The game of poker has long been a popular pastime around the world. Many people love the camaraderie of the game, and the social aspect has taken the game out of back rooms to around the dining room table. However, at the end of the day, poker is a game that involves gambling, and playing the game for real money is still why many people flock to it. We want to dive into why Australians love to play real money poker, and how the game has grown in that country despite some legal challenges.
Why do Australians play Real Money Poker?
With all the opportunity to spend money on other things, someone might question why an Australian (or anyone) would want to play poker for real money. Those of us in the industry can’t fathom why someone would question the motive, so let’s break it down into its simplest form.
To win money!
Why does someone buy a lottery ticket? Well, one would have to assume it is because they have a chance to turn a small investment into a big profit! Poker, along withal other forms of gambling, is a chance to do the same thing. However, as opposed to the random nature of a lottery game, poker also requires skill, so you have more of a chance to turn a profit from your investment. But yes, the fact of the matter is that people could play poker for no money, so the main reason someone would play for real cash is to win even more of it.
Now, even though there is real money on the line, people do enjoy playing poker just as much as they have a desire to win money. The fact that you have some of your money on the line against another player is exhilarating, and many players love the rush of energy that comes from a huge bluff or holding the nuts. When you are playing real money poker, the emotional quotient is much higher than when it is all for free.
Of course, another reason people like to play real money poker is the competition. When people are playing with no cash on the line, they tend not to care at all about their style of play. This is particularly true of play money online poker. However, when players post up their own cash, there is a real sense of competition. Also, the amount of prestige that the public places on winning big, televised tournaments or WSOP bracelets in many cases is worth more than the cash being won for many players. Competing against the best in any sport and coming out on top is a driving motivator.
Access to Professionals
One of the greatest attributes of poker is that it is one of the only games where amateurs and professionals can enter into the same competition. You may be a great tennis player, but the odds of you making it to the Aussie Open and playing against Serena Williams are almost impossible. However, in poker, your money is the same as Daniel Negreanu’s – if you pony up the entry fee, then you can play in the exact same event and could randomly be placed at his table. Also, the game has no boundaries -it doesn’t matter about your physical ability, your age, your race or your gender. Everyone is the same at the poker table, and it is your mind that is taking the majority of the heat in the battle!
The Aussie Millions
Today, there are dozens of huge poker tournament series that take place around the world. However, if you go back a decade or so, this wasn’t the case. Many tours were just being built, and the majority of the action was centered on the United States.
There was one series of real money events that caught the eye of the land-based and online poker community -The Aussie Millions in Melbourne. This event, held at the Crown Casino, started attracting not only Australians and players from that side of the world but the big names from Europe and North America. Today, the Aussie Millions continues to be one of the top destinations on the poker tour, and real money poker enthusiasts will even use the event as a reason to go on vacation to Australia for the first time. So, there is yet another reason why someone might want to play real money poker – it can take them on adventures to places they never dreamed of visiting.
Online poker was a huge reason that many players started playing real money poker in Australia, and the growth of the industry helped produce poker champions like Joe Hachem. However, the Australian government was not thrilled with a group of offshore poker companies marketing to their residents with no oversight from a legal perspective. The Gambling Act in its original form tried to address this issue, but no one could have foreseen the growth in real money online poker when it was signed in 2001.
Updated terms in the agreement implemented in recent years, however, force the hands of many of the offshore operators, and unfortunately that meant that sites like 888Poker and PokerStars were to leave the market. This definitely will slow the growth of the game, but many industry experts believe it is too late to control it completely.
Best Real Money Poker Sites
There are fewer places for Australians to play real money poker online today, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost! We have searched high and low for sites that still accept Australian players, and form that list we have the sites below to recommend to you. These sites, while not nearly as large as sites like PokerStars, still give you many options for games to choose from, and there are still some huge tournaments to play in. If you are a real money poker player, then we think you will find everything you desire when you create an account and make a deposit at any of these great poker sites.