The World Poker Tour has announced the schedule for events that will take place on Asian soil in October and November of this year. First on the schedule is the WPT National Philippines in Manila, which represents an inaugural World Poker Tour event. Immediately after the conclusion of the Manila stop, the tournament will move to Mainland China, more precisely, Hainan, where poker festivities will continue.
Solaire Resort & Casino in the Manila Bay
The Philippines’ stop will spread over 11 days and all the action will take place in Solaire Resort and Casino situated in the famed Manila Bay. The flagship tournament, a $2,200 Main Event, will commence on October 25th. A rich offering of side events are also available, featuring tournaments such as the $25,000 high roller, $500 pot limit Omaha, and a $150 charity event.
Solaire Resort & Casino President Thomas Arasi expressed his excitement about the prospect of this inaugural event and it seems that players and other guests will be in good hands.
Solaire is about creating moments, and the World Poker Tour is going to provide many powerful moments for everyone involved.”
MGM Grand Sanya in Yalong Bay
Located some 800 miles from the Philippines, MGM Grand Sanya will host the players in Hainan, Mainland China. The National Main Event is scheduled to kick off on October 28th and features a buy in of $1,600, while the High Roller event will have a somewhat modest entry fee of $5,000. There are several $1,000 deepstack NLHE tournaments on the schedule as well as a $1,000 Open Face Chinese Poker event.
The first ever sanctioned poker tournament in Mainland China took place in 2012. It was a WPT event that attracted 550 players. Year 2013 saw an increase of nearly 100%. The organizers, WPT President Adam Pliska and tournament director Matt Savage, have every reason to hold big expectations regarding these events.
As for Manila, it is already home to numerous poker professionals and it has all the makings of an evolving poker market that could help with bringing new players to the green felt.
After experiencing great success during our first two trips to Mainland China, it was only natural for the World Poker Tour to expand within the region. Like China, the Philippines is an emerging poker market with a host of both talented new players and skilled veterans.” Adam Pliska
The year so far has broken quite a few records in terms of tournament fields and Asian WPT stops could easily build upon this trend. A total of 35 events spread across two stops should guarantee enough action for all the potential grinders weighing their options.
New poker markets are always more than welcome and Asia, without any doubt, has a lot of potential for numerous reasons – the number of people being near the top of the list. More information will be available once the tour kicks off, but things certainly look promising for everybody involved – players and organizers alike.