Australian Poker Tour Hosts Successful Brisbane Series

The live poker scene in many parts of Australia is almost non-existent. Since the coronavirus pandemic originally forced the closure of everything from pubs to casinos in March 2020, the reopening process has been slow and measured. And most of it excluded poker.

The Australian Poker Tour was one of the poker tours determined to resume its live tournaments in 2020. And it did just that in Brisbane.

Excluding Poker

As restaurants and bars, casinos and clubs reopened in the previous months, provincial governments largely continued to prohibit poker. The nature of the game – players close to each other at the tables, exchanging cards and chips with each other – made establishments and governments alike worried about virus spread at poker tables.

New South Wales has been outspoken about poker, trying to allow it under very limited circumstances but then putting another stop to it in the past months.

The Australian Poker Tour was a part of a coalition to work with the NSW government and health officials to find a way to authorize live poker again. The group – Poker NSW – is still moving slowly but steadily toward a comprehensive plan for live tournament poker that makes players and officials feel safe.

Along the way, as officials authorized then cancelled and then reauthorized poker tournaments, the Australian Poker Tour was caught up in it all. In Queensland, the APT planned its Gold Coast series for the first weekend in September but had to cancel as a new wave of Covid-19 cases surfaced.

APT Brisbane or Bust

The APT had to let its Gold Coast series go to the pile of cancelled events, but it was determined host its APT Brisbane series in October. They set it for October 7-11 with 14 tournaments and the hope of prize pools to culminate in the $450K range.

Eatons Hill Hotel was the location, slightly north of Brisbane. They set it up with everything from abundant hand sanitizer, masks on sale and available for free, and overall cleanliness protocols in place.

The Australian Poker Tour not only did it but exceeded attendance and expectations.

  • 4,555 total tournament entries
  • 972 unique players
  • $749,405 total prize pools

“Hosting a tournament series in these troublesome times has certainly been a challenge, yet through perseverance and effort, we got there to finish off the year on a high note,” Milo of the APT wrote on the website.

Players Back in Action

The APT kicked off on October 7 with the Opening Event, a $100 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament with two starting flights and one reentry allowed per flight. Organizers hoped to garner a prize pool of $15K. But when the players lined up to compete, these were the actual numbers:

  • Total entries: 422 (243 in Flight A, 189 in Flight B)
  • Total prize pool: $33,985
  • Players paid: 43 (minimum payout = $150)
  • Winner: Kiale Matthews ($8,510)

The rest of the series played out in similar fashion, with attendance and prize pools exceeding estimates.

  • Event 2: $80 NLHE Short Deck = 118 entries, $7,755 prize pool ($4K estimated), Rickie Hughes won for $2,290
  • Event 3: $80 NLHE Deepstack Freezeout = 231 entries, $14,170 prize pool ($7,500 estimated), Mahana Ford won for $3,820
  • Event 4: $1K NLHE Players Championship = 114 entries, $91,960 prize pool ($50K estimated), Jesse Stanley won for $27K
  • Event 6: $80 NLHE 6-Max Shootout = 154 entries, $10,145 prize pool ($5K estimated), Darren Sloane won for $2,500
  • Event 7: $1,200 NLHE Grind = 154 entries, $153,520 prize pool ($75K estimated), Daniel O’Shea won for $40K
  • Event 8: $100 NLHE Big Bounty = 174 entries, $13,955 prize pool ($7K estimated), Jack Irwin won for $1,800
  • Event 9: $350 NLHE Teams = 36 teams, $10,180 prize pool ($10K estimated), Colombo-Australians won for $2,800
  • Event 10: $100 NLHE = 290 entries, $23,320 prize pool ($10K estimated), Kane Peters won for $5,500
  • Event 11: $550 NLHE 6-Max Shot Clock = 103 entries, $48,830 prize pool ($25K estimated), Antoine Follet won for $14,580
  • Event 12: $330 NLHE High Roller = $363 entries, $103,360 prize pool ($45K estimated), Aiden Hildebrandt won for $27K

Events 13, 14, and 15 did not appear on the website.

Finale Results

As for Event 5, it was the Main Event, requiring a $200 buy-in and offering four starting flights starting on October 8. Reentries were allowed, and the hope was that the event would accumulate a $100K prize pool. Of course, this tournament exceeded expectations, too.

  • Total entries: 802 (138 in Flight A, 199 in Flight B, 169 in Flight C, 296 in Flight D)
  • Total prize pool: $133,250
  • Players paid: 80 (minimum payout = $400)
  • Winner: Jordan Bromley ($32K)

When the series concluded, the APT tallied the results from all of the events and declared Kiale Matthews the APT 2020 Brisbane Series 2 Player of the Series. He won $10K for accumulating 1,545 points over the course of the five days. Corey Van J took second place for $7K with 1,440 points. Jesse Stanley took third for $4K, Daniel O’Shea took fourth for $2K, and Brenton Buttigieg won $1K for finishing fifth.

What’s Next?

In a time of a pandemic, during which new waves may appear at any time and increase dangers, it is difficult to predict anything. However, the APT is thinking positively.

First of all, the APT CEO David Miles clarified that he delayed the Season 3 Player of the Year competition due to so many cancelled tournaments and health concerns keeping others from attending the most recent event. So, all players who qualified with points on that leaderboard will carry over into next year. The 2021 Player of the Year Competition will offer more events by which to qualify, and all 2020 and 2021 qualifying players will be up to win shares of the $50K award money.

Speaking of 2021, the next event will kick off APT Season 4 in Brisbane. There will be six days of poker tournaments – the largest series in the APT’s history – set to go live from January 19-24, 2021.


Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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