Playing the Crown Casino in Melbourne; Poker Abroad

Over the past several days, I played the Crown Casino in Melbourne, home of the Australian Poker Championship, aka the Aussie Millions.  Fun action, with many tables going.  Check it out, if you're okay with high rake and don't mind paying for drinks (not even water is free).


While traveling recently, I've played many of the World's most important poker rooms (old and new) and seen some interesting technology being used on the tables.  In Australia's Crown Casino, the dealer is required to activate a digital 10-second countdown clock (looks like an egg-timer) any time a player perceptibly slows the game. After calling out the 10 second countdown, the player's hand is declared dead if he has not acted.  


In Singapore, they take the just-shuffled cards and put them in a two-part metal box (similar to the shoe used in Baccarat) and deal from the box.  It slows the game by 5-10 seconds each deal (insert deck, assemble box), but also ensures that the cards are dispensed with optimal integrity.


So, games are faster in Australia than in the US, while being slower in Singapore than we have back in the States.


There are other minor differences abroad as well.  But, bottom line for me, I enjoyed playing over the past three months in the Philippines, Macau, Singapore and what I was told is Australia's largest poker room.  I met many good people at the tables.  It's wonderful to see the game's popularity growing and that poker is being spread almost everywhere.


- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross