Over 130 online poker players have assembled in Melbourne over the past week, and played their hearts out at the PokerNews Cup. Over 15 different countries were represented among the players, who enjoyed a week of activities and poker – most of them paying zero for the entire experience.
Things got underway last Thursday with the Team PokerNews welcome party at the Crown Casino. Every group of players you passed at the party, you heard poker being discussed in a different language. The players were chomping at the bit and ready to play some poker.
Event number one kicked off with a bang, as 554 players saddled up for the very first PokerNews Cup event ever. Steve Charles wound up outlasting the field, coming back from having less than one big blind at the final table to take down the win.
The players were treated to a day tour of one of Australia's oldest wineries, the De Bortoli Winery, as part of their Team PokerNews winner's packages. Winners toured the facility, learning a fair bit about winemaking while tasting the fruits of the vineyard and talking poker into the night.
Shaking off the wine rust, the winners were up early the next morning for a cruise up the Yarra River. The boat lazily drifted up the river as the players started the prior night's party all over again. As the boat floated back into the dock, most of the players made it an early night, with the Main Event looming the next day.
The PokerNews Cup Main Event drew 428 players, creating a $1.1M prize pool. Players fidgeted up and down the aisles as the start drew near, some of them playing in their first ever 'big buy-in' poker tournament. Some lucky and good poker player was going to take home a $300,000 first prize.
Of the 130 players that won packages, about 100 of them qualified completely for free. For most of them, this was the first trip they had ever won for poker and many of the players nervously took their seats as play began.
Achim Grimm, a player from Cologne, Germany, had this to say about his PokerNews Cup experience: "I came to Australia, and didn't know what I could do at the table. I've only been playing poker online for about eleven months and I wanted to represent myself well. I played in the $230, the $550, and the Main Event. I feel I played really well in the events. I won the package on a freeroll at Everest Poker, so my cost for the whole trip was only my entries into the preliminary events; everything else was included. It was a great experience."
Theirry Jamar, a player from Pua, France, who qualified for the PokerNews Cup for free on Full Tilt, agrees. "It was great. The hotel was first class, the tournament staff was excellent, and overall it was a very nice experience."
When the dust settled, it was Dory Zayner that took down the title and won AU $300,000. As for the Team PokerNews representatives, Jordan Lamberg, who qualified for free on Duplicate Poker, turned his $0 investment into a $47,900 payday.
The PokerNews Cup was a smashing success. Ready for another? Keep checking back with PokerNews.com for an announcement on the next PokerNews Cup Event. The experience is one to remember, and you can't beat the price.