Australia a Boon for U.S. Online Poker Players

Scott Clements
Online pro Scott Clements

Australia may be playing host to its first WSOP ever but the country has been a premier destination for online poker players for years.

It’s easy to see why as the country boosts relaxed online gambling laws, an early time zone for online tournaments and a temperate climate. 

WSOP Asia-Pacific is in fact the only version of the venerable tournament series where foreigners can also play online poker. Not the US edition or the French one.

“I like the schedule,” said two-time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Clements.

“You get up early, play a full day of poker on Saturday and Sunday and still come and play the WSOP. I’ve been doing that every day.”

Clements actually had a shot at winning the PokerStars Sunday Million and entering the WSOP APAC Mixed Event on the same day.

He fell short in the Sunday Million but appreciates the amount of action he’s been able to pack into his recent trip to Melbourne for the inaugural 2013 Aussie Millions.

Recent Bracelet Winners Spent Time in Australia

Jim Collopy
Jim Collopy

Clements is not the only one who enjoys Australia as online grinders Bryan Piciolli and Jim Collopy, who won Events 1 and 2 at the WSOP APAC, have both spent time living in Australia and heaped praise on the country.

“I love it here,” said Collopy after winning. “This is definitely the place where I’ve won the most both online and live. I also get to surf every day.”

The U.K.’s Chris Moorman famously moved to nearby New Zealand briefly just to take advantage of the time zone for tournaments.

It can work for cash games too as players in Australia sometimes catch opponents when they are at their weakest after long, marathon sessions.

Beyond online poker, it’s obvious that live poker players love Australia. Even the iconic Phil Ivey admitted that Crown Casino was his favorite place to play poker after winning his ninth bracelet.

There are some downsides to playing online poker in Australia, however. The cost of living is very high, for one. The country is also isolated from major live tournament series although APPT, ANZPT and now the WSOP Asia Pacific are changing that.

The other problem is that some online tournaments start TOO early for poker players used to waking up at noon.

Everyone has their own reasons for picking Australia as a poker destination, however.

“Never having to wear socks and shoes is really what it’s all about,” joked Collopy.

PokerListings has teamed up with PokerAsiaPacific to provide official live updates for the entire 2013 WSOP APAC. You can follow along live here.

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