Many thanks to Sokong Kim and Deaf Poker Australia for providing the following article regarding the recent Australian Deaf Poker Championships.
After catching the poker bug, one Deaf player’s dream of getting all sections of the Deaf community across Australia closer together, separated only by the poker felt became reality on 1st August 2009, and compete for their place in history as the 1st Australian Deaf Poker Champion.
The Australian Deaf Poker weekend started with a Welcome Night where Deaf poker players had the first chance to get together and drop their poker faces.
This was also a chance for the general Deaf community learn how to play poker with representative of Deaf Poker Australia teaching the basics of poker. The Welcome Night is a strong tradition of national Deaf sport championship whereby players and supporters get together and socialise before doing battle and the Australian Deaf Poker Championship was no exception.
The real test began from 6pm on 1st August 2009 at Burwood, Sydney where players descended to begin battle on the poker felt. Australian Poker League (APL) hosted the tournament on behalf of Deaf Poker Australia. A total of 87 players registered for the Championship, which was an impressive number for a first time event of its type. A further 150 people came to watch the event unfold from the sidelines.
The first person to be assured of his place in history for being the first person to be knocked out was Trent H from QLD. He won an APL booby prize for his effort. That left 86 people left whilst the night was still young to continue the battle. 75% of the players experienced their first poker game in a tournament setting.Nearly all of these players have watched poker on One HD, Channel 10’s sport channel and hoped to emulate the players on TV. It looks easier on TV than actually playing in the real game!
Beginner’s luck rang true for Ward T of NSW who has only learnt how to play poker 24 hours earlier at the Welcome night and made it to the final table along with 6 others. The final tablists were all from NSW apart from James H from VIC.
The final table attracted a huge crowd with people jostling for view of the community cards, which helped create a grand final like atmosphere for the final table players in their quest for glory. In the end, Ashley T of NSW beat Adam V also of Sydney with his Q (diamonds) and K (heart) holding a higher pair than Adam’s. Ashley won $700 and a trophy for his efforts with Adam winning $350 for being the runner up. Jimmy P won $100 for his 3rd placing.
Deaf Poker Australia was established as a non-for-profit organisation that aims to promote and develop poker within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community around Australia. It was also established as a response to the growing popularity of poker amongst Deaf/HIH players. America, England and Ireland has their own Deaf Poker organisation with their own tournaments catering for the Deaf/HIH community. What sets these types of tournament apart from the mainstream poker tournaments is the ability to use sign language as the official language atthe poker table.
Deaf Poker Australia is continuing to look for support and sponsorship to help fund events and activities. If you would like to help Deaf Poker Australia through promotion, support, sponsorship and development of poker within the Deaf community in Australia, please contact us via email at email@example.com. Our website is www.deafpoker.com.au which is currently being updated with a new look to reflect our bright future.
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Ashley T of NSW Wins 2009 Australian Deaf Poker Championships
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