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We're three days into the inaugural World Series of Poker Asia Pacific and we decided to talk to a few of the biggest names in Australian poker to find out what it means for the WSOP to come to Melbourne. Jackie Glazier, James Obst and Andrew Hinrichsen explain what WSOP APAC means to them and what it will do for the poker community down under.
Matt: Welcome back to the first ever World Series of Poker Asia Pacific right here in Melbourne. Inside the Crown Casino over 400 players are battling it out for the first ever gold bracelet awarded in Australia. Today we're going to talk to some of the biggest names in Australian poker to find out what it means for the WSoP to come down under.
Poker blew up down under after Joe Hachem won the main event in 2005. At the time it was the biggest poker tournament ever, and to say Australia sat up and took notice, would be an understatement. Since then the Aussie Millions has been this country's flagship tournament, but with the World Series touching down in Melbourne, that could soon change.
Jackie: Having the World Series here in Australia is such a big advantage. Especially coming from Australia we have to travel so far to play events, either Europe or America. Having it here on my home turf in Melbourne is such a big deal to me, and it would mean the world to me to win a bracelet here. That's for sure.
Andrew: I don't know actually. It's pretty special anyway, I think, to win a bracelet. It's great to have an extra opportunity here and obviously with friends and family around makes it a bit more exciting.
James: It is pretty exciting. I've actually not been to America to play the American ones, so the World Series to come to Australia it is really exciting. I'm going to try to play every day if I can, and hopefully have a bit of success.
Matt: Just like Joe Hachem's main event win sparked Australia's poker boom nearly a decade ago, the arrival of the WSoP is just going to attract more players to the game. But the Australian poker community isn't just getting bigger. It's also getting better.
James: Perhaps Australia might have been considered not one of the strongest countries in terms of poker standard, but I think now it really should be, and it is. You see it on TV now and everyone's taking a keen interest in poker, and I think as you'll see from what people are saying about the standard of this field, it's been really tough.
Jackie: Coming second in a 3k event during the World Series was a moment that I'm very, very proud of. I mean, it's a big achievement. No one's going to say that it's not, but I'll admit when I lost that heads up match, I went to the rail and I balled my eyes out. Really every single day I wake up and I try and keep patting myself on the back for the achievement, but yet it just really makes me strive to win, and I will get a bracelet one day. I'm sure of it.
Matt: Australians have a reputation for being competitive and they bring the same level of intensity you see in their sports with them to the poker table. Sometimes outspoken, always passionate, Australians are as serious about poker as anyone we've ever seen.
Jackie: Yeah, my successes come from just perseverance and just a hunger. A hunger to win. I hate losing.
James: Yeah definitely Australians, we love our sport and anything competitive so absolutely, I think just from playing at a lot of these tables, you see a lot of perhaps, ill mannered, people when they'll lose a big pot. They're pretty upset, and definitely that drives people to succeed and to get better. There's a lot of, everyone's really competing pretty hard in this tournament.