This page contains everything you need to know about Australian Poker, prefaced, of course, by the impact ONE person had in the growth and popularity of Aussie Poker over the years. That person? Joe Hachem.
Joe Hachem’s win at the 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event saw poker grow exponentially in Australia. The Hachem rail deafened the Binion’s Horseshoe Hotel and Casino with chants of “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!” Hachem’s victory is exactly what needed to happen in order to spark a poker boom in Australia. Many Australians love sport and are just as keen to have a punt, so poker was the next logical step.
Best Aussie Poker Sites
Brick and Mortar Poker Games in Australia Today
Cash games and tournaments can be played at the brick-and-mortar casino establishments in Australia, including Melbourne’s Crown Casino and The Star in Sydney. These two casinos are among the most frequented in the country today. These immense casinos each have a dedicated poker room which is separate to the main casino floor where you can play the pokies and casino table games.
It wasn’t that long ago that you would struggle to find a cash game or tournament in an Australian casino. They are now running poker games 7 days a week, with various No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha ring game tables available at peak times.
Although cash game players looking to play $1/$2, $2/$5, live games need to travel to the casino, tournaments are offered at a lot more venues. Poker tournaments are commonly found in pubs and clubs around Australia. The pub poker industry in Australia is dominated by the Australian Poker League (APL), founded by two poker players and former casino employees, Martin Martinez and Frank Lucisano.
These APL tournaments are self-dealt, meaning the player that has the dealer button is required to deal the next hand. The widespread access to poker venues offering No Limit Hold’em poker tournaments has had an enormous impact on the poker industry in Australia, and local players like Joe Hachem and Lee Nelson will attest to this.
Of course, this doesn’t even take into account the online poker boom of the mid 2000’s when many Australians took to the virtual felt to get their poker fix. Online poker exploded in popularity in Australia following Hachem’s WSOP Main Event victory, and innovations like web cam poker and speed poker games has made online poker in Australia more and more popular by the minute.
Live Australian Poker Tournaments
The Crown Australian Poker Championship, or the Aussie Millions as it later became called, is one of the biggest stops in the live tournament calendar, and it has been going from strength to strength in the decade or so since the tournament series began running in Melbourne, Australia.
In 2006, the Aussie Millions began hosting a $100,000 No Limit Hold’em Challenge event, which is regarded as being the tournament that ignited the huge interest in high roller and super high roller events, of which there are many now. In 2011, it became a $250,000 buy-in event, a.k.a. the Super High Roller. Participation in Aussie Millions events including the Main Event had increased dramatically after Joe Hachem won the WSOP Main Event.
The Australian Poker calendar also features the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific (WSOP APAC). The first WSOP APAC event took place in 2014 at Crown Melbourne, and attracted many of the top international pros, including Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and former WSOP Main Event champions Ryan Riess and Jonathan Duhamel, just to name a few.
Melbourne’s Crown is the best casino in the country, so it’s not surprising that it has been hosting both of Australia’s premier live poker tournament series. Speaking of live tournament poker in Australia, it does make you wonder if Hachem’s victory had anything to do with the addition of new live tournament series like the WSOP APAC and ANZPT events.
Many of the top rated online poker rooms accepting Australian players run regular satellites to live tournaments, including the Aussie Millions and WSOP APAC. This gives Aussie poker players a chance to bink a big tournament score, when they couldn’t otherwise afford the tournament buy-in to get in the large buy-in MTT , because they’re not a tournament pro with a big enough bankroll to support the bigger buy-ins.
Is Online Poker Illegal in Australia?
Even though real money online gaming operators cannot base themselves in Australia, there are no laws preventing Australian online poker players from playing on foreign-based sites if they so choose to.
As a result, thousands of players in Australia compete against players from around the world on the virtual felt, quite often playing multiple tables at the same time, which of course is one of the major attractions of playing poker online.
The APL’s popularity throughout Australia made them viewed as competition by the casino industry. When in fact the reality is that online poker sites accepting Australians has introduced the game of poker to players who would have otherwise never taken up the game.
Even with the huge time differences that Australian players would experience, online poker games can be played for real money at any time of the day, just as long as you’re playing on well-established poker sites. That way, you’re assured the player base is big enough to guarantee action 24/7, so players will just need to find the games they like to play.
The good news is that there are numerous online poker sites that are more than happy to accept online poker players that come from the “Land Down Under.” So, there are many top poker sites to choose from; your choice will largely come down to which software platform you prefer, the traffic and customer support.
Although it must be said that only a few online poker sites can be truly called the best sites for Australian players. We list many of them on this page and if they are listed then that means they’ve passed our own rigorous tests of safety, security and overall trust.