What were just a few promising festivals hosted in Taipei last year has now turned into a real trend. The boom is fueled largely by the challenges organizers have faced in Macau. Ever since the closure of PokerStars Macau, poker events have been scarce in Asia’s entertainment mecca; it is practically impossible to host an event. Many have canceled opting instead to set their sights on Taiwan.
Two recent announcements that symbolize this trend:
The Asian Poker Tour just announced that its key festival “APT Finale” will be hosted in Taiwan. This is the first time the highly attended season-ender will take place in Taipei. The event was initially scheduled in Macau.
Poker King Club announced that their upcoming PKC Cup will be hosted in Taiwan. Three months ago, PKC canceled its namesake festival intended to be held at the Venetian Macau.
International tours with upcoming stops in Taiwan
2018 saw a handful of international poker organizations make their way into Taiwan: AJPC, J88Poker, PPPoker, and Global Poker League – China. Since then, more have poured in to showcase their brand of poker.
Asian Poker Tour – APT Taiwan 2019 & APT Finale Taiwan 2019
In late-February, the Asian Poker Tour hosted the inaugural APT Taiwan 2019 at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association (CTP). The festival produced the largest Main Event prize pool ever seen in the country amounting to TWD 15,219,300 (~US$ 480,000). The buy-in of TWD 33,000 (~US$ 1,100) was also the biggest ever offered in the country. Overall, US$ 2 Million in prizes were awarded.
During the series, an agreement was reached for a second event scheduled to take place from October 9 to 20. Days ago, the tour announced it would be hosting its season-ender at the CTP. APT Finale Taiwan 2019 is scheduled for November 25 to December 6. Details on these events yet to be disclosed.
All Japan Poker Championship (AJPC) – AJPC Asian Circuit Taiwan
The All Japan Poker Championship was one of the first to enter the Taiwanese market. The young brand hosted a five-day festival on June 2018. Since then, AJPC has returned twice, on October 2018 and earlier this month. Though not confirmed, the brand may be returning for their fourth visit in late-October.
World Poker Tour – WPT Taiwan
Globally renowned brand, World Poker Tour, intends to make its mark in Taiwan as well. The tour recently confirmed 8 events for WPT Asia Pacific Season 18, one of them was an inaugural event in Taipei. WPT Taiwan is scheduled from March 27 to April 6 2020. The Main Event runs from April 1 to 5 with buy-in of TWD 30,000 (~US$ 960).
Poker King Cup – PKC Cup Taiwan 2019
In March 2019, Poker King Cup announced the cancellation of the PKC Cup with no specified reasons for the decision. Fast forward to last week, the brand confirmed that the PKC Cup will now take place on August 16 to 20 in Taiwan. Billed as PKC Cup Taiwan 2019, the festival will feature a TWD 6,000,000 (~US$ 190,000) guaranteed Main Event. Buy-in is TWD 27,500 (~US$ 900).
Other poker brands
J88Poker and PPPoker have already hosted two highly successful events in Taiwan and though no future dates have been announced, both brands are expected to return. Global Poker League – China and Asia Poker League may also find their way back to the vibrant young market for a second go.
One of the largest clubs in the region, the Hong Kong Poker Players Association (HKPPA), are very strong supporters of CTP. Traditionally linked with Macau, HKPPA hosted its first full blown festival at the CTP back in April 2019. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a second festival in the making.
Chinese operators also on board
Interestingly, a couple of Chinese poker operators that usually host events in Sanya have also announced an event in Taiwan. Moving away from the hostile environment of Mainland China are Doupai Poker Championship and Boyaa Poker Tournament. Both events will take place this month.
Doupai Poker Championship – June 20 to 27
The Doupai Poker Championship features a TWD 33,000 buy-in Main Event with a guaranteed prize pool worth TWD 13,800,000 (~US$ 440,000). Among the side events is the Kung Fu Cup – TWD 4.6 Million (~US$ 147,000) guaranteed with a buy-in of TWD 22,000 (~US$ 700).
Boyaa Poker Tournament – June 28 to July 3
The 2019 BPT Asia takes place from June 28 to July 3 at the CTP. This is the fifth festival ever hosted by the brand and the first in Taiwan. According to the website, TWD 5,000,000 (~US$ 160,000) in guaranteed prizes awaits.
One venue for all events: Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association (CTP)
All of the events mentioned above have taken place and will take place in one venue, at the CTP (Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association).
In an interview with owner Hsing “David” Tai back in December 2019, he stated he owned several poker rooms in the country however the branch in Taipei is the only venue where these large tournaments are held, including the highly popular homegrown event – the Taiwan Millions Tournament. The CTP is the only room accredited by the International Federation of Match Poker.
Article by Tricia David