Poker players in the U.S. have had limited choices to play online poker in their homeland since April 2011.
The current options for those who desire to play online while remaining stateside are to either take your chances at unregulated poker sites and always have that nagging feeling that someday you may lose your bankroll, or move to one of the regulated states of New Jersey, Nevada or Delaware – assuming that you don’t already live there.
For players who don’t mind leaving the U.S and setting up shop in a foreign locale, there are tons of options available. Some of the more popular destinations that players have relocated to include Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, the UK, and the Dominican Republic.
How About Australia?
Another destination that U.S. online poker players may want to look at when considering a move abroad is Australia. The Land Down Under has a vibrant online poker community, as is evidenced by the number of Australians you will find seated opposite you at top sites such as PokerStars and 888poker.
Just within the last few days, several Australian players bested their respective fields in tournaments at PokerStars. On January 10, Matthew ‘mjw006’ Wakeman took down the PokerStars $530 Sunday 500 $250K GTD for $57,468. Wakeman is Australia’s top online poker player according to PocketFives, with lifetime earnings well over $5 million.
Two days later, Angelina ‘arichdesign’ Rich grabbed first place prize money of $8,343 in PokerStars The Hot $162 Turbo $25K GTD. Rich has cashed online for over $100K in her career and has shown prowess at the live tables as well. A 2nd place finish at the UKIPT Main Event in November was good for $47,901, putting her live tournament earnings over $400K.
Online poker in Australia has been gaining popularity. It hasn’t pushed slot machines or ‘pokies’ aside as the top gambling choice for Australians, as those slots account for the majority of the more than $17 billion lost in the last year by the country’s gamblers, according to Bloomberg. By the way, that’s an average of $734 for every person in Australia, making them the biggest spenders worldwide when it comes to gambling.
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Live Poker Options
In addition to online poker availability, there are more than a half-dozen live poker rooms in Australia. Online players who have the urge for live action do have choices in that regard.
One such poker room is the Crown Casino in Melbourne where the Aussie Millions is set to kick off today, January 13. The festival will run for almost three weeks through the 1st of February. Twenty-four events are on the schedule and will draw many of the world’s best players.
While Australia may not be one of the countries that U.S. players typically consider when contemplating a move abroad to play online poker, it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s one of the wealthiest countries in the world, offers a mostly moderate climate, and is certainly gambling-friendly.