The Asian Poker Tour (APT) has confirmed that its next event planned for March 4 to 15 in Taipei, Taiwan, will take place as scheduled.
Another poker brand had said last week it would not hold any Asia-Pacific events until May due to the novel coronavirus alert across the region.
A Tuesday statement quoted the APT’s chief executive, Jeff Mann, as saying that a “lot of thought” had gone into the decision to go ahead with the event in Taiwan, given the existence of some travel restrictions in Asia as part of efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19. The virus outbreak reportedly originated in mainland China’s Hubei province.
The APT said there would be “no change” to this year’s schedule of 26 separate events for the Taiwan tournament. All prize pool guarantees however have been removed, and there will be two starting days for the main event instead of the three originally planned, it stated.
Mr Mann said in Tuesday’s statement: “Our prime concern was the health and safety of all those to be involved with the event, but after looking at the situation on the ground; the measures being undertaken by the Taiwanese authorities, and the very strict daily health checks to be implemented by our host partner, the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Club (CTP Club) throughout the duration of the event, we felt there was no need to cancel.”
He added: “The final decision was made by our customers – our poker players both local and international – they have voted overwhelmingly that APT Taiwan should proceed.”
The executive however acknowledged that the organiser did not expect the “same number of international players” as in last year’s edition of APT Taiwan, because of “travel restrictions in place” in some countries. “But local participation is expected to be strong,” stated Mr Mann.
According to Tuesday’s written announcement, the inaugural APT Taiwan last year attracted 3,251 player entries, with a total of 23 separate events.
Other poker events in Asia Pacific are also scheduled to move forward. The PokerStars brand of online poker games and land-based poker tournaments is still promoting its Okada Manila Millions, an event scheduled to take place from March 9 to 15 at the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippine capital.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) said last week it was cancelling or postponing all of its Asia Pacific events until May, “given the current uncertainty surrounding hosting events in this region” as a result of the disruption to regional travel caused by the viral pneumonia pathogen.
The WPT had stated it would cancel the poker tournament scheduled for Vietnam next month and would postpone its inaugural WPT Taiwan event to May.
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