The GGNetwork is the latest company to throw live operators a lifeline by agreeing to host the first Asian Poker Tour (APT) online series.
Running from April 29 to May 10, the APT 2020 Online Series will serve as a replacement for canceled live poker events across the region, including those in Manila.
Natural8, one of the largest Asian poker sites on the network, will serve as the primary host, however, the virtual tour will also be available across the entire GGNetwork.
APT Online Series Offers an Alternative
Asia-Pacific has been one of the regions hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. At the time of this writing, the number of reported infections in China and Japan alone was more than 85,000. When the continent as a whole is taken into account, the number of cases is well above 100,000.
Although poker is the furthest thing from some people’s minds, those who want to play can. Just as its European counterparts have done, the APT has found a way to keep the action going in spite of the pandemic.
A $500 buy-in main event will headline the APT Online Series alongside an $800 “championships” MTT. Also penciled in are Pot-Limit Omaha and Short Deck championships, costing $400 each.
APT and Natural8 are yet to publish the full schedule, but the festival as a whole will overlap Japan’s Golden Week. The annual celebration is a collection of four national holidays spread over the course of seven days.
This year, the celebrations will be a strictly internal affair. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe announced a month-long lockdown on April 7. This fact alone should see interest in the APT Online Series spike across Japan, and Asia as a whole.
GGNetwork Making Asian Festival International
Rather than simply targeting a captive audience in Asia, the decision to go digital will provide organizers with a chance for the APT and GGNetwork to impress on a global stage.
When it launched in 2014, GGNetwork focused on countries in its native Asia. Between 2016 and 2017, it expanded and acquired licenses in Europe. Since then, it’s become the fifth most-active online poker network in the world.
The APT primarily caters to the Asia-Pacific region. Although it’s been around since 2008, the brand isn’t as well known in other parts world as it is on its home continent. Geography and travel times have played a part in this.
However, in a time when physical borders are irrelevant, the APT has a chance to make more people aware of its product. Through GGNetwork’s platform, the online series will reach players in Russia (GGPokerOK), the UK (GGPoker), and beyond.