The World Poker Tour (WPT) was acquired by Chinese gaming giant Ourgame International in June 2015, with the intention of tapping the Asian market and as expected, there was a poker boom in Asia. However, the last couple of weeks and months haven’t been too good for the companies, with China cracking the whip on poker in the country.
After a few arrests last month, six top Ourgame employees were arrested last week in relation to running underground gambling activities using the company’s free-to-play apps as a cover up. To add to that, all social poker apps in the country will disappear on 1st June 2018, as per the Chinese government’s recent ban on poker.
Most would believe that this would spell trouble for poker in Asia but WPT had other plans, recently announcing two tournament series in Asia scheduled for later this year, including a new team format of the game. “The World Poker Tour is thrilled to announce WPT Japan and WPT Korea as part of our 2018 schedule,” said WPT CEO, Adam Pliska.
The WPT Japan will take place between 15-17 September, in partnership with the Japan Poker Union Corporation and the buy-in to the Main Event has been set at JPY 30,000 (~$270). Soon after, WPT Korea commences at Paradise City Casino in Incheon, South Korea, between 18-24 September, where the Main Event buy-in is set at KRW 1.1 million (~$1,020).
The WPT Teams Event will make its debut at WPT Korea, between 19-21 September, where 16 teams of 4 players each will compete in up to 6 various formats of poker. The winning team will earn seats to the WPT Korea Main Event. These two Asian events were created by WPT Live Events Specialist Danny McDonagh, who was recently appointed as the PokerStars Live Tournament Director but still has an ongoing role with WPT, relating to their Asia Pacific events.
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