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).