With Day 1B now underway at the 2009 Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival, Tournament Director Matt Savage has confirmed that there are a total of 326 runners, 133 on Day 1A and 193 on Day 1B. The total prize pool is HK$10,919,040 with first place due to scoop HK$3,035,000. The buy-in for the Main Event is set at HK$34,400. Last year’s event attracted 257 runners.
Chris Parker, CEO of the Asian Poker Tour said: “One year ago we projected that we would get 300 runners for the Main Event so we are delighted with the turnout, especially in the current economic climate. It vindicates our decision to transform The Asian Poker Tour Macau into a 12 day festival.
What is hugely encouraging is the growth of Asian players in the field, which bodes very well for the future. For example, on Day1A just over 50% of the field was from Asia. We have also significantly increased the online qualifier contingent in comparison to 2008.”
As well as the large regional contingent there are plenty of well know names at the StarWorld Hotel and Casino. Leading the field are The Asian Poker Tour’s Ambassadors ‘The Poker Pack’ comprising of JC Tran, Nam Le, Quinn Do, David ‘Chino’ Rheem, Steve Sung and Kwang Soo Lee. Also in attendance are John Juanda, Liz Lieu, James Akenhead of the WSOP® Main Event November Nine, the in-form Stewart Scott, David Chiu, Ian Frazer, Praz Bansi, JP Kelly, Young Phan, Amnon Filippi, Casey Kastle, Steve Yea, David Steicke, Cecilia Nordenstam, Liv Boeree, Mel Judah and Kim Wooka.
Day 1B also marked the start of filming of ‘Poker King,’ the first Chinese language poker film. As players entered to take their seats for Day1B the cameras were rolling for the movie which has an all star cast. Many predict the movie could have the ‘Rounders’ effect on the growth of poker in Asia.
‘The Poker Pack’ is on an amazing run at the Starworld Hotel and Casino in the side events. Team Korea, featuring Steve Sung, David Chino’Rheem and Brandon Wong, won the inaugural JBET Battle of the Nations event (side event #9). Quinn Do took down ‘The Poker King Movie’ Celebrity Charity event, while David ‘Chino’ Rheem won the HKGC No Limit Hold ‘em R+A side event #4. Most recently, JC Tran took down ‘The Poker Pack’ headhunter side event #10. Sixteen players failed to take the bounty of the star player as he crushed all opposition in front of him to scoop HK$76,000 plus HK$10,500 in bounties. In addition, last night there was a special invitational event sponsored by DafaPoker.com, which hosted 34 invited guests and players with the winner taking home $HK12,600.
The Asian Poker Tour Macau hosts over 20 events with 15 official side events. Amongst the online networks which sent players were The Ongame Network, the iPoker Network and PartyPoker.com. In addition, online rooms BWin, PKR, DafaPoker.com, JBET Poker, Betfriends, 888.com, Titan Poker, RedKings, 32Red, ChiliPoker, Winamax, BetSafe, PafPoker and PokerLoco are in on the action which guaranteed the significant online qualifier contingent. Sponsors of the side events and collaterals include the Hong Kong Game Club, DafaPoker, Dafa888, The Poker King Movie, JBet, PartyPoker.com, BWin, Zipang Casino, 777babycasino and PKR.
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