World Poker Tour looks to expand into India, Vietnam
The World Poker Tour (WPT) is looking to drum up business around Asia. The poker organization is planning a new tournament in Vietnam in September, and then will make its way to India for its second WPT India tour in November. Both events are expected to provide huge payouts to both poker playersand tournament organizers.
The WPT will take a 20-day trip through Asia via a newly announced tournament in Vietnam. The event, WPT Vietnam, will be hosted by Ho Chi Minh’s Pro Poker Club and is scheduled to kick off on September 26. It will feature a number of tournaments, including a $500 WPT Pro Poker Club Superstack Classic and a $1,000 Main Event.
Danny McDonagh, WPT Live Events Specialist, describes the event as a massive opportunity to satisfy the area’s “tremendous appetite for poker.” The WPT Vietnam will be preceded by a trip to Japan September 15-17 and another to South Korea from September 18-21. That trip will see the WPT Korea held at the country’s Paradise City Casino September 19-21 and will offer a normal lineup with an additional $5,000 team event thrown into the mix.
The team event features a maximum of 16 teams, each with four players. Players will battle it out in six NLHE and Omaha tournaments, with the winning team being awarded four seats at the WPT Korea Main Event. Several teams, including ones from the host country, Singapore, the UK, Australia and the U.S., have already announced their participation.
Following its Asia visit, the WPT will return to India for the second time. It will hold its second WPT India at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa beginning November 13 and running through November 19. The WPT expects the event to further develop its presence in the country, one of the fastest growing poker markets in the world. Last year, 527 players participated in the inaugural WPT India leading to the eventual winner, Vijash Mantri, pocketing $92,000.
Poker laws in India are a current source of much controversy. Each state has its own laws, with only some authorizing the game. This could change, though, as there is a push now by the Indian Law Commission to create country-wide standards. Legalizing sports betting, according to the commission, is the only way to control the industry. The ILC recently published a report on the subject, which will now be put to review by legislators.