It's a new Asia poker season

teampro-thumb.JPGThis weekend saw the start of the Asia Poker season with the Macau Poker Cup. By the time you read this blog entry, records would have been broken, guarantees smashed and someone will soon have slain the Red Dragon main event.

The Macau Poker Cup held at Pokerstars Macau also signals a new start to this year's Asia Player of the Year (APOY) race. All Macau Poker Cup numbered events, as well as Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) main events in Asia carry APOY points where the winner would have their name engraved into the permanent APOY trophy located at Pokerstars Macau--and become a part of poker history in Asia. In addition, the winner would win a one-year sponsorship with PokerStars Macau!

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The Asia Player of the Year trophy

I was fortunate enough to win the APOY in 2010, and with the participation levels growing in Asia event after event, taking it down again will not be easy. So expect to see me playing my heart out at every event.

2012 will be a great year for poker players who live in or love to visit Asia because of the great additions the APPT has announced. APPT Korea will once again be a welcome addition and this will take place March 7-11 at the prestigious Paradise Walkerhill Casino.

The APPT will also be returning to Philippines, Cebu from April 24-30, where the official hotel will once again be the fantastic Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa. I have not met a single person who did not sing the praises of the hotel or location. Here, you get great (and affordable) food, fun and hospitality all in one place. In fact, within the Asian circuit, APPT Cebu is known as the PCA of the Far East!

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APPT Cebu venue

The highlight of the poker season in Asia for 2012 will be the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) which will launch in November 2012 and cost HKD $100,000 (USD $13,000) for anyone who wants a piece of the HKD $10,000,000 (USD $1.3M) guaranteed prizepool.

The great thing about playing poker in Asia is the opportunity to experience different cultures, cuisines and sights at each and every stop. You get to visit traditional palaces & experience non-stop nightlife and shopping in Seoul, Korea and experience the sunny beaches, crystal blue waters and hospitality in Cebu within a month of each other. A short flight to Macau and you can experience gaming in the highest-grossing gaming venue in the world surrounded by Unesco heritage sites all over.

Welcome to 2012 and the start of the Poker Season in Asia. Visit the PokerStars Macau website and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour site for more updates regarding future stops in 2012 and qualifiers to all these events can be found in the PokerStars lobby.

Bryan Huang is a member of Team PokerStars Pro: Asia. Follow him on Twitter @BryanHuang_ or via his Facebook page.

Bryan Huang
@PokerStars in Bryan Huang