PokerStars opened first live poker room in Macau

PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, announced the opening of Macau’s first live poker room: PokerStars Macau. Housed in Macau’s prestigious Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino in Cotai, it has a 250 person capacity and offers cash games as well as a robust weekly tournament calendar.

The newly appointed poker room was launched on May 23, with a No-Limit Texas Hold’em Charity Poker Tournament to raise money for the victims of the recent earthquake in Western China. Participants will compete for USD 19,049 in prizes, including entries to the USD 3,174 buy-in September 2008 APPT Macau, after making a charitable donation to participate. The suggested minimum donation is USD 253.

„PokerStars is committed to the development of poker in Asia“ said Joe Hachem, Poker World Champion and member of Team PokerStars Pro. „Although Macau has become a gaming powerhouse, it was only with the incredible success of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour last November that Texas Hold’em poker started growing there. PokerStars planted the seeds and now this beautiful Poker room is going to be the garden where future champions learn to play. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next World Champion comes from Macau or elsewhere in China.“

Gary Woollard, general manager of Grand Waldo Casino believes: „The arrival of poker as a gaming option in Macau’s casinos will encourage more people to come and enjoy all Macau has to offer. We are delighted to have a company with the reputation of PokerStars to manage what is sure to be a very successful and popular poker room.“

The charity event was the first event of the „Macau Poker Cup“ – a series of poker tournaments scheduled during the May 23-25 weekend, including a USD 126 buy-in Deep-Stack event, the USD 10,000 buy-in Red Dragon event and the first of many satellites to the Asia Pacific Poker Tour’s second season’s events.

The full schedule for the Asia Pacific Poker Tour’s second season will be announced shortly, but will kick-off at Grand Waldo Casino with the September 1-6 APPT Macau Main Event, a USD 3,174 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em poker tournament, with a guarantee of USD 1,269.

The luxurious Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino is one of Macau’s newest five-star hotel resorts and gives poker players, their friends and family, an opportunity to explore one of Asia’s most fascinating locations. With its wealth of Chinese temples, Portuguese monuments and beautiful gardens, Macau’s historic centre has been designated a World Heritage site.

Jeffrey Haas, president of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, comments: „Poker has grown tremendously in Asia and we are very excited to be driving that growth, particularly as we were the first to produce live poker in Macau. After the success of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour last November, a tremendous poker boom has resulted in Hong Kong and Macau – but it’s just starting. The significance of the PokerStars Macau poker room on Asia will likely parallel the effect that Chris Moneymaker had on the USA when he won the 2003 WSOP.