APPT9 Seoul Day 2: Good sport

While the debate over whether poker is a just a game or a sport often rears its head within the community, there is no debating it's competitive by nature. The APPT is in Seoul this week, a city that has historically hosted some of the biggest competitions in the world.

The first one we're discussing takes us back to 1988. The year saw Seoul host the Games of the XXIV Olympiad, better known as the Summer Olympics. The event saw 8391 athletes in South Korea representing 159 nations from around the world.

The 1988 Summer Olympics were held at Seoul's Olympic Stadium, a structure many of the international visitors in town for poker this week would've seen on their trip from the airport to the casino.

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Olympic Stadium in Seoul

South Korea performed particularly well on a global scale, ranking fourth in the gold medal tally. The nation amassed a total of 33 medals, 12 of which were gold, in sports such as boxing and table tennis.

Another international competition that saw the world's eyes on Seoul was the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The tournament hosted 32 of the world's best soccer teams in the first World Cup to happen in Asia.

It was also the first time the championship was held in more than one nation, with Japan sharing the hosting duties. The World Cup has never been held in separate countries since, and as FIFA amended their status in 2004 to forbid co-hosting bids, South Korea and Japan exist as the only two nations to hold that title.

For the event, South Korea and Japan provided 10 venues, most were specially made for the tournament, including the Seoul World Cup Stadium with a capacity of 63,961.

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Seoul World Cup Stadium

When all was said and done after 64 matches and 161 goals, it was Brazil who claimed the trophy, but South Korea managed to finish fourth behind Germany and Turkey.

And now they're hosting another competition this week, Season 9 of the APPT. We're getting deep into Day 2 of the Main Event here in Seoul, so stay with us as we follow the action and see who will emerge victorious.

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour