The World Poker Tour (WPT) is looking to increase its presence in the Asian market with a new super high roller event costing $200,000 to enter.
Announced earlier this week and forming the centerpiece of the WPT National Philippines (which takes place between January 2 and January 8), the super high roller will be the most expensive tournament in the WPT’s history and the company is hoping it will bring more attention to its Asian endeavors.
Although it might be seen as a gamble to roll out a high stakes tournament when the trend across the industry is to reduce the price of poker, the WPT is hoping the backing of Poker King Club will bring poker’s big guns to the Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila.
Already slated to attend, thanks to the support of Poker King Club and its CEO, Winifred Yu, is Richard Yong. The multi-millionaire businessman and poker enthusiast is a regular fixture in many of the game’s most expensive events.
In fact, where Yong plays an entourage of similarly well-bankrolled players often follows and that should add a lot of value to the high stakes event.
With many Macau cash game regulars likely to attend, it will no doubt bring out some of top players in the world, including Phil Ivey and Tobias Reinkemeier.
As well as bringing out the best poker players in the world, the WPT hopes the super high roller will increase interest in the festival and, moreover, the Asian poker market as a whole.
“We are looking forward to kicking off 2016 with the exciting WPT National Philippines Festival. We also believe poker fans enjoy watching the world-class poker competition here at Solaire, and look forward to welcoming back the great fans and players,” said SVP of Casino Marketing for Solaire, Cyrus Sherafat.
Ahead of the latest announcement, the WPT recently held another Asian event in China. Part of its National series, WPT National China took place inside the MGM Grand Sanya and attracted an impressive 882 entrants.
The success of this event, combined with support from Poker King Club, is certainly a positive sign for the forthcoming event in the Philippines.
Back in 2014 the inaugural WPT National Philippines’ main event welcomed 385 players who all parted with $2,200. In 2016 the main event will cost a more affordable $1,650 and the organizers will be hoping this, combined with the allure of a $200,000 super high roller, can bring out the masses and break the current record.