Asian Poker Tour

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Published: 14/08/2012

The very first Asian Poker Tour (APT) was inaugurated in 2006 under the auspices of Singapore-based Capital Events Pte with a single tournament conducted in Singapore and won by Lithuanian-Australian businessman Antanas “Tony G” Guoga. Two years later, all rights to the Tour were acquired by gaming conglomerate AsianLogic, with a management and advisory team based in Hong Kong and interactive gambling operations and the majority of its staff located in the Philippines.

The APT’s mission is to promote poker by conducting tournaments and events in major Asia-Pacific cities. Starting with four events proposed for the 2008 Asian Poker Tour season, it has grown to become the premier purveyor of poker action in Asia, partnering with dozens of live and online satellite partners throughout the world.

In 2008, the Tour kicked off with the APT Philippines held in Manila. It was won by Australia-based poker player David Saab. The Tour then went on to Macau, where Ukrainian-American Yevgeniy Timoshenko captured the APT Macau Main Event Championship.

Additional events were originally planned, including APT Singapore and ATP Seoul, but had to be cancelled. Manila and Macau remained the only two venues in 2009, with Neil Arce of the Philippines and an online qualifier, Adrien Allain of France, the respective winners.

The Tour blossomed in 2010, as six accredited events were conducted in Macau and the Philippines in addition to the two main tournaments. Local player Michael Cua won the ATP Philippines that year, while China’s Zhang Dan Peng took the ATP Macau Championship. Two players each from Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines were successful in the lesser events.

In 2011, Macau was dropped from the schedule, but two new locations were added—the Philippines island of Cebu and the Indian city of Goa—for the debut the APT Asian Series with a lower buy-in levels. The APT Asian Series Cebu was won by Andreas Lindblom of Sweden; the APT Asian Series Manila went to local player Vic de Guzman; and the APT Asian Series Goa was won by local Sangeeth Mohan. Meanwhile, the APT Philippines 2011 was won by Enrique Del Prado, Jr. of the Philippines.

For 2012, the APT Macau was reinstated and won by Carlos Chang of Taiwan. The APT Philippines Championship went to South Africa’s Divan Le Roux. As for the APT Asian Series, Tan Tai Zheng of Singapore succeeded in Cebu and Sweden’s Martin Nilsson was the winner in Goa, with three more segments yet to be played—the one in Manila and new tournaments scheduled for Mauritius and Cambodia. Also, the first ATP India Championship has been arranged for December.

Apart from the ongoing Tour events, the APT has begun staging some very successful one-time tournaments. Among the first was the Manny Pacquiao World Poker Event conducted over six days in December 2011 at the Asia Poker Sports Club in Malate, Philippines. It was attended by 148 participants and the PHP2.2 million top prize was won by Australian Oliver Speidel.

Another breakthrough event was 2012’s APT London held in January at the Fox Poker Club in London, England. Local William Dorey won that and the £17,130 first prize. The special event was followed in March by sponsorship of the China Poker Carnival in Hainan, China, which was won by local player Chao Ma. Coming up in 2013 is the much anticipated launch of APT Asian Series Jeju at the Oriental Hotel’s Royal Palace Casino in Jeju, Korea in February.

Published on: 14/08/2012

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