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Last month, Melbourne hosted the inaugural World Series of Poker Asia Pacific.

I’ve never played Poker before, but I’ve watched series finals on TV late at night. It looked like a fun sport that would call on neat skills like reading the players, not getting flustered and above all looking calm and cool. So when I heard the World Series of Poker was coming to Melbourne for the first time, I decided to put on my best outfit to try and psych-out my opponents. I swaggered into Crown Casino, ready to grasp that million dollar grand prize.

At one of the tables, I saw long-time poker devotee, Shane Warne, sporting an 888 Poker shirt. Players came with all kinds of tactics, from sunnies to headphones, from trash-talk to calm Zen-master. There was even a guy in pyjamas. Clearly I was out of my depth. Despite this, I wrung my hands and lifted out my wallet ready to slap some serious coinage. My hopes were dashed pretty quickly when I realised that the buy in was $5,000. I needed a few more coins. This time I would be watching.

Daniel Negreanu won the main event and $1,038,825. Geelong local Kahle Burns took fifth spot and $201,994.

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