James Packer sets aim at new heights.


As the ink is still drying from his recent acquisition of prime Sydney real estate for the latest Crown creation, James Packer has not rested as he is targeting a 400 – room resort style casino in Sri Lanka to add to his companies blossoming portfolio.


The casino, which was confirmed from the Sri Lankan government, will be situated on a prime beach-front location with Packer investing over AU$350million on the project. Since the end of the civil war in 2009 Sri Lanka has enjoyed a steady increase in tourist numbers, roughly 1 million per year, but with competition from follow Asian nations Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, Sri Lanka have been looking for a new feature to help compete with its more prosperous neighbours. The government hope this new venture will double its tourist numbers, bringing it into line with some of the most desirable Asian and Pacific holiday destinations.


A contentious issue recently released by local new agency, Xinhua, has shed light on some of the allowances Packer and his Crown group have gained from the Sri Lankan government. These include huge 10-year tax concessions for the projects with the casino only paying 6 per cent tax for twelve years. Many neighbouring nations have raised issue with these tax allowances as its not what the region needs with many feeling the tax exemptions awarded to Packer and his casino group will come to be expected all over Asia from other developers.


The 400 – room hotel and casino in Sri Lanka will open-up a new market in the growing Asian poker industry. The dominance of Macau has been challenged over the years by the likes of the Philippines and South Korea with Sri Lanka now an exciting new destination for poker.


For the latest news, views and results stay tuned to FTR.


2013 ANZ Player of the Year.


Japan’s Lori Yogo has been awarded 2013’s ANZ Player of the Year following the conclusion of the record setting APPT Melbourne. Since its inception in 2009, the ANZ Player of the Year has been awarded to the most consistent player throughout the year in ACR Poker sponsored, ANZPT and APPT events. 2009 and 2010 saw Tony Hachem win the title with Danny Chevalier taking it home in 2011 and Mishel Anunu in 2012.


2013 saw Lori Yogo, Bosina’s Dejan Divkovic and Australia’s Luke Brabin all content for the Player of the Year title with impressive seasons over the course of the Australia and New Zealand poker circuit. Back in February Yogo began his assentation to the top, finishing second to Divkovic at the ANZPT Perth Main Event, claiming AU$72,000 and a healthy enough stack of POTY points to stay within touching distance of the Bosnian. Yogo then went on to finish 11th in the 2013 ANZPT Sydney Main Event but with Divkovic finishing runner-up, Yogo was still sitting in second place. The ANZPT Repechage event was the defining moment for Yogo as his finished runner-up to Anthony Hachem claiming enough POTY points to move into top spot.


Combined with some participation points following the Repechage finis, Yogo had to ensure that Luke Brabin, the only player who could finish above Yogo in the POTY standings, did not make the final table at the APPT Melbourne Main Event. Brabin ended-up finishing 33rd, gifting the 2013 Player of the Year crown to Yogo with Brabin the runner-up.


Lori Yogo ANZPT/APPT Results 2013

ANZPT Perth – 2nd AU$72,000

ANZPT Sydney – 11th AU$11,500

ANZPT Repechage – 2nd AU$126,600


As winner of the Player of the Year Yogo claims the largest share of AU$35,000, which includes sponsorship in to the HK$100,000 buy-in 2013 Asia Championship of Poker Main Event, entry into the HK$25,000 ACOP Warm-up, Macau accommodation and US$1,500 towards travel expenses. Brabin collects a sponsorship package, which includes entry into four season 7 ANZPT Main Events along with US$500 towards travel and accommodation for each event.


Below is the 2013 Player of the Year final standings Top Ten.

1st – Lori Yogo 195.31 points

2nd – Luke Brabin 176.15 points

3rd – Michael Guzzardi 155.85 points

4th – Pravin Harji 154.61 points

5th – Dejan Divkovic 150.25

6th – Michael Faderson 147.14

7th – Ivan Zalac 137.15

8th – Daviel Neilson 133.69

9th Patrick Healy 128.45

10th Dale Marsland 122.65


Congratulations to Lori Yogo for his 2013 win, we at FTR are looking forward to seeing how he will do at the up-coming Asian Championships of Poker.


For all the latest news and results from around Asia and the Pacific stay tuned to FTR.


Pub Poker Players ready themselves for The Showdown powered by The Star.


The brand new event is set to spark new life into the blossoming premier pub poker world in New South Wales as The Star and the Full House Group partner-up to bring The Showdown powered by The Star which will run 10 – 13 October 2013 at The Star Hotel and Casino, Sydney.


AU$50,000 is guaranteed for the winner, The Showdown is set to attract the regions finest pub poker players from the Australian Poker League, 888 Poker League and Pub Poker.


Full House COO, Brayden Haynes, said, “We are excited to be offering poker players from the Australian Poker League, 888 Poker League and Pub Poker a brand new event to showcase their skills and win some big money. The strength of casino based poker is important for our country and this new relationship between Full House Group and The Star supports the growth of the game.”


Players from the three leagues can qualify for the event in a number of different way. Tickets are up for grabs in venue Satellites, regional finals and promotional events. A Sydney based promotion will also be running for players to win a seat at the Main Event. Alternatively, players can buy into The Showdown powered by The Star at Playapl or 888pl.


For the latest news and results from around Asia and the Pacific stay tuned to FTR.


South Australia announce more Poker Gaming Machines are to be withdrawn.


The Liquor and Gambling Commissioner, Paul White, has announced that more poker machines will be withdrawn from circulation after the next trading of entitlements are held on 14 November.


White said “Buyers nominate a maximum price they are willing to pay for each gaming machine entitlement whilst sellers nominate a minimum price for their entitlements. The scheme facilitates the sale between sellers and buyers with one in every four gaming machine entitlements sold in a trading round by hotels being cancelled.”


The most recent trading window saw 57 machine entitlements sold and six cancelled.


He went on to say “This brings us to a total of 254 entitlements sold and 44 entitlements cancelled since the current trading system was introduced in June last year. “


The Adelaide Casino will be able to take part in the next round of trading from early next year as part of its expansion plan.


The South Australian Government plans to remove a further 800 pokies from the state to achieve its overall reduction target of 3,000 with most of the changes to take effect by 2017. The starch stance comes following a recent survey suggesting that gambling in Australia has become one of the biggest social problems facing the country today. The government has been rolling out plans to tax gaming venues, casinos, and pokies far heavier while online sites such as PokerStars, 888 and Full Tilt are facing the closure of its mobile applications.


For all the latest news and results from Asia and the Pacific stay tuned to FTR.