money to provide access to clean drinking water in the developing world. Duhamel and ElkY join a line that already includes Doyle Brunson, Patrik Antonius, Tony G and Gus Hansen. All told, 22 players have said they’ll be taking part so far. “Life starts with water and because of its uneven distribution, a person dies every 20 seconds. The BIG ONE for ONE DROP will raise $111,111 per participant, which will definitely prove the poker community attachment to the Foundation,” Duhamel said. If the full cap of 48 players is reached then the prize pool will top $40m with the winner set to walk away with an astonishing USD $17 million. The tournament is scheduled to be televised on ESPN. Players have so far raised USD $2,444,442 for the One Drop project.


No-one sharper than Luke in the west Luke Sharpe finished strongly after a testing eight hours at the final table to claim the 2011 Western Classic Main Event title at Burswood. The day started with nine players still in contention and the top five separated by less than 80,000 in chips. Teddy Nguyen (333,000) held the chip lead ahead of Craig Cockburn (294,000), Tony Tartaglia (280,500), Luke Sharpe (266,500), Con Kamaras (258,500), David Joseph (176,000), Mile Krstanoski (166,000), Vesko Zmukic (73,500) and Seb Pagana (72,500). It came down Cockburn versus Sharpe for the title and a typically tenacious battle ensued until Sharpe gained the upper hand and Cockburn decided to take a stand with K-9, which was slightly dominated by the A-8 of Sharpe. There was a K on the flop, but also an A and that was enough for Luke Sharpe to be confirmed as the 2011 Western Classic Poker Championship Main Event winner.

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Heinz meanz $8.7 million beanz

Pius Heinz is the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event champion. The 22-year-old professional poker player from Cologne stunned the poker world by becoming the first player in history from Germany to win poker’s most prestigious title. Pius Heinz turned in a masterful performance during the two-day final table of the 2011 WSOP Main Event to collect a whopping USD $8,715,638 in prize money – the third-highest payout for any poker champion in history. He was also presented with the game’s most coveted prize, the WSOP gold and diamond bracelet. “This is the happiest day of my life, obviously. I really am speechless right now. I could not imagine this would ever happen to me. I think this does a lot of poker back in Germany. It is very big already there, especially with people my age. But I really can’t imagine what’s happening right now. I am just so happy to come here and win. It’s really a dream for me,” Heinz said. The odds were stacked against Heinz from the start. First, he had to overcome the thirdlargest live tournament field in history, battling 6865 players from 85 different nations who flooded into the Rio last summer in what was the first hurdle for all aspiring champions. He arrived at the final table against eight formidable opponents with one of the lowest chip stacks – ranking seventh out of nine. By the


WSOP Main Event final table payouts USD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

time the first day of the final table had ended, he was chip leader. That left just three players still alive in the quest for the world championship – Heinz, along with Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko. Day two of the final table started in unbelievable circumstances with Lamb, the pre-November Nine tip for most pundits, eliminated. Staszko (Czech Republic) began headsup play holding a slight chip lead over Heinz (Germany). Heads-up play lasted for more than six hours, falling somewhat short of the longest duel in WSOP history set 28 years ago by Tom McEvoy and Rod Peate in the 1983 finale (which lasted about 7.5 hours). The two Europeans battled back and forth, exchanging the chip lead several times. After Heinz regained the chip lead on what was the ninth and final chip-lead change of the duel, a short time later he began to pull away and was ahead by about a 5 to 1 margin. On the final hand (the 301st of the final table), it was the As-Kc of Heinz against 10c-7c for Staszko. The board ran out 9s-5c-2d-Jh-4d. “I knew I had Martin because I was dealt

Pius Heinz (Germany) $8,715,638 Martin Staszko (Czech Republic) $5,433,086 Ben Lamb (USA) $4,021,138 Matt Giannetti (USA) $3,012,700 Phil Collins (USA) $2,269,599 Eoghan O'Dea (Ireland) $1,720,831 Bob Bounahra (Belize) $1,314,097 Anton Makiievskyi (Ukraine) $1,010,015 Sam Holden (UK) $782,115

A-K. It would be difficult for him to have a better hand than me. So, I was just hoping to not get unlucky on the last hand. It was like a dream, really,” Heinz said. “It’s hard for me to think about what was going through my mind because it was like I was dizzy. I was a little nervous again when the final table started back (Tuesday). But when the last hand was played, I was just thinking to myself not to get unlucky. When I heard all the cheering for me, I just could not believe it.” As runner-up, Martin Staszko became the richest Czech poker player in history. He earned USD $5,433,086. Incredibly, Staszko came into the finale as the player with the least live poker experience. A chess master, Staszko used his expert gamesmanship with great aplomb. Heinz is the seventh German player to win a WSOP gold bracelet. The other German players with WSOP victories are Eddy Scharf (two), Matthias Rohnacher, Thomas Bihl, Michael Keiner, Sebastian Ruthenberg and Katja Thater. • Additional reporting, Nolan Dalla for

Ben Lamb

November Nine two kings flopped, giving Lamb quads, his supporters roared while Giannetti collapsed in disappointment.

The final table – how they were eliminated 9th – Sam Holden was the first player to leave the final table after more than three hours elapsed at the final table. The hand was: Ben Lamb: [Ah] [Kc] Sam Holden: [As] [Js] Flop: [Ac] [9c] [8c] Turn: [Qc] River: [6d] Holden moved all-in pre-flop, and was called by Lamb, who had about three times as many chips as his opponent. The flop brought an ace, which gave both players top pair. But Holden had serious kicker problems. Making matters worse, three clubs flopped and Lamb had the only club. The queen of clubs on the turn ended Holden's shot of survival. A river blank gave Lamb the 20,000,000 pot. 8th – Anton Makiievskyi exited on the 59th hand played at the final table. The hand was: Anton Makiievskyi: [Kc] [Qh] Pius Heinz: [9h] [9d] Flop: [Kd] [Jh] [Jd] Turn: [9c] River: [7h] Makiievskyi moved all-in pre-flop with what many would consider a marginal hand, and was called by Heinz, who had his opponent well covered. As things turned out, Makiievskyi was only a slight dog to the under-pair. The flop brought a king, which made Makiievskyi a huge favourite. But the turn was a nine, giving Heinz a full house. A river blank gave the German chip leader the pot worth 20,000,000. 7th – Bob Bounahra was eliminated on the 67th hand played at the final table. The hand was: Bob Bounahra: [Ah] [5c] Martin Staszko: [As] [9d] Flop: [7c] [6h] [2c] Turn: [Kh] River: [6d] Bounahra moved all-in pre-flop desperately in need of a double-up. But Staszko called the severely short-stacked amateur’s raise. Neither player made a pair, but the 9 played for Staszko,

December 2011/January 2012

giving him the pot of 12,000,000. 6th – Eoghan O’Dea was KOed on the 99th hand played at the final table. It took place just a few hands after O’Dea’s stack had been crippled. His final hand was: Eoghan O’Dea: [Qh] [6c] Martin Staszko: [8d] [8h] Flop: [Th] [9c] [5h] Turn: [Jd] River: [2h] O’Dea moved all-in pre-flop with a weak hand, hoping to catch a card and stay alive for at least one more round of blinds and antes. Severely short-stacked, he was in a position where he had to make a move. Staszko called his raise, and had his opponent well covered many times over. O’Dea picked up some extra outs on the turn, but the river was a blank. 5th – Phil Collins was sent to the rail on the 100th hand of the final table. His final hand was: Phil Collins: [Ad] [7d] Pius Heinz: [9c] [9h] Flop: [6s] [5c] [4d] Turn: [9d] River: [7s] Heinz moved all-in pre-flop with his middle pair. He had been playing quite aggressively most of the day, and Collins decided that ace-suited was too strong a hand to fold in a short-handed situation. As it turned out, Heinz did indeed have a real hand. The pocket nines improved to a set, and Collins was out.

3rd – During the opening moments of day two of the final table, Ben Lamb (the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year) busted in sensational fashion. On the first hand of the three-handed session, Lamb re-raised again holding K-J. Staszko, holding pocket sevens, shoved all-in and, pot committed, Lamb reluctantly called. Staszko was all-in. Lamb found himself only a slight dog to the underpair. But he knew he’d played the hand way too strongly. When five blanks hit the board, Lamb was left with a severely short stack. He was eliminated just ten minutes later in this hand after he raised to 10.9 million and Staszko called: Ben Lamb: [Qs] [6h] Martin Staszko: [Jd] [Jc] Flop: [5c] [5h] [2s] Turn: [2c] River: [7s] 2nd – Heads-up play lasted for more than six hours. During this final duel, Pius Heinz and Martin Staszko battled back and forth, exchanging the chip lead nine times. In the 301st hand, neither player made a pair, which meant Heinz's ace-high played as the winning hand: Pius Heinz: [As] [Kc] Martin Staszko: [Tc] [7c] Flop: [9s] [5c] [2d] Turn: [Jh] River: [4d] Staszko’s second-place finish means the chip leader at the start of the final table has finished in one of the top two spots during each of the last three years. Darvin Moon finished second in 2009 and Jonathan Duhamel won last year. Martin Staszko

4th – A clear standout on the first day of the final table, Matt Giannetti was eliminated on the 178th hand at the final table. His final hand was: Matt Giannetti: [Ad] [3s] Ben Lamb: [Kd] [Ks] Flop: [Kh] [Kc] [Qd] Turn: [5s] River: [Qc] The final hand was as ugly as it gets for Giannetti. He was already a considerable underdog to Lamb's pocket kings. When



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Adelaide Casino Poker Championship

Featured event: International Federation of Poker World Championship Venue – County Hall, London, UK; invitational freeroll; 130 players; nine players paid; total prizepool USD $500,000, winner Raul Mestre (Spain) Raul Mestre has been crowned the first International Federation of Poker World Champion after conquering “The Table” at the County Hall in London. The Spaniard, who started the day as chip leader, defeated hometown favourite Victoria Coren to pocket the first prize of $250,000. Australia’s Marsha Waggoner steered her short stack all the way to fifth, good for $20,000. The Table started in dramatic fashion. Kinichi Nakata, from Japan, departing in ninth place minutes into the day. That was ahead of Tim Reese, one of two members of Team Germany, who went in eighth. Nakata’s countryman Takuo Serita followed in seventh place. Sandra Naujoks had played flawlessly up to this point, and when she got her chips in with pocket kings against Mestre’s 9-8, it looked like the double-up she seemed entitled to would arm her well for a run on the title. But Mestre found that crucial drop of luck at the perfect time, flopping an eight and rivering another. Naujoks, who managed a smile, was suddenly out. Marsha Waggoner, the Australian Poker Hall of Famer who has twice finished as the leading female in the WSOP Main Event, had nursed her short stack for most of the afternoon, hand rearing it to health with a double up before it began again to fade. Naujoks’s shock departure moved her up a place, into fifth, capping a commendable performance. When Slavko Tomic departed in fourth (another player cursed by a short stack), it left arguably the three best players of the day – Coren, Mestre and Igor Trafane, who serves as President of the Confederação Brasileira de Texas Hold’em.


Were it not for two big hands the world title may have been heading to Brazil. In the first, Trafane was rivered by Mestre. The second, some time later, was even crueller. Coren moved in with A-Q and Trafane called with A-Q. But crucially Coren’s cards were both spades. She called for a chop, but got the exact opposite; the flop bringing three spades to devastate her as much as Trafane. Coren and Mestre had tangled brilliantly at the start of the day and again at the end. Back then Coren had been in charge and it seemed she’d got the upper hand at the end also, taking the lead and looking to seal it when she called Mestre’s shove with pocket fives with her own A-J. It was to be Coren’s high point; the race won by Mestre and a short while later, when Mestre’s A-5 dominated Coren’s A-3, it was all over. 1 Raul Mestre (Spain) $250,000 2 Victoria Coren (UK) $100,000 3 Igor Trafane (Brazil) $50,000 4 Slavko Tomic (Serbia) $25,000 5 Marsha Waggoner (Australia) $ 20,000 6 Sandra Naujoks (Germany $17,500 7 Takuo Serita (Japan) $15,000 8 Tim Reese (Germany) $12,500 9 Kinichi Nakata (Japan) $10,000 Raul Mestre

Venue – Adelaide Casino; buy-in $1500; 109 players; 12 players paid; total prizepool $147,150; winner Stuart Gunn Six years ago, Stuart Gunn placed runner-up for a major title in St Kitts. Amazingly, this was his first tournament cash since that Caribbean Poker Classic. ANZPT Queenstown champion Marcel Schreiner led for much of this final table before Gunn emerged as the likely winner three-handed, going on to defeat Frank Tripodi heads-up to claim the $43,400 first prize. Their duel lasted just one hand after Tripodi shoved with A-5 only to find Gunn holding A-10. Tripodi found a five on the flop but Gunn made a better pair when a 10 fell on the turn

Gold Coast Poker Championships Venue – Jupiters Hotel and Casino; buy-in $1100; 226 players; 25 players paid; total prizepool $226,000; winner Adrian Sportelli Adrian Sportelli (pictured above) captured the inaugural Gold Coast Poker Championships Main Event title after a dominant final table display. The tournament came to a dramatic end only a few hands into the heads-up duel when Brett Taunton committed his stack with pocket kings, only to find Sportelli holding pocket aces. Sportelli pocketed $58,195 for his victory while Taunton left with a not-insignificant $37,000. Stephen Ford placed third for $21,000 and change, day two chip leader Ivan Zalac was fourth while Elisabeth Buisson was the highest placed female in fifth.

Event reviews & results Super Stack Venue – Crown Casino; buy-in $300; 606 players; 54 players paid; total prizepool $166,650; winner Steven Baker

Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series 8 Venue – Crown Casino; buy-in $550; 747 players (including repechage); 45 players paid; total prizepool $273,500; winner Jeff Rossiter

The first edition of this event was a resounding success, with a massive field including a smattering of pros but mostly comprising enthusiastic amateurs and a significant contingent of 888PL regulars. Steven Baker (pictured below) was among the dominant players throughout day 2 and duly collected the championship trophy along with a $35,000 payout. Entering the heads-up duel with Canaan Johnson holding about 70 per cent of the chips, it was over on the first hand when Johnson shoved with 10s-8d, and Bakker called. He showed Kd-Jc and didn’t need any help as the board ran out 2h-4s-Ad-7c-4d,

Crown has certainly proved a happy hunting ground for Jeff Rossiter (pictured above) in 2011. After earning $700,000 for his third place finishes in the Aussie Millions Main Event and ANZPT Melbourne High Stakes tournament, Rossiter captured the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series Main Event title, good for $52,000 and a 2012 Aussie Millions Main Event seat. For a time, it seemed that veteran Peter Mordaunt would emerge victorious but Rossiter slowly gained traction and completed a famous victory when on a flop of Kh-3c-8h, Mordaunt shoved with Ah-6h and the flush draw with Rossiter (Kd-Jh) making the call. The turn was 4s and river Jd.

Sydney Poker Championships Venue – The Star; buy-in $1650; 313 players; 33 players paid; total prizepool $472,500; winner Errolyn Strang The field was packed full of seasoned professionals and live tournament regulars but in the end it was a mother of two from Wollongong that outlasted them all to be crowned Sydney Championships main event winner. TAFE teacher Errolyn Strang (pictured above) survived a rollercoaster final table and a heads-up battle that lasted an exhausting four hours to score the biggest win of her career and the $119,542 first prize. Runner-up John Donohue doubled through Strang three times at the final table before she finally prevailed. Donohue pocketed $75,600 as runner-up while third-place finisher Kamyar Ekrami took home $42,525.

ANZPT Darwin Venue – SKYCITY Darwin; buy-in $2200; 64 players, eight paid; total prizepool $128,000; winner Jack Drake An era in Australian poker ended in Darwin with the final ANZPT event in the tour’s three-year history. Jack Drake won the smallest ANZPT first prize ($36,480) in tour history after a five-day marathon comprising just 64 players. Danny Chevalier (pictured right) took out the Player of the Year title. His best finish on the ANZPT was a third in the Melbourne but he also final-tabled in Adelaide and cashed in Perth and on the Gold Coast while remaining in contention in this event. APPT Melbourne champion Leo Boxell finished second while Jesse McKenzie was third.

December 2011/January 2012


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THErealdeal News

Online poker’s annus horribilis First chapter written, but there’s much more to come in this story Black Friday represented the greatest WTF moment in the history of online poker. More than six months after the Department of Justice seized the domains of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker most of the focus has been on the demise of Full Tilt and, in recent weeks, news of its subsequent sale and likely return to the online landscape. But that doesn’t mean the end of this saga – not by a long shot.


ore than six months have passed since poker’s version of Black Friday. In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what went down and what’s followed in the wake – the United States Department of Justice charged principals of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses, and laundering billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds. The US Government also issued civil writs seeking USD $3 billion. This was followed by the seizure of Internet domain names used by PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker as well as the freezing of 75 bank accounts utilized by those operators and their payment processors. Later, all three operators banned American


players from their sites and froze their real money accounts. To date, only PokerStars has repaid its players. The U.S. Department of Justice named 11 defendants: Isai Scheinberg, Raymond Bitar, Scott Tom, Brent Beckley, Nelson Burtnick, Paul Tate, Ryan Lang, Bradley Franzen, Ira Rubin, Chad Elie and John Campos. Scheinberg and Tate are identified in the indictment as representing PokerStars, Bitar and Burtnick of representing Full Tilt Poker and Tom and Beckley of representing Absolute Poker. Lang, Rubin, Franzen and Elie are identified as people who allegedly ran payment processors. The indictment also revealed that the executive officers of the sites had sought investment in SunFirst Bank in Utah, which they were using to obtain

and pay out player funds by allegedly miscoding transactions. Campos and Elie were arrested on April 15. Campos, a part-owner and vice chairman of the board of directors for SunFirst Bank was released on $25,000 bond and ordered to surrender his passport. Elie was released on $250,000 bail. Franzen appeared in court on April 18 before pleading guilty to the nine counts on his indictment (including bank fraud and money laundering) on May 23. It is believed Franzen struck a plea agreement with prosecutors, in which he agreed to cooperate in the probe, in return for which prosecutors would recommend leniency. Ira Rubin, indicted on illegal gambling, fraud, and money laundering charges was arrested on April 25, in

Black Friday update

Guatemala. He made his first court appearance in Miami on April 27 and remains remanded in custody. The case is being brought by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, based on a New York law that makes it a Class A misdemeanour to run a game of chance where bets are placed within the state. He was also able to obtain a felony indictment for UIGEA violations. In April 2010, the former head of Intabill, Australian Daniel Tzvetkoff, was arrested in Las Vegas by the FBI. He was charged with money laundering, bank fraud, and wire fraud. PokerStars and Full Tilt had previously claimed that Tzvetkoff had cheated them out of at least USD $100 million. He reportedly turned state’s evidence after being threatened with a 75-year prison sentence and is being held in an undisclosed location. A clue as to the severity of what awaits the indictees came when the Department of Justice responded to a pre-trail motion from Campos and Elie to have much of the case against them thrown out. In the “Government’s Response to Defendants’ Pre-Trial Motions”, the Department of Justice makes it clear the argument that poker is a game of skill and not chance is irrelevant as “online poker sites serving American players are still ‘illegal gambling businesses’.” Indeed, precedent dating back to 1888 was quoted to underline their stance regarding poker. But perhaps the most alarming aspect of the Response was the lack of differentiation between the principals and even the most junior employees. “Under the Illegal Gambling Businesses Act 1955 … Congress’ intent was to include all those who participate in the operation of a gambling business, regardless of how minor their roles and whether or not they be labelled agents, runners, independent contractors or the like. Even affiliates may be targeted – “whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal.”

