APT Plans Inaugural Event In Japan Without Cash Prizes
The Asian Poker Tour (APT) has confirmed that it will host its first ever APT stop in Japan in 2019 which will take place at the Casino Stadium in Tokyo and will run from Feb 1 to Feb 11.
This inaugural stop in Japan will be unique as the APT will not offer cash prizes but instead send winners to future tournaments.
Top finishers will be awarded with entries to the APT Philippines series which will run in conjunction with Japan’s Golden Week in April and May.
The winner of the APT Tokyo Main Event will receive entries into the APT Philippines Main Event, the High Rollers event and the Championships Event. Smaller packages which will include a seat at the APT Philippines Main Event will also be awarded to the next three finishers, with the other winners receiving different entries to events in the Philippine tour.
The poker scene in Japan has become increasingly active as major tournaments make a visit to the country. In September of this year, the World Poker Tour (WPT) successfully held its second event in Japan. The Main Event was won by Shingo Endo. The Tokyo-based poker pro won $13,000 worth of WPT passport credit which he could use to take part in other WPT events across the globe.
Real Money Poker Coming To Japan
New legislation recently passed in Japan will pave the way for up to three integrated resorts to be built in the country which could likely include poker rooms. Poker was originally not included in the list of government-approved games, but that was reversed following the success of the first ever WPT event held in the country late last year. When the resorts finally open their doors in the country by 2025, players could be in for some real money action, boosting Japan’s $2 billion gambling market. Japan could easily become a hotbed for world-class poker as poker operators will be interested in hosting poker tournaments in this new and lucrative gambling market.
APT Navigates Multiple Challenges
The APT has faced a number of setbacks over the years but has done a great job in navigating the waters and turning APT into arguably the most popular tournament in the Asian market. One of its most recent challenges was when it had to abandon initial plans to hold scheduled events in Macau earlier this year. This was due to the fact that China had imposed a sudden ban on poker and that meant Macau could no longer host the APT. Ultimately the APT Finale Macau was transferred to Manila, Philippines.
Penetrating a huge market like Japan would prove beneficial for APT as the tour expands into Asia. This year alone, APT has held events in Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines and Macau.