APPT8 Macau: History. Glory. Pride.
It's been an amazing year for all of us involved with the 'PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams' poker room. We've smashed several records and while we're extremely pleased with the results so far, everyone is mindful that we're just at the halfway mark of the 2014 season.
Next up is the Macau leg on the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) which arrives this May 14-25. If you don't know about the significance of APPT Macau, and what makes it so special, then keep on reading.
Yes, there's a dozen great days of poker.
Yes, there are 12 Official Player of the Year events on the schedule.
Yes, there's a great Main Event with a HK $25,000 buy-in.
Yes, it's at PokerStars LIVE Macau where the Macau Poker Cup and Macau Millions are also held.
All of the above are great but none of them describe what's unique about the event. Let's go back to 2007 and Season 1 of APPT Macau.
Back then, poker was non-existent in the enclave. There were no poker rooms. Zero. The term 'flush' was only used to describe your washroom break from the baccarat table.
And so arrived APPT Macau Season 1 where the international players - which was 95% of the field - understandably may have thought they were playing a one-and-done event. There was every reason to think that Macau's lack of poker culture would become a failed project and that the future of the APPT would be limited to Australia and New Zealand.
But it didn't fail. In fact, the APPT itself has added and removed several stops but Macau has never missed a year. Seven seasons later, APPT Macau has become the longest running annual poker event in Asia.
I remember my first APPT Macau during Season 2. The international players absolutely skinned the bankrolls of their Asian opponents.
This would become a common annual theme and stories were usually reserved for players from the Western Hemisphere. It was easy. Things like PokerStars Team Online Randy 'nanonoko' Lew winning his first ever major live tournament, or 2011 with the long-awaited return of Phil Ivey to the live felt.
You'd think that the Far East would simply quit and abandon the game altogether.
But instead, the locals showed a great passion and dedication to the game.
You could feel the shift of power as China was suddenly winning every major tournament on the Asian poker circuit with the exception of an APPT Main Event.
That is, until last year where Alexandre Chieng became the first player from China to claim the APPT Macau title and ever since, there's been a surge of Chinese players in poker.
History. Glory. Pride.
APPT Macau symbolizes those things in poker's longest battle between the East and West.
Click here for more information about the Asian Pacific Poker Tour.