Op-ed: Australian Poker Tournaments Can Be Resurrected

The Managing Editor of Inside Asian Gaming recently published an editorial discussing how the restrictions on Crown Melbourne’s license have made resurrecting the Australian Poker tournament, “Aussie Millions,” next to impossible. While it is true that it will be impossible to do things as they have been done in the past, there are still ways that Aussie Millions could be resurrected.

While large-scale events like the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour tend to be marathon events, many smaller-scale poker events allow for a much more reasonable pace of play. If Australian casinos hope to resurrect live poker events, they may have to adapt some of these conventions.

Strict Daily Schedules

The first thing that casinos will have to change is how they structure the daily schedule of events. Players are limited to 12-hour days and 36-hour weeks. Believe it or not, many poker events can conform to these standards.

Start by instituting a hard cap on daily play. This can range from 6 to 8-hour days for events. Many live events, including the WSOP, already have limits on the number of levels played in a day. It is not hard to incorporate the same changes into Australian tournaments.

Of course, some discussions will be made to ensure players don’t accidentally go over their allotted time by doing administrative tasks like bagging up chips. However, negotiations can be made to allow for these tasks and prevent players from going over their allotted times.

Player Tracking Through Gaming Cards

Cashless gaming cards will be a requirement in Australian casinos and can be used to help facilitate live poker tournaments. To play an event, players must present their cards to effectively “clock in” to the poker table.

Players could log in either when they enter the casino or poker area or when they sit down to play poker. While some players will find this cumbersome to begin with, it will become commonplace, much like presenting seat cards and ID have become at the World Series of Poker.

Faster Game Structures

One area that must change to accommodate live poker events is structures. The structure of a poker tournament determines the pace of play. Some events, such as the WSOP Main Event, offer slow structures that result in a slower pace of play. These long structures are preferred by professional players but are not a requirement to hold an event.

There are multiple ways to tinker with structures. The first is by limiting the length of rounds. For faster events, rounds of 30 to 45 minutes are often used. Another way to shorten a structure is to raise blinds and antes faster. You’ll often hear players talk about how a structure “skips a level.” This means that the structure is moving up fast by eliminating a commonly accepted level of play.

Generally, the best way to create a fast structure is to shorten the earlier rounds and gradually slow it down. Some experimenting will need to occur to find the best format that will work in Australia, but it can be done.

More Freezeouts and Turbo Events

Another thing that will have to change is that poker events must largely eliminate re-buy or re-entry events. Most live poker events are now re-entry, meaning players can buy in multiple times or on multiple days.

This format is excellent for those that can afford it, but it also generally slows down the progression of a poker tournament. The easiest way to fix this is to make most events freezeout events. That means a single entry in an event. Otherwise, hold limited re-entries or only allow re-entry at the start of the next playing day.

Returning to structures for a second, turbo poker tournaments are a great option for speeding up the pace of play. These events are often completed in a single day. For Australia, it would likely be two days, with the first day getting to a final table and the second day playing out to a winner. Many people playing live tournaments will still come out to play a turbo event, with some preferring them as they do not require the same time commitment as standard poker tournaments.

It Will Be Different – But It Can Be Done

Ultimately, any event launched under the current restrictions will be limited in scope compared to past events. However, it is still possible to hold live events that the general poker public will enjoy. Will they be the same as events of the past? Absolutely not.

You will not have top-tier professionals travelling from around the globe to play the events. However, organisers will still find that there is still a large segment of the poker population that will support live poker, even in a truncated format.

Unless casinos can negotiate a special exemption for poker tournaments, concessions must be made to resurrect live events. While it will be different from events of the past, live poker tournaments can be revived in Australia.

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.

Join Our VIP List For Unbeatable Offers And Exclusive Content!

Ready to elevate your gaming experience? Sign up today and enjoy an exclusive welcome bonus of $10,000 + 200 FS + 25 extra free spins at Stellar Spins Casino! Get VIP access to casino bonus deals, insightful articles, eBooks, and the latest updates directly in your inbox!