More players, bigger prize pot for poker tournament

The first time it was held here in 2006, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) drew 313 participants who slugged it out over a USD 1.5-million(SGD 2.06 million) prize pool.

When it returns this year, organisers are expecting a bigger turnout and promising a larger pot.

Mr Christopher Parker, chief executive officer and co-founder of the APT, said 600 to 800 participants are expected to hit the tables when the Singapore leg commences in late-November or early-December.

The prize pool is “likely to be more than USD 2 million”, he said.

The APT kicked off in Manila on May 27. It will go to Macau and Seoul, before Singapore hosts the fourth and final leg.

Mr Parker, director of Asia-Pacific gaming company AsianLogic, was in town to shortlist possible tournament venues and hold final discussions with authorities.

Today understands that here, players can pay a USD 4,000 buy-in to play alongside veteran professionals such as the Godfather of Poker Doyle Brunson. At least half of the participants will be players who qualify through online poker tournaments.

Two Singaporeans were in the 10 final spots in the inaugural tournament here in 2006. Singaporean Ang Pang Leng, 33, a relative newbie then, took second spot and pocketed over USD 200,000.

More Singaporeans are expected to take part this year, said Mr Parker, adding that his plans are to grow the tour by adding at least eight new venues — such as Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Australia — next year.