With the World Poker Tour (WPT) National Thailand (Dec. 22-29, 2016) and Cambodia (Jan. 2-13, 2017) around the corner, Somuchpoker decided to sit down and interview one of the organizers to dig deeper into the much awaited event.
SMP: Why did you decide to work in partnership with the WPT to host this event?
Avi Cohen: I am a player so I will always think of the players first. And all players dream of being able to play in a WPT event.
SMP: Why did you choose these dates to host the event?
Apart from the fact that there are no other events happening in Asia during this time, The WPT National Thailand is still relatively close to other events happening prior. This will allow convenience for those who already traveled to the region looking for some action during the holiday season. Then the WPT National Cambodia will soon follow opening the year 2017. This will definitely give players back-to-back events, ending 2016 and starting 2017 with a bang of 21 consecutive days of poker filled with events, 42 trophies (5 for the Ladies) to be won and a whole lot of partying by the beach.
SMP: Which arrangement have you made for players who are not familiar with the destination?
Avi Cohen: We will facilitate most of the arrangements to help our players. We have organized 30 VIP vehicles to shuttle players from all the airports to the venue. We will also aid players at the Cambodian border for players coming from Thailand.
And to those who wish to join the WPT National Cambodia after the WPT National Thailand, we have arranged a shuttle bus between Poipet to Sihanoukville for $25 per passenger.
SMP: What about accommodation?
Avi Cohen: For WPT National Thailand, players can avail of a package which includes the Main Event seat, 8 nights at the Holiday Palace, 2 way airport shuttles and a special Christmas dinner for US$1750.
For those on a tighter budget, there are affordable hotels that cost US$15 for a twin bed to a maximum of US$60 a night. During the event, we will be offering a special Lunch and dinner buffet for players staying in other hotels. And to fully support all our players, we have even provided for a vegetarian meal for our vegan players.
For WPT National Cambodia, the holiday season is peak season so hotel rooms at the Queenco Hotel will start at US$120. But for a cheaper alternative, players will be able to find lots of lodgings in the area that start at US$25/night.
SMP: What cash game action can players expect during the event?
Avi Cohen: It’s hard to predict but I expect to see around 10 cash tables open in the evenings for the duration of the festival.
SMP: How do players qualify for the event?
Avi Cohen: There are numerous ways to qualify. We will be holding live satellites for the Main Event of both the WPT National Thailand and Cambodia during the festival days. We have also partnered with Pokamania to hold online satellites for the WPT Cambodia.
SMP: What about action out of the felt?
Avi Cohen: For the WPT National Thailand we have invited a renowned DJ from Vietnam to pump up our Christmas Party plus the Dancer’s Gogo will be providing entertainment during the buffet.
For WPT National Cambodia, we will be hosting 3 parties, namely: the Welcome Party on January 2, the Players Party on January 8 which will happen by the beach with dancers, singers, bands and DJ’s that will perform all night long.And the 3rd and final party will be the victory party on January 12.
Apart from this there are other activities that Queenco offers i.e. water sports, Jet Ski, Fly board, Speedboat fishing and diving. It will really be a fun time for the players.
SMP: How many people will you be expecting to attend?
Avi Cohen: That really is the big question for many players as well as organizers. I really cannot tell at this point as this is a problem most organizers face in Asia. But I invite all of you to support this event and to come enjoy our offerings.
It’s the holiday season and there’s no reason to stay at home when there is a fun filled 21 day festival being offered in the WPT National Thailand and WPT National Cambodia. I can assure everyone that we have worked hard to provide the best player experience so that the event will be successful and an unforgettable one.
We expect you to be here to win over 40 Trophies, to celebrate and to enjoy many more surprises.