This event is geographically covering all of the Asia Pacific zone so logically could have been held in anywhere in that vast area. The most notable competition for the event probably came from Macau which has become a poker hot bed in recent years. Macau attracts high rollers part of the nouveau riche emerging from China and has played host to famously large secret cash games over the last few years. However, the Crown Casino in Melbourne is too much to look past from an organisational point of view. It holds the wildly successful Aussie Millions each year and has the largest poker room in the world outside North America. The Macau regulars have also shown they are willing to venture down south with the promise of high stakes action.
Five Bracelet Events
Another feather in the Crown’s cap. The WSOP is showing a belief that the region will attract enough players to support five bracelet events. When the WSOP first expanded into Europe it was a slow process with only three events the first year in London, which went to four and eventually five. Last year in Cannes there was a record seven events. One of the main reasons the event moved to Cannes was the level of satellite qualifiers the casino promised. The main event turnout went from 346 to much more substantial 593. The Crown is well known for generating a large number of seats in its satellites for major events such as the Aussie Millions and this was no doubt a factor in the decision to grant the event to the casino.
Impact on the Aussie Millions:
Make no mistake it is inevitable the presence of the WSOP APAC only three months after the Aussie Millions will impact Australia’s flag ship event. Australia is a long distance trip for most of the travelling pro’s and many will choose to only travel it once in such a short time-span. The WSOP bracelet has such implied "+EV" if you win one — in regard to sponsorship opportunities — it will be that event that those on the fence will choose. For the local cohort playing the two festivals in such a short period will put pressure on bankrolls and there is bound to be some impact especially in the Aussie Million side events. Not forgetting that many business people and amateurs have to factor in work considerations and two poker jaunts in quick succession may not be an option.
Prestige of a WSOP Bracelet
Just how many bracelet events per year can there be before the prestige of winning one declines? Many argued that the WSOP Europe Bracelets weren’t as prestigious as the ones won in Las Vegas. The smaller European fields in pure numerical terms meant it was easier to win one. However, the very valid counter argument is that the quality of those fields significantly makes up for the lack of numbers when compared to Vegas. Five more bracelets will start this argument off again and the WSOP will do all they can to not add fuel to the fire by ensuring every event gets a reasonable turnout. Poker is growing year on year and hence there should be more bracelets to make up for the growing numbers. However, the mystic of winning a bracelet in the home of poker in Las Vegas will always be there.
The five events haven’t been announced yet which lends itself to the opportunity for some wild predictions on what the schedule will feature. It is almost guaranteed the centre piece of the festival will be a $10,000 No Limit Holdem Main Event. There will most likely be a low buy-in No Limit Holdem event probably in the $1,000 to $1,500 range to attract the masses. A mid-range No Limit Holdem event maybe in 6-max format for around $2,500 is a potential. There should be a mixed game event possibly even exclusively Pot Limit Omaha. And then another large buy-in $10,000 event should complete the schedule – heads up or a variation of Holdem is a possibility.
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