The Asian Poker Tour is set to expand its presence outside of Asia following a change of ownership.
The long-running tournament organization has been owned and operated by the Asianlogic Group, a subsidiary of Asian Poker Tour Limited, since 2008. However, following a takeover deal, it’s now under the ownership of a newly formed entity, APT Events Private Limited.
Michael Soyza, a partner at APT Events Private Limited, said the deal will usher in a “new era” for the APT.
Solid foundation for Asian Poker Tour
The APT has established itself as the largest live tournament operator in Asia over the past decade. From a handful of stops, it now hosts events in more countries than any other company in the region.
Such is the APT’s reputation that international players have not only entered Asian events, but won them in recent years. From Canada’s Niroshan Loganathan and Morocco’s Ahmed Ibrahimi to English pro Neil Raine, the APT has established itself as a leading poker tour for locals and traveling pros.
It’s this reputation Soyza and his partners at APT Events Private Limited want to build on.
“Jeff Mann and Lloyd Fontillas have done a tremendous job of building the APT to where it is today. We are beyond excited to work with the team and hope to reach new heights,” said Soyza.
Jeff Mann, CEO of the APT since 2010, will step down as head of the company, though he’ll stay on as a primary consultant as the APT prepares to venture out beyond its traditional borders.
“For some time now, we have been looking to pass the APT to a dedicated and focused poker organization that is capable of taking the tour to the next level,” Mann said. He went on to explain that the new owners have shown the “passion” and “dedication” required to develop the APT in the way he always envisioned.
Past experiences, recent innovations will guide APT expansion
The APT’s June 1 press release didn’t contain any specifics regarding the financial aspects of the deal. Additionally, the new owners are yet to say which new markets they’re going to target. However, the evolution of the APT may hold some clues as to where it’s heading.
In addition to hosting 100+ events in countries such as Japan, the Philippines, and Cambodia, the APT has made brief appearances in the Czech Republic, Australia, and the UK.
Another popular Asian export, GGPoker, could also provide an insight into the APT’s next steps. Since building a base of support in Asia, GGPoker has gone on to become the largest online operator in the world.
GGPoker and the APT also linked up during the pandemic. With live poker events off the menu, GGPoker hosted the first online APT series. This move, although unplanned, made the APT more accessible to players outside of Asia.
With these MTTs giving international players a taste of what the APT offers, its owners will now follow up with a new series of live events and the timing is ideal. The live tournament scene in Asia, North America, and Europe has bounced back stronger than ever since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
Organizations such as the EPT, WSOPC, and WPT — as well as smaller regional operators — have seen record fields over the past six months