New South Wales has an affinity with gambling and has more ‘pokies’ than anywhere else in Australia; a total of 96,000! The state is home to the first horse race meeting, the first Australian lottery and the first legally operated poker machines.
It’s hard to believe then that the state has such strict gambling legislation and, though such a big city, Sydney only has one casino; The Star.
However, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a Sydney poker night in the harbour city. In this guide, we’ll bring you the very best of the Sydney poker scene. Including the best venues to play; and the highest stakes games.
- 1 Poker Rooms in Sydney
- 2 Sydney Poker Tournament Organisers
- 3 Poker League Events
- 4 Other Poker Events in Sydney
- 5 Poker Online in NSW
Poker Rooms in Sydney
Let’s start with one of the most famous poker rooms in town…
The Star Casino
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the famous Star poker room has 34 tables to choose from. Situated in the Darling Harbour area of Pyrmont, the Star is home to the Sydney Poker Championships.
Originally opening in 1995, The Star is the second largest casino in Australia behind the Crown Casino in Melbourne. The club also hosts many events from the Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) and, more recently, the World Series of Poker. Cash games run regularly and there are weekly $300+30 tournaments.
The Star is also a luxury hotel and spa meaning you can stay and play plus enjoy the facilities such as health club, swimming pools and massage centre.
Sydney Poker Tournament Organisers
Organising events all around Sydney, Pokermania has a number of Tournament Directors who can arrange corporate or private events. Games are regularly held across the city at several locations:
The Canterbury Hotel
208 Canterbury Rd Canterbury 2193 NSW
Deepstack Tuesdays cost $37 for entry and registration opens at 8pm with games starting at 9pm. Late entry is allowed up until 10.30pm with a 5k early bird bonus before 9.15pm. With $1000 GTD and a $40k starting stack this mid-week event is quite popular.
Deepstack Thursdays cost $55 for entry with a registration call of 9pm and the game kicking off at 10pm. Relaxed blinds start at 25/50 with a $2000 GTD. A single re-entry is allowed and late joiners are welcome up to midnight.
The Lakes Hotel
307 Gardeners Road, Rosebery 2018
Wednesday night events are held at this newly renovated bistro pub in Rosebery and with a guaranteed $1000. The game starts at 7pm with registration beginning at 6pm; early bird bonuses are available including drink card. Entry is just $37 for 40k.
2 Bridge Rd Glebe NSW, 2037
The Kauri hosts Monday and Friday night games with $1000 deepstack each night. Both nights are $37 entry with games starting at 7.30pm and an early bird bonus of 5K. Late entry is allowed until 9pm but there is no re-buy and no add-on.
327 Beamish Street Campsie NSW 2194 (Cnr Hill Street)
The Campsie Hotel is a popular venue for sports fans and is a great pub catering for local office workers as well as big functions. They play host to Friday ($1000 Guaranteed) and Saturday ($1000 GTD) night games. Both evenings kick off at 9pm. Make sure you arrive early on a Saturday evening as it gets quite busy and late entry is only allowed until 9.40pm.
64 Devonshire St Surry Hills NSW, 2010
GT’s in the trendy suburb of Surry Hills offers daytime weekend poker games in Sydney with deepstack Saturday and Sundays starting at 2pm. Sit and go tournaments are available on request but entry for the standard tables is $37.
For more information about any of the events or to enquire about a private function then you can visit Pokermania directly via their website.
Kings Poker arranges a mix of events including free poker games as well as tables with high stakes. You are invited to just turn up before the start of the tournament and register with the tournament director.
The games are played across a selection of venues in and around Sydney with poker tournaments changing on a regular basis. The locations vary from sports bars to hotels, clubs to pubs. For details of the current event schedule visit the Kings Poker website.
Some venues host regular evenings.
268 Anzac Parade, Kensginton NSW 2033
With a guaranteed prize pool of $1000, $20 buy in games start at 7pm.
