In December last year, WPT announced a new alliance with the Chinese company 'Ourgame.' The deal involves bringing the WPT brand name into Asian territories, with Ourgame having the rights to organize WPT events across Asia.
WPT Sanya (China) and WPT Jeju announced
The idea was to start scheduling WPT events in exciting new markets, including China, and with latest reports confirming a WPT National event in Sanya, China, between 28th of October and 3rd November, things appear to be moving along nicely. In addition to this, there is a second confirmed event in Jeju, Korea. WPT National Tour will arrive in Korea between December 14th – 20th.
Sanya located on Hainan Island will host a WPT Event in 2015
Vietnam and Cambodia?
Further reports suggest that Vietnam and Cambodia have high possibilities for hosting their own WPT National events later this year too, which could lead to there being 5 WPT events in Asia during the second half of this year if the event in Manila this summer is confirmed.
Working relationships such as these continue to open doors into the Asian market, which has great potential for the growth of poker, particularly in China, where the Beijing Millions tournament last year attracted 2,732 runners. The first WPT event held in China took place in 2012 and involved 542 participants, including Phil Hellmuth. 15 countries are currently listed under the Ourgame/WPT partnership, including Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and others. The deal includes WPT branded merchandise being marketed in Asia, and covers both WPT National events, along with WPT "Main Tour" events, and will include live streamed final tables for the viewing public. The creation of this partnership, with an enthusiasm for bringing poker to all of Asia, appears to be matched by an enthusiasm from the people of Asia to better understand and embrace poker as a mind sport. We should expect poker to grow in this part of the world, and more WPT events to be announced later this year.