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The first day of the first ever World Series of Poker Asia Pacific kicked off this evening at the Crown Casino in Melbourne and PokerListings.com was on the scene as the official live reporting website. We caught the shuffle up and deal and had a few words with the biggest name in Australian Poker, Joe Hachem.
Matt: Welcome to the first ever World Series of Poker Asia Pacific right here at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. This place might be empty now, but in just a couple hours it's gonna be packed with poker players all battling it out for the first ever WSOP gold bracelet awarded in Australia.
Joe: Good luck everyone. Hope you're all as excited as I am about WSOP being here. Let's get some bracelets. Shuffle up and deal.
This is the first time that WSOP has comes to Australia. I guess I'd be understating my enthusiasm and excitement, really. Obviously, we were in the world series in '05. It's a significant part of my life, moment in my life and the fact that WSOP's actually come out to Australia, we're having a 10k main event. Got a few events being hosted by Crown Casino, which is my hometown casino. Look, the WSOP brand is the biggest poker brand in the world, undoubtedly, and coming to Australia, everyone is bracelet hunting. Everyone is chasing those bracelets, so it's a really big thing. You can't over talk it... you can't talk it up enough to be honest that it's here, and I think it's great.
Bringing the WSOP brand to Australia just enhances everything about poker in Australia. The WSOP APAC has, in my mind, complimented Aussie Millions. So for a long time, trying to get the big international players out here was so hard because it's such a long way away. Now they've come along to the Aussie Millions, they love it and they keep coming every year. But there are still those who are a bit reluctant to come all that way. WSOP APAC brings them out here and people like Mercier. Hellmuth is coming out. Ivy is coming out. He loves Australia. He comes out all the time. But a lot of the big name guys who are coming out here, especially for WSOP, what I'm really excited about is that they will love it and then come out for Aussie Millions as well.
Matt: As the official live reporting outlet, Poker Listings will be bringing you live updates, chip counts, interviews and videos, and we'll see how the Aussie's stack up against the hundreds of poker players that have descended on Melbourne for a shot at the WSOP gold. So for the next 11 days keep it locked right here for a front row seat to all the action and a behind the scenes look at what it's like at the first ever World Series of Poker Asia Pacific.