Churchill’s Sports Bar
532 Anzac Parade, Kingsford NSW 2032
With Sunday afternoon games of poker starting at 3pm as well as two tournaments on Friday (afternoon and evening), the Churchill Sports Bar is a relaxed venue.
308 Moore Park Rd, Paddington NSW 2021, Paddington NSW 2021
With a guaranteed $1500 weekly Thursday event the Olympic tournament has a $30 entry with $20 buy-in options. Games start at 7pm with late entry allowable up to 8.30pm.
Poker League Events
If you are serious about your poker and want to access higher stakes with players who can give you a run for your money then you may want to consider joining one of the Sydney poker leagues.
APL: Australian Poker League
With over 1000 events run nationally each week the APL offers access to some exclusive tournaments. The GTD prize pool is $1,000,000 and there are regional and nightly cash prizes too. Special events are organised on a regular basis to add to your chances of winning big money. In the Sydney area, members can compete for the NSW Player of the Month, NSW Best of the Best, APL Sydney Champs and regional challenges.
There are dozens of venues in and around Sydney each hosting several poker events each week so your choices or table, entry level and stakes are abundant.
With over 750,000 members across Australia total winnings have exceeded $25 million even though many of the games are free to join.
Amateurs are welcome to join and can get access to tutorials and inductions via the network of tournament directors.
Sydney Texas Holdem Poker League
Running Texas Holdem games across Sydney, the league has events almost daily with prize pools of between $500 and $4000. They do operate a few venues but most events are played at the Vegas Hotel, 54 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point NSW 2011.
Situated just outside of the city in Kings Cross the Vegas Hotel also has other gaming facilities. The buy-in is $20 (R&A) with $5k early bird until the end of the first blind. Games are run every Tuesday and Thursday and you can contact the organiser to arrange membership directly.
The league is great for amateurs and games start at just $12 to play. The events are professional but without the pressure of the larger leagues. Special events are run every six weeks at the Lakes Hotel, Roseberry and you are invited to register beforehand to be sure of a seat.
NPL: National Poker League & National Pub Poker League
The National Poker and National Pub Poker League is open to new members and runs events across Australia. Ranging from friendly tournaments to big cash tables the league is very active around the Sydney area. Venues range from sports bars to bowling clubs, hotels to pubs and golf courses.
The leagues are well attended and attract high-quality players to match the stakes. Not for the faint-hearted, league nights are extremely competitive and run very professionally.
Other Poker Events in Sydney
Popular event organisers, Glamor Entertainment run party packages in the city for bucks nights, corporate gatherings or just as an excuse for a lads night out. As well as running a modelling agency that supplies strippers and dancers, the company can also host specialised poker nights. They can come to a venue supplied by you or recommend one for you.
Along with the poker table and equipment they also supply lingerie clad dealers, topless waitresses and can provide a strip show as well. The packages are designed to run for 3 hours and costs $1,750. One table is supplied which can seat between 8-10 people with extra tables being supplied at a price of $70 each.
Catering at three levels, Poker Deluxe can arrange a quality poker night at your own home or other venue. The gold package is an excellent entry level deal to host a three hour Sydney poker night but the platinum is ideal for those special occasions. With a customised, engraved trophy for the winner as well a professional host, dealers, equipment and secondary tournament for early eliminations. An event arranged through Poker Deluxe is great entertainment.
Specifically catering for bucks parties, Wicked Bucks can organise a naughty poker night from just $180 per person. With three hours of professionally arranged entertainment, a topless dealer and free entry to a strip club (including return transport), the package comes with your own personal itinerary planner.
Poker Online in NSW
If you physically can’t get to a poker night or are struggling to get enough interest to organise one yourself then there are plenty of online games you can join.
The top five poker websites in Australia include 888 Poker, Tiger Gaming, Party Poker, Bet365 and William Hill.
Have you attended any Sydney poker nights?
Have we missed any that deserve a mention?
Let us know your suggestions and recommendations below.