Officials on the Chinese offshore gambling island of Macau have given the Asian Poker Tour permission to expand its popular Macau event. The new arrangement will involve the transformation of the format used in last year's six day event into a record breaking 12 day extravaganza, creating Asia’s first festival of poker.
The Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival will run from August 12–23, 2009 at the Galaxy StarWorld Hotel and Casino in Macau. The success of the Asian Poker Tour sponsored poker room at the Starworld has led organisers to lay out these ambitious plans that represent another significant leap forward for poker in the region.
Last year, the event attracted some of the most famous names in the game including Doyle Brunson, Jack Binion, Johnny Chan, John Juanda, Huck Seed, Liz Lieu, Todd Brunson, Kenny Tran and Poker Pack members Nam Le, Quinn Do, JC Tran, Steve Sung, David “Chino” Rheem, and Kwang Soo Lee. The 2008 Asian Poker Tour Macau Main Event was won by 20-year-old US hotshot Yevgeniy Timoshenko, who scooped US$500 000 after emerging triumphant from the star-studded field that featured players from over 40 countries.
This year’s Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival will be bigger and better; the Main Event has been extended, with the first of three day one flights getting underway on August 19 and the televised final table scheduled for August 23. The buy-in is set at $4 300.
Aside from the Main Event, the Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival will feature the largest range of side events ever seen in Asia, a company spokesman promised this week. Organisers and tournament director Matt Savage promise a lengthy and varied side event schedule that will appeal to all tastes, details of which will be confirmed in the near future.
High-limit games and sit-n-go tables will run throughout the duration of the festival. Last year’s event hosted a HK$1 000 000 ($129,000) high rollers game and this will be repeated but the stakes will be significantly raised. More details on this feature of the festival will also be confirmed in the near future.
Asian Poker Tour CEO Chris Parker, says: “The Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival will feature a side event schedule never seen in Asia before, including several new formats that will stir the curiosity of poker enthusiasts at all levels. We believe Asia’s first festival of poker will establish Macau as an essential stop on the international poker circuit.”
Like 2008, online qualifiers are also expected to flock to the StarWorld as the Asian Poker Tour continues to gain support from leading online poker networks hosting satellites to the Main Event. The Asian Poker Tour is supported by Full Tilt Poker, iPoker Network, Titan Poker, DafaPoker, PKR, PartyPoker, JBet Poker, Everest Poker, Microgaming Network, 888, 32 Red Poker, National Poker League and the Japanese Poker League.
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