Asian Poker Boom Is on, or at Least Getting on

by , Aug 28, 2009 | 4:54 pm

They’re in the money (and just waking up for Day 3 right now) at the APPT Main Event in Macau, and sure enough, Season 3 saw a record number of entrants and prize pool. 429 players, $2.1mm prize pool, $540k first prize. Click here to follow the action.

This comes on the heels of the APT Main Event in Macau earlier this month, which saw 326 players and $1.4mm prize pool, up from 257 last year.

(All figures in US$, though buy-ins and payouts were in HK$.)

Business Week has taken note:
In Macao, Betting on a Poker Boom

Despite a slow start for Macao casinos as a whole, the article points out that new poker rooms are opening almost monthly in the Phillipines, and:

The poker industry seems to recognize the potential for further growth, both for land-based as well as online poker operators. But significant entry barriers remain. One of the biggest: Online gaming is illegal in most Asian countries, making it difficult to show poker tournaments on TV to popularize the game. The Philippines, for instance, has become the fastest-growing poker nation in Asia with about 18 poker rooms around the country, thanks in part to TV broadcasts.

BTW, for those wondering … the APPT (Asia-Pacific Poker Tour) is the PokerStars-sponsored series, modeled after the EPT. The APT (Asian Poker Tour) is an independent operation, hosted by Matt Savage and assisted by a consortium of online sites, including bwin, PartyPoker, PKR, Titan, JBet, Winamax, Chilipoker, and a new-to-me Chinese site called Dafapoker (which I have since learned is an 888 operation).


  • Oliver Tse

    One of several reasons why I chose to shut down my poker agency and exit the poker industry is the lack of progress (after 3 years) in getting poker on TV in major markets in Asia.

    The government-run and government-licensed gambling monopolies in East and Southeast Asia (i.e. every jurisdiction east of Malaysia and Singapore), with the exception of Philippines and Macau, all want a big cut of the buy-ins (for example: Singapore wants to withhold 35% of the total buy-ins as a tax) before they will issue poker tournament licenses to promoters and allow poker to be televised.

    - The APT is only televised in the Philippines and Macau.

    - Season 3 of the PokerStars.net APPT will NOT be filmed for TV at all.

    WPTE discontinued its “WPT China” operations (based on the TuoLaJi, or “Traktor” card game), which was designed to appease China’s Leisure Sports minister, when it became apparent to WPTE that losses from the WPT China operation would continue for the forseeable future without leading to WPTE’s ultimate goal of earning a government license to offer Texas Hold’em on TV and online to the masses in Mainland China.

  • DanM

    Oliver, I respect (and support) your desire to shut down your poker agency, but I hope you don’t leave the poker industry completely. Your voice is still a welcome one — because I often think you are right on target with facts that others don’t have. And when you’re off target? Well that’s just funny to me.
    :)

    Fugk poker! Go soccer!