Recently, the World Poker Tour (WPT) revealed that it will be hosting a “WPT Voyage 2024” promotion on a cruise ship, making stops around the Caribbean, according to an interview with Adam Pliska, president and CEO of the WPT, by GGRAsia.
Virgin Voyages brand cruise ship:
Commenting on which cruise ship will be used during the upcoming promotion, Pliska said: “The promotion involving access to a cruise ship from the Virgin Voyages brand, will offer a remarkable and unique experience.” However, the next WPT promotion regarding Asia will be in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, and will last from August 8 until August 21. In addition, it will be held by the China Texas Hold’em Poker Association.
WPT Korea and WPT Korea High Roller Events:
The interview with Pliska was held throughout the WPT Korea and WPT High Roller Events that took place this year from July 15th to July 24th. Additionally, they were held at Jeju Shinhwa World Resort Casino, which is a gaming area for foreigners only found in Jeju island, a popular vacation destination, owned by Hong Kong-listed Shin Hwa World Ltd.
Also, both tournaments lured a total of 653 players, according to Jeju Shinhwa management. Furthermore, the buy-in event cost KRW3.4 million, which is approximately US$2,670, and generated a total guaranteed prize pool of around KRW2.25 billion, WPT said in a press release.
WPT is increasing its presence in Asia:
Pliska added: “WPT is watching the potential growth in Asia for poker.” He emphasized that “the brand was founded in 2002, and had its “first event” in China at Sanya, on Hainan island, in 2006. Since those days, Asia has been exploding with great poker players and become better and better in terms of market strength.”
Commenting on the newest event in Jeju, he said: “It’s natural that we have touch points in various parts of Asia. Jeju is a place that needs professional competitive poker players. We chose Shinwa World as it has a world-class casino and incredible facilities with beautiful locations, to attract Western players who want to visit. The strategy had drawn such players to the Jeju event.”
The real challenge was educating the Western world about the Asian poker scene:
Also, the CEO of WPT said: “There was a big challenge to educate the Western world about the Asian poker scene. Westerners who might not know Vietnam or Cambodia, for instance, have a big opportunity to play poker in a safe place and providing such insights for Western players was the brand’s mission. Another aim was televising more… Asian events, in the manner of poker coverage in the West.”
His proposal that poker could be a significant product for Japan IR, when it opens in 2030, was also mentioned, as the US$10 billion IR project is being spearheaded by MGM Resorts International, a company already well versed in poker from the US market. In this regard, he said: “One of the advantages of poker is that it brings in people from around the world. Therefore, poker could be helpful to bring people to see Japan.”
However, when talking about the Macau’s existing casino market, he said: “It is critical that we… find a right partner in Macau, that reflects our values. It is important to understand that many poker tours have contributed to the growth of poker. I was happy to see events around the world where amateurs got the chance to challenge professional players.”