The World Poker Tour’s relentless expansion in the online poker sector continues this week with its first digital festival specifically for Asian players.
On the heels of its inaugural World Online Championships, the company recently announced an online event in India. Ahead of that, it will work with Natural8 to host the first WPT Asia Online.
The 22-MTT series will start on October 3 and include virtual stops in Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. In addition to WPT titles and bonus prizes, WPT Asia Online will have an overall guarantee of $12.8 million.
WPT Asia Online Replaced COVID-19 Casualties
The WPT’s recent run of online events was created in response to COVID-19 restrictions. Although parts of the world are emerging from lockdown and returning to normal, travel and large-scale gatherings are still an issue.
Thanks to the success of its recent World Online Championships, the tournament operator is reaching into local markets. WPT Asia Online will be specifically for players based in the following countries:
- Hong Kong
The WPT’s latest innovation may be digital events, but organizers want to make sure players don’t forget about the WPT’s live roots. As a nod to events pulled from the 2020 schedule, there will be themed MTTs with buy-ins relevant to the “host” country’s currency, including:
- WPT Vietnam Championship – Oct. 4: Buy-in = 25,000,000 Vietnamese Dong ($1,100)
- WPT Korea Championship – Oct. 6: Buy-in = 1,650,000 South Korean Wong ($1,400)
- WPT Philippines Championship – Oct. 11: Buy-in = 80,000 Philippine Peso ($1,650)
- WPT Taiwan Championship – Oct. 13: Buy-in = 30,000 New Taiwan Dollar ($1,030)
- WPT Cambodia High Roller Championship – Oct. 18: Buy-in = $3,500
- WPT Japan Championship – Oct. 20: Buy-in = 30,000 Japanese Yen ($285)
- WPT Macau Championship – Oct. 25: Buy-in = 3,500 Hong Kong Dollar ($450)
Alongside the virtual stops, there will be 15 other MTTs, including the $1,280 WPT Asia Main Event. The proverbial star of the show brings the festival to a close on Oct. 25 and features a $1.28 million guarantee.
Natural8 Giving Asian Players Something Extra
In addition to cash prizes and titles, players can pick up bonuses courtesy of two series-long promotions.
The WPT Asia Nation’s Cup Leaderboard will determine the top-performing country each week. Players based in that country will then be eligible to take part in a weekly $6,300 freeroll.
In addition to battling for national pride, players can win WPT live event sponsorship packages. Anyone who wins a championship event will receive a $1,280 package, while the main event winner gets $3,190 to use at a WPT live event.
Given the number of Asian players taking part in the recent WSOP Online, the WPT’s latest offering should be a success. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place across much of the continent, this may be the last time players in Asia get to play for a major title in 2020.