January 2021 Live Poker Options For Asia-pacific Players

The past year was especially brutal for Australian poker players. Their choices for poker are already limited, as major online poker operators like 888poker, PartyPoker, Natural8, and PokerStars don’t accept Australian players. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down every live poker venue – for at least a part of 2020 – players were out of luck.

As 2020 came to an end, much of Australia seemed to have squashed the spread of Covid-19, at least enough to allow many venues to reopen.

Other countries in the Asia-Pacific region are doing the same, opening venues and allowing live poker tournaments to move forward.

Let’s see what’s on tap for the first few months of 2021.

Cash Games Available

Our last update reported that quite a few live poker rooms were dusting off their tables for cash games to resume. These are the ones that remain open for cash games:

  • The Star Gold Coast
  • Treasury Brisbane
  • Crown Perth

The Star Sydney poker room is not yet open, nor is the poker room at Crown Melbourne or the one at SkyCity Adelaide. The Poker Pit at Casino Canberra is still closed, too. Crown Sydney’s casino has yet to open for any gambling.

Asian Poker Tour 2021

When the pandemic first grabbed hold of the region in early 2020, the Asian Poker Tour partnered with Natural8 to offer APT tournaments online. As restrictions eased in some countries in late 2020, the APT hosted some tournaments at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Clubs in Taiwan. That was October and November, prior to another surge of positive Covid-19 cases around the world.

However, the APT is confident about 2021. Organizers scheduled several events for February and March.

  • 6-26 February: APT Event (location to be determined)
  • 19 February-8 March: APT Taiwan at Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association (CTP Club) in Taipei and Taichung
  • 17-28 March: APT Vietnam at Phu Quoc Corona Casino

The tour even scheduled the next APT Philippines for April 28 to May 9 at Resorts World Manila.

Meanwhile, the APT is hosting its APT Online Series India 2021 from January 15-26 on PokerBaazi. There are more than 50 tournaments on the schedule, as well as a leaderboard competition.

Japan Open Poker Tour 2021

This year, the Japan Open Poker Tour hosted several events, one online in partnership with PokerStars, others in Tokyo in March, July, and October. The 2021 schedule, however, is ambitious. This is the listing so far:

  • 8-11 January: Season 19 Grand Final at Bagus Place in Ginza, Tokyo
  • 30 April-3 May: Season 20 Tokyo at Bagus Place in Ginza
  • 8-9 May: Season 20 Osaka at Bluff Bar in Osaka
  • 21-24 July: Season 20 Grand Final (location to be determined)

There are also events scheduled to open the 21st season in Manila and host events in Osaka and Tokyo in October.

WPTDeepStacks 2021

The World Poker Tour found its WPTDeepStacks tour to be very popular in Australia and other countries in the region. The tour was booming and continuously adding more events in 2019 and into early 2020. The pandemic stopped that, obviously, though only temporarily.

WPTDS did just host a festival in Taiwan, of course at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association in Taipei City. The entire festival ran from 11-26 December, but the WPTDS Main Event closed it out with a massive 526 entries and TWD 6,887,970 prize pool (approximately A$318,420).

The tour is preparing for its next event in the United States, at the Venetian in Las Vegas, and it hopes to return to Europe in April. But Aussies may be able to play the WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast again, as the schedule shows it heading to the Star Gold Coast in April. The entire festival will begin on 23 April and run through 3 May, but the Main Event will start on 29 April.

More details will emerge in the next month or so, as the World Poker Tour and Star Gold Coast can confirm the dates and guarantee that the casino will be able to host the event per coronavirus protocols.

Australian Poker Tour 2021

The Australian Poker Tour was anxious to get players back to the tables and did so in October 2020. That event was at the Eatons Hill Hotel in Brisbane and hosted 14 tournaments. With nearly 1,000 unique players, the APT Brisbane awarded nearly A$750K.

Not long after that, the APT was clear about hosting another event in Brisbane. It is set up the APT Brisbane Season 4 for 19-24 January, again at Eatons Hill Hotel. There will be 24 events over the course of the six days. Organizers estimate that approximately $1 million will be awarded in total.

Next up, the APT hopes to head to Southport Sharks for an APT Gold Coast event 17-21 March.

WPT League 2021

As with most things regarding 2021, the WPT League isn’t planning too far into the year. Few will forget the disappointment that came with the shutdowns in 2020.

The WPT League does have one big event on its calendar, though. The WPT League Quarterly Poker Championship is set for 24-28 February, 2021. The Gold Coast Turf Club & Event Centre in Queensland will host the tournament series, complete with $550K in prize pool guarantees. The Main Event alone will guarantee $200K.

Details of the schedule are listed on the WPT League AU website under “special events” in the next 90 days.


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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