About Us

Founded in 2008, Deaf Poker Australia (DPA) is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organisation with a common interest in developing and promoting poker catering specifically to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (HOH) players.  As the game’s de facto governing body in the Australian Deaf community, DPA regularly collaborates with Deaf poker organisations in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.

DPA has also assisted in the development of Deaf poker in New Zealand and since 2011 has worked closely with major casinos on both sides of the Tasman, including SkyCity Adelaide, Treasury Hotel & Casino Brisbane, The Star Sydney, Crown Perth, SkyCity Auckland and Crown Melbourne.

The unique feature of all DPA live tournaments is the ability for players to communicate in Auslan (Australian Sign Language), as well as English, at the tables; other than that, there are very few modifications to the way the game is played, dealt, adjudicated or administered.


As well as being chosen for its fresh, dynamic and modern design, DPA’s logo reflects our mission statement and core values: Community, Ambition, Respect and Development (CARD).

The club represents our aspiration to not only strengthen the bond between our players and other members of the Deaf community, but to also break down social barriers and unite Deaf and hearing people through a common interest.

AMBITION (The Spade)
DPA prides itself on giving Deaf people the courage to step up to the challenge in a safe, social and competitive environment, whilst nurturing and supporting the burgeoning talent pool of players who have consistently yielded results both within and outside our events.

RESPECT (The Heart)
Although it is the only suit not found within our logo, this is no mistake. The ‘heart’ of DPA lies within everyone that is, or has ever been, involved with us. It is also shown through the unwavering love and support that we have for the game of poker and each other.

The diamond reflects our the ongoing commitment in spreading the game of poker throughout the Australian Deaf community via its network of home games and major live events, culminating in our marquee national carnival, the DPA Championship.


Board of Directors

Nikolas Schlie (QLD)
Chief Executive Officer

Nikolas Schlie is – without question – the most successful Deaf player in Australia outside of DPA, winning several major titles including the WPT League QPC Main Event back in 2017. Schlie is also the current President of Deaf Futsal Australia.

James Hale (VIC)
Chief Financial Officer

Serving as DPA’s Chief Financial Officer since 2016, James Hale has reached many DPA Major Event final tables, including the 2009 Australian Championship, as well as earning two DPA State of Origin titles with the All-Stars (2014) and Victoria (2016).

Alisha Wormald (VIC)
Director of Marketing

A graphic designer by trade, Alisha Wormald commissioned DPA’s logo in 2016. Along with back-to-back victories in the NSW Deaf Ladies’ Event, Alisha made international headlines after winning the DPA X Main Event back in 2018.

Consulting (Non-Executive) Members

Sokong Kim (NSW)

Regarded as The Godfather of Australian Deaf Poker, Sokong Kim founded DPA in 2008, first organising a series of home games across his home city of Sydney before establishing the DPA Championship Main Event just 12 months later.

Landon Blackhall (VIC)
Live Events Specialist

After starting his poker and gaming industry career in 2004, Landon Blackhall has built a wealth of domestic and international experience as a tournament director, dealer and reporter and has adjudicated every DPA Championship since 2010.


Whilst poker is recognised the world over as a game of skill, it is still classified as a form of gambling under Australian law.

DPA and our Affiliate groups adhere to Responsible Gaming regulations in all states and territories.  For more information, please visit the Australasian Gaming Council website.