Poker in Australia - home of poker legend "Diamond" Joe Hachem
Poker has something of an odd history in Australia. The country has been familiar with the game since around the 1900s - but not in the way you might think. The first slot machines that were brought to Australia were from the USA, and they worked by having reels filled with playing cards - you span the reels and won cash if a winning poker hand appeared in a straight line across the middle. There was only one problem with these machines - they were illegal as gambling was against the law in Australia!
In the 1950s these laws began to be relaxed and poker machines - or "pokies" as they became to be known - could be played at registered clubs. As the laws became further relaxed a genuine boom in pokie-playing occurred.
All this meant that poker was forever in the national consciousness in Australia, so when the rise in poker began to really swell in the 1990s, it was only natural that Australia should be swept along with the adoption of this new world-wise craze - one which was accelerated when online poker playing made Texas Hold'em poker and similar games available to anyone who had a computer.
Australia even has one of the longest-running poker tournaments in the world - the Aussie Millions which began as a Fixed Limit Texas Hold'em tournament as long ago as 1998. The real boon came in 2005 when the leading Australian poker pro, Joe Hachem, won the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Today, virtually every online poker room accepts Australia-based poker players. Here I list a few of the very best rooms you can visit if you're "down under" and want to go all-in on the turn now and again:
William Hill Poker
Full Flush Poker
There's hardly any contest in deciding who's the most successful Australian poker-playing pro - the one and only "Diamond" Joe Hachem. When Diamond Joe won the 2005 World Series Of Poker main event he took home a new record first prize for winning any description of poker tournament - a cool $7.5 million, which isn't bad just for playing a few dozen hands of cards! Joe was actually born in Lebanon in 1966, but moved with his family to Melbourne, Australia in 1972. Joe was working as a chiropractor when he had to take some time off after developing a rare blood disorder affecting blood vessels in his hands. During that time he started to play online poker - and never looked back!
If you're an Australian-based poker player you are literally spoilt for choice as Australian players are widely accepted at almost every online poker room there is! Why not kick-start your own poker career at one of the many online poker sites that are listed above? You could soon be as flushed with poker chips as "Diamond Joe" himself!