The Asian Poker Tour (APT) has announced the soft launch of the APT Poker Room Manila took place on Friday, at the Winford Hotel and Casino. The room – on the second floor of the casino – offers four APT custom-designed poker tables, according to a press release.
“My initial plan is to get a feel of what works for the Winford. I want to create a poker room where the locals feel comfortable and see if the location can speak for itself,” said Raymund Gamier, operations manager of the APT Poker Room, in a statement.
He added: “For now, the room will focus on cash games and on building a new market of locals. We are the only poker room in the vicinity and neighbouring areas so I am curious as to the market.”
The APT is led by chief executive Jeff Mann (pictured, left) and was founded in 2008 and held its first event in May that year, in Manila. The APT has staged several major events and numerous smaller tournaments mainly in the Asia-Pacific region. The tour has visited Macau, South Korea, Cambodia, India, Australia, London in the United Kingdom and Mauritius.
The APT Poker Room Manila will hold several other events during the year. “The Winford is open to providing extra space and tables for any small tournaments we may have. At most, it will be a weekend series with low-mid affordable buy-ins for the locals. Of course, when the APT has an event in the Philippines, we will have events to help feed it,” said Mr Gamier.
The chairman and chief executive of the Winford Hotel and Casino, Alfonso Reyno (pictured, right), said the new APT Poker Room at the property would cater to the Manila market, “especially to the Chinatown districts, and… Quezon City, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Malabon, Mecauayan, and Navotas”.
“We chose APT because we wanted to partner with the best poker club. It is one of the leading poker clubs in the country and in the world,” added Mr Reyno.
The APT Poker Room Manila will be holding its official grand opening on April 21. The poker room will host a two-day tournament held on April 21-22 to feed into the APT Championships Philippines event. There will be a PHP200,000 (US$4,000) guaranteed prize pool with an added APT Championships Main Event seat awarded to the winner.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia