Seven figure Main Event prize pools trending in Asia

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In 2023, Asia transformed into a thriving hub for poker festivals, offering players a multitude of options every month. Despite numerous festivals overlapping, players flocked in, resulting in record-breaking attendance at various events. By the end of the year, at least ten festivals had amassed Main Event seven figure USD prize pools, and that number didn’t even include mainland China events.

This year, the trend has continued. In January, starting with U Series of Poker (USOP), the brand’s season opener in Taipei City, Taiwan saw a 1,100 Main Event turnout and a prize pool of NTD 32,010,000, equivalent to USD 1,030,500. This was the brand’s third consecutive seven figure pot following USOP Hanoi – VN₫ 29,158,200,000 (~USD 1,212,000) and USOP Da Nang – VN₫ 34,810,800,000 (~$1,434,020).

Sam Hung wins USOP Taiwan Main Event

Towards the end of January was the WPT Cambodia Championship, the first World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Tour in Southeast Asia. Players from around the world converged for the inaugural event resulting in 51 nations represented. The USD 3,500 buy in drew an impressive 760 entries for a WPT Asia record prize pool of USD 2,432,760. This was the fourth time in history the brand had paid out seven figures in Asia.

Konstantin Held wins inaugural WPT Cambodia Championship

In early-February, Poker Dream added its own chapter to the seven figure story. Running its 8th edition in Malaysia – its most popular stop, the Main Event’s unique format attracted 2,219 entries for a prize pool of RM 5,733,896 (~USD 1,215,450). This was a new record for the brand having come close to eclipsing a million back in August last year.

Poker Dream 8 Malaysia’s biggest winners

Coming up soon, two events will be joining that list. The Ace Poker league (APL), taking place in Seoul, South Korea from February 27 to March 4 at Swiss Grand Hotel, which has announced a KR₩ 1,600,000,000 (~USD 1.2 Million) Main Event guarantee. This marks the first time APL has guaranteed a prize pool of this magnitude. In October 2023, APL Seoul amassed KR₩ 2.18 Billion (~USD 1.6 Million), its richest in history. 

Ace Poker League 2024 Seoul guarantee bumped up to ₩3.5 Billion (~$2.6M) – Swiss Grand Hotel, February 27 to March 4

Running simultaneously, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) returns to Taiwan for its season opener. The popular brand has announced a jaw-dropping USD 2 Million Main Event guarantee, the largest offering  in the region. The event runs February 28 to March 10 at Asia Poker Arena and Chinese Mahjong League. Last year the APT was the first to announce a USD 1 Million guarantee. Since then it has amassed Main Event seven figure USD prize pools at three of its festivals – APT Taipei, APT Incheon, and APT Hanoi Billions. 

Asian Poker Tour announces USD 2 Million guarantee for 2024 season opener in Taiwan

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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