In a PokerNetwork exclusive, non-for-profit organisation Deaf Poker Australia has announced its intention to host the second Australian Deaf Poker Championship event in Melbourne in 2010.
Though the planning and development is still in its early stages, Deaf Poker Australia founding member Sokong Kim was thrilled with the success of the first Australian Deaf Poker Championship in Sydney and is hoping to keep the momentum going into next year’s event.
“We had people flying in from as far as Western Australia just to compete, despite the $25 buy-in and $700 first prize,” said Kim. “I was really pleased that we were able to attract the interstaters.”
A total of 87 deaf and hard-of-hearing players from around the country took to the felt, watched on by up to 150 spectators as they battled it out for the title. Many of the participants were playing in a live tournament for the first time – one player had only learned the game the day before the tournament and ended up making the final table!
The positive affect that the event had on the deaf community was profound: “Since the first championship event, we have organised regular online tournaments for our members through Full Tilt Poker,” said Kim. “We recognise that poker is now one of the many ways for the deaf community to stay connected and provide an outlet to let the competitive juices flow.”
Though Kim acknowledges that the biggest challenge for the DPA is continuing to increase their player and support base, the seeds are being sown through state-based events, with the NSW Deaf Poker State Championship being held at the Burwood RSL in late February next year, as well as plans for a similar event for Victoria.
“The NSW Deaf Poker State Championship will be a charity event, with proceeds going towards the winners’ choice of another deaf sporting organisation,” Kim explained. “A majority of the deaf poker community are involved in one sport or another, from basketball to 8-ball and from cricket to lawn bowls.”
“This idea will hopefully translate into more people supporting Deaf Poker Australia and take up the wonderful game of poker,” said Kim. “In turn, the DPA will put money back into the deaf poker community to support their endeavours.”
NSW Deaf Poker State Championship
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Venue: Burwood RSL
Buy-in: $25, prepaid to DPA or at the door
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