December 2011/January 2012

What’s in store for online poker in Australia In the wake of the Black Friday indictments, the FBI contacted the Australian Crime Commission to query why action hadn’t been taken against the sites that had been indicted and shutdown in the US. PMA believes that the Australian Crime Commission’s chief executive John Lawler recommended that Australian Federal Police take action against these sites on the basis that “online gambling is a potential channel for money laundering and revenue and taxation fraud”. Then in July, the Australian Federal Police announced that, in conjunction with the Department of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy and the Australian Communication and Media Authority, that a new “stringently regulatory regime with a view to deterring those engaging in this unregulated industry” would be formed. The AFP National Manager Crime Operations Ramzi Jabbour told the Senate Inquiry into the Prevalence of Interactive and Online Gambling in Australia that “the AFP is committed to working collaboratively with other relevant Agencies to develop mechanisms to better regulate the industry and, where appropriate, investigate allegations of serious criminality.” Mr Jabbour reiterated that under the Interactive Gaming Act 2011, it is a criminal act to: • Provide an interactive gambling service to customers in Australia; • Provide an Australian-based interactive gambling service to customers in designated countries; and • Advertise an interactive gambling service.

Earlier in November, the Australian Bankers’ Association and credit card company Visa warned the Federal Government that any attempt to use the payments system – similar to the UIGEA in the US – to clamp down on online gambling would be unworkable. “(If) Australia was identified as a jurisdiction where payment obligations may not be fulfilled in a certain and timely manner, it is possible that merchants and online service providers will refuse to accept business and payments from customers designated as originating from Australia,” Australian Bankers’ Association chief executive, Steven Munchenberg said. The committee heard Australians could reach 92 per cent of the world’s online gambling sites even though the Interactive Gambling Act banned online gambling sites from accepting money from Australian residents. Despite the restrictions, it is estimated Australians spent more than AUD $968 million last year on illegal online casino, poker and bingo sites. A member of the Federal Government’s advisory council on gambling, Alex Blaszczynski, told the committee that the legislation needed to be updated. “Australians can easily access offshore Internet gambling sites … and … have little recourse if they lose their money or experience unscrupulous treatment,” Professor Blaszczynski wrote in his submission. PMA supports the access of Australian players to legalised online poker and we eagerly await the final report of the Senate Inquiry into the Prevalence of Interactive and Online Gambling in Australia, which is due to be handed down this week.



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Black Friday – how the sites responded Full Tilt Poker In recent months, Full Tilt has resembled a journeyman heavyweight trapped on the ropes as blow after blow rained down on his body. Things went from bad to worse after April 15. The site ceased to operate from June 29 after Alderney Gambling Control Commission first suspended, then revoked the site’s licence to operate. The Alderney regulators concluded that Full Tilt had fundamentally misled the licensing authority about its funds, listing serious breaches of regulation including false reporting, unauthorised provision of credit and failure to report material events. Then the Department of Justice issued new allegations against the company, accusing it of defrauding its poker players while owners took USD $444 million out of the company in distributions. Preet Bharara, called the operation a “Ponzi scheme”. But in a stunning turn of events, less than 48 hours after its licence was revoked, it was been announced that Laurent Tapie, Managing Director of Groupe Bernard Tapie had signed an exclusive agreement with the Board of Directors of Full Tilt Poker to acquire the company and all of its associated assets. By mid-November, Full Tilt had confirmed that the terms of agreement

Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker had been finalised with the Department of Justice for Groupe Bernard Tapie to purchase the site. Under the deal, the French investment group will purchase the company’s assets for $80 million, allowing Groupe Bernard Tapie to restart Full Tilt’s operations outside the US. The deal allows for some money in bank accounts associated with Full Tilt that were seized by the US government to be given to the investment group. The deal will require Full Tilt’s current owners reaching a settlement of a civil lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice against the company and forfeiting the company to the government, the agreement states. Groupe Bernard Tapie would then buy the company's assets from the government, and the government could use those funds to pay back players owed money by the company. The deal is expected to pave the way for US poker players to be paid back much of the money credited to them that was never paid by Full Tilt, while Groupe Bernard Tapie will “repay or make whole” poker players outside of the US who are believed to be owed about $150 million. Incredibly, Full Tilt Poker could be operational again as soon as early 2012.

A May 4 letter from the Department of Justice stated that Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet had entered into an agreement to return poker players’ funds. The companies, operating under parent company Blanca Games, were permitted to refund account balances to players, and the DOJ was to monitor the process. But the silence was deafening for several months, with no word on how and when these funds were to be returned. Then on October 27, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission released an advisory notice stating it had been “in close and regular discussions with its licensee, Blanca Games Inc. to facilitate the reimbursement of both US and nonUS players.” The discussions between Blanca and the DOJ had, in fact, and involved liquidating Blanca’s assets and distributing the proceeds to players. The Southern District of New York is considering the proposal for approval.

PokerStars When it comes to corporate PR, you have to hand it to PokerStars. The site escaped serious scrutiny by repaying its US players as soon as possible, while maintaining a veneer of “business as usual” outside the USA with promotions like its Road to 100 Billion. The vast majority of the poker playing public and media seem to lose interest in PokerStars once US players had been refunded but unless the site is already in negotiations with the Department of Justice (and there’s no indication that’s the case), and with Full Tilt nearing settlement of at least the civil portion of its legal woes, the complete focus of the Department of Justice is likely to shift towards the world’s leading online poker site in the coming months. Will PokerStars defend the action or again thumb its nose at the US Government? That’s the USD $1.5 billion question – the amount PokerStars faces paying out in a USD $1.5 billion civil suit filed by the US Government.


Exclusive PMA Christmas Freeroll 15th, December 2011 @ 19:30pm AEDT Prize Pool – $1000 in bonus bets* Tournament Password: PMAXMAS

See website for full details:

*Winners must have opened a account so bonus bets can be credited. No deposit required. Tournament will be visible in Centrebet.NET lobby from December 1, 2011.


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Local heroes in the spotlight at the first Main Event One of the most ambitious and exciting events in Australian pub poker history has been confirmed for Crown Casino in February 2012. The recently merged 888Poker League and APL have announced the first Main Event for February 23-26.


n action packed four-day festival is scheduled for the first Main Event, including a Last Chance Qualifier, Teams Event and the APL Player of the Year Final – an eight-player table, battling it out for the POTY title and the winner-takes-all prize of $45,000. Qualifiers from both APL and 888PL will then take part in the first ever co-branded Main Event, boasting an estimated minimum $500,000 prizepool. With the integration of Australia’s leaders in pub and club poker, it is expected that up to 600 players will hit the tables on day one of this tournament. Entry to The Main Event is strictly via qualification only. There will be no buy-ins.

State Championships, Special Events, NSW Pro Open and Local Satellites are the only means of qualification. Players that win a seat must have played a minimum 10 games during the six-month qualification period. The Main Event will be played over three days with all qualifiers taking their seats on Friday, February 24. Watch and for upcoming Main Event satellite events and other opportunities to win a Main Event seat. One major innovation for this event is the establishment of the Local Hero Satellite Series. APL and 888PL will be running a number of FREEROLL Main Event Satellites to uncover local

In brief Lines claims latest NPL World Tour title Alex Lines pocketed $23,000 for victory in the NPL’s first foray to Manila as part of its NPL World Tour. The trip, which followed last year’s event in Macau, attracted 105 players who took to the felt at the Resorts World Casino in the Filipino capital while staying at the stunning six-star Maxims Hotel. The top 10 placegetters were 1 Alex Lines ($23,000); 2 Edward Isaacs $17,000; 3 Alex Mastras $15,000; 4 Garry James $15,000; 5 Dion Parnis $15,000; 6 Wayne Carlson $3000; 7 Colin McCamley $3000; 8 Walter O'Hanlen $3000; 9 Liana Zdrunca $3000; and 10 Laurence Hall $3000.


poker heroes that each region can get behind and support during The Main Event. Planned for every state, these satellites provide a great opportunity for businesses to support their local poker communities while receive plenty of bang for their investment. Businesses interested in supporting the Main Event through the Local Hero Satellite Series should contact 888PL GM Marketing & Membership Sarah Franklyn on (03) 9644 1600 or • PokerMedia Australia will be reporting live across all four days of the Main Event, while the next edition of The Real Deal will contain and extensive preview for this milestone event.

Carlos crowned king in Goulburn Carlos Gonzales booked his ticket to Manila as part of the NPL World Tour and pocketed almost $50,000 after winning the latest National Poker League Quarterly Final at the Goulburn Workers Club. Gonzales, who made the short trek up to Goulburn from Canberra, conquered a field of 303 players in the two-day event. Holding an almost 5:1 chip lead, Gonzales defeated Ricky Lim heads-up after he called the all-in of Gonzales with K-9. Gonzales showed K-Q, and he didn't need any help from the board of 10-7-A-7-4 to be confirmed NPL Quarterly Final champion.

Pub Poker

State champs among first to book Main Event seats The final event in the first round of State Championships under the combined banner of the 888Poker League and Australian Poker League drew a huge field of 404 players to the Dingley International in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs. After 11 hours of play, Vic Duncan was crowned Victorian State Champion after a dominant display at the final table. Duncan quickly stamped himself as the player to watch after claiming two of the first four scalps at the final table and made short work of Daniel Simonetta heads-up. Duncan shoved allin pre-flop with As-10c, and Simonetta (Qc-8d) called. The board was spread 6h-10s-7s-Ac-Jh, giving Duncan two-pair and the win. He took home $4000 for first and a Main Event seat along with the next seven placegetters

– Daniel Simonetta, Warren Halverson, Drew Bailey, Glen Gunn, Brian Whittaker, Rob Cvijrticanin and Keryl Ford. • Michael Wallace has etched a spot in Queensland poker history as the first State Champion under the new banner of the APL and the 888PL. Wallace was won of eight players who also a Main Event seat along with Anthony Schiffke, Joel Bradshaw, Craig Henderson, Fred Fares, Ian Shakespeare, Veronica Pegler and Arnaud Meunier-Cattin. • Rob Forward and Laurence Taylor were among the first players in Australia to have booked their seats for the first APL/888PL Main Event after finishing 1-2 in the Western Australian State Championships at the Tompkins Park Community and Recreation Centre.

Poker for Charity chips in for fundraising vision Poker for Charity (PoCA) Chairman David Nixon recently presented a cheque for $35,000 to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Foundation to complete fundraising towards the purchase of an opthalmic microscope, which will be used to diagnose and treat eye diseases in WA kids at the state’s only specialist children’s hospital. PMH Foundation Chief Executive Denys Pearce said the generous support of the Poker for Charity Association was essential in enabling the Foundation to provide equipment, which will brighten the future of many WA kids. “The total cost of an ophthalmic microscope is nearly $240,000 and with this generous contribution from the Poker for Charity Association we will be able to purchase one shortly,” he said.

Poker for Charity Association Public Relations Director Ron Gibson said the PMH Foundation was deemed a very worthy cause for the large donation. Together with the WA Poker League, the Poker for Charity Association of WA regularly hosts poker events around the state to raise funds for charity. “All the money was raised through fun, friendly and professional poker games around the state and we want to make sure it’s invested back into the health and welfare of the community,” he said. “We chose to donate to the PMH Foundation because we knew the money raised would go specifically towards the purchase of the opthalmic microscope.”

Hudson Vegas bound after Pro Open win Club Central in Hurstville was filled with 492 hopeful players last Sunday, all vying for the title of NSW Pro Open Champion, plus the $17,000 TeamWSOP package and cash that goes along with the title. After a marathon session, Adam Hudson claimed the prize ahead of perennial Pro Open challenger John Azzi. Hudson collected $1500 in addition to $17,000 TeamWSOP Package that includes flights, accommodation and a Main Event seat in the 2012 WSOP Main Event. The next three placegetters – Azzi, Mats Anderson and Robert Yang – collected cash plus seats in February’s Main Event. The next Pro Open will be played at Penrith Panthers on Sunday, December 11.

December 2011 / January 2012

The PMH Foundation was established in 1998, and has provided Princess Margaret Hospital with more than $35 million in grants to fund life-saving research and capital projects. It is estimated that the PMH Foundation has funded close to a quarter of the equipment currently used by the hospital.

Club Macquarie gets behind more Aussie Hold’em events Main Event champion Shane Pearce and High Roller victor Elvis Earle weren’t the only big winners at the Aussie Hold’em Poker Spring Championships. After five great days of poker at Club Macquarie in Argenton, NSW, the venue confirmed it would now host three major championship series in 2012 starting in February with the Summer Poker Championships, followed up in June with the Newcastle Poker Championships and in October with the Spring Poker Championships.



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Our Christmas gift to you! We’ve been overwhelmed with the support of the Australian poker community for our new site, so to say thanks, we’re offering the chance for one lucky person to win an awesome Christmas poker hamper valued at more than $300. The hamper includes the ultimate poker library of books authored by 2006 Aussie Millions champion Lee “Final Table” Nelson, including Let’s Play Poker, Kill Phil, Kill Everyone and his newest release The Raiser’s Edge, co-authored with Bertrand ElkY Grospellier and Tony Dunst. We’ll also throw in a Kill Everyone cap (although it might be an idea to leave it at home when you pack your bags for the next trip to Las Vegas), along with a deluxe 300-piece poker chip set and a deck of White Knuckle Designer Playing Cards. It couldn’t be much easier to enter. Simply click “Like” on your Facebook page at PokerMedia Australia (PMA), and you’re in the running to win the hamper. Those who already follow the latest local and international news via our Facebook page are already entered. We’ll announce the winner on and via our Facebook page after a random draw on Friday, December 16 at 10am. Sign up, and good luck! And for those trying to think of a Christmas pressie for the poker players in the family, check out our online store where you’ll find a great array of cards, chips, books or gift cards. Happy holidays from everyone at PMA and The Real Deal.


THErealdeal PMA Poker Room

10 Celebrating a decade of the Aussie Millions Poker Championship


Crown Casino’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship is one of the top five major events on the international poker tournament calendar. And there’s a special reason to head Down Under in 2012, as the Aussie Millions Poker Championship marks its 10th birthday. More than 3000 players are expected to take part in the 26 Championship events in January. The Real Deal takes a closer look at the 2012 championship schedule.


he 2012 Aussie Millions will begin on Thursday, January 12 with Event 1: the AUD $1100 ‘Opening Event’ No Limit Hold’em tournament. The event is assured a massive field so Day 1 of the ‘Opening Event’ is divided into three separate starting days. Flight 1 is on Thursday, January 12; Flight 2 is on Friday, January 13 and Flight 3 will be played on Saturday, January 14. The format for Flights 2 and 3 is a Repechage. Players who make it through the Day 1 will reconvene

December 2011/January 2012

on Sunday, January 16 and play down until the first Aussie Millions ‘Championship Ring’ for 2012 is awarded. The 2011 ‘Opening Event’ attracted a huge field of 1000 players (the largest tournament field on the schedule), generating a whopping AUD $1 million prize pool. Numbers are expected to grow again at the 2012 Aussie Millions, so expect another big prize pool. With a 10,000 start bank, 40-minute levels on Day 1 and 60 minutes on Day 2, the 2012 ‘Opening Event’ is among the best value tournaments on the schedule.


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• Event 2 is the AUD $1100 Pot Limit Omaha freeze out. The structure for this tournament is also very generous, with 10,000 in chips and 40-minute levels. It also carries a ‘second chance’ format, where players start with half their chips up front and a second chance card, allowing them to collect the other half at any time during the first two levels regardless of their stack size. EVENT


Taste the dessert after Aussie Millions main course • The action is still on high voltage once the ‘Main Event’ commences as shown by Event 10: AUD $1100 Teams Event on Sunday, January 23. In this event, two players share one stack of chips, with play rotating between the team-mates every level. In a unique twist, the first partner plays with half the start bank, and if they are eliminated from the tournament, their partner sits with the remaining stack. • As the Aussie Millions ‘Main Event’ continues the events don’t stop, with the schedule specifically designed to give players something else to do if they bust out. Unlike other festivals that end once the ‘Main Event’ gets going, the Aussie Millions gives players almost too many choices. There are five $550 No Limit Hold’em events after the ‘Main Event’ starts, designed for the smaller bankroll players to play after busting the ‘Main Event’, with another $550 Pot Limit Omaha event thrown in for good measure. For the bigger bankrolled players, there is a $2500 Pot Limit Omaha event, $2500 H.O.R.S.E and a $10,500 8 Game Mixed Event, as well as a $10,500 Heads Up Championship. This year, for the first time, the Heads Up Championship will be held over four Day 1 Flights, meaning that players can choose any of the days they wish to play in order to best maximise their Aussie Millions experience. Also on the back half of the schedule is Event 19: AUD $2500 ‘No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed’ tournament. This one has a ridiculously slow structure so be sure not to miss it on Friday. January 27. • Lovers of the mixed games will not be disappointed by Event 21: AUD $1100 ‘8 Game Mixed Event’. At only AUD $1100 to enter, it is the perfect introduction to more obscure games that are normally only available at the bigger buy-in levels. The start bank is 10,000 with 40-minute levels and the game will rotate every eight hands between 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit Hold’em, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo, Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em. • Event 22: AUD $550 ‘Turbo No Limit Hold’em Cubed’ is a brand new event on the Aussie Millions schedule. Players will start with 5000 in chips and will have the option to purchase a single rebuy and add-on prior to the end of the first break, and will receive an additional 5000 chips for each. The event features 40-minute levels and a generous blind structure. • On Sunday, January 30 is Event 25: AUD $550 ‘Australian Poker Hall of Fame Classic No Limit Hold’em’. Members of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame – Joe Hachem, Jeff Lisandro, Mel Judah, Gary Benson, Lee Nelson, Billy Argyros, Tony G, Marsha Waggoner and Maurie Pears will be out in full force for this one, with bounties on their heads and some great prizes up for grabs. This one is sure to be great fun as the old guard mixes it up with the young guns.


• Next on the schedule is Event 3: AUD$1100 No Limit Hold’em Shootout. This ultra-popular style of EVENT Hold’em requires players to win their respective tables to progress to the next stage of the tournament. This was a new addition to the Aussie Millions Championship Schedule in 2011 and was a resounding success. Players start with a 10,000 start bank and levels are 30 minutes.


