Sydney's Star City Casino has made huge strides in poker over the past two years and the transformation continued last week with the opening of a brand new dedicated poker room away from the hustle and bustle of the main gaming floor.
Boasting 25 tables, an impressive new registration desk and walls adorned with memorabilia, the poker room is the first gambling area to be completed as part of Star City’s massive $475 million redevelopment.
Although the biggest test of the area’s capabilities will come later this month when the Pokerstars Asia Pacific Poker Tour grand final hits town, it passed with flying colours when 400 players turned up for a one-off freeroll on opening night.
Among the starters were Grant Levy, Eric Assadourian, ‘Toothpick’ Tony Kambouroglou and Joel Dodds but in the end it was fellow locals Mengong Gu, Gary Sue-Fong and Esan Tabrizi that survived to claim the three APPT grand final seats on offer (worth $6,300 each). Another seven players won entry into a main event satellite of their choice.
Now in its third year at Star City, it was Sydney’s Levy that took out the inaugural APPT grand final in 2007 when he outlasted 561 players to become the first Australian to win $1 million on home soil. Fittingly, he was on hand to officially launch Star City’s new poker room.
“I first played here at Star City back in 2005 and poker has come along in leaps and bounds since then,” Levy said at a pre-tournament function last week.
“A lot of work has gone into progressing the poker room to where it is now over the past four or five years. Tonight you will see a brand new room. Star City gave me the chance about eight or nine months ago to sit down with the designers of the new room to try and create a world class facility and I think they’ve done a wonderful job in doing that. In my role with Pokerstars.net I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot of different poker rooms throughout the world and see what works best. Star City looks like they’ve got it right.”
The APPT grand final is one of three major annual events on the Star City calendar in 2009 following the inaugural ANZPT event in April and the Sydney Championships in September.
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