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WPT Hits Macau After 21 Years, More Brands To Follow Suit? Poker
Mrinal Gujare
Posted on 14 Mar, 2024
By Mrinal Gujare
On 14 Mar, 2024
By Mrinal Gujare
On 14 Mar, 2024

WPT Hits Macau After 21 Years, More Brands To Follow?

The World Poker Tour (WPT) wants to truly establish its dominance in the field of live poker. The brand will be making a stop at Macau after 21 years of existence. Come summer and players can head to Macau, China to grind in the first-ever WPT event at the special administrative region of China. Macau is widely considered as the Las Vegas of Asia, and one of the hot selling destinations for poker. International pros or even the Indian ones, Macau has seen the who’s who of poker mark their attendance in tournaments.

Poker legend and WPT ambassador, Phil Ivey has reportedly called Macau ‘home’. Adam Pliska, WPT CEO, added, “Macau has long been a sought-after destination for us, wanting to deliver the WPT experience to the region.” The top boss further added, “Thank you to AGAE and Wynn Macau for helping us expand our global footprint. We look forward to an incredible event.”

WPT In Macau

The WPT Macau event will be hosted from 18th to 24th June 2024 with the HK$40,000 buy-in Championship event, scheduled for 20th – 24th June. Apart from the Championship event, WPT has added a High Roller event which will run from 19th – 20th June and comes with a buy-in of HK$200,000. This summer get ready for some fireworks on the live felts of Wynn Macau casino. 

Yinghua Chen, CEO, Allied Gaming And Entertainment (AGAE) added, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with two esteemed global partners, bringing the World Poker Tour to Macau, SAR, P.R.China. With a shared commitment to enhancing offerings in this burgeoning entertainment market, we are poised to make a significant impact.”

Linda Chen, Executive Director, Wynn Macau also shared her thoughts on the upcoming series in Wynn Macau. She said, “We are thrilled to partner with the World Poker Tour to host one of the most prestigious global poker competitions in Macau, marking its debut in this vibrant city. The World Poker Tour invites legendary poker players from across the world which will enhance Macau’s global allure and reinforce its status as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.” 

“This exciting mega-event further demonstrates our commitment to deliver top-tier international entertainment events to Macau and is set to captivate a new wave of global visitors eager to experience the dynamism of our city,” Chen further mentioned.

WPT In Macau, More Coming?

WPT hosted its series in the Asian continent a couple times in the past, including its most recent Cambodia stop (January 2024), and an event in Beijing (April 2017). It took a bit longer for WPT to announce its event in Macau given the destination’s history of hosting live poker events.

A super high series like Triton Poker has also made stops in the Asian continent (Vietnam, Philippines, and South Korea). The brand could add Macau to its Asian list soon. 

In 2017, another major poker brand, PokerStars held its Championship event at the City of Dreams Casino, the same venue also played host to Macau Millions in 2018. The WPT stop in Macau could prove to be a trendsetter for other live poker brands to follow suit.

Hurdles In The Way

As per reports by Inside Asian Gaming (IAG), one of the biggest challenges in running large-scale poker events in the region is the table cap. Macau restricts the number of gaming tables run by the concessionaires and hence operators cannot welcome a large number of players for its tournaments. 

According to sources, this rule forced the concessionaires to push for the more lucrative casino games. Not just the table cap, there is a reported shortage of staff including dealers. Casinos laid off a considerable percentage of their staff during the COVID-19 period and now are facing a shortfall to handle the surge in tourists visiting casinos.

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