• Event 4: AUD $1100 No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha is a new event on the Aussie Millions schedule. With the growth in the popularity of mixed event tournaments in recent years, this event, which combines poker’s two most popular games, will draw one of the biggest fields of the Championship. EVENT


• Event 5: AUD $1100 No Limit Hold’em – Six Handed was also a new addition to the Aussie Millions Championship Schedule in 2011 and surpassed all expectations with a massive field of 372 players. Players love these short-handed tournaments as a genuine test of skill . Another 10,000 start bank, along with 40-minute levels and six-handed format means this event allows for plenty of chances to make a move. EVENT


• Day 9 (Friday, January 21) features Event 6: AUD $1150 No Limit Hold’em with AUD $1000 Rebuys. The field for this tournament has grown steadily in recent years, and the organisers are predicting more than 250 players and a prizepool close to AUD $1 million. The structure for this one is 1500 in chips to start, with 1500 chip re-buys available for AUD $1000. Players love rebuy events due to limited opportunities on the global calendar to play in such tournaments. EVENT


• On Saturday, January 21, Event 7: AUD $1650 ‘Feature Event (No Limit Hold’em with Bounties)’ will be the focus. Any player who eliminates the bounty player on his or her table wins $1000. It is a two-day event, and will play down until there are 32 players remaining on Day 1. At the start of Day 2 on Sunday, January 22, there will be a re-draw for seats based on chip stacks to four tables of eight players each. Each table will then become a shootout, with the top two players making the final table. This is a fantastic event and at only AUD $1650 is one of the highlights of the schedule. EVENT


Gallery of champions • Next up is the big one – Event 8: AUD $10,600 EVENT Aussie Millions Main Event. In 2003, a total of 122 players paid the AUD $10,000 buy-in and generated a prizepool of AUD $1 million for the first time on Australian soil. Since then, the Aussie Millions ‘Main Event’ has grown almost every year to a field of 721 players in the 2011 Main Event. As one of the only remaining ‘independent’ events on the international poker circuit, Crown’s Aussie Millions ‘Main Event’ has effectively become one of the top four poker ‘Majors’. The AUD$10,600 ‘Main Event’ comprises five full days of play, with Day 1 split into three flights. The structure is one of the best anywhere in the world, with 30,000 start bank, 90-minute levels on Days 1 and 2 and then two- our levels from Day 3. Play starts nine-handed, but the field is broken down to eight-handed by the end of Day 1, and is re-drawn eight-handed at the start of Day 2. Play continues until there are 36 players remaining, at which time another re-draw is completed and play becomes six-handed. The ante structure is also highly regarded, with the average stack rarely under pressure throughout the entire event – a format that allows the cream to rise to the top. Add to the mix the fact that more than 60 per cent of the field satellite their way into the Main Event and it is one of the best value tournaments anywhere in the world.


• The Aussie Millions has a number of unique events on its calendar, but none has been more prestigious over the years than Event 9: AUD $100,000 Challenge. Recently other events around the world have added six-figure buy-in events to their schedule but the Aussie Millions was the first (2005) and remains the best. The best-of-the-best battle it out against the richest of the rich. It’s the event to which high-flying businessmen have also been attracted. It’s the poker game that compacts the accumulation of wealth, assessing risk and the thrill of negotiation into a quick and easy couple of hands, all for a ‘small’ fee of AUD $100,500! In 2006, there were 10 players, in 2007 there were 18 and in 2008 there were 25. There were 23 in 2009, and 24 entries in 2010, but the 2011 event attracted a staggering 38 entries. The $100,000 Challenge is a wonderful event, but it is not the biggest buy-in event on the schedule. In January 2011, what began as a rumour around the Crown Poker Room quickly grew into a reality when the world’s first ever $250,000 buy-in tournament was held. Amazingly, 20 players bought in, and it was regular visitor Erik Seidel who took home the AUD $2.5 million first place prize. This year, the $250,000 Challenge is on the official schedule and it is anyone’s guess as to how many players will enter. EVENT


December 2011/January 2012

2003 (122 entrants; $AUD 1,220,000 prizepool) Winner: Peter Costa (UK) AUD $394,870)

2004 (133 entrants; $AUD 1,330,000 prizepool) Winner: Tony Bloom (UK) AUD $426,500

2005 (263 entrants; $AUD 2,630,000 prizepool) Winner: Jamil Dia (NZ) AUD $1,000,000

2006 (418 entrants; $AUD 4,180,000 prizepool) Winner: Lee Nelson (NZ) AUD $1,295,800

2007 (747 players; $AUD 7,470,000 prizepool) Winner: Gus Hansen (Denmark) AUD $1,500,000

2008 (780 entrants; AUD $7,800,000 prizepool) Winner: Alexander Kostritsyn (Russia) AUD $1,650,000

2009 681 entrants; AUD $6,810,000 prizepool) Winner: Stewart Scott (Australia) AUD $2,000,000

2010 (746 entrants; AUD $7,460,000 prizepool) Winner: Tyron Krost (Australia) AUD $2,000,000

2011 2011 (721 entries; total prizepool $7,210,000) Winner: David Gorr (Australia) AUD $2,000,000


THErealdeal PMA Poker Room

Crown ups the ante with the biggest Win A Seat promotion ever There are many ways to enter the $10,600 buy-in Aussie Millions ‘Main Event’ including digging deep into the pocket and shelling out the full amount. While that won’t be a stretch for the high rollers out there it may be beyond the means of most. However there are so many ways to qualify for the 2012 Aussie Millions that the dream of taking down a major title is still alive for those with even the smallest bankroll.

Direct entry events These events are always popular as some people just like the idea of locking up an Aussie Millions Seat right here right now. The popular Rebuy tournaments are back on the calendar starting in December and running every Thursday night until the Championship gets under way in mid-January. These tournaments have a buy-in of $125 with $100 rebuys and if history is any guide early action will generate around five Main Event seats per tournament. If your game is not suited to the swings and roundabouts involved in a Rebuy tournament perhaps a Deepstack tournament would better suit. There are multiple $550 buy-in Deepstack events scheduled from December featuring a 10k start bank. After the success last year of the MegaStack Satellite the team at Crown has moved these tremendous value events front and centre. Held every Saturday from December and with a buy-in of only $150 you can expect massive fields to turnout for one of the best value events ever held at Crown. There is one more type of Aussie Millions Main Event direct entry satellite on the schedule – the Phase 3 Supershot Satellites. Essentially they are an $1150 buy-in freezeout where one out of every 10 players wins a $10,600 Aussie Millions Main Event seat. Of course you can buy directly into these satellites for $1150, which many people do, but the beauty of Crown’s Three Phase Satellite program is that you can Satellite into the Phase 3 Supershots as well. There are two ways you can Satellite into the Phase 3 Supershots – the ever-popular $250 Phase 2 Satellites and the newly introduced $135 Phase 3 Qualifiers. The Phase 3 Qualifiers are running every Sunday from the December 19 and are similar to the Phase 3 Supershots themselves


in that one out of every 10 players will win their way through. The Phase 2 tournaments afford players a greater chance to qualify with one out of every five players winning their way through to the Phase 3s. The Phase 2s are already underway, running every Sunday at 4.10pm and additionally will be running at 7.10pm on Saturday evenings from December 6. So Phase 3 Supershots lead into the Aussie Millions Main Event, Phase 3 qualifiers and Phase 2s lead into the Phase 3 Supershots, and usually just the Phase 1s lead into the Phase 2s. This is still the case but Crown has upped the ante with this year’s satellite program and there are now three different ways to qualify for the Phase 2s. Of course there are the well-established Phase 1 Satellites. These have a $65 buy-in and one out of every five players wins a Phase 2 ticket they can use in any Phase 2 Satellite. These are already running daily at 2.10pm and from December 6 will be running daily at 2.10pm, 4.10pm and 10pm. Also already running are $25/$25 rebuy Phase 2 qualifiers. These are running at 7.10pm Mondays to Wednesdays, and 10.10am Saturdays and award a Phase 2 ticket for every $250 in the prizepool. It’s obvious that the team at Crown want to give everybody a chance to satellite into their premier event, as in addition to the Phase 1s and $25/$25 Satellites they are also running Daily Free-to-Enter Phase 2 Qualifiers. These tournaments are at 10.10am Monday-Friday and are free to enter with $25 rebuys, awarding Phase 2 tickets for every $250 in the Prizepool. That means that from December at Crown there will be up to five tournaments a day satelliting players either into the Phase 2 and Phase 3 tournaments, or directly into the Aussie Millions Main Event.

December Aussie Millions Warm Up Week During the week of December 13-18 the team at Crown is endeavouring to provide as many people as possible with the early Christmas gift of an Aussie Millions Main Event seat as they have guaranteed that 20 will be awarded! From December 13-17 the following regularly scheduled tournaments will still run: the 10:10 Free to Enter Phase 2 qualifier, and the Daily Phase 1s at 2.10pm and 10pm. The popular $25/$25 rebuys moves to a new time this week, starting at 4.10pm every day from December 1317. On December 13-15 there will be a Nightly Phase 2 at 7.10pm as we build towards the action at the end of the week. Thursday at 7.10pm is the regular Aussie Millions Rebuy Satellite ($125 entry with $100 rebuys) but to make sure the warm-up week gets off to the desired start, the tournament on December 16 has a three-seat guarantee. On Friday at 7.10pm there will again be a Phase 2 along with the other four daily tournaments but it is Saturday where the action is going to heat up. To start there is the first ever Aussie Millions MegaStack Satellite at 10.10am on Saturday, December 18. This tournament also carries a three-seat guarantee and for only a $150 buy-in offers a 30k starting stack! Following from the MegaStack Satellite there will be a four-seat guaranteed Deepstack Satellite at 7.10pm featuring a 10k start bank for a $550 buy-in. On Sunday, December 9 there is a full schedule with Phase 1s at 10.10am and 2.10pm, a $135 Phase 3 qualifier at midday and a Phase 2 at 4.10pm. These lead into the 7.10pm tournament, the first major Phase 3 Supershot Satellite. This tournament carries a 10-seat guarantee.

2012 Aussie Millions schedule January 12 7.10pm Event 1: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Opening Event Day 1 Flight 1 January 13 10.15am $65 ($50+$15) Phase 1 Satellite 12.30pm Event 1: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Opening Event Day 1 Flight 2 (Repechage) 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 14 10.15am $65 ($50+$15) Phase 1 Satellite 12.30pm Event 1: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Opening Event Day 1 Flight 3 (Re-Repechage) 2.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 15 10.15am $65 ($50+$15) Phase 1 Satellite 12.30pm Event 1: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Opening Event Day 2 2.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 16 10.15am $65 ($50+$15) Phase 1 Satellite 12.30pm Event 2: $1100 ($1000+$100) Pot Limit Omaha (two-day event) 2.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 17 10.15am $65 ($50+$15) Phase 1 Satellite 12.30pm Event 3: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Shootout (two-day event) 2.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 4pm Event 2: $1100 ($1000+$100) Pot Limit Omaha (day 2) 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 18 10.15am $65 ($50+$15) Phase 1 Satellite 12.30pm Event 4: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha (two-day event) 2.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 4pm Event 3: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Shootout (day 2) 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 19 10.15am $65 ($50+$15) Phase 1 Satellite 12.30pm Event 5: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed (two-day event)

December 2011/January 2012

Event 4: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha (day 2) 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 4pm

January 20 10.15am $65 ($50+$15) Phase 1 Satellite 12.30pm Event 6: $1150 ($1000+$150) No Limit Hold’em w/$1000 rebuys (two-day event) 2.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 4pm Event 5: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed (day 2) 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 21 10.15am $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 12.30pm Event 7: $1650 ($1500+$150) No Limit Hold’em Feature Event w/ Bounties (day 1) 4pm Event 6: $1150 ($1000+$150) No Limit Hold’em w/$1000 rebuys (day 2) 4.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 22 10.15am $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite 12.30pm Event 8: $10,600 ($10,000+$600) Aussie Millions Main Event Day 1 Flight 1 2pm $100,500 ($100,000+$500) Challenge (twoday event) 4pm Event 7: $1650 ($1500+$150) No Limit Hold’em Feature Event w/ Bounties (day 2) 4.15pm Event 9: $1100 ($1000+$100) No Limit Hold’em Teams Event 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 10.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Phase 2 Satellite January 23 10.15am $250 ($230+$20) Last Chance Phase 2 Satellite 12.30pm Event 8: $10,600 ($10,000+$600) Aussie Millions Main Event Day 1 Flight 2 2pm $100,500 ($100,000+$500) Challenge (day 2) 2.15pm $250 ($230+$20) Last Chance Phase 2 Satellite 2.30pm Event 10: $550 ($500+$50) No Limit Hold’em 4pm Event 11: $5000 ($4750+$250) Chinese Poker 6.15pm $1150 ($1060+$90) Last Chance Phase 3 Main Event Supershot Satellite 6.30pm Event 12: $5300 ($5000+$300) No Limit Hold’em Heads Up (Flight 1; 8 players max per flight) January 24 12.30pm Event 8: $10,600 ($10,000+$600) Aussie Millions Main Event Day 1 Flight 3 2.15pm Event 13: $550 ($500+$50) No Limit Hold’em Terminator


Event 12: $5300 ($5000+$300) No Limit Hold’em Heads Up (Flight 2; 8 players max per flight)

January 25 12.15pm Event 14: $550 ($500+$50) No Limit Hold’em 12.30pm Event 8: $10,600 ($10,000+$600) Aussie Millions Main Event Day 2 6.15pm Event 15: $2500 ($2250+$250) H.O.R.S.E. (two-day event) 6.30pm Event 12: $5300 ($5000+$300) No Limit Hold’em Heads Up (Flight 3; 8 players max per flight) January 26 12.15pm Event 16: $550 ($500+$50) No Limit Hold’em 12.30pm Event 8: $10,600 ($10,000+$600) Aussie Millions Main Event Day 3 2pm Event 15: $2500 ($2250+$250) H.O.R.S.E. (day 2) 6.15pm Event 17: $2500 ($2250+$250) Pot Limit Omaha (two-day event) 6.30pm Event 12: $5300 ($5000+$300) No Limit Hold’em Heads Up (Flight 4; 8 players max per flight) January 27 12.15pm Event 18: $2500 ($2250+$250) No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed (two-day event) 12.30pm Event 8: $10,600 ($10,000+$600) Aussie Millions Main Event Day 4 2pm Event 19: $250,000 Challenge 2pm Event 17: $2500 ($2250+$250) Pot Limit Omaha (day 2) 6:15pm Event 20: $1100 ($1000+$100) 8 Game Mixed Event (two-day event) 6.30pm Event 12: $5300 ($5000+$300) No Limit Hold’em Heads Up (finals) January 28 12.15pm Event 21: $550 ($500+$50) w/ $500 rebuy & add-on No Limit Hold’em Turbo Cubed 12.30pm Event 8: $10,600 ($10,000+$600) Aussie Millions Main Event Day 5 2pm Event 20: $1100 ($1000+$100) 8 Game Mixed Event (day 2) 2.15pm Event 23: $25,500 ($25,000+$500) No Limit Hold’em Semi-Shootout (Day 1) 6.15pm Event 24: $550 ($500+$50) Pot Limit Omaha January 29 12.15pm Event 23: $25,500 ($25,000+$500) No Limit Hold’em Semi-Shootout (Day 2) 12.30pm Event 25: $1100 ($1000+$100) Australian Poker Hall Of Fame Classic No Limit Hold’em 2.15pm Event 26: $10,500 ($10,000+$500) 8 Game Mixed Event (two-day event) January 30 12.30pm 12.15pm Event 23: $25,500 ($25,000+$500) No Limit Hold’em SemiShootout (Day 3)


THErealdeal PMA Poker Room

Stepping back

Hachem announces reduced schedule for 2012

We’re delighted to have 2005 WSOP champion Joe Hachem writing exclusively for The Real Deal, continuing an association with Joe dating back to 2006. And by the sound of it, life’s travelling quite nicely for the Australian Poker Hall of Fame Legend. 28

It’s great to be back chatting poker and life with the boys from The Real Deal, which I’m sure will be a big success like their previous publications. Life’s been very busy, but not much poker though! My last poker trip was to London for the EPT and High Roller events. I played really well on day one, built some good stacks but then on day two of both events, I just couldn’t win a hand and bombed out in both. Other than that I played the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series Main Event – again I made day two after having built a solid stack but was out second hand of the day. So I’m starting a bit of a habit now although that was my best JHDSS Main Event performance to date! I’m about to head off to Los Angeles next week for business rather than play. I’ve been working on a TV show concept and will be meeting some TV execs there, so I’m hoping I can return with some exciting news on that front. I can’t say too much but it’s an international TV show concept, it’s a really exciting concept, and it’s not poker! There you go. I’ll tell you all about it hopefully next edition. The 2012 Joe Hachem/Shane Warne Charity Poker event is coming up soon (January 15), and it should again be a big event for us. It’s built a bit of a reputation of it’s own now that event, so people look forward to it every year. It’s a great thing to be part of the AM schedule. Hopefully it will be the biggest event we’ve had so far. It’ll be held in the space used for the Aussie Millions final table in recent years so that should provide a good atmosphere. It’s a great place for it, it’ll be self contained, people can come and watch. I’m looking forward to it. Of course, that means the Aussie Millions is also coming up soon. One of my most exciting pieces of news for me is that I will not be going to the PCA! I will not be jet-lagged for the first time in six years at the Aussie Millions. That will mean I will play many more events, probably six or seven, and try to knock up a score. Next year all round is going to be a much different year for me, I’ll travel a lot less, focus on home a lot more. So, it’s at that point where if I can

Joe Hachem

just travel four times a year maximum, make each trip worthwhile, knock off a few tournaments in one trip, be a bit smarter about it. After six and a half years, I’m ready to enjoy it a bit more rather than keep slogging. I’ve never agreed with the lifestyle of being on tour all the time, living out of a suitcase, being a tournament junkie from tournament to tournament. I’ve finally worked hard enough where I can do the things I want to and what are important to me. There aren’t that many happy people on tour. I think it’ll work well – the reality is that poker tournaments are a numbers game. There’s no way I can compete against the guys that are on tour all the time and that’s their life. The WSOP would be the given – a snapshot would be something like February at the LA Poker Classic (always a good tournament) June/July at the WSOP, September/October to EPT London, WSOPE and maybe a few others in

Europe, then December to Las Vegas for the Five-Diamond and Epic Poker event, then back home for the Aussie Millions. Rather than chase, I’d rather sit back and enjoy, make the most of what I’ve got, and do the best that I can when I can. Thank God I’ve got a few runs on the board, so I can afford to do that, life’s good. Spending more time at home will also give me a chance to follow the

fortunes of my son Daniel (pictured left) as he chases a career in the AFL. In 2012, he’ll be a top-age player in the elite junior TAC Cup competition, playing for the Oakleigh Chargers. All I can say is that he’s shown some potential, people in the know have said. So we’ll see how it pans out, fingers crossed he’ll be picked up, that’ll be more exciting for me than winning the World Series to be honest. This time next year will be the time. Exciting times – to see my son achieve his dream, with no pushing from me, just support, it’s his dream. He’s been passionate about it all his life, and he’s put in the hard work and it’s finally starting to show some dividend, I’m just so excited for him. We’re all Carlton fans, except for my wife Jeanie and daughter Justine who follow our arch-enemies Collingwood – imagine if Daniel gets picked up by Collingwood, OMG – let’s not think about that though!

