The Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Nanjing Millions proves that PokerStars is the latest company looking to China as a growth market in the world of poker, expanding its brand by sponsoring the event , which will take place this April.
The tournament series is slated for the Jiangsu Wutaishan Sports Center, and will include seven tournaments including a special team event.
This isn’t the first time that PokerStars has made an effort to help run tournaments in China. The poker operator has previously worked with Beijing’s Star Poker Club (which is also a partner for the Nanjing Millions) to offer up two major poker events in China last year: the Beijing Millions and the Beijing Cup.
The Beijing Millions received plenty of attention in the poker press, as it became host to the largest field for a poker tournament held outside the United States at the time, attracting 2,732 entries.
“The growth of poker in China has been tremendous and we are committed to support this sport throughout the region,” APPT President Danny McDonagh said in a statement. “Nanjing is a key location that allows players from all over the country to participate. The previous two Beijing events last year were very successful and we are proud to be a part of this government-supported event.”
The Star Poker Club also expressed excitement to be part of what should be a major event in the growth of Chinese poker.
“Star Poker Club looks forward to bringing our poker tournaments to the city of Nanjing,” said former Asia Player of the Year Jian Yang. “The continued partnership with PokerStars.net and APPT China is very exciting as the players in the region continue to show their confidence in attending events sponsored and supported by these groups.”
The biggest attraction should be the Main Event, which will feature a buy-in of Â¥3,000 ($480). That’s not exactly high-stakes by the standards of international poker tournaments, but could still build a very large prize pool given the combined draw of PokerStars and the APPT.
Other events include Turbo and 6 Max No Limit Hold’em events, as well as a Â¥10,000 ($1,600) Deepstack No Limit Hold’em event on the final day of the series.
During at least two events, players will also be able to earn Asia Player of the Year leaderboard points, which should encourage many of the region’s top players to participate.
PokerStars is far from the first company to see China as a major opportunity in the poker world. In December, the World Poker Tour announced a partnership with Ourgame, a firm that develops online card and board games in China while also running live events.
That agreement allowed Ourgame to use WPT branding throughout many Asian nations, while also guaranteeing that there would be new WPT Main Tour and WPT National events in China and throughout Asia.
“The World Poker Tour has worked hard to expand its footprint throughout Asian territories over the last few years with much success,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “By working with Ourgame to expand the WPT brand in Asia, we are assuring that the recent strong growth of the WPT in the region will continue for many years to come.”