By Joe Ewens
PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour
North America is thoroughly saturated, and you can’t walk two feet in Europe without bumping into some regional tournament or other. Asia, on the other hand, is poker’s latest and greatest new frontier. There’s massive potential for poker amongst its 4 billion inhabitants and PokerStars is at the forefront of exploiting it. With the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), PokerStars has become one of the first to enter that huge wellspring of poker desire. The world’s biggest poker site has made a habit of spreading their live tournaments to the four corners of the globe. From the European Poker Tour to the Latin American Poker Tour, there are a growing number of global PokerStars events.
The APPT debuted in late 2007, with a whistle stop tour of South Asia’s most exotic locations. Starting with a bang at Manila in the Philippines, the parade wound its way towards a grand final in Sydney, Australia. At every stop there are countless bustling side events, along with a $2,500 televised Main Event. Many of the American-based Asian pros make regular trips to compete in these tournaments, along with established players from around the world. You can always count on a strong showing from Team PokerStars Pro - with the likes of Chris Moneymaker, Joe Hachem, and Daniel Negreanu typically putting in an appearance.
If, like most people, you’re unable to find a spare thousand or two in your bankroll, you shouldn’t give up hope of having your own Asian adventure. There are scores of satellites running daily on PokerStars, with buy-ins to cater to every bankroll. In some cases, the cut-price low-turnout MTT satellites will be qualifiers into bigger events. Tournaments like the $33 rebuy will win you tickets into larger satellites - such as the $800 direct qualifiers. Of course, there are still plenty of low buy-in tournaments that pay out the full $5k packages. If the likes of the $475 qualifier is too high for your tastes, then the $11 3x-turbo and its ilk could provide you with an alternative.
If you prefer your tournaments no larger than one table, then you should take a look at the APPT Step satellites. By progressing through six levels of increasingly expensive S&Gs you can make it all the way to a $5k prize package. You can buy-in right at the bottom for $27, or skip a few stages with entry fees anywhere up to $2100.
APPT Season 1 (2007)
The first APPT was a rip roaring success, and proved to be a pioneering event in the mostly-untapped Asian market. Manila, Seoul, Macau, and Sydney provided the venues for countless high-stakes escapades. From August to December, the world’s poker elite descended upon southern Asia to duke it out for massive prize pools. The Grand Final in Sydney, Australia was the tour’s most triumphant moment, with home favorite Grant Levy taking the title. Beating out 561 players along the way to a $850,000 payday was no mean feat, considering that the field contained the likes of former World Champions Joe Hachem and Greg Raymer. Hachem had already proved his mettle and compassion in the Tournament of Champions, when he devoted his $50,000 first place prize money to the Shane Warne Foundation.
APPT Season 1 Tournaments and Winners
APPT Season 2 (2008)
Season 2 added a stop in the New Zealand city of Auckland, a testament to the success of its original outing. A combined total of over 1,200 players turned out across the 5-stop tour, contributing to a total prize pool of more than $3,000,000. Many of the plaudits went to Martin Rowe, who took down the top spot in the Sydney Grand Final. He could have been a double victor, had he managed to best Vanessa Rousso heads up in the Tournament of Champions.
APPT Season 2 Tournaments and Winners
APPT Season 3 (2009)
The third season of the APPT is currently underway, with China, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Australia all on the calendar. The only schedule change from the previous year the inclusion of Cebu over Manila. Simon Watt proved that even those of a more modest bankroll can win an APPT event. The internet qualifier bested 263 opponents to pick up the $209,000 first place prize. Over in Macau, records were broken. The HKD $16,130,400 stuffed into the prize pool was the highest ever recorded for an Asian Event.
APPT Season 3 Tournaments and Winners
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