The party never ends The month of November has just been about partying and entertaining. First we had the opening of the Mahogany Room at Crown, the Spring Carnival and opening night of Club 23, which was a massive night. The Kings of Leon were in town and I was hosting them for a few days, then I hosted the US Presidents Cup Team for a BBQ and dinner and watched them play a few of the days. We’ve had two lots of relatives visiting from interstate and abroad, and we’re renovating at the moment. I’m absolutely stuffed but so much fun – I’m not complaining! It sounds like fun, but you’re still working in a way. Even though it’s a nice atmosphere, it’s still working. Mind you, there are plenty of worse jobs out there! And I’ve been pretty diligent in the gym. Even though I’m not working out as much as I’d like to I’m content, I’m doing something you know. Otherwise, I’d turn into a bloody marshmallow man.

December 2011 / January 2012


THErealdeal PMA Poker Room

Moment in the sun

Who’ll be Star Poker’s first Summer Series champion? When it comes to poker in Australia, the month of December and The Star have been intrinsically linked since Grant Levy became the first Australian player to win AUD $1 million on home soil back in 2007.


he Star proudly announces that to help celebrate the launch of its new poker brand Star Poker that the first Star Poker Summer Series has been scheduled for November 29-December 6. Star Poker manager Stephen Ibrahim said he was thrilled to announce the schedule for the Star Poker Summer Series and build on the Big Game Poker brand. “The Star Poker Summer Series will offer a minimum prize pool of AUD $1,000,000. Along with major tournament series such as this, we’ll continue to offer our regular weekly and monthly games,” he said. The Star Poker Summer Series will feature 10 events, and kicks-off with the traditional Opening Event. The buy-in of $330 means this event is accessible to aspiring pros and enthusiastic amateurs alike, who’ll take their seats alongside some of Australia’s best players. The event will be played under a repechage format, which means if players are eliminated in either flight one or two, they can re-enter the event in flights two or three.


December 2011/January 2012


THErealdeal PMA Poker Room Next up is a short-handed Pot Limit Omaha event with a buy-in of $660, a starting stack of 10,000 and 30-minute levels. This format is growing in popularity and is sure to attract a crack field of the country’s finest PLO exponents. Sunday, December 4 promises to be one of the biggest days in the history of the Star Poker room with the first Sydney Special No Limit Hold’em event. With a buy-in of $1100, a deep start stack of 15,000 and 40-minute levels, organisers are expecting a field of both quality and quantity. Later the same day, the spotlight shifts to Australia’s premier female players and the $400 Ladies Event. This is the biggest buy-in event for female players in Australia, and unlike other ladies events, the start stack of 8000 and 30-minute levels will provide ample opportunity for their skills to shine through. Event five is another innovative addition to the schedule, and is sure to bring the poker equivalent of adrenalin junkies out of the shadows. It’s a $220 Turbo Rebuy event, with a start stack of 5000 and just 20-minute levels. Expect a big prizepool to build in the early stages of this one! The schedule continues with a testing $440 buy-in Mixed No Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha tournament (10,000 start stack and 30-minute levels) before the ultra-popular $440 Team Event (10,000 start stack and 25-minute levels). Now we get to the business end of the Series, starting with one of the most popular events on any major tournament schedule – the No Limit Hold’em Six-handed event. The buy-in for this event is $660, start stack in 10,000 and the levels are 40 minutes. Later in the day is the $10,500 No Limit Hold’em High Rollers tournament, which looms as the ultimate battle between our young guns and old guard. It’s been a banner year for some of our most experienced players but High Stakes events at The Star have been owned by our best young stars in recent years. Players will start with a stack of 20,000 with levels of 45 minutes. Now, for the culmination of the Star Poker Summer Series – the $5000 buy-in Main Event. The best players from Australia and the AsiaPacific region will turn out in force for a shot at one of our nation’s most prestigious titles. Levy, Rowe, Benton, Karamalikis … who’ll be the next to add his or her name to the honour roll? Players will have plenty of time to stake their claim, with a start stack of 30,000 and 60-minute levels. Players still have the chance to win into the Main Event for a slice of the full buy-in via one of the numerous satellites scheduled. Check our tournament schedule for details.


2011 Star Poker Summer Series schedule November 29 (6.30pm) Event 1: $330 Opening Event No Limit Hold’em (day 1 flight 1) November 30 (12.30pm) Event 1: $330 Opening Event No Limit Hold’em (day 1 flight 2 repechage) November 30 (6.30pm) $300 Summer Series Mega Satellite December 1 (12.30pm) Event 1: $330 Opening Event No Limit Hold’em (day 1 flight 3 repechage) December 2 (12.30pm) Event 1: $330 Opening Event No Limit Hold’em (day 2) December 3 (12.30pm) Event 2: $660 Pot Limit Omaha Six-handed December 3 (4pm) Event 1: $330 Opening Event No Limit Hold’em (final table) December 4 (12.30pm) Event 3: $1100 Sydney Special No Limit Hold’em December 4 (2pm) Event 4: $400 Ladies No Limit Hold’em December 4 (6.30pm) $1100 High Rollers Satellite December 5 (12.30pm) Event 5: $220 Turbo Re-entry December 5 (4pm) Event 3: $1100 Sydney Special No Limit Hold’em final table (if required) December 5 (6.30pm) $300 Summer Series Mega Satellite December 6 (12.30pm) Event 6: $440 Mixed NLH/PLO December 6 (6.30pm) Event 7 $440 No Limit Hold’em Teams Event December 7 (12.30pm) Event 8 $660 No Limit Hold’em Six-handed December 7 (4pm) E vent 9 $10,500 No Limit Hold’em High Rollers December 7 (6.30pm) $300 Summer Series Mega Satellite December 8 (12.30pm) Event 10 $5000 Summer Series Main Event day 1 flight 1 December 8 (4pm) Event 8 $660 No Limit Hold’em Six-handed final table (if required) December 8 (6.30pm) $300 Summer Series Last Chance Mega Satellite December 9 (12.30pm) Event 10 $5000 Summer Series Main Event day 1 flight 2 December 10 (12.30pm) Event 10 $5000 Summer Series Main Event day 2 December 11 (12.30pm) $550 Aussie Millions Mega Satellite December 11 (2pm) Event 10 $5000 Summer Series Main Event final table

Gallery of champions 2007 (561 players; $6000 buy-in; prizepool $3,336,000); winner: Grant Levy (Left) (Australia) $1,000,000 2008 (477 players; $6000 buy-in; prizepool $2,862,000); winner: Martin Rowe (right) (Australia) $1,000,000 2009 (396 players; $6000 buy-in; prizepool $2,376,000); winner: Aaron Benton (left) (Australia) $594,000 2010 (289 players; $6000 buy-in; prizepool $1,734,000); winner: Jonathan Karamalikis (right) (Australia) $459,510

Jamie Glazier

Take the first steps on...

The path of enlightenment

Humans are funny creatures – too often toying and tinkering with their actions in search of perfection. But, as mental conditioning coach Jamie Glazier explains, they key to success can be as simple as developing a plan and sticking to it.


ne thing I have found with most of the athletes I have worked with over the past 10 years is that there is a perception that success isn’t guaranteed. I understand the principle behind this thought process, but I feel that there is an alternative theory that has a much more empowering impact on the quality of your performance. I have found that the players that buy into the concept that success is not guaranteed have a tendency to jump from many and varied ways of going about their sports – at times focusing on aspects that are not within their control, or simply jumping ship before they have had a chance to ingrain a certain behaviour and see the rewards of their consistency. Humans are an impatient breed at the best of times and I feel that this – along with our lack of ability in being able to create a high level of focus towards what we are doing – are some of the biggest hurdles when it comes to achieving peak performance. A more empowering theory would be that if you create a success plan, stay committed to your success plan consistently and make necessary adjustments along the way – and success WILL happen. This attitude and approach has never been more important than it is in the game of poker. Your poker success long

December 2011 / January 2012

term comes down to one and one thing only – the quality and the consistency with which you approach YOUR game. It doesn’t depend on what card comes on the river or whether or not you get stacked by a donkey, it depends on whether or not you can stick to your success plan and the game plan you have no matter what happens in those many aspects of the game that are outside your control. One of the first things to do is to create your success plan. Your success plan should consist of processes that you have 100 per cent control over that will help you to become the best player you can be. Some of those aspects may be: • Studying your play • Studying your decisions • Studying your emotional states • Studying why and how these states may change mid-session • Studying your eating and hydration habits during your sessions • Studying your preparation strategy for your session (do you have one?) These are just a few aspects that may make up your success plan. Most of them revolve around research and studying your play and looking at implementing new strategies to eliminate the negative behaviours you may experience during the session. You also need to look at how each

session has an impact on you in your life in general. Do you go home and put the dog in the kennel for the night if you lose but let it sleep on your bed if you win? How do the results you have impact you as a person? If your results have a dramatic impact on who you become in life outside poker, then I would say that you have no success plan and if you do, it revolves around results or things that you have no control over. When you create a good quality success plan that places your decisions, your actions/reactions and your behaviours as the most important aspect to gauge success or failure, you have total control. Winning sessions consist of you doing the best you can right now with the current situation rather than whether you end the session up or down financially. When you begin to hold more importance to the quality of your actions and behaviours as opposed to how much money you finished with, I guarantee that over time you will be successful and on the path to becoming the best poker player you can be. Ed’s note: Jamie Glazier operates Dare2Dream Peak Performance and Mental Conditioning. Check out his website or drop him an email at jamieglazier@


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European vacation

Hinrichsen pockets ultimate poker souvenir Aussies haven’t featured prominently in the increasingly packed summer schedule of tournaments in Europe, but that all changed in 2011 with Andrew Hinrichsen’s victory in the WSOP Europe €1000 No Limit Hold’em title One of the most exclusive clubs in Australian poker has welcomed a new member after Andrew Hinrichsen won the €1000 No Limit Hold’em title in the largest tournament ever played in the five-year history of World Series of Poker Europe. A tidal wave of 771 poker players from dozens of nations packed the Hotel Majestic Barriere in Cannes, which obliterated the previous record turnout for WSOP gold bracelet events held in Europe of 608 players who turned out for the 2009 opener, held in London.


As predicted, this tournament turned out to be a showcase for the host nation. There were 30 players from France who cashed in this tournament. That number represents most French players ever to cash in any WSOP tournament, in history. By contrast, 23 French players cashed in this year’s WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas. However, it was an Australian player who was the star of the three-day battle. Andrew Hinrichsen, a 23-year-old poker pro from Melbourne, Australia won his first gold bracelet. He

Europe review

may have had to travel 16,000 miles on the other side of the world to make poker history, but the trip was certainly worth it, for Hinrichsen. “It’s a significant achievement, for sure. I am pretty speechless at the moment, to be honest. I have not even had much time to think about it. These kinds of things are always so unrealistic when you think about it. You just don’t think about it much until it actually happens. So, now I guess I will have the next few days to think about this and enjoy it,” he said. “I think I felt that my extended friends and family did not know that much about poker. But they had the live stream (last summer) on ESPN. I started getting all these messages from cousins and everyone saying they were watching me on TV. It was a pretty weird feeling to experience that. But I have not really spoken to anyone back home (in Australia) in a while. So, I am not even sure if they know what’s happened yet.” Hinrichsen’s place in poker history has also been immortalised in his outstanding choice of attire at the final table, which comprised sky blue shirt, red trousers and a white scarf – selected by his travelling companions Daniel Neilson, Jonathan Karamalikis and Ben Delaney. “The four of us agreed that if any of us made a major final table, the other would get to choose what he’d wear so that’s how I ended up in those clothes,” Hinrichsen said. The Aussie made a stellar comeback run and spoiled what seemed to be a sure-victory for one of two Italian players. “There were four of us travelling around. So, we decided to make a trip of it (to Cannes.). We were already here for some EPT events. We spent a week in London. Then, we all came here. Some poker trips are usually not as good because you end up staying at the casino, you play all the time, and then you drink in the bar and that’s it. But on this trip, there was so much more to do because we were in Europe,” he said. At one point when play was three-handed, Hinrichsen was down to a single stack and seemed destined for third place. But the Australian stormed back and eliminated both Tarcisio Bruno (third) and Gianluca Speranza (second) in what can only be considered to be a staggering turn of events. Hinrichsen collected €148,030 in prizemoney.

December 2011/January 2012

“I got a bigger stack early, so I was never really in jeopardy, until the second day. On day two, the key hand for me was when I got into a big hand against Vanessa Selbst. I four-bet called with A-T. It was for like 40 big blinds. She had A-8, so I was fortunate to run into the bottom end of her range – my read was right on the hand but I was also a bit lucky since she could have had a better hand than me at that point,” he said. The 23-year-old Hinrichsen had hoped to forge a career in the AFL but found a new arena in which to focus his competitive nature three years ago. He said that if it were not for poker, he would probably be studying for a business degree at university. The Melburnian is one of the better performed players on the regional scene in recent years, having captured preliminary titles at the 2009 APPT Sydney and 2010 Aussie Millions series along with runner-up finishes in the 2009 ANZPT Queenstown Main Event and 2011 ANZPT Melbourne High Roller tournament. He also finished 23rd in the 2011 WSOP Main Event, earning USD $302,005 in prize money for that effort, competing against 6865 entries. “I was really shattered afterwards. To get there is such an unbelievable result. But I was shattered for weeks. You go so deep, and then …” he said. “This year has been really amazing. I had a bit of an up and down year last year. I spent some time away from poker. But this year has been really good for me and I have done really well.”

WSOP Europe event 2: €1090 buy-in No Limit Hold’em (771 players; 81 players paid; total prizepool (€740,160) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Andrew Hinrichsen (Australia) Gianluca Speranza (Italy) Tarcisio Bruno (Italy) Bernard Guigon (France) Roberto Romanello (UK) Eric Baudry (USA) John Eames (UK) Nabil Nedjai (France) Gregory Lejolivet (France)

€148,030 €91,262 €67,281 €50,146 €37,874 €28,977 €22,449 €17,608 €13,982


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Postcards from Europe Fox too cunning for WSOP Europe rivals Cannes may be best known for its glitzy and glamorous international film festival. But over the past two weeks, the biggest stars of the fabulous French Riviera have been poker players. No poker player played a bigger role nor gave a more masterful performance on the Cote d’Azur than Elio Fox, from New York City. He won the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, and for his victory, Fox collected a whopping USD $1,927,310 in prize money. He also received the most-cherished prize in the game of poker – his first WSOP gold bracelet. Fox became only the fifth WSOP Europe Main Event Champion in history, following in the trailblazing footsteps of four previous champions crowned in London, and exclusive club, which comprises Annette Obrestad (2007), John Juanda (2008), Barry Shulman (2009), and James Bord (2010). But Fox’s feat was perhaps the most impressive of any before, since he faced the nearly insurmountable challenge of overcoming a record tournament field size. Fox triumphed over a door-busting 592 total entries, making this tournament the largest WSOP Main Event Championship ever. The €10,000 buy-in was equal to about USD $13,765. The No Limit Hold’em tournament generated the second-biggest non-WSOP Main Event prize pool of all-time, totalling €5,692,800 (USD $7,828,409). Fox dominated the final table action, holding the chip lead from the first hand to the last hand, and started the heads-up battle against Chris Moorman with a 3-2 advantage and only extended his lead. In the final hand, the chips were all-in pre-flop with Fox holding Ad-Ts against Moorman’s Ah-7s. The board ran out 6s-4s-3h-6d-8h confirming Fox's victory while denying Moorman a shot at the WSOP Player of the Year title. True to his name, Fox’s performance was as sly as any WSOP victory this year. He seized the chip lead during when play went down to 12-handed and then began the final table session with the biggest stack. It took him about nine hours – lightning fast by WSOP Europe standards – to demolish what remained of the competition and take his place alongside the greats who have


won one of poker’s most prestigious prizes. Fox is a 25-year-old professional poker player. He was previously a college student at prestigious Bard College in New York before making the decision to play poker full-time. 2011 has been a monster year for the youthful new champ. Fox won the Bellagio Cup championship earlier this year, played in Las Vegas. For that victory, he won about USD $680,000. Fox won three times that amount here in Cannes, plus his first career WSOP gold bracelet. The top-64 finishers in this year’s WSOP Main Event Championship collected prize money. Also ranking among those who cashed were six former WSOP gold bracelet winners – including Jake Cody (8th), Amir Lehavot (15th), Erik Seidel (21st), Freddy Deeb (39th), Hoyt Corkins (42nd), and Sean Getzwiller (43rd).

Event 7: €10,400 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Main Event (593 players; 64 players paid; total prizepool €5,692,800) 1 Elio Fox (USA) €1,400,000 2 Chris Moorman (UK) €800,000 3 Moritz Kranich (Germany) €550,000 4 Brian Roberts (USA) €400,000 5 Dermot Blain (Ireland) €275,000 6 Shawn Buchanan (Canada) €200,000 7 Jake Cody (UK) €150,000 8 Max Silver (UK) €115,000 9 Patrik Antonius (Monaco) €90,000 10 Arnaud Mattern (France) €90,000 Other WSOP Europe bracelet winners Event 1: €2500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (360 players; 36 players paid; total prizepool (€864,000) – winner: Guilluame Humbert (Switzerland) €215,999 Event 2: €1090 buy-in No Limit Hold’em (771 players; 81 players paid; total prizepool (€740,160) – winner: Andrew Hinrichsen (Australia) €148,030 Event 3: €5300 buy-in No Limit Hold’em (180 players; 18 players paid; total prizepool (€882,000) – winner: Steve Billirakis (USA) €238,140 Event 4: €3200 buy-in No Limit Hold’em (258 players; 30 players paid; total prizepool (€743,040) – winner: Tristan Wade (USA) €182,048 Event 5: €10,400 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Split Format (120 players; 16 players paid; total prizepool (€1,200,000) – winner: Michael Mizrachi (USA) €336,008 Event 6: €1620 buy-in Six-handed Pot Limit Omaha (339 players; 36 players paid; total prizepool (€498,300) – winner: Philippe Boucher (Canada) €124,584

Europe review

Career high cash as Neilson snares third in San Remo

Team Americas gain revenge to square Caesars Cup ledger There was plenty of feeling in the second edition of the Caesars Cup, with Team Americas avenging their loss to Team Europe two years ago in this bi-annual poker event played as part of WSOP Europe. The victorious team comprised four Americans and one Canadian – including Phil Hellmuth jr (captain), Ben Lamb, Jason Mercier, Johnny Chan and Daniel Negreanu while Team Europe featured Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Jake Cody, Max Lykov, Gus Hansen and Tony G. MATCH 1: The first match went to Team Americas. The duo of Ben Lamb and Jason Mercier defeated Team Europe’s Tony G. and Jake Cody. The key hand occurred when Team Americas made two pair versus what turned out to be a busted flush draw by the Europeans. MATCH 2: At the first edition of Caesars Cup, the tandem of Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu lost what turned out to be a critical match to Team Europe. Hoping for revenge, the two poker superstars faced Team Europe’s Gus Hansen and Max Lykov. Same players. Same result. The critical hand for the Europeans was being dealt A-5 in an all-in situation versus Team Americas’ K-T suited. Team Europe made a full house and then closed out the victory a few hands later. MATCH 3: The Heads-Up match was expected to be a decisive moment in the competition. That fact was even more pronounced as Bertrand ElkY Grospellier took the European flag against poker legend Johnny Chan. Grospellier had Chan all-in a few times, but lost a big pot late in the 30-minute encounter when he overplayed a mediocre hand. About a dozen hands later, Team America took the lead when Chan’s 4-4 topped Grospellier’s A-6. MATCH 4: Team Europe desperately needed the final two matches in order to retain its title. Russian poker pro Max Lykov was selected to anchor the headsup match against Phil Hellmuth, who entered the confrontation in the midst of a personal losing streak. After about 30 minutes of back-and-forth play, the final hand was dealt when Hellmuth got lucky with his Q-T against Lykov's K-9. All the chips were in when a queen flopped, good for top pair for Team Americas, which scooped the final hand of Caesars Cup.

