1) Ho Tram Resort Casino in Vietnam teamed up this year with World Gaming Group (WGG) to open a world class poker room. Can you introduce us WGG and your plans to develop the poker room?
World Gaming Group is a Hong Kong and Macau-based private equity firm founded in 2009 and operating in the Asian gaming space with assets in gaming media, consultancy and operations. Wholly owned subsidiaries include World Media Network, World Gaming Consultants and World Players Entertainment. Through these companies we own a number of assets and businesses, including Asia’s premier B2C gaming magazine WGM (formerly World Gaming Magazine) established in 2009, our electronic news outlet WGM Daily (established in February this year) and Asian gaming’s authoritative B2B magazine IAG (Inside Asian Gaming), established in 2005. As well as these media assets we have WGC, our gaming-focused agency providing gaming-related analysis and casino and poker operations consulting as well as gaming marketing, translation, graphic design, event planning, custom publishing, website design and cross-cultural training services. Finally World Players Entertainment (WPE) is the gaming operations division of the World Gaming Group and as you know is the poker operations partner of the beautiful Ho Tram Resort Casino in Vietnam. As for developing the room we have very grand long term plans. We have the luxury of signing an extremely long-term deal with Ho Tram and both the Ho Tram Resort Casino and World Players Entertainment are extremely committed to developing poker in Vietnam. We’ve seen how poker has exploded in Macau and that’s great – but there has never been a casino in Macau that really fully threw their entire weight behind poker. It was always considered second fiddle to baccarat. I can assure your readers that Ho Tram is different. Ho Tram will always be constantly innovating and surprising players with just how much the players are being offered. We’ve already set a precedent with the Asian Poker Tour event held here at Ho Tram from 6 to 13 May. Whoever heard of a players party with literally open order lobsters or an open bar on the floor of the poker room serving quality red wine and Macallan 12 year old day and night during play? I can assure Asian poker players this is just the beginning. We will match and well exceed whatever gets offered anywhere else in Asia – in every aspect of the poker experience. You ain’t seen nothing yet!
WGG CEO Andrew W Scott
2) Ho Tram Resort Casino will host a second international poker event this summer, the Vietnam Poker Cup. Can you tell us more about the event?
The Vietnam Poker Cup is very exciting. It is Vietnam’s first ever home-grown international poker event and will grow and grow in prestige and statue in the years to come. Whoever wins it will really be a part of poker history. Given that it is the first ever running of the VPC, we’re keeping things small – just a US$550 Main Event and a US$1,100 High Roller along with two other numbered events and some satellites. But don’t think small means low quality – far from it! This festival will be run with all the international standards players have come to expect from major events they might find in Macau, Las Vegas or at the Aussie Millions. The Main Event will feature a 20,000 chip starting stack and one hour levels. That’s an insanely good structure for an event with a mere US$550 buy-in. In 2016 we plan to run a minimum of three VPCs. For more details your readers should visit www.TheGrandHoTram.com/poker where we have a lot of information posted. Players wanting to keep up to date can also download the Ho Tram Poker Room app – another innovation for the Ho Tram Poker Room – from the Apple store or Google Play.
3) Your company announced today that Ho Tram Resort Casino would also host a 10 day APT festival from 16 to 25 November 2015. Can you tell us more about your partnership with the Asian Poker Tour?
After the phenomenal success of APT Vietnam in May, there was no question that we would bring back the Asian Poker Tour to Ho Tram for a second event in 2015. We’re delighted to be holding APT Vietnam 2 from 16 to 25 November and we look forward to the event growing in stature over the years with the APT being a regular fixture at the Ho Tram Poker Room.
4) APT, APPT and WPT are already offering a large choice of events to poker enthusiasts in the area. Which added value can bring World gaming Group to the Asian poker scene with events like the Vietnam Poker Cup?
Three words – professionalism, value and fun. I have a 28-year pedigree in gaming and I’m by no means the most experienced in our group! With many decades of poker, casino and gaming experience behind us, we really do know how to organise a professionally run world class event. We will always offer the best value poker festivals in Asia. Insanely deep structures, fantastic player giveaways, no-cost extra benefits, deeply discount hotel rooms, free ground transportation, the list of things we are doing for the players just goes on and on and on. And lastly, as players ourselves (hence our name World Players Entertainment) we understand what makes players tick and how to make an event fun. Whether it be great parties with warm company, superb F&B, clubbing into the night or just a great quality poker experience on the tables – we will never forget the fun factor. Finally, our secret weapon is the Ho Tram Resort Casino itself. It is simply an amazing property that has to be seen to be believed – five-star hotel rooms, superb F&B, one of the best golf courses in Asia, a 2km sandy beach, a gorgeous pool, a very impressive spa facility, friendly poker dealers – what’s not to love?
5) With nearly $400,000 in tournament earnings, you are an accomplished player. Can you tell us a bit more about your approach of the game?
I would hardly say I am an accomplished player. I can play a bit. As with the play of any game, I play poker to win. Sometimes that means being a crazy-ass lagtard, sometimes that means be old man nitty-nit. Sometimes I’m deathly quiet, sometimes you can’t shut me up. I think that’s the key to winning at poker, being versatile and acting in a way appropriate to the situation. Keep your opponents guessing.
6) You took part to the 2015 WSOP in Las Vegas. How was your trip?
On a business level it couldn’t have been better. I cemented old relationships and made new ones – and some of these relationships are going to come in very handy later on when the Ho Tram Poker Room gets a bit bigger. On a poker level it was pretty much an unmitigated disaster – my worst WSOP yet (and I have been to nearly ten of them). But you don’t want to hear my bad beat stories!
7) You are the founder of Blackjack trainer a school established in 1993 to further the education of players of Casino BlackJack in Australia. You have also the reputation be a very skillful player banned from several casinos in Australia. Can you tell us a bit more about your history with the game?
Guilty as charged, your honour. That was a lifetime ago. Yes, I began my career in gaming as a skilful blackjack player and won a lot of money across the felt and many casinos were understandably not happy about it! At the school I established I taught a little over 3,000 people how to win at BlackJack over a 10 year period. I owe a lot to BlackJack and it taught me so much about casino, gaming and life. But about 12 years ago I made a conscious decision to stop playing and teaching BlackJack. I knew it wasn’t the way to go in the long run. At the time some people thought I was crazy giving up the kind of money I was winning but I don’t regret the decision for a moment.
Vietnam Poker Cup – All details of the event are in our event guide: Schedule, Structure, Exclusive promotions, Player room rate, Transportation, Visa…