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Blackjack & Other Tournaments in Australia
Editor Note: This page is for historical purposes only. Last update 1999.
By Mike Van Emmerik
This page attempts to list the blackjack and other tournaments in
Australia that I find out about. It is by no means complete, though I'll list any
tournaments that I find out about.
All money in this table is in Australian dollars (worth around US$0.62 as of January 1999, and somewhat volatile).
As far as I know, all tournaments in Australia are of the type where you play against
only the players at your own table (you do not have to finish with a higher bankroll than
players at other tables). I believe that there are no secret bets (bets made on paper and
not revealed to other players until all other bets are made).
WC = Wild Card. One player is drawn from those that come second (e.g. War of Nerves) or third (e.g. Ultimate Challenge) to make the 7th spot at the final.
An explanation of the levels column: the first number
is the number of levels, e.g. 4 means 2 heats, a semi final, and a final. The numbers in
brackets indicate how many players advance to the next level, e.g. 2/7 means that there
are 7 players at each table, and the first and second place winners advance. 3/6-7 means
there may be 6 or 7 players at the table (it's just luck if you get a table with only 5
other players). 1/5-6 + WC means that only the first place winners advance to the final,
plus one wild card player drawn from those who come second in the semi final. The number
of players at each level is generally not advertised. These are my best guesses, but
casinos usually reserve the right to vary the number of players per level.
First to play
Australian casinos seem to deal the cards in a non standard order. Normally, (in a tournament), the person who bets first (the person with the "first bet" marker) is dealt his/her cards first, then the person to that player's left, and so on till the person at the first player's right. The person who bets first also makes his playing decisions (hit, stand, spit, or double) first as well. This can be important, and that is why in other countries the penalty of playing first is shared around the table, just like the penalty of betting first is shared.
Jupitershas been generous in the past with topping up the prize pool for tournaments that have less than the maximum number of entrants. At the 1995 Ultimate challenge, for example, there were only 96 of the nominal 108 entrants. The management topped up first prize, and the others fell by less than 10%. Other casinos have different policies; for example at Breakwater where the total prize pool is smaller, the shortfall affects first place only. For the minumum number of entrants (12), this means that $24,000 is shared among the finalists, leaving $12,000 (a $10,000 profit) for first place.
Although I have never entered one, Australian casinos also offer tournaments for other games. For example, Breakwater offers tournaments for baccarat twice a year. There are also roulette tournaments, and possibly others.
Adelaide casino hosts the Australian Poker Championship in October each year, with several satellite tournaments (various games).
Sharaton Townsville offer a roulette tournament on the last Wednesday of every second month, starting 29th April 1998. Entry fee is $100, with a first prize of $1,500 (assuming 18 entrants).
Wrest Point are soon to have tournaments(?) for Caribbean Stud Poker and and Dice Track.