Macau Poker Cup Championship: Season finale in Asia's gambling capital

Macau has a long and deep tradition in gaming and gambling. From 1962 the gambling industry was operated under a government-issued monopoly license, but when that monopoly ended in 2002, several overseas operators entered the market and Macau experienced its own boom. With the opening of the Sands Macau in 2004 and Wynn Macau in 2006, gambling revenue was greatly prosperous and more Las Vegas operators grabbed their slice of the pie including the MGM Grand Macau and the Venetian Macau, which at the time was the second largest building in the world by floor space.

While the original Casino Lisboa was built in the late 1960s, it wasn't until 2007 that the iconic Grand Lisboa opened its doors - primarily as competition to the new Las Vegas operators which were dominating the skyline. Today, the Grand Lisboa stands taller than all of them.


The beautiful Macau skyline is dominated by the iconic Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino

It's perfect location and stunning architectural design give the Grand Lisboa a personality all of its own as it glistens in the sunlight by day, and lights up the city by night.

The Grand Lisboa was also the first casino in Macau to open its eyes No Limit Texas Holdem, so it's fitting that PokerStars Macau calls the Grand Lisboa its home. The PokerStars Macau poker room is the largest in Asia, boasting 33 tables that offer a variety of cash games and tournaments around the clock.

This week is the culmination of a hugely successful year for poker in Macau with the season-ending Macau Poker Cup Championship. Players have travelled from all over the Asia-Pacific to be in Macau for a week-long festival of poker. The main attraction is the HK$20,000 MPCC Main Event which will offer an enormous HK$3,500,000 guarantee.
Last year it was PokerStars sponsored Devan Tang from Hong Kong who won the inaugural MPCC Main Event when he bested a field of 158 players to take home the HK$727,600 first place prize.


Devan Tang celebrated his 2009 MPCC victory in style

"The growth and popularity of the Macau Poker Cup series has been nothing short of amazing in its short three-year history," said Danny McDonagh, PokerStars Macau operations manager. "The excitement over the Asia Player of the Year race is peaking and that will surely create a thrilling finish in November's MPCC."

The ten championship events this week will also count towards the Asia Player of the Year leaderboard which is currently led by PokerStars Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang.


PokerStars Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang leads the way in the Asia Player of the Year race

2010 Asia Player of the Year Leaderboard
1 Bryan Huang (Singapore) 3016
2 Raymond Wu (Taipei) 2604
3 Kenichi Takarabe (Japan) 2232
4 Justin Chan (Hong Kong) 2070
5 Wei-en Shih (Taipei) 2040
6 Tom Chou (USA) 2020
7 Fan Liu (China) 2016
8 Hung-sheng Lin (Taipei) 1992
9 Victor Chen (Taipei) 1726
10 Celina Lin (China) 1707

No doubt Bryan Huang will be looking to hang onto top position but it won't be easy as we're expecting a highly talented field to assemble here in Macau. Already confirmed are 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem, defending MPCC Main Event winner Devan Tang as well as Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin, Raymong Wu, Tae Joon Noh and recently crowned ANZPT Player of the Year Tony Hachem.

Other highlights of the week will include the HK$50,000 buy-in Six-Handed High Roller Event on November 6 and the Tournament of Champions invitational event on November 7 which will offer HK$50,000 in added value.

It all kicks off in a few hours time as the opening flight of the HK$20,000 Macau Poker Cup Championships Main Event kicks off at 2:10pm local time (GMT+8). Stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for all of the live updates.