December 2011/January 2012

Sydneysider Daniel Neilson has again stamped his class one of the nation’s premier tournament players with a stunning third in the EPT San Remo Main Event at Casino Sanremo on the Italian Riviera, and pocketing more than AUD $377,000 for his efforts. Neilson, whose two previous biggest tournament cashes came in High Roller events at The Star in 2009 (ANZPT) and 2010 (Sydney Champs), dominated the event. He was second in chips at the end of days three and four), led the field into the final table and was still the man to catch with five players remaining. He lost the chip lead to eventual champion Andrey Pateychuk when he pushed all-in over the Russian’s four-bet pre-flop and found his A-9 up against A-K for a pot of more than 9.5 million. The board ran out 4-7-6-A-Q. His tournament ended in similar circumstances when he found his A-5 dominated by the A-9 of Dimitar Danchev, with the board of K-8-J-7-10 ending Neilson’s amazing run. After more than two hours of heads-up play, a short-stacked Danchev fell holding Ks-Qs to his opponent’s pocket sevens, with the board running out J-J-4-A-3. The Russian pro cashed in his first live tournament back in May 2010 and placed 15th at this year’s WSOP Main Event for $478,174. With his latest victory in Italy, Pateychuk has now taken his career earnings to $1,489,349, to go with his $225,504 won online under the screen name aangierr. EPT San Remo final table results 1 Andrey Pateychuk (Russia) €800,000 2 Dimitar Danchev (Bulgaria) €600,000 3 DANIEL NEILSON (Aust) €285,000 4 Barny Boatman (UK) €225,000 5 Jan Bendik (Slovakia) €170,000 6 Yorane Kerignard (France) €130,000 7 Rocco Palumbo (Italy) €95,000 8 Kevin MacPhee (USA) €63,694


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Living on

Is this the last great poker book? At the peak of the poker boom in the mid-2000s, new poker books were being released in their dozens as players across the globe sought to learn the secrets of the game’s elite performers. In recent years, the number of new titles has dwindled to just a handful each year, which further underlines the importance of the release of The Raiser’s Edge in the world of poker publishing. And how’s this for a line-up of contributors: • The Raiser’s Edge in the latest of a series of books authored under the guidance of 2006 Aussie Millions champion and Australian Poker Hall of Fame member Lee “Final Table” Nelson (left). He’s won titles across the globe including the 2011 ANZPT Melbourne Main Event and a record four Aussie Millions titles. • The lead author of The Raiser’s Edge is Bertrand ElkY Grospellier (right). His imposing record features wins in the 2008 PCA Main Event, 2008 WPT Championship, High Roller titles at the 2009 PCA and 2011 EPT Madrid along with the WSOP Seven-Card Stud World Championship earlier this year. • Tysen Streib (left) has been playing poker since 1998, both online and in live play. He specializes in the mathematical aspects of tournament structures, game theory, and optimal plays. His recent projects include new game design as well as developing artificial intelligences for computer players in both poker and other card/strategy games. He holds an engineering degree, as well as an MBA. • Well known to Aussie players having spent some time living in Melbourne, Tony bond18 Dunst (right) is a professional live and online tournament poker player and hosts the WPT’s latest addition The Raw Deal. He cashed six times in the 2010 WSOP for a total of $199,962. He is a highly respected articulate poker, writer, speaker, and analyst.


The Raiser’s Edge

Kill Everyone, a collaboration between Lee Nelson, Tysen Streib and Steven Heston, introduced a number of advanced concepts for new-school tournament play. Characterised by increased aggression and playing a wider range of hands than the old-school tight-aggressive strategy, newschool players are more unpredictable than those of the old school. In Kill Everyone, concepts such as hand selection, fold equity, fear equity, equilibrium strategies for short-stack play far from the money, bubble factors, tournament odds, and an equilibrium push/fold strategy for heads-up play were discussed in detail. Nelson and Grospellier met on the tournament trail. It turned out that ElkY had read Kill Everyone and was impressed with its content. He agreed not only to spearhead Kill Everyone’s translation into French, but also to comment on the places in the text where he agreed, and where his approach differed from that of the authors. The resulting book was called Kill ElkY, and when a new English edition of Kill Everyone was published, ElkY’s comments were included. The Raiser’s Edge is based on analysis of current trends in NLHE tournaments and covers topics not covered in Nelson’s previous titles Kill Phil or Kill Everyone and concentrates on the loose aggressive, and hyper-loose aggressive styles. Tournament poker, both live and online, is constantly evolving. The clear trend is toward looser and more aggressive (LAG) play. In online play, this “laggy” style has become widespread, with players moving chips around at dizzying speeds. As more and more of these talented young online players find their way into live tournaments around the globe, these contests are becoming accordingly more aggressive. The authors had numerous discussions regarding this trend and its implications. Now more than ever, identifying player types and tendencies and making appropriate adjustments are critical to tournament success. In The Raiser’s Edge, ElkY presents his unique approach to the game using specific hand examples from actual tournament situations to emphasise his thought processes, backed up by the solid maths analysis of Streib. “The Raiser’s Edge shows you how to adapt to the current state of all stages of tournament play, analysing how and why the LAG and hyper-LAG styles work, and instructing on how to apply – and defend against – them,” Nelson said. “This book closely examines the many techniques used by the world's most successful players, including three- and four-betting, floating and squeezing, smooth-calling and minraising, thin value betting, and the evolution of the metagame, along with equilibrium strategies based on starting hands and heads-up play. Even the ages and nationalities of your opponents are considered. There’s also an extensive bonus chapter on reading tells, contributed by bodylanguage expert Steve Van Aperen.” “This is not a book for beginners. Our target audience is intermediate and advanced tournament players, both online and live. If you fit this bill and want to improve your tournament play, then this book is for you,” Nelson said. With tournament poker evolving at a furious pace, serious players need to be ahead of the curve. The Raiser’s Edge conveys the powerful state-of-the-art tactics that will get you there fast. • The Raiser’s Edge – Tournament Poker Strategies for Today’s Aggressive Game (written by Bertrand ElkY Grospellier, Lee Nelson, Tysen Streib, and Tony Dunst) is now available to Australian poker players exclusively via PokerMedia Australia. The book will not be available in Australian bookshops. To ensure you have a copy of the book before Christmas, go to

December 2011/January 2012



pt r e c ge ex d e E v i s lus aiser’ c x E eR h T from

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How to use the Hyper-LAG style

How to defend against the Hyper-LAG style

“As long as opponents let you steal, keep doing it! Always be aware that you’re walking a fine line, and that any bluff can end up costing you a lot of chips. It’s important to distinguish the line between hyper-LAG and maniac and not fall into the wrong category by being overly aggressive. Maniacs will eventually get trapped and be out of the tournament. Variance is the key factor in the hyper-LAG style. If you elect to use this style, your play will be high variance. However, there are some things you can do to try to control variance whenever applicable. Bluffs and the ability to use scare cards to your advantage are a critical component of the hyper-LAG style. However, even when you bluff appropriately, there’s always a chance your opponent may actually have a hand, so you’ll have to risk a lot of chips in almost every hand you play. Eventually, opponents will play back at you and you’ll have to be ready to 5-bet with hands that are much less than premium. Personally, I’m more in favour of a balanced loose-aggressive style than a full-fledged hyper-LAG strategy. If you steal only once in a while, as opposed to systematically, it will take more time for your opponents to figure out what you’re doing, and stealing may actually be a little easier, because opponents won’t come over the top too often. To play an effective hyper-LAG style, you’ll also need to be able to change gears at different tournament stages. If you already have a big stack, avoid highvariance situations. Your play must vary depending on the size of your stack; the negative value of losing x chips is greater than the positive value of gaining x chips when you already have a big stack, especially if you believe you have an edge on the rest of the table.

In the modern game, defending against the LAG and hyper-LAG styles is arguably the most difficult thing to do. These opponents mix up their game so much that they’ll almost invariably put you to a tough decision. It’s especially difficult to play against them out of position. Close to the bubble is the toughest time to face hyper-LAGs, because you’re forced to fight back with a lighter range at times, or to give up control of the table at this crucial juncture. Oversized 3-bets all-in, even though they’re obviously high variance, can be a good counter against hyper-LAGs at bubble time, with hands such as medium pairs (where you wouldn’t normally like to make the same move against other opponents). For instance, let’s say you have 66 with 60 BB in the big blind. A hyperLAG has 25-30 BB and raises from the cut-off. This may be a good spot to for you to shove, because it’ll be hard for him to call with less than 88+. He may not be ready to play for his tournament life if he’s holding KJs, KQs, or QJs. However, if you make only a standard 3-bet, he’ll very likely reshove with such holdings. Therefore, especially around bubble time, a lot of your decisions should account for stack sizes and position, and you need to have fold equity on your side so you can pressure the hyper-LAGs with the threat of elimination. At the final table, the situation is pretty similar to the bubble. Stack sizes matter a lot. To the best of your ability, confront hyper-LAGs when you’re in position, because it’ll be much less of a headache. However, as fewer and fewer players remain, you’ll definitely have to be ready to play a highervariance game, dictated mostly by the behaviour of your hyper-LAG opponent. Heads-up, especially when your


opponent’s 3-betting frequency is high and stacks are fairly shallow, limping on the button more frequently may be a good strategy. Whereas your opponent may move all-in when you open with a min-raise, he won’t be able to do so if you just limp, which should enable you to see more flops, especially with hands that have good flopping value. Of course, you’ll have to mix up your limping range as well, from weak holdings to premium hands. When you limp with a monster and get raised, I think it’s best just to call and trap your opponent, as he’ll often take one or more stabs at bluffing. Hopefully, by the time you get to play heads-up against your opponent, you’ll have assessed his style well enough to set a trap at the right time! To play against hyper-LAGs, you have to increase your game variance. These are definitely the type of opponents against whom you can make some hero calls, since you know they seldom give up when they engage in a big bluff. They’ll 3-barrel bluff quite often. Hyper-LAGs tend to think that people will make a lot of moves on them. Therefore, it may be easier to set a squeeze trap for them with a premium hand. Avoid squeeze attempts with marginal hands against hyper-LAGs. Their 4-betting frequency is way too high for squeezes to be profitable in the long run. Therefore, unless you’re ready to play for all your chips, it’s better not to re-raise pre-flop too often against hyper-LAGs. Calling 4-bets from hyper-LAGs, especially out of position, is optimal only with monsters. There’s no middle ground. Either play really tight or really aggressively to fight back. If you decide to play back at them, you should do so once antes commence, rather than early

The Raiser’s Edge

on when pots are smaller. Before antes, I think the best strategy against hyper-LAGs is to wait for a big hand and try to set a trap. For instance, you may just flat-call a raise from the BB with KK and check-call all the way, unless the board is really too scary, because your opponent will usually fire three times. However, as always, you need to use good judgment and be able to adjust. Indeed, the good hyperLAG players have an extraordinary ability to sense troublesome situations and dodge Tourname bullets. If you make a nt poker Featuring 201 1 World Serie s trategies f s of Poker bracel stand against a hyperet winner o r today’s Bertrand “ElkY ” Grospellier LAG, it’s better if you aggressiv e game play tighter than your Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier image may suggest, , Lee Nelson , Tysen Streib because it’ll be and Tony Dunst easier for you to trap your opponent. Try to get involved when you’re in If you have a big stack or your table position. More than against any other is about to break soon, tighten up and opponent’s profile, you should try to avoid clashes. Beware of weak leads control pot sizes against hyper-LAG and fake blocking bets from hyperplayers, which is always easier to do LAGs; your opponent could actually when you’re in position. Additionally, have a big hand. If you raise, it gives him you should try to play a little tighter an opportunity to come over the top to than the hyper-LAG opponent’s prerepresent a strong hand. flop range. However, there’s no getting Against predictable players, you can around the fact that you need to prepare sometimes raise for information (with yourself to play big pots. the intention of folding to a re-raise) and Hyper-LAGs call light as well, so take down pots this way. This isn’t a avoid shoving speculative hands such as move likely to work against hyper-LAGs, 76s. It might sometimes be possible to though, not to mention that by doing so, 4-bet light if you decide to use counteryou’re the one potentially increasing aggression and project a tight image, variance in a significant manner. Again, but first make sure your opponent is not you should focus on pot control and crazy enough to 5-bet all-in with air! raise when you have a hand with which If you decide to 3-bet with AK against you’re ready to commit. a hyper-LAG early on, you should be Suppose there’s only one hyper-LAG ready to play for all your chips pre-flop, at the table and you have a comfortable because you’re usually ahead of your stack. When stacks are deep and opponent’s range. This is nevertheless you’re getting a decent share of table a very high-variance spot. December 2011/January 2012

control, you’ll sometimes be better off avoiding the overaggressive oppon-ent – even if you have to fold hands that are way ahead of his range. This is especially true if you have to play OOP. Your range should be tighter OOP, unless another bad player is already in the pot, because this will serve as some kind of protection for you. Smarter hyper-LAGs will seldom bluff the biggest calling stations. So if, for example, you’re in the big blind and a hyper-LAG opens from mid-position and gets called by a calling station in the small blind, it’s a decent spot to get in with a bit of a wider range than you’d usually call with heads-up. The hyper-LAG will bluff less, plus the value you can get from the calling station makes this play feasible. But be wary of all parameters and how good, or smart, the hyperLAG is. Maniacs don’t care about calling stations and are just going to rapid-fire anyway. Check/raising your big hands, especially on the river, is a good strategy to extract maximum value against hyperLAGs, who will 3-barrel a lot. Thin value bets could also be effective against hyper-LAGs, because they tend to call down very frequently, thinking their opponent may be making moves on them. There is, unfortunately, no single counter-strategy to universally employ against hyper-LAGs, which is why their style is so effective. You simply have to be ready to play high variance and bigger pots, closely observe your opponent’s tendencies, and exercise good judgment to pick the right spots.”



Scouting Report

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The rise and rise of Jesse McKenzie Having started to make some noise online over the past 12 months, Jesse McKenzie has taken his poker skills to the tournament scene of late with impressive results.

The Real Deal: You’ve made quite a splash this year Jesse and are making some noises online too, but not much is known about you. How did you get started playing poker?

Institute of Sport for bowls in NSW and we worked a lot on emotional control and mental skills. It was a technique I had to learn and then apply so I worked really hard to develop that.

Jesse McKenzie: Well I was a lawn bowler in Sydney, which I got into by accident, and some of the guys at the club played poker in a home game. So we would play SNGs and later on we’d play cash games. It was through those guys that I got into poker and then I took it up more seriously a couple of years ago, put some money online – about $27 – and started playing $3.80 SNGs. I ground that up moving through the levels. Around this time last year I started playing MTTs (multi-table tournaments) online after getting in contact with Brad Bower. He has helped me a lot with my MTT game because I had played 15,000 SNGs online before that and I was struggling to go deep in tournaments. I would blind myself down to 15 or 20 BBs and have no real chance of winning the tournament. He helped me develop my game to be able to be in a position to win the tournament.

TRD: Lawn bowls isn’t a sport you hear about too many young people playing. How did you get into that? JM: It was by chance. I was out with a mate one day when I was in high school – and he was really good at cricket and football while I was a state cricketer – so we were always competing at things, wanting to win. We walked past Penrith Bowling Club and he said he thought he could kick my arse at lawn bowls even though neither of us had ever played before. So we went in and had a go and there was a guy there, Albert Matthews – who is still there today – and he said that if we really wanted to learn to come in on a Saturday and get some coaching. The first tournament I went in I won which I thought was pretty good, so I continued to do that until I was 25. TRD: What’s the biggest transition you’ve made from online to live play?

TRD: Looks like you’ve learned quickly? JM: Yeah I’ve been pretty good at learning new things. I was at the


JM: I used to play a lot of live cash games – pretty deep and pretty big – in home games in Sydney and that helped

with my live tournament game because you really need to understand the level of thinking within the game. I think that’s where some of the online guys struggle when they come into the live arena because a lot of what goes on and how the game flow is and the way people think is completely different. And with some of the satellites – some players are qualifying in 3x Turbos or hyperturbos and then they get into these main events that are really deep and it is foreign territory. I bubbled four Gold Coast satellites in 3x Turbos but I didn’t mind as much because I knew those players would now be in the tournament. It makes the field a lot better. TRD: How important in regards to your career progression was your secondplace finish at ANZPT Adelaide? JM: It was one of my goals at the start of the year that I wanted to have a six figure score either online or live. To do it so early obviously set me up for the year and with the Player of the Year points system they’ve got with the ANZPT I do think that min-cashing is too heavily weighted and it can really affect the play on the bubble but I think that having the bonuses far outweighs the negatives in points being too heavily weighted towards min-cashing.

Were you there, reporting the action at the 2006 Aussie Millions Main Event, when Phil Ivey made an all-in bluff at a board of Jd-2d-2h-Ad-Kd with Qs-7h only for defending champion Jamil Dia to make an amazing call with no diamond, just Ah-Kc for top two-pair?

We Were !

EvEnt rEporting

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There’s a new Star in town $870 million redevelopment of The Star opens in spectacular fashion Sydney’s new one-of-a-kind leisure and entertainment venue, The Star, was unveiled during a glittering ceremony on Thursday, September 15. The $870 million transformation of Star City is highlighted by reorientation of the building to embrace Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. Once fully complete, The Star will boast more than 20 restaurants, bars and cafes, a new luxury boutique hotel and 16-room spa, upscale retail collection, a 4000-capacity entertainment centre and world class gaming areas.


