Executives at the World Series of Poker have announced an expansion to their global tournament brand. Dubbed as the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific, this new series is set to kick off on April 4, 2013 at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.
In total, there will be five bracelets up for grabs at the WSOP APAC. While an exact schedule has yet to be released, plans to unveil the tournament structures are expected to come out sometime this year. The event is set to be filmed for TV audiences, says PokerNews, with ESPN being the expected broadcaster.
“We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved with the Aussie Millions,” said Crown Melbourne CEO Greg Hawkins, “and look forward to featuring WSOP Asia Pacific on our poker calendar in April 2013… Our agreement firmly aligns with our objective of attracting the very best local and international players, all vying for a coveted WSOP bracelet.”
Ty Stewart, the Executive Director of the WSOP, echoed the excitement of his new business partner in a recent statement.
“Our goal,” he said, “is to establish the worldwide grand slam of poker and use our platform to elevate the game through a series of major championships…With WSOP Las Vegas growing annually and WSOP Europe poised for long-term success after five years, the time is right to turn our attention to the dynamic poker scene in Asia and Australia. Given Crown’s success… we couldn’t ask for a better partner.”
2005 WSOP winner Joe Hachem, one of the men most responsible for the growth of poker in the Asia-Pacific region, has also come out with strong words of support for the venture.
“It’s thrilling to think the World Series of Poker is coming to Australian soil,” he said. “I know first-hand what a life-changing moment winning the WSOP gold bracelet was and how it served as a catalyst for the growth of poker in Australia and Asia.”