The Asia Pacific Poker Tour, an Overview
First it was the WSOP, then it was the WPT and finally it was the EPT – all poker tours that caught the imagination of the poker playing fraternity and all poker tours that have grown exponentially in their short life spans.
There have been other pretenders to the world poker tour throne, such as the much vaunted ShowDown Poker Tour (SDPT) and the failed EPM (European Poker Masters) but none of them have ever really been the success story that the ‘big brother’ tours continue to enjoy!
In an effort to spread the game of poker, Texas Holdem in particular, throughout the world, the organisers and sponsors of the EPT saw a gap in the considerable gambling market and in 2007 the APPT or the Asia Pacific Poker Tour was launched. Over the years of inordinate growth, poker has been embraced by the people of Asia and the antipodes with much relish. We only have to think of the hugely popular Aussie Millions and poker gurus like JC Tran, Johnny Chan and the entire Nguyen tribe of Men, Scotty and Van to realise the enormous potential of the region.
The APPT is ground breaking in a number of ways but its major claim to fame is the fact that it is the first major government-sanctioned real money Texas Holdem poker tournament ever to be played in Korea and China and the Macau showdown, with over 350 entrants, also became the largest poker tour to take place in Asia!
Season One Success
The inaugural season of the APPT witnessed five events spread across four locations – Manila in the Philippines, Seoul in South Korea, Macau in China and Sydney in Australia. All the tournaments were well represented with the lowest turn out being in Seoul where 186 player pitched to claim their share of a prize pool of just over $430 000 – not too shabby for an inaugural event!
The grand final was held in Sydney. Two other events made up the primary season of the APPT – the High Roller event in Macau and the Tournament of Champions in Sydney, an invitational tournament made up of some of the real ‘hotties’ of international poker including Scotty Nguyen, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem!
The record breaking number of entrants for the first season of the APPT Sydney has prompted the organisers to recognise the growing popularity of poker in the region by adding a fifth event to the Season 2 schedule – the APPT Auckland in New Zealand.
With poker professionals like Joe Hachem, John Juanda and Bertrand Grospellier supporting the APPT, it can only continue to grow in stature and popularity!