The Star redevelopment


reated by internationally acclaimed events producer David Grant, the ceremonial opening of The Star featured a dazzling light and visual arts display, centred on The Star’s new glass façade harbourside entrance. The new harbourside frontage is made up of 147 flags of clear glass, which formed a giant screen on which a spectacular visual display unfolded. The opening celebrations went on for weeks, and were highlighted by an A-list affair that drew more than 800 VIP guests and included a rare performance from Stevie Wonder. The Motown superstar was welcomed on stage by actor Leonardo DiCaprio (currently in town for filming of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby), who admitted that Wonder was his favourite performer of all-time. The party was a star-studded affair with DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Russell Crowe, Entourage actor Adrian Grenier, Elle McPherson, Joel Edgerton and Sacha Baron Cohen attending. Other VIP guests who attended the event included Jennifer Hawkins and Jake Wall, Glenn McGrath and Sarah Leonardi, Erika Heynatz, Sophie Falkiner, Laura Csortan and Chris Joannou, Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch, Megan Gale and Kate Ritchie. One of the most exciting aspects of The Star is the stunning new lineup of world-class restaurants and dining options that now exist within the complex. But it’s not just about the restaurants – The Star has assembled some of the greatest Australian and international chefs including David Chang, Stefano Manfredi, Chase Kojima and Teage Ezard. For the first time patrons will be able to enjoy five-star dining while taking in one of our nation’s most spectacular views across Darling Harbour and the Sydney CBD. Two of the five signature dining venues are already open for business. For the first time, food icon Teage Ezard is bringing the bold and innovative fare developed at his Melbourne properties ezard and Gingerboy (see pages 44-45 for details). Balla marks Stefano Manfredi’s return to the Sydney dining scene with what he describes as the most Italian restaurant he has ever done. Balla is a modern interpretation of the classic Osteria Milanese, with a menu built around the heart of traditional Italian cuisine. The addition of a wood-fired grill to Stefano’s Italian kitchen reflects his dedication to delivering truly authentic cuisine. BLACK by ezard and Balla are also joined by Momofuku Seióbo (the latest brainchild of critically acclaimed international chef David Chang), Golden Century (Sydney’s favourite Chinese cuisine) and Sokyo (the buzz of Tokyo meets the beat of Sydney). But it’s not all about signature dining. Players should also try out Bistro 80 and its unique take on some Aussie favourites, Luke Nguyen’s Fat Noodle, something quick and fresh from The Food Quarter or Fuel, or sample one of the more than 130 hot or cold dishes on offer at the Garden Buffet. Another new feature of The Star is Café Court, where you’ll be able to kick back with a dish from Flying Fish & Chips; Pulse Express; Kampung; Dergah Grill; Din Tai Fung or Messina Gelato. For those looking to make a night of it The Star offers guests the choice of a deluxe cocktail lounge, Cherry, with a gorgeous skyline backdrop, or a live music venue, Rock Lily, hosting Australian and overseas acts in an intimate performance setting and offering the world’s most sought-after tequilas. A new upscale retail space includes a number of leading luxury fashion brands such as Chanel Fragrance & Beauty Boutique, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta. Other venues scheduled to open in early 2012 and 2013 include an international nightclub and a $100-million events centre which will be able to host A-list performers in intimate concert settings, conferences, exhibitions and 1500-seat banquet functions.

December 2011 / January 2012

The Darling sets a new standard for Australian hotels One of the true gems of The Star is Sydney’s newest hotel, The Darling. Offering a new standard of accommodation for poker players in town for one of the major championship series throughout the year, The Darling is nestled on the edge of Sydney harbour and boasts panoramic views of the city skyline, Harbour Bridge and out to the Blue Mountains. The Darling has 171 stylish rooms and suites, with the top floors featuring two-bedroom penthouse suites. The suites, uniquely designed by renowned LA designer, Lawrence Lee, feature floor-to-ceiling harbour views, bespoke furniture, fireplaces, media rooms, butler service and a private VIP arrival. Just the way to celebrate your big win! The Darling has been designed as a stand-alone hotel, with its own arrival experience, amenities and alluring personality. It is the first fivestar new build hotel in Sydney since the 2000 Olympic Games. Built in addition to the existing hotel and apartments, The Darling will bring the total rooms and suites at The Star to more than 650 across three towers. The new hotel General Manager, Drew Schlesinger, was handpicked to manage the new hotel, based on his experience and success of opening and managing landmark hotels around the globe including the InterContinental at New York Times Square, The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and The Water Club in Atlantic City and the Mondrian Hotel Los Angeles. “Our philosophy of The Darling is to take every aspect, whether it is a water glass or a coat hanger, and pay close attention to its form and function. From the coloured, soft coat hangers, to the hand-made drinking glasses in guest rooms. From the Egyptian cotton thread count bed sheets to the quality of the mattresses,” Mr Schlesinger said. A luxurious day spa with 16 private rooms is set to deliver pampering to the highest levels. An extensive array of Asian and European inspired treatments will feature at the spa, including an indulgent hamam, which is a Turkish variant of a steam bath, sauna or Russian Bath, distinguished by a focus on water. The hotel will also be home to a stunning, contemporary Japanese restaurant, Sokyo, from Chase Kojima, formerly with Nobu restaurants, delivering an exciting and unexpected menu. Other features of The Darling include an outdoor custom designed pool area with a deck, cabanas and bar; and access to the restaurants, bars and retail stores in The Star complex. Reservations for The Darling can be made by calling 1800 800 830.


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Black is the new black Culinary master joins The Star’s dining line-up Bold and more than a little blokey is the obvious way to describe Chef Teage Ezard’s latest adventure. Feted for more than a decade by Melburnians for his Asian-influenced, boundary-smashing food at ezard (two hats) and Gingerboy, Ezard has now set up shop in Sydney, as Lucy Callander discovered.


Teage Ezard’s new restaurant, Black by Ezard, is part of the massive re-invention of Star City. The Pyrmont complex has been rebranded as the Star and repositioned in the market with a new focus on fine dining. Ezard is one of the culinary masters now in residence at Star. He did some re-inventing of his own when developing Black, returning to his classical training to add some European flair to a classic American steakhouse. “I’ve wanted to establish a steak restaurant in Sydney for a while. The best casinos in the world all have a great steak restaurant, so it was fitting to create mine within the Star complex,” Ezard said. Ezard had this in mind when selecting Black’s executive chef Michael Tripp. Prior to taking up the position in Sydney the Las Vegan specialised in French and continental fine dining at Michelin star rated restaurants Joel Robuchon, Mix,

Lutece, Pinot Brasserie and Aria Hotel. His international experience and classical training made him the perfect fit for the job, Ezard said. “My chefs are really an extension of me. We have to be on the same page for it to work in the kitchen.” Ezard wanted his dining room to exude masculinity and he enlisted Paul Kelly Design to give the space some grunt. The result is a sleek and sexy space incorporating dark wood, copper, leather and, of course, a lot of black. Steak is certainly the hero at Black. To create the perfect steak that is tender, juicy and full of flavour the Black kitchen cooks the meat sous vide (water bath) at a temperature of 54C for an hour. The cut is then wood grilled and served with the choice of 13 sides and eight sauces. “The sous vide gives it a wonderful perfume,” Ezard said. But you don’t have to be a meat eater to appreciate Black. There may

Dining be 10 cuts of beef alone on the menu, but Ezard does more than nod to other proteins with six fish and seafood main options and an imaginative vegetarian pasta dish. Or pull up a pew at the bar, order one of the 700 wines on offer and watch the harbour from the floor to ceiling windows.

The essentials Black by Ezard - Level G, Harbourside, The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont; hours – lunch: Fridays 12-3pm, dinner: Tuesday-Sunday 5.30pm-11pm, closed Mondays.

The signature dish An entrée of crispy organic farm egg, wrapped in brick pastry with potato cream, shaved truffle and Iberico Jamon.

The crowd pleaser Save room for the chocolate sphere. The banana ice cream and hazelnut mousse is made ever more decadent when your waiter pours warm couverture ganache over it at the table. Ezard said he may tinker with the ingredients but the dish would remain on the menu.

The secret ingredient

The name

Ocean water sourced off the coast of Kona, Hawaii is used to poach the seafood dishes at Black. The water comes from 3000 feet below the ocean and is regarded as the cleanest H2O on the planet. It comes to Black via Hong Kong and Ezard says it gives the fish a completely different flavour. “It drinks well too, but at $25 for 1.25 litres I don’t think it will be served as water for the table,” he said.

Black worked on all levels, Ezard said. “There is the obvious reference to the use of black and red in a casino, but black has other connotations that worked for the concept. It’s strong and masculine and earthy and is also the colour of the char grill.”

The prime position Ezard recommends nabbing a spot at the two-tonne wooden high table for views of both Sydney Harbour Bridge and the open kitchen. “It’s also the place if you want to be seen,” Ezard said.

The crowd Black is the new black with visiting A-listers including Leonardo Di Caprio and electro pop duo LMFAO. Russell Crowe is also a fan. “He likes a good steak,” Ezard said.

The chef’s order Ezard would pick a flat iron steak with a marble score nine, served with Argentinian chimichurri sauce. The bill: $190 for two, plus drinks

The last word For the perfect steak with a side serve of glamour, put it all on Black! December 2011 / January 2012


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Summer lovin’ Melbourne heats up in January Melburnians are sports mad and there’s no better place to be in January when the city is awash with the superstars of tennis, cricket and, of course, the Aussie Millions Australian Poker Championship. The locals also love to eat, shop, and party and are spoilt for choice in a city brimming with cuttingedge cuisine, unique boutiques and funky bars. The beaches and golf courses aren’t bad either. • For more poker travel guides, check out

WATCH For two weeks in January all eyes are on Melbourne Park as the superstars of tennis hit town to contest the first Grand Slam of the year. The Australian Open has become known for its riveting matches and party atmosphere and 2012 will not disappoint. Each night of the tournament spectators will be treated to Australia’s hottest acts and upcoming talent including rock bands, pop icons, and DJs performing on Grand Slam Oval. The Australian Open runs from January 14-29. Tickets and information at

Cricket legend Shane Warne was lured out of retirement this year to play for Melbourne Stars in the inaugural KFC T20 Big Bash League. The eightteam competition kicks off this month with the Stars scheduled to play their last game before the final series begins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 19. If Warney’s form holds he could be spinning his team to the semi-finals on January 21 and 22 and even the final on January 28. To buy Big Bash tickets or find out more about the competition visit

PARTY Madam Brussels (; level 3, 59 Bourke Street, Melbourne – this quirky and bohemian watering hole has astroturf, a garden fence and curling vines, and that’s just inside) Siglo (Level 2, 161 Spring St, Melbourne; 03 9654 6300 – the rooftop extension of Melbourne’s iconic Supper Club offers spectacular views of Parliament House and a humidor full of fat Cubans) Miss Libertine (, 34 Franklin Street, Melbourne – for beer, pizza and thumping beats to get you dancing in the massive undercover courtyard)





If you have to spend hours with your eyes closed, do it in style in an opulent five-star hotel room or score a great deal on a modern apartment.

From elegant fine dining in swanky riverside venues and world-class hotels to quirky tapas bars tucked away in city laneways, Melbourne is known for its food.

Crown Metropole (; toll free: 1800 056 662; email: reservations@crownmetropol. With panoramic views of Melbourne, an elegant and contemporary design and an exclusive day spa, this five star is the newest jewel in Melbourne’s crown. Spoil yourself in a City Luxe King room from $500 a night. Crown Towers (; toll free: 1800 811 653; email: reservations@ Opulent, oversized rooms, access to Crown Spa, superb signature restaurants and the 24-hour excitement of Crown Casino are part of the package at this award-winning luxury hotel. Indulge in a Deluxe King room from $460 a night. Crown Promenade (; toll free: 1800 776 612; email:

Spice Temple (; 03 8679 1888; Crown Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank – Neil Perry’s regional Chinese) Rockpool (; 03 8648 1900; Crown Complex, Riverside – the ultimate steakhouse) Nobu (; 03 9292 7879; Crown Complex, Riverside Promenade – contemporary and innovative Japanese) The Atlantic (; 03 9698 8888; Crown Complex, Riverside Promenade – from the ocean to the plate, seafood in its purest form) The Press Club (; 03 9677 9677; 72 Flinders St, City – the flagship venue for MasterChef judge, George Calombaris, serving modern Greek cuisine) MoVida (, 03 9663 3038, 1 Hosier Lane. City – serving arguably the best Spanish in Melbourne, f you can’t get a table try MoVida Aqui, MoVida Next Door or Terraza) Coda (; 03 9650 3155; Basement 141 Flinders Lane. City – Adam D’Sylva’s menu has an Asian influence with a nod to Europe)


This stylish hotel includes a state of the art leisure facility, with an indoor pool, outdoor sun decks, steam rooms and gym. Soak up the excitement in a corner room from $400 a night. Mantra Southbank (31 City Rd, Southbank; freecall: 1800 888 626; email: Pat Rafter knows a thing or two about great service and ace deals, that’s why the Aussie tennis champ recommends Mantra’s Mate’s Rates for Melbourne. A 10-minute walk from Crown Casino, these four and half star one and two bedroom apartments are perfect for longer stays. Mate’s Rates – $203 per night in a one-bedroom executive apartment for stays of three nights or more Mantra Little Bourke (471 Little Bourke St, Melbourne; freecall: 1800 682 004; email: Feel the pulse of the city in an executive suite or apartment, with direct access to Melbourne’s quirky laneway restaurants, bars and boutiques. Mate’s Rates – $194 a night in an executive suite for stays of two nights or more

December 2011 / January 2012

Combine some retail therapy with a tour of Melbourne's historic network of laneways and arcades. Explore Block Cathedral and Royal arcades and discover an eclectic mix of boutiques selling everything from fashion to lollipops. Stop for lunch in Degraves Street, Block Place or Hardware Lane. Download directions and map from

PLAY With 14 golf clubs offering 18 courses, Mornington Peninsula is a golfer’s heaven. Tee up a round at the exclusive National Golf Club at Cape Schanck and Moonah links that hosted the 2003 and 2005 Australian Open, the century-old Flinders Golf Club with spectacular cliff top views.


THErealdeal Upgrade

Battle of the buck$ Add some Forex fightin’ to your investment arsenal With the Aussie dollar still strong it’s never been a better time to dip your toes into currency trading, as we discussed with Forex CT’s Steven Dooley.


n 2010 the average tax refund was about $2300, and according to the Bankwest Social Indicator Series – Taxing Times, almost half of Australia’s 13 million taxpayers planned to use the money to pay off or reduce debt. But what if those canny taxpayers decided to use some of that return, say $1000, to ride the currency wave? Would that modest sum be enough to trade legitimately and possibly turn a profit? “Definitely. Typically, the first place most people would look to invest that money is the share market, but it’s quite hard to do that with $1000,” Forex CT account manager Steven Dooley said. “To be smart with shares, the experts say you need to own from six to 12 shares to benefit from diversification. Let’s say you decide on 10 shares. It costs $19 to get in and you spend another $80 on each of your 10 shares, straight away you’re down $200 on brokerage, and that’s 20 per cent of your total capital. “You could pick just one share, but that’s really a gamble. To invest in shares with that amount of money, you’re better off putting it into a managed fund.


I would say to invest in shares and do it properly you need about $10,000.” Foreign exchange (or Forex) currency trading offers more options for beginners with small bankrolls. The key is the leverage offered by Forex brokers. This allows a trader to trade money he/she doesn't have in order to be an equal participant on the Forex market alongside large institutional traders, such as banks, financial institutions and individuals with large trading accounts. For each real dollar funded by a trader, Forex brokers offer a leverage up to 400:1 or even higher in some cases, which increases the traders’ buying/ selling capabilities. “With $100 you can get exposure to about $40,000 in the market. If you buy the Australian dollar and it goes up 1 per cent – which it often does each day – you’ve made $400,” Dooley said. But it’s not as easy as it sounds: “It’s a double-edged sword. If you have a $40,000 position in the market, if it goes against you, you can lose your $1000,” he said. “Some brokers will let you go into debt against a position and you might find that you end up owing even more

than you initially invested. It has a great potential for reward, but like everything in the financial market it has the equal capacity of risk.” Successful traders are those who minimise the risk. By only risking small amounts of your capital on each trade and mastering the stop loss technique, experienced and professional traders reduce their risk to level with which they are comfortable. A stop loss or stop order is a point in the market where you tell your Forex broker to take you out of the market when you order isn't going the way you expected. It aims to cut your losses and protect any remaining capital. “Stop losses are the difference between successful and being toast very quickly,” he said. Finding a broker that will help you control risk is important: “A key question to ask is ‘If the market goes deeply against me will I end up owing you money?’ That’s where trading is dangerous,” Dooley said. You can experiment with setting stop loss through a demonstration account. All brokers offer free accounts with play money to help beginners learn

Money matters

more about the process. “The broker will give you $100,000 play money in your account and you can do whatever you like. That’s how most people gain their first exposure to the market,” Dooley said. It’s a good idea to choose a broker that offers demonstration accounts that provide all the functions as a live account. “Some brokers offer low-scale versions of a real account. For example you might only be able to use a couple of currencies, or certain amounts over $100,000,” he said. “You need a broker that provides you will all the functionality of a live account otherwise it’s difficult to really rate the broker. Typically novice traders graduate from a demo account to a live account and that’s how the broker makes money.” Mr Dooley said those that do graduate to using real money should never risk more than they are willing to lose. “If you and your partner are saving a house deposit, don’t think you can use Forex to double what’s in your account. The money you’re using is too important to you and you’ll end up trading scared. People need to understand the market is a wild beast and you have to treat it seriously. But if you do treat it with respect and focus on risk there is real potential for you.”

Taking on the greenback

You don’t need an economics degree to be a currency trader. In fact, you don’t even need to read the business section of the newspaper. Simply being an Aussie means you already know everything you need to get started. That’s because the most common and popular currency trading is done with the Australian dollar. Currency trading is conducted in pairs, with the Australian dollar typically paired with the US dollar. The reason it’s popular is because the Australian economy is tied to commodities that are tied to economic growth. In essence when things are good, the Aussie dollar goes up and when they are bad, it goes down. The indicators used to judge how the dollar will move are interest rates, inflation, debt and business performance. And the majority of us already know what’s happening with interest rates. The performance of the US dollar is also common knowledge among everyday Aussies. You only have to look at the popularity of online shopping and US holidays to see that people are already moving to capitalise on the strength of the Australian dollar against the greenback.

Getting started

The first thing step on the path to becoming a Foreign Exchange Currency Trader is to choose a broker. It is important to review and compare the options of each broker closely and choose the one that makes you feel most comfortable. A broker that offers face-to-face support in addition to online education material is a good idea when you’re starting out. Once you’ve picked your broker it’s time to open a demonstration account. Most brokers will offer at a minimum 30-day trial of their trading platform, giving you a chance to trade using play money. When you have mastered the platform, invest some time in learning about leverage. Forex brokers typically offer anywhere from 50:1 leverage up to 400:1 leverage. The higher the number, the less money required to put on a large trade. But high leverage also brings high risk so use it with care.

