By Lynn Gilmartin
Joe Hachem and Lynn Gilmartin
If you missed the news (and my bursts of enthusiasm all over instagram) last month, the World Poker Tour held our very first event in Australia!
Being an Aussie, and this now being my seventh season with the World Poker Tour, it felt as though I was introducing my parents to my long-time boyfriend’s parents for the first time. I was confident they would bond, but we’ve always got that nervous thought in the back of our mind, “What if they don’t?!”
Well, I’m thankful to report sparks flew and it was love at first sight. In fact, the love was overflowing.
I’m ultra proud to say The Star Gold Coast is now the official home to WPT Australia after expanding their poker space to 21 brand-new, velvet-clad, smart-phone-charging, luxurious tables. And these 21 tables were overflowing at all times throughout the 11-day festival with over 3,000 entries across 10 events, including the $2,500 Main Event which attracted 658 entries and an AUD $1,480,500 prize pool.
World Poker Tour’s Sam Carioti, Danny McDonagh, Adam Pliska, Lynn Gilmartin and Angelica Hael at The Star Gold Coast.
The Star Gold Coast’s poker space
The chilled-out beach town of Broadbeach, located on Australia’s Gold Coast, has never seen poker like this before; and the poker world is pretty stoked to meet the Gold Coast. It’s the epitome of what you would expect from an Aussie vacation. The casino is right by the coastline, surrounded by some of Australia’s best dining, entertainment and surf. The poker space was beautifully lit with windows overlooking Broadbeach, a rare treat inside a casino. In fact, we could even step outside onto the balcony to enjoy the view on our breaks or to decompress after busting a tournament. What more could you need?
Lynn Gilmartin in Broadbeach
The festival kicked off with a celebrity poker event, raising $10,000 for Surf Life Saving Queensland, and I had the honor of being MC for the night, alongside Beau Ryan, the host of Australia’s Amazing Race.
Beau Ryan and Lynn Gilmartin hosting The Star Gold Coast’s WPT Australia Celebrity Poker Night for Surf Life Saving Queensland.
Havana Brown’s poker face in action as Scott Prince, Lynn Gilmartin and Erin Molan have a laugh at The Star Gold Coast’s WPT Australia Celebrity Poker Night.
Beau Ryan, Joe Hachem, Lynn Gilmartin, Scott Prince and Alex Lynskey warming up for WPT Australia.
Meanwhile, I had a blast highlighting our “language”, for which my American colleagues needed loads of assistance. See if you can follow this video without the subtitles. We made a load of videos throughout the festival, but here is a highlight reel to sum up our two weeks into two minutes:
If that’s not enough, to really follow the stories behind the scenes, check out my takeover of World Poker Tour’s Instagram stories here. It really was one of my favourite stops yet.
Thank you to The Star Gold Coast for giving the World Poker Tour such a warm welcome Down Under! I’m counting down the months until we return again next year. The details are still to be confirmed, so watch this space.