Two poker tours that have defined the game across the Pacific Ocean are combining to become what will likely be the largest entity in Asian tournament play.
The Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) will be absorbing the tournaments of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT), taking over the job of promoting major tournaments in the land Down Under.
The change isn’t the result of a major takeover, but instead seems to be about reorganization on the part of Amaya.
Global Poker Tours Limited, the company that has handled live poker operations for PokerStars, runs both the APPT and the ANZPT, and will see the two scheduled merge for 2016.
There’s still one more major ANZPT tournament scheduled, and it could be the biggest event ever held under the tour’s banner. The Crown Casino in Melbourne will play host to the final ANZPT stop this October, a festival that APPT and ANZPT President Danny McDonagh hopes will send off the ANZPT tour in style.
“I have been very proud of the ANZPT,” McDonagh said. “There have been many memorable stops including Darwin, Gold Coast, and Queenstown together with the big city venues such as Sydney and Melbourne.”
McDonagh also noted that locking the ANZPT in at a mid-stakes price point seemed to resonate with local players.
“The tour has preserved the freeze out format in the A$2,000 ($1,440) range, a decision vindicated by how popular the series has been with players,” he said. “I hope ANZPT Melbourne at the fabulous Crown Melbourne complex can set a new prize pool record as ANZPT’s final vent, beating the million dollar prize pool achieved just last season.”
The ANZPT has been in operation for seven seasons, and has long enjoyed a strong relationship with the APPT.
The ANZPT Player of the Year race offered prizes that included entries in the Asia Championship of Poker, the premier event on this year’s APPT schedule.
But in recent years, the ANZPT has been overshadowed by the APPT, feeling more like a local extension of the larger tour than its own separate entity.
At its peak, the ANZPT offered as many as eight tournaments in a season, including multiple stops in New Zealand; this year saw just three events, all of which took place in Australia.
This contrasts with the APPT itself, which has grown along with the game of poker throughout Asia. When the APPT first launched in 2007, it offered only four events to players.
That number has consistently grown over the past eight years.
The 2015 season has ten events on the schedule, including four stops in Australia.
That’s why the loss of the ANZPT is unlikely to be painful for poker players in the country.
The APPT has suggested that they remain committed to promoting poker in Australia, and it has already been announced that the Aussie Millions at the Crown Casino in Melbourne will be the first event on the 2016 APPT schedule.
While further information on the upcoming APPT season has been minimal, McDonagh did say that a second event in Australia is also planned. This year’s APPT scheduled concludes with the Asia Championship of Poker, which will take place in Macau from October 30 to November 15.