December 2011/January 2012


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Pyjama cricket, 21st century style! KFC T20 Big Bash League marks new era for Aussie cricket More than 30 years ago, World Series Cricket shocked the establishment with its coloured uniforms, night games and innovative formats. Things have certainly changed – Cricket Australia is the driving force behind the new KFC T20 Big Bash League, which launched in spectacular fashion in Sydney earlier this year.


n less than 30 days, the next exciting era of Australian cricket will kick-off when the Sydney Sixers take on the Brisbane Heat in the first game of the new KFC T20 Big Bash League on December 16. This competition will change the face of sports entertainment in Australia. T20 is the fastest growing sport in the world and the eight new city-based teams will provide a new entertainment option for Australian sports fans. It will attract new fans to the T20 game, offering more action and theatre than ever before. For the first time in domestic cricket since 1892, the state-based format of a national competition has been replaced by eight brand new teams – the Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers


and Sydney Thunder. That throws up the enticing prospect of derby clashes in Melbourne and Sydney – the Renegades and the Stars clash at the MCG on January 7 then on the next night, it’s the Sydney’s Sixers and Thunder at ANZ Stadium. The captains are Brad Haddin (Sixers), James Hopes (Brisbane Heat), Andrew McDonald (Renegades), Cameron White (Stars), David Warner (Thunder), Michael Klinger (Adelaide Strikers), Tim Paine (Hobart Hurricanes) and Marcus North (Perth Scorchers). The sparring match between the two Sydney skippers is already underway. Warner said he was looking forward to partnering West Indian dynamo Chris Gayle at the top of the order, although he insisted, “he (Gayle) probably hits more (sixes) but I can hit it further”.

“It’s going to be amazing. I've opened the batting with guys like (Virender) Sehwag before and to have Gayle at the other end, hopefully I can keep giving him the strike and he can keep hitting them over the fence.” Haddin said he believed the competition would provide a way for the next generation of Australian stars to get their start at representative level. “I think the new Big Bash League is going to unearth a lot of new talent and we've got some very exciting young guys like Pat Cummins to go with some more experienced guys like Brett (Lee) and Shane (Watson). I think this whole competition's going to breed some big superstars,” Haddin said. Meanwhile south of the border, Melbourne is abuzz with its two BBL line-ups, but the Stars

Summer sport are already ahead in the PR stakes after claiming the signature of Shane Warne for the inaugural campaign. Combine Warne with a bowling attack that will also feature Peter Siddle, John Hastings, James Pattinson, Clint McKay and James Faulkner, and the Stars look set to be among the leading contenders for the first title. The Renegades will showcase local talent including Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes and Andrew McDonald along with respected Pakistani all-rounders Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi. Other overseas players who’ll harness plenty of interest include Perth Scorchers pair Paul Collingwood and Herschelle Gibbs, the Brisbane Heat will field Kiwis Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori while West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard is sure to have fans of the Adelaide Strikers on their feet. The first KFC T20 Big Bash League starts on December 16, with the semi-finals on January 21-22 and the final scheduled for January 28. For all details regarding the competition, check out

The return of Bay 13?

Back in the days when the amount of beer you could consume at the cricket was only limited by the amount you could carry, Bay 13 at the MCG was regarded as the Holy Grail for the yobbo. In more PC-times, the behaviour of Bay 13 patrons has been CCTV-ed to death, but the Melbourne Stars are hoping to breath some life back into the famed section of the Great Southern Stand. Blow-up balls, banners and the Mexican wave will again be given the green light before the KFC T20 Big Bash League, which is expected to attract some of the biggest crowds in Australian cricket history. Stars recruit Shane Warne has put his name to the notoriously rowdy MCG stand made famous after a stall of beerguzzling punters mimicked Merv Hughes performing warm-up exercises. Exclusive memberships totalling just 500 are being offered for Melbourne Stars fans eager to take their place in the newly named Warnie’s Bay. Police will keep a close watch on those spectators who go too far, but cricket chiefs have said they are confident crowd behaviour had evolved for the better. Cricket Australia's marketing services manager Mike McKenna said there was no reason why the same strategy couldn't be rolled out for one day and Test matches. “Unfortunately in the past we have reacted to the minority, which has had a significant impact on the majority. But I think over the last couple of years things have become a lot better,” he said.

The 2011-12 KFC T20 Big Bash League squads Adelaide Strikers Aiden Blizzard, Cameron Borgas, Lee Carseldine, Tom Cooper, Adam Crosthwaite, Theo Doropoulos, Brendan Drew, Callum Ferguson, Daniel Harris, Michael Klinger (c), Nathan Lyon, Aaron O'Brien, Gary Putland, Kane Richardson. Overseas players: Kieron Pollard, Alfonso Thomas. Coach: Darren Berry.

Brisbane Heat Ryan Broad, Nick Buchanan, Daniel Christian, Ben Cutting, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Chris Hartley, Nathan Hauritz, Matthew Hayden, James Hopes (c), Chris Lynn, Michael Neser, Chris Swan. Overseas players: Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori. Coach: Darren Lehmann.

Hobart Hurricanes Travis Birt, Mark Cosgrove, Xavier Doherty, Luke Feldman, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hogan, Phil Jaques, Matt Johnston, Jason Krejza, Nick Kruger, Ben Laughlin, Rhett Lockyear, Tim Paine (c), Ricky Ponting. Overseas players: Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Owais Shah. Coach: Ali de Winter.

Melbourne Renegades Ryan Carters, Aaron Finch, Shane Harwood, Aaron Heal, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, Andrew McDonald, Brenton McDonald (c), Dirk Nannes, Nathan Reardon, Will Sheridan, Shaun Tait. Overseas players: Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi. Coach: Simon Helmot.

Melbourne Stars George Bailey, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Jon Holland, David Hussey, Alex Keath, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Rob Quiney, Peter Siddle, Chris Simpson, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, Shane Warne, Cameron White (c). Overseas players: Jade Dernbach, Luke Wright. Coach: Greg Shipperd.

Perth Scorchers Tom Beaton, Michael Beer, Mark Cameron, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Davis, Ben Edmondson, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Marcus North (c), Luke Pomersbach, Nathan Rimmington, Luke Ronchi. Overseas players: Paul Collingwood, Herschelle Gibbs. Coach: Mickey Arthur.

Sydney Sixers Ed Cowan, Pat Cummins, Brad Haddin (c), Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Brett Lee, Nic Maddinson, Ian Moran, Peter Nevill, Steve O'Keefe, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Dominic Thornely, Shane Watson. Overseas players: Dwayne Bravo, Michael Lumb. Coach: Trevor Bayliss.

Sydney Thunder Sean Abbott, Tim Armstrong, Nic Bills, Doug Bollinger, Luke Butterworth, Scott Coyte, Tim Cruickshank, Matthew Day, Luke Doran, Ben Dunk, Jason Floros, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Craig Philipson, Daniel Smith, David Warner (c). Overseas players: Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle. Coach: Shane Duff.

December 2011 / January 2012


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... and they’re racing! Riding the roller coaster of a racehorse owner

The thrill of owning a racehorse brings with it incredible highs but also its fair share of lows. After all, not everyone can land a Makybe Diva or a Black caviar. However, that doesn’t stop thousands of Australians chasing the ultimate racing dream every year as owners or part-owners of thoroughbred racehorses. And there’s no better place to get started than one of the major auctions in the first few months of 2012 like January’s Magic Millions on the Gold Coast.


horoughbred racing is described as the sport of kings. In many ways this is misleading – in Australia at least. While the rich have certainly taken an interest in racing, participation in the sport is not confined to blue bloods or multi-millionaires. If you want to you can own a racehorse. Owning a horse is much more than watching it race for a few brief minutes every now and then. If you invest in the industry and become part of its lifestyle, one thing should be uppermost in your mind – owning a racehorse is a sport, not a business. Everyone connected with racing is taking part because they love the sport, the horses and the excitement. Part of the challenge in racing is the fact that money can't guarantee success. There is a long list of expensive racetrack flops and an even longer one of bargain buys – horses bought for a proverbial song that have returned their owners their purchase price many times over. There is nothing as thrilling as seeing your


horse win, be it a Group One event in the city or a maiden handicap in the bush. There are several ways to enjoy ownership of a horse. Sole owner: All the glory, but all the cost too. Partnerships: Race clubs recognise up to a maximum of six partners racing a horse, each partner appears in the racebook as an owner and is given raceday privileges such as entrance to the members' enclosure and mounting yard. Syndicate: A syndicate must be registered and a representative appointed. Syndicators must be licensed (the Registrar of Racehorses can supply details). Syndicators buy yearlings at sales and then offer syndicate shares in them through advertisements in the media. Of course you can form your own syndicate. Leasing: This popular method of racing a horse requires no up-front purchase price. The horse owner, usually the breeder, leases the horse to a partnership or syndicate as above. The terms of a lease may vary, but often the lease is for a period of three years, with no cost to the lessees

except that they must pay the lessor one third of all gross prizemoney that the horse may earn. Horses for lease are infrequently advertised, but your trainer or adviser will probably know of owners willing to lease out a horse. During the term of the lease, the lessees control the racing career of the horse and are regarded as the owners. At the expiry of the lease, the horse must be returned to the owner.

Getting started Buying a horse at auction can be just as exciting as winning a race. More than 5000 yearlings are sold at auction each year around Australia. The horses are old enough to be assessed by your advisers (vet, trainer, bloodstock agent) but have not been broken in, so their racing ability has not been exposed. The average price at yearling sales around Australia vary from sale to sale, but prices can start at a few hundred dollars or up to $1 million

Buying a racehorse or higher. Champion racehorses can come from humble backgrounds, but are more likely to be found at major sales where yearlings are selected on pedigree and conformation and are considered the 'cream of the crop'. Sales for 'tried horses' (horses that have raced) are also held regularly and there are usually yearlings and unraced horses offered at these sales. Catalogues for major sales like the Magic Millions are generally available six weeks before each sale. Catalogues provide extensive details about the relatives of each yearling offered (i.e. how many foals/winners the dam has produced, the race and progeny record of a sire).

Anyone can attend any Magic Millions Sale and seating is unrestricted. They are public auctions and you are free to bid on any lot, as long as you have the finance available. You are quite free to ask an attendant to bring a yearling out of its stable for inspection by you, your adviser or your veterinary surgeon. Once the auction commences, about 25-30 yearlings will be sold per hour. It's easy to obtain information on the thoroughbred industry from any of the industry websites, or specialist newspapers and magazines on sale at most newsagents. These publish the results of yearling sales, stakes races and the sires' lists (leading sires by earnings, by winners, etc).

Ireland, Japan and France. Australian horses have outstanding success records in all export markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. For example, Australian horses racing in Hong Kong lead all other imports on a percentage of winners’ basis. Australian bloodstock is well regarded throughout the world, with total exports increasing by almost 100 per cent since 1997, with the number of imports decreasing, indicating the popular demand for Australian thoroughbreds worldwide. Prizemoney in Australia is a key indicator of the economic health of the industry. In the past six years prizemoney has risen by more than 50 per cent, indicating a strong and growing industry. Australia is one of the leading nations in distributing prizemoney to owners, with the third highest total prizemoney in the world, totalling $308 million at an average of $14,535 per race.

Australian made

Incentive Schemes

Attending a sale

Australian horse sales offer pedigrees/ bloodlines of International quality, including the most prominent bloodlines from USA, England,

Racing has never been more lucrative with statebased incentive schemes distributing more than $16 million in bonuses combined.

The Super VOBIS scheme has been successful in attracting many investors to Victoria and Tasmania distributing in excess of $12 million last season, while in Queensland, QTIS distributed $4.5 million in added bonuses to owners, trainers and breeders. SABIS has provided impetus to the South Australian industry distributing $1.8 million last year to breeders, owners, trainers and riders, while Western Australia boasts the exciting Westspeed Incentive Scheme providing in excess of $850,000 to breeders and owners annually. In NSW, the Breeder Owner Bonus Scheme (BOBS) is now into its third year and encourages participation in the racing of NSW bred two & three-year-old horses distributing $4.5 million last year.

The right advice

If you are new to the industry, don't try to buy a horse without seeking advice. A skilled professional from a recognised bloodstock agent or trainer will provide advice and assistance. They will analyse a sale catalogue for you, bearing in mind your budget and goals. They will then present you with a short list of suitable horses that are expected to fall within your price range, inspect a horse at the sale and arrange for a veterinary inspection of any horse in which you are particularly interested. Costs vary depending on what state a horse is trained, while training costs are considerably higher in metropolitan areas compared to those in country areas. For further information on training costs, registration, insurance, spelling, breaking-in, nominations, track fees, etc, contact the thoroughbred owners association office in your State.

The bargain of the century

Fairytales do come true in racing, as former taxi driver Joe Janiak discovered with the gelding Takeover Target. Purchased for just $1375, Takeover Target didn’t race for the first two and half years of his career due to leg and joint injuries. He won his first seven starts including the Group 1 Salinger Stakes at Flemington but injuries again struck down the horse and it seemed he would never reach his full potential. But in the ultimate rags to riches story, Takeover Target returned to the track and stamped himself as one of the greatest sprinters in Australian turf history. He won eight more Group 1s, including races in the UK, Japan and Singapore, amassed a record of 21 wins and 10 placings from 41 starts and earned more than AUD $6 million in prizemoney.

December 2011 / January 2012


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Sports betting

Instant karma The rise and rise of live betting The local footy codes may have taken a step back from the incessant plugging of in-market betting on their games, but that won’t slow the massive growth in this increasingly popular form of sports betting.


irst, a disclaimer – live betting (also known as in-play or in-the-run betting) is available to Australian punters via online betting sites licensed in Australia only via the phone. Hopefully one day soon, we’ll be entitled to bet live over the Internet, but for the moment it’s via phone only. That said, the slight delay won’t make much of a difference if you wish to place bets on the vast majority of sporting events and, more and more, astute punters are turning to this form of betting. Indeed, it’s estimated that live betting accounts for 90 per cent of turnover on cricket, tennis and soccer in the UK.

Tips for live betting Live v pre-post: At first glance, live betting may appear easier than pre-game betting because the punter can make informed decisions. It provides the opportunity to change your mind or lock in a profit if things go your way. However, bookmaker margins are typically higher for live betting with the market going as high as 110 per cent. But a solid strategy will quickly render the difference in margins irrelevant. Think quickly but sensibly, and be prepared for the frustration of the constant price fluctuations, especially betting over the phone.

Track your performance: It’s incredibly easy to misjudge your track record. You may feel you dominate tennis betting, only to find you have a losing record when looking at the data.

Start small: Take time to assess your live betting performance and learn where your weaknesses lie. Compare your performance to your historical pre-game betting results. This enables you to make beginner errors without incurring too much pain.

Become a specialist: As margins are higher during live betting, you should become an expert on a few selected sports to improve your chances of consistently beating the bookies. Becoming familiarised with a market means solid knowledge of the sport, as well as familiarity with how odds change in various scenarios.


Act quickly: Odds can change incredibly quickly during live events. Taking advantage of the first as opposed to the second or third increment can have a huge impact on your betting performance. Again, local punters will be limited because of the compulsory use of phone betting to make inthe-run bets.

Determine a strategy in advance: Live betting involves making quick decisions. Prior to the start of an event, decide on your strategy for the game. At what margin will you place a head-to-head bet? If you take a line bet and the odds shift in your favour, at what point will you make an opposing bet to hedge your bets? Ask such questions before placing your first bet on any event. Don’t hesitate to bail out by making an opposing bet: In finance terms this is similar to a stop-loss order. There will be times where you’ll place a bet early in the game only to feel the other team is bound to win. Don’t hesitate to place an opposing wager to cancel out the first bet. Due to bookmaker margins this will result in a guaranteed loss, but this loss will be smaller than if you hadn’t acted and your hunch is correct. This strategy could be the difference between being a profitable or losing punter.

Serious knowledge for the serious player

Authored by respected poker champions Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Lee Nelson and Tony Dunst, along with maths whiz Tysen Streib, the Raiser’s Edge shows you how to adapt to the current state of all stages of tournament play, analysing how and why the LAG and hyper -LAG styles work, and instructing on how to apply – and defend – against them.

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The champ is here!

Pro wrestling great comes to town

Welcome to the first edition of Beyond the Back Page in which we’ll feature sporting personalities you’ll rarely see featured in the daily press. Some would argue that our first subject shouldn’t even be considered a sportsman but the TRD team will slap a figure-four leglock on anyone who utters a word against professional wrestling. Our own master of the hurricanrana Sean Callander had the chance to catch up with reigning TNA World Heavyweight champion Robert Roode during his recent visit to Australia.


s a child of the 1970s, I grew up with World Championships Wrestling each Saturday and Sunday on the Nine Network. Just months before the TV product was axed in 1978, my father relented after years of annoyance and took me to Festival Hall in Melbourne for a dose of the real thing. The Main Event featured a 30-man Battle Royale, with a $10,000 cheque awaiting the winner at the top of a fivemetre pole. The field featured all of the WCW stars of the time, plus a special guest in the shape of the “Eighth Wonder of the World” Andre the Giant. Not surprisingly, the 224cm, 240kg Giant had little chance of climbing the pole so relied on his Austra-Asian Tag Team Championship partner Ron Miller to claim the cheque, before tearing it in half and presenting $5000 to Andre. Pro wrestling has remained a guilty pleasure since, but it now comes with a healthy respect for the men and women who meticulously balance sport and entertainment each time they step into the ring. Robert Roode is one such wrestler. The 34-year-old Canadian studied to


become a corrections officer before turning his attention to pro wrestling. After years of training and toiling in regional promotions, often for only a handful of dollars, Roode recently captured one of the industry’s most prestigious title – the TNA World Heavyweight belt – representing due recognition after 13 years in the game. “It's been 13 long years, a lot of sacrifices along the way and it's always been a dream of mine since being a small child, being a fan, dreaming of what it'll be like to be a world champion as a professional wrestler. I know now that this is just the beginning to be honest with you as far as with that world title comes a lot of responsibilities,” he said. “Being in Main Events and being the focus of the company and trying to take the company to the next level, getting ratings, things like that - there's a lot of pressure. I’d like to go down as one of the greatest champions in the history of our company and to maybe hold the record to have that belt for longest time.” For the flat-Earthers, yes, pro wrestling is mostly scripted but that

Beyond the Back Page doesn’t mean the men and women don’t bust a gut to put on a great show. And most of the guys are big – Roode, at 183cm and 110kg is probably middle of the pack. He travels virtually every week of the year from his home in Canada to the TNA studios in Orlando, Florida along with regional and international house shows, often putting on three or four shows a week. “Touch wood, I’ve been fortunate not to suffer any serious injuries but it’s a constant challenge to stay in shape and ensure those niggling injuries don’t hamper your ability to perform. I’m lucky to also have great support from family (wife and three children), which helps when I’m on the road,” he said. Roode had been affable up to this point of the interview until queried about his recent turn from hero to villain when he smashed his long-time tag team partner “Cowboy” James Storm over the head with a beer bottle to claim the TNA title. “Hey, Kurt Angle cheated to beat me so what comes around goes around! In all seriousness, I enjoy a great chemistry with James so it was a great opportunity to work with him one-on-one. It’s always great to test yourself against the best in the business – guys like Kurt Angle and AJ Styles.” Roode’s trip to Australia coincided with the telecast of his shock world title win, which he shared with hundreds of fans at an exclusive party in Sydney. "It was very unusual sitting there with 200+ people yelling and screaming while I'm trying to focus in on what I'm actually doing and what I can actually improve on. But it was great fun,” Roode said. The TNA champ said he hoped to be back in Australia soon in a more active capacity. “We’ve already done several tours to Europe and will be heading to South America before the end of the year. We’d love to come back here and put on some shows in the future,” Roode said. In the meantime, fans can get their weekly dose of wrestling royalty like Robert Roode, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting and Kurt Angle each Saturday night on IMPACT WRESTLING from 8.30pm on Fuel TV. December 2011 / January 2012

Pro Wrestling is fake? • On May 23, 1999, Owen Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri during a pay-perview (PPV) event. Hart was in the process of being lowered via harness and rappel line into the ring from the rafters when the release mechanism was triggered prematurely. Hart fell almost 25 metres, landing chest-first on the top rope. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a Kansas City hospital. • Sid Vicious was one of the most accident-prone men in pro wrestling history. The worst example came on January 14, 2001 at a WCW PPV event when he attempted a legdrop on thenchampion Scott Steiner from the second turnbuckle. A giant of a man at 206cm and 144kg, Sid’s leg buckled under the strain and he suffered compound fractures to his tibia and fibula. That injury ended his career at the top level. • Hardcore wrestling icon Mick Foley (also known as Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love) regularly put his body on the line throughout his celebrated career. In a series of matches that blurred fantasy and reality, Foley battled the giant Vader throughout 1994. On March 16 during a match in Germany, Foley’s head became trapped between two ring ropes and he lost two-thirds of an ear attempting to free himself. • Vader – all 196cm and 200kg – was infamous for wrestling “stiff”, parlance for the use of excessive force. Prior to a match in Japan in 1990, the legendary Stan Hansen accidentally broke Vader’s nose with the rope but the big man was having none of it, and the pair began to exchange fair dinkum punches. Hansen hit Vader so hard that his right eye popped out of the socket. He simply took off his mask, popped it back in and resumed the match. • As featured in the movie The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke, Combat Zone Wrestling features a brand of hardcore wrestling known as “ultraviolence” where ladders, tables, thumbtacks, barbed wire, light tubes and fire (even cacti) are commonly used. In 2009, CZW wrestler Nick Gage was airlifted to hospital after a light tube severed two arteries in his arm. He was back in the ring seven days later.


