The Asian Poker Tour Macau will begin today with the first card of the main event following yesterday’s welcome reception and satellite tournaments. The event will run from August 27 to 31 and is being held at the StarWorld casino.
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 will join tournament director Matt Savage to call „Shuffle Up and Deal“ to open the prestigious event.
Yesterday Brunson took part in a book signing, and, after lines and lines of people queued round 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 last year’s world series, Michael „Chino“ Rheem, is playing the APT Macau and joins a formidable line-up of champions and legends.
Chinese-born 10 time world champion 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. The event organizers had 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 USD 1.5 million; the largest guaranteed prize pool ever to be offered in Asia, with the first prize also guaranteed at USD 500,000. Many of the big names are also expected to take part in an exciting USD 128,079 high stakes cash game on Friday at the StarWorld.
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.“
Joining the stars are players from all over the world who have won seats to the event by qualifying through online satellites at PartyPoker.com, DafaPoker, PKR, Titan Poker, Bodog, JBet Poker, Virgin Poker, and Poker Trillion David Saab of Australia won the top prize of USD 280,000 at the first leg of the Asian Poker Tour in Manila on June 1.
He recently finished 46th in the World Series main event, winning USD 135,100, and hopes to add a second APT championship to his poker accomplishments. The APT has also created a special leader board that rewards players who take part in every leg of the tour.