As further evidence of the ongoing global expansion of poker, PokerStars has announced the launch of a new tour, the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT), with the first stop set to take place in Adelaide, Australia from February 4-7.
The announcement comes following successful recent ventures into the region by the PokerStars-sponsored Asian Pacific Poker Tour. In 2007, during the APPT's first season, the tour included a stop in Sydney, Australia. Last year, the APPT added an event in Auckland, New Zealand in October and went back to Sydney in December. ANZPT spokesperson Danny McDonagh expressed excitement about the new tour, particularly the chance to "provide Australian and New Zealand poker players with a professionally executed tour in their own backyard."
Online satellites have been running on PokerStars throughout January and will continue to run until the event kicks off on February 4. In addition to the AUD $3,000 buy-in Main Event, smaller no-limit hold'em tourneys and a pot-limit Omaha tourney will also be held during the four days of ANZPT Adelaide. All tournaments will be taking place at the Adelaide Sky Casino, sometimes referred to as the "Home of Australian Poker" thanks to its having been the first casino in the country to spread Texas hold'em back in 1987.
Coming on the heels of the 2009 Aussie Millions (which wraps us this weekend), ANZPT Adelaide should attract a number of professionals who will already be in the region. Several top Australian pros, including Eric Assadourian, Grant Levy, and Emad Tahtouh, have already indicated their intent to take part in the new tour.
ANZPT officials have planned for the Adelaide event to be one of six possible stops for the ANZPT during its initial season, currently scheduled to continue through July 2009.