WSOP stops in Sydney for fourth time

By William Brown Updated
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The World Series of Poker hits Sydney this week with 14 official tournaments at The Star Sydney.

Casino Aus reports that despite the World Series of Poker hosting its primary series in Las Vegas each summer, as well as its WSOP Europe series in the Czech Republic, this event is part of the WSOP International Circuit.

The circuit will stop in Sydney for the fourth time, having been to Russia, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Holland this season.

This year’s festivities kick off on November 14 and conclude on December 9.

Cash and a World Series of Poker gold ring are up for grabs over the course of the 26 days, with a total of more than $6 million in guaranteed prize money.

In addition, players who compete in multiple tournaments will have the chance to win a seat into the WSOP Global Casino Championship in the United States.

The 2020 Championship is slated for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina next summer.

Two seats will be awarded to that tournament, which awards a WSOP gold bracelet to the winner and guarantees a $1 million prize pool.

Those seats will be given to the winner of the main event at the Sydney stop and the casino champion.

The latter is the player who wins the most points throughout the series of 14 events at The Star.Each seat is worth $10,00 plus allowances for travel.

Packed Sydney slate

The Sydney schedule is locked and loaded with the two starting days featuring No Limit Hold’Em Monster Stack action.

It will all culminate in the main event with its two starting flights on November 30 and December 1.

Last year, the main event tallied a prize pool of $2,382,000 and Alex Lynskey won the tournament for nearly $423,000.

Some may remember Lynskey from his seventh placed finish at the 2018 WSOP main event in Las Vegas, where he won $1.5 million.

Most recently, Lynskey won the celebrity charity tournament that kicked off the World Poker Tour’s Australia Festival at The Star Gold Coast.

Star’s Sydney tower in limbo

The Star Casino was warned a year ago there were problem with the height of its proposed $530 million Ritz-Carlton hotel, which sparked a political row when it was knocked back.

The Australian reported in August that it obtained documents that undermine claims yesterday from The Star that it wasn’t warned the height of the tower – 237 metres – was a problem in terms of government approval.

In May last year, records show representatives of The Star met Department of Planning and Environment officials, including Ben Lusher, the director of key sites assessments, when they were told there were issues with height and the overshadowing of other buildings.

The Star chief executive Matt Bekier has complained bitterly over the knock-back of the tower, which the casino saw as helping it compete with the Crown Barangaroo development.

Planning Department meeting notes state that on May 22, 2018, at a meeting in government offices: “The department met with the applicant to discuss its letter dated 11 May, 2018 in which it confirmed insufficient justification has been provided demonstrating the proposal has limited environmental consequences.”

“The department confirmed the principal issue requiring further justification relates to the visual impact of the tower and its isolation within its current context.

“The department and proponent discussed the inadequacies of the EA in terms of demonstrating the limited environment consequences of the proposal in terms of the: visual impacts of the tower in light of the current urban setting; visual impact of the tower on the setting of the surrounding heritage items; overshadowing impact of the tower on surrounding residential properties that receive between 0 and 2 hours solar access.”

The May 11 correspondence from Mr Lusher to the casino said: “In order to proceed, you will need to review and revise your EA to provide additional consideration and justification of environmental consequences…to reasonably demonstrate the impacts are limited and the proposal can be assessed and determined.

A spokesman for The Star said: “We maintain at no point did the department suggest the 237 metre height should be reduced or would result in a negative recommendation.”

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