The effects of the shift in PokerStars Live Tournaments on the Asian Poker Scene

Recently, PokerStars announced a major change for their live tournaments stating that all global live tournaments will fall under one of two tours, PokerStars Championship or PokerStars Festival . Poker players around the world have been reacting to this change and with bated breath await the consequences of this shift on their poker lives.

However, here’s what we know of what’s currently happening to the Asian Poker scene because of the re-branding.

Pokerstars and Aussie Millions Sever Ties

Aussie Millions

With poker players still digesting the news of the European Poker Tour (EPT) being re-branded, PokerStars has released the next news bomb especially to poker players in the Asia-Pacific region. PokerStars announced that they will be parting ways with the most prestigious circuit in the region, the Aussie Millions.

The Australian Championship festival has been around since 1998 and is one of the most recognisable live events in the poker world. It has been associated with PokerStars after joining the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) brand in 2014.

After APPT Melbourne on October 6th, ties between the two parties will officially end. From this point onwards the Aussie Millions will operate independently as it has done before 2014.

Collaborating with a huge brand like PokerStars is always advantageous. However, having been around for the past 18 years operating as its own successful brand, the Aussie Millions is unlikely to suffer because of this change. In a statement made by Joel Williams, Crown Poker Tournament Director, he clarifies that satellites for the Aussie Millions remain unchanged despite all of this.

APPT dissolution 

PokerStars Live Macau (Photo Kenneth Lim Courtesy of PokerStars)

Another shock to Asian players is the dissolution of the Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT). The 9-year-old circuit, which had its inaugural tournament in the Philippines, will be absorbed, like the rest of PokerStars’ circuits, into the PokerStars Festivals and PokerStars Championships.

The APPT Season 10 has been running live tournaments in Melbourne, Seoul, Manila and Macau. With this shift, players are unsure as what what will happen to the tour that helped boost the game in the region. The circuit has provided numerous Asian players a chance to play a high-quality game of poker without having to travel to the United- States. And with this development, players wish to know what to expect.

So far only Macau has been confirmed as a stop for the PokerStars Championship in Asia. This has pushed Somuchpoker to find out further details as to what PokerStars has in store for the Asian region and this is the reply they got from the brand’s representative:

“PokerStars Championship and Festival events represents PokerStars’ efforts to continue sponsoring high quality events with our partners in the Asia & Pacific region.  This includes continuing to offer a wider range of tournaments and cash games in our branded poker rooms in Macau and Manila.

 The APPT brand is being retired, but we see this as an opportunity to grow a high quality global poker tour that supports the growth of poker through the region.  Asia is an important region for the future growth of poker, and we will ensure that our events reflect and support the future evolution of important poker markets throughout the area.”

Article by  Craig B. & Gabrielle Ruiz-Barredo

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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