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Fashion crimes –

sport’s biggest uniform disasters

Long before Seinfeld’s George Costanza suggested that the New York Yankees might feel more comfortable wearing cotton uniforms, sporting organisations have been making major blunders – but most have struggled with colours rather than “natural fabrics”. Here are just a few of our favourite faux pas from the sporting fields of the world.

1 Pink You wouldn’t think this would be much of a problem but it’s staggering how many clubs have flirted with uniforms that resembled all white outfits thrown in the wash with a pair of red socks. Serie A club Palermo have worn pink since their inception, and French rugby union side Stade Français shocked the establishment with a pink road guernsey in 2005. And just wait for this summer’s KFC Big Bash League, debuting the hot pink trim of the Sydney 6ers – puts the West Indian strips of the World Series Cricket era to shame!

2 Slovenia As a rule, most sporting strips featuring green aren’t great (Canberra’s NRL number and the former North Queensland Fury A-league strip are particularly nasty examples). On its World Cup finals debut in 2002, Slovenia managed an acceptable result with its green and white (even though its flag is red, white and blue). But fast-forward eight years and Slovenia had adopted a bizarre zig-zag white and green, alternating green and yellow, strip that bore a striking resemblance to the regular attire of Peanuts’ favourite Charlie Brown.

3 Hawthorn Barely any professional sports teams wear brown (the Cleveland Browns and Bundesliga club St Pauli are rare examples, along with one-offs like Coventry City’s 1978 strip), for fairly obvious reasons. So credit the Hawthorn Football Club for sticking with a decision made in 1914 to go with the almost too-ugly-to-conceive colours of brown and gold. Amazingly, they went one step worse in 1995 with an Argyle-style brown and gold diamonds on a blue background. Worn just once in a pre-season game, it’s arguably the most infamous guernsey in AFL history.

4 Orange Another one of those colours that can work as part of a sports’ assemble, but rarely does. Variations are rife in US sports – from the horrendous tangerine that the Tampa Bay Bucs stuck with for two decades to the Fanta-inspired alternate strip currently worn by the Miami Dolphins and the traffic cone-esque Syracuse uniform. Be interesting to see how successful jumper sales are for the fledgling AFL club Greater Western Sydney and their orange, charcoal and white strip.


Top 10

5 Penrith As a rule, rugby league jerseys look great but there are always exceptions. Most clubs have dealt up at least one shocker, but the wardrobes of Penrith Panthers fans are full of discards. The various incarnations of brown and white gave way to a test pattern inspired blancmange of black with white, red, yellow and green stripes in the early 1990s. Since then, the colours have alternated among predominantly black with black, rust red, teal green and white – none of which have last longer than three seasons.

6 Australia at the Sydney Olympics The ultimate fashion parade in the sporting world comes every four years at the Opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Our time to shine came in 2000 but most Aussies were left scratching their heads when our athletes marched into the Olympic Stadium wearing ochre coloured jackets, mint green trousers or skirts and blue Mambo shirts featuring, well, a whole lot of stuff. It was a perfect example of design-by-committee. At least we won a crap load of gold medals.

7 University of Oregon This high-flying College Football school has a unique relationship with Nike through founder Phil Knight, which you thought might deliver some pretty snappy uniforms. Rarely – the basic green and gold of the Ducks has morphed into some of the worst strips in CFB history. The one pictured was used in the 2010 BCS National Championship – not too bad until you get to the fluoro socks. Other football jerseys have featured feathers on the shoulder and steel-coloured pants, while the basketball team once had singlets with the names written in sequins.

8 Manchester United Credit EPL sides, many of which are forced to devise up to four new strips each season to meet their numerous league and cup commitments. Man United’s 1995-96 alternate strip certainly ranks among the worst – so bad, in fact, that it was axed by a superstitious Sir Alex Ferguson. In just its fifth appearance, United were 3-0 down to Southampton at half-time when Ferguson stormed into the rooms and demanded his charges change. They lost that game to the Saints, but went undefeated for the rest of the season to win the league.

9 Pastels How hard can it be? We thought pastels went out with Crockett and Tubbs in Miami Vice, but they re-appear with disturbing regularity as part of sporting uniforms. There was the infamous “baby blue” jumper worn by Carlton in 1997 to celebrate a new M&Ms colour (seriously). North Melbourne has harnessed the spirit of ’97 with an alternate strip using a similar shade of wishy-washy blue. The England national team has just dished up a horrible radioactive green for its goalkeeper to wear in the run-up to Euro 2012.

10 … and the rest We’re really spoiled for choice so let’s look at some other infamous uniform examples. How about the Kentucky Wildcats, who wore denim outfits to the 1996 national title? Or the 1976 Chicago White Sox, who threw out a century of tradition by wearing shorts … tight shorts at that! Hull City’s yellow and black shockingly morphed into tiger stripes for the 1992 season while Norwich City’s 1993 stripe became known as the “birdpoo shirt) when dashes of white were added to the green and yellow pattern. And just to show this isn’t a recent phenomenon, the Bolivian national side turned up to the 1930 World Cup in shirts that, when the players stood together, spelled out “VIVA URUGUAY”. December 2011 / January 2012


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Banzai Pipeline – surfing’s own Colosseum Banzai Pipeline has claimed as many lives as almost every other surf break in the world combined. So imagine being able to watch the world’s best surfers take on this killer wave each year, while kicking back with a brewski or two on the beach. Welcome to The Real Deal’s Ultimate Sporting Tour.

Event: Billabong Pipeline Masters Where: Banzai Pipeline (off Ehukai Beach Park on the north shore of the island of O’ahu in Hawaii). Each winter, storms in the North Pacific off Alaska create huge swells that roll unimpeded across thousands of miles of ocean. They first make landfall on the north shore of the Hawaiian Islands. What makes the wave at Pipeline so special is a shallow lava reef close to shore, which creates some of the steepest and tightest barrels anywhere in the world – and some of the worst wipeouts in the sport’s history. When: Mid-December each year as part of the Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour, although for many years it wasn’t included as part of the tour. The Pipe Masters is also part of a three-event series known as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Why: It can cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars, to take a seat at the world’s biggest sporting events. For this one, just grab a towel or rug, spread it on the beach and watch as the world’s best surfers tackle one of the most feared breaks on the planet just a few dozen metres off the beach.


Honour roll: It was initially thought that the wave at Pipeline couldn’t be surfed until locals were regularly lining up to take it on in the early 1960s. The first Pipeline Masters was held in 1971, with Jeff Hakman defeating a field of just six and claiming a first prize of $500. Nine Australians – Larry Blair (two), Mark Richards, Simon Anderson, Mark Occhilupo, Tom Carroll (three), Rob Page, Jake Paterson, Bede Durbridge and Taj Burrow have won Pipeline Masters titles. Like most ASP records, Kelly Slater features prominently in Pipe Masters history with six titles (the first in 1992, the most recent in 2008). Andy Irons won four titles (2002-03; 200506) while Michael and Derek Ho are the only brothers to have captured the most prestigious title on the WCT.

Ultimate Sporting Tour

Highs & lows:

Jack Johnson

• Signer/songwriter Jack Johnson grew up on the North Shore near Pipeline and first surfed the break at age 10. He qualified for the finals at the Pipeline trials when he was 17 years old. A week later, he endured a bad wipeout at Pipeline in which he lost several teeth and suffered head injuries that required 150 stitches. Tom Carroll

• Aussie surfing legend Tom Carroll already had two Pipe Masters title to his name as he prepared for the 1991 final. Just moments before paddling out to decide the title, Carroll learned that his sister Josephine had been killed in a car crash. During the final, Carroll pulled off an astounding in-the-pocket turn that has been known ever since as “The Snap”. He won, and dedicated the victory to his sister.

• In 1982 Hawaiian Michael Ho – complete with a cast on a broken wrist after getting into a fight with an Aussie surfer who questioned the skill of his brother Derek – conquered some of the biggest waves in Pipeline Masters history to capture the title. Derek Ho answered that critic in emphatic fashion with Pipe Masters’ wins in 1986 and 1993. Michael Ho contested the final again in 1997 (aged 40) but came up short against fellow Hawaiian Johnny Boy Gomes.

• Kelly Slater and Rob Machado battled to the wire for the 1995 ASP World Tour Title. In the semi-final of the Pipeline Masters, the duo traded blows in one of the greatest mano e mano heats in pro surfing history and, at one point, Machado emerged from a barrel to high-five Slater. With two perfect 10s and a 9.7, Slater snared the win 29.7 to 27.3. Machado would have won any other heat of the 1995 season with his score.

• Andy Irons (pictured left) had established himself as a Pipeline legend with four wins in five years from 2002-2006. In 2003, Irons famously overtook Kelly Slater in the ratings by winning at Pipe to claim the world title. Tragically, Irons died from complications due to drug use on November 2 last year. His wife Lyndie gave birth to their son, Andy Axel Irons, in Kauai on the opening day of the Pipeline Masters in Memory of Andy Irons on December 8, 2010.

December 2011/January 2012



Sean Callander

Last Word

The house always wins Taxing times at the WSOP final table The victory of Pius Heinz in the 2011 WSOP Main Event looks all the sweeter after he managed to dodge the tax departments of the USA and his home nation of Germany. Some of his tablemates weren’t so lucky, as PMA’s Sean Callander discovered.


t’s all intrigued me as to why prizemoney tallies are quoted so extensively in the poker media (hey, I’m just as guilty as anyone). For the most part, they’re complete bollocks. Indeed, the higher the prize, the more inaccurate it’s likely to be. There are two main reasons – in the vast majority of big buy-in tournaments (it would have to be in the order of 70-80 per cent), players make a deal. Generally this will mean the winner takes home less than the quoted first prize, and other players more than officially listed. Secondly, players sell shares, or may have backers who expect a slice of the pie. Again, the bigger the buy-in, the more likely that a player has sold off a few points to friends or backers. All of which makes the story of the new WSOP Main Event champion Pius Heinz all the more incredible. According to my sums, Heinz has just pocketed the largest poker tournament prize in history in terms of his actual net payout. According to accountant Russ Fox, Heinz benefits from the US-Germany Tax Treaty. Under that Treaty, gambling income earned in the US is exempt from US taxation. “Without a tax treaty, he’d lose 30


per cent of his winnings to the IRS. Next, Germany considers gambling to be a use of after-tax (earned) money so for gamblers it’s tax-free. Thus, Mr Heinz gets to keep all USD $8,715,638 of his winnings,” Fox said. A few calls and emails also revealed that Heinz has sold off a maximum of 30 per cent of his action, reducing his windfall to USD $6,100,946.60, but still fairly tasty. And to the best of our knowledge, there was no deal made at any point of the WSOP Main Event final table, leaving Heinz with arguably the greatest payday in tournament poker history. In the modern era of massive WSOP Main Event payouts dating back to Greg Raymer in 2004, Heinz is the first to completely escape the grasp of the taxman. Even our own WSOP champion Joe Hachem forfeited 30 per cent of his USD $7.5 million to the IRS. The USA has no greater friend in the world than Australia, but that friendship isn’t worth a lousy tax treaty it would seem. To put Heinz’s good fortune in perspective, let’s look at the case of third-place finisher Ben Lamb. His official payout of USD $4,021,038 was immediately slashed by more than USD

$1.5 million to the IRS, and a further $240,268 to the Oklahoma State Tax Commission. That means Lamb has forked out 43.9 per cent of his winnings, before paying any of the players who had shares in him for the Main Event. In the words of Austin Powers, “Ouch, baby. Very ouch.” The case of Irishman Eoghan O’Dea and his prize of USD $1,720,831 is also intriguing. Russ Fox told us that gambling income for Irish citizens is also exempt from US taxation. However, gambling income in Ireland is taxable for professionals (there is no tax for amateurs). O’Dea, a professional gambler, is subject to a tax rate of 20 per cent on his first €36,400; the tax rate is 41 per cent thereafter so he will owe $695,018 to the Office of Revenue Commissioners (40 per cent). So of the USD $28,279,219 awarded at the 2011 WSOP Main Event final table, the take for the taxman is USD $5,438,038 or 18.91 per cent. That’s more than half of the 42.99 per cent paid in taxes among the nine players at last year’s final table. Or to put it into perspective, the taxman actually finished second to Heinz in this year’s WSOP Main Event, based on payouts.


Upcoming events Nov 29 – Dec 11

Star Poker Summer Series (The Star, Sydney, NSW)

December 1-5

WPT Prague (Corinthia Casino, Prague)

December 1-12

WSOP Circuit Series (Harrah’s Atlantic City, New Jersey)

December 3-4

NPL Full Throttle South Coast Classic (Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Nowra, NSW)

December 5-10

EPT Prague (Hilton Prague Hotel, Czech Republic); buy-in €5300

December 9-18

Epic Poker League event 3 (Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada)

December 10

NPL Teams Challenge (St Johns Park Bowling Club, St Johns Park, NSW)

December 10-15

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic (Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

December 11

APL Pro Open (Penrith Panthers, Penrith, NSW)

December 13-18

WPT Venice (Casino Di Venezia, Venice, Italy)

January 5-8

WPT Ireland (Citywest Hotel, Dublin, Ireland)

January 5-15

PCA (Atlantis Resort & Casino, Bahamas)

January 12-23

WSOP Circuit Series (Choctaw Casino Resort, Durant, Oklahoma)

David Steicke places Tournament secondschedule after Epic run David Steicke already owned one of the most diverse CVs of an Australian poker pro. He won the $100,000 Hold’em Challenge at the 2009 Aussie Millions and has captured titles in both Macau and the Philippines. He can now also claim the title of the first Aussie to final table an Epic Poker League (EPL) event after his runner-up finish to Mike McDonald at the Palms in Las Vegas, worth USD $506,260. The second EPL Main Event was an eight-handed No Limit Hold’em event that featured 97 players and a prizepool of USD $2,301,200. After three days of action, the final table was decided. Erik Seidel made it back-to-back EPL Main Event final tables, Fabrice Soulier was looking to win the Main Event on his first attempt, while Mike McDonald was looking to give himself an early birthday present. Others at the star-studded final table were Steicke, Dutch Boyd, amateur Sean Getzwiller, Isaac Baron and Nam Le. The pace of play was brisk at the beginning with three players eliminated during the first hour but slowed considerably when the stacks evened up. In the end it was the 21-year old McDonald celebrating his birthday 24 hours early as he defeated the Hong Kong-based Steicke heads-up for the title, $782,410 in prize money, and the Champion’s Ring. Steicke began heads-up play with the chip lead but lost a major pot when his Ac-Qh was unable to improve against McDonald's pocket sixes. The hand gave McDonald a 20:1 chip lead and he would not let it go. Steicke was able to double up twice in the match but was finally eliminated when his Ks-2c did not improve against McDonald’s Ad4h. The next EPL event will be played at the Palms on December 9-18. December 2011/January 2012

January 12-30

Aussie Millions (Crown Casino, Melbourne, VIC)

January 19-30

WSOP Circuit Series (Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada)

January 22 APL

Pro Open (Liverpool Catholic Club, Liverpool, NSW)

Jan 27 – Feb 12

Epic Poker League event 4

(Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada)

February 3-13

WSOP Circuit Series (Harrah’s Tunica, Mississippi)

February 6-11

WPT Venice II (Casino Di Venezia, Venice, Italy)

February 12

APL Pro Open

(Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club, Barrack Heights, NSW)

February 13-14

Epic Poker League Championship event

(Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada)

February 16-27

WSOP Circuit Series

(Palm Beach Kennel Club, West Palm Beach, Florida)

February 23-26

The 888PL/APL Main Event (Crown Casino, Melbourne, VIC)

February 24-29

LA Poker Classic (Commerce Casino, Commerce, CA, USA)

March 1-12

WSOP Circuit Series (Caesars Atlantic City, New Jersey)

March 5-9

Bay 101 Shooting Star (Bay 101, San Jose, CA, USA)

March 15-26

WSOP Circuit Series

(Harrah’s Rincon (San Diego) Casino & Resort, California)

March 26-31

WPT Vienna (Montesino, Vienna, Austria)

March 29 – April 9

WSOP Circuit Series (Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Iowa)

April 12-23

WSOP Circuit Series (Harrah’s St Louis, Missouri)

April 18-23

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

(Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, FL, USA)

April 26 – May 7

WSOP Circuit Series (Harrah’s Chester, Pennsylvania)

April 28 – May 2

WPT Jacksonville

(Jacksonville Poker Room, Orange Park, FL, USA)

May 10-21

WSOP Circuit Series (Harrah’s New Orleans, Louisiana)

May 19-26

WPT World Championship (Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV, USA)



The new hub for news and informed commentary relating to the Australian poker industry

The Real Deal  

Issue 1: Australia's Premier Poker and Sports Magazine

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