The Star Gold Coast and World Poker Tour have hosted Australia’s first casino-based poker tournament series since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with record numbers flocking to the state of Queensland to take part.
The WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast series ran from 21 to 31 May 2021 and attracted more than 4,000 entries across 10 events, including 1,113 entries to the AU$1,500 (US$1,160) main event.
The size of the main event field made it the largest in Asia-Pacific history for the WPT, bettering the 898 players that took their seats at WPT National China in 2014. It also created the largest prize pool for a WPT tournament at The Star Gold Coast ($1,502,550), beating the $1,480,500 from WPT Australia in 2019.
WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast was the first casino-based tournament series in Australia since the APL Million at The Star Gold Coast in March 2020, with the large numbers representing enormous pent-up demand among the local playing community.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the results from the WPTDeepStacks, not only breaking multiple records across Asia Pacific, but also treating visitors to our city to 11 days of great fun and world-class hospitality,” said The Star Gold Coast’s COO, Jessica Mellor.
“These results are not only a wonderful sign for the future of Australian poker but are also a coup for our tourism industry.
“Poker is thriving in Australia and The Star Gold Coast has proven it can meet this rise in popularity with our state-of-the-art poker space, five-star accommodation offering, suite of award-winning restaurants and bars and of course our stunning weather and coastal location.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with WPT to bring more tournaments to The Star and the Gold Coast.”
The WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast main event was eventually won by Sydney’s Will Davies.
The WPT announced during the event that it now plans to host its first ever WPT main tour stop on Australian soil at The Star Gold Coast in October, although exact dates are yet to be confirmed.