The excitement is building ahead of the second leg of the 2008 Asian Poker Tour in Macau. The event is being held at the bustling Galaxy StarWorld Hotel and Casino, running from August 27 to 31, 2008. The first card of the Main Event will be dealt at 2.30pm on Thursday 28th after a welcome reception and satellites tournaments tomorrow. 

The latest development sees a surprise visit by the legendary Jack Binion, host of the first World Series of Poker® at the Horseshoe in 1970. Binion and ‘Godfather of Poker’ Doyle Brunson are going to join tournament director Matt Savage to call ‘Shuffle Up and Deal” to open the prestigious event.

This afternoon Doyle Brunson took part in a book signing, and, after lines and lines of people queued around the block to meet the legend, he was in no doubt about the significance of his visit. Brunson said: “I have been to so many tournaments and so many places in the world but I have to say I am so impressed with The Asian Poker Tour and Macau. This is the first time I have been here.”

“I thought Las Vegas was the gambling capital of the world but I was wrong, it feels like coming home.”

Member of the “November Nine” on the final table of the 2008 WSOP®, Michael ‘Chino’ Rheem, is playing the APT Macau and he joins a formidable line-up of champions and legends taking part. Chinese-born 10 time WSOP® bracelet winner and ‘Rounders’ film legend Johnny Chan will be in a field that also includes Todd Brunson, Liz Lieu, J.C Tran, Kenny Tran, John Juanda, Nam Le, Quinn Do, Steve Sung, Huck Seed, Mel Judah, Mansour Matloubi and APT Philippines champion David Saab.

All have their eyes on glory and history at Asia’s richest tournament. The buy-in for the main event is USD $5300 ($5000+$300). The event organizers have also extended an open invitation to Olympic megastar and poker nut Michael Phelps. Experts believe that the Vietnamese contingent will be strong and are the ones to watch out for with JC Tran, Kenny Tran, Le, Do and Lieu leading the charge.

The APT Macau is making history by offering US$1.5 million, the largest guaranteed prize pool ever to be offered in Asia, with the first prize also guaranteed at $500,000. Many of the big names are also expected to take part in an exciting HK$1,000,000 high stakes cash game on Friday at the StarWorld, more details of which will be announced in the near future.

Chris Parker, CEO of the Asian Poker Tour said: “ We’re delighted that so many world class names want to be part of the Asian Poker Tour. To have Vegas legends Jack Binion and Doyle Brunson in Macau to kick-off off the tournament is truly significant. Both are pioneers and were around at the start in Vegas and it really says something that they want to mark what we think will herald the start of a poker explosion in Macau. With the presence of online qualifiers from around the world too, the Asian Poker Tour has a very bright future. We’re proud to make history by holding Asia’s biggest guaranteed tournament.”