2011 marks the fifth years since No-Limit Texas Hold’Em Poker’s debut in the world’s live gaming capital of Macau, and PokerStars Macau at Casino Grand Lisboa has clearly emerged as the leader for live poker tournaments in Asia.
PokerStars Macau, the largest poker room in continental Asia, is pleased to announce its full special events calendar for 2011, featuring: the Macau Poker Cup (MPC) series which begins February 21; the Macau Poker Cup Championship, the MPC finale, from October 7-16; Macau Millions, from April 2-10; and the annual Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau which returns in November to celebrate its fifth birthday.
The launch of the February 21-27 Macau Poker Cup will introduce changes which are expected to generate bigger and richer events for Asia’s premiere poker series. The legendary Red Dragon main event will have a slightly larger buy-in and a 50% larger starting stack of 15,000 chips in order to cater to Asian players who have developed an increasingly-sophisticated taste for tournaments with high-quality structure.
One of the most notable changes to the Red Dragon will be the prize pool as they will now boast a whopping HKD $3,000,000 guarantee. The Red Dragon event is the longest running regional poker tournament in Macau and first started in May 2008 during the opening of PokerStars’ first live poker room with a modest field of 33 players. The numbers have grown dramatically each year with peaks of 247 players in 2009 and 321 players in 2010.
World class poker competition at the luxurious Grand Lisboa Casino has attracted global interest from players, with a majority of the field represented by Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, and Australia – but many notable players also coming from Mongolia, Kazakhstan, India, Nepal and the United States.
The MPC has expanded its schedule from 5 to 7 days in order to accommodate the growing popularity of the tournament series. The week will feature six numbered events including a special Charity Event with HKD $50,000 in added prizes that benefits the local Caritas Macau charity.
February Macau Poker Cup Schedule
(all figures in HKD)
February’s winner won’t only take away a record breaking first prize, but results in all MPC numbered events count towards the Asia Player of the Year (APOY) standings. Since 2009, the APOY has been awarded each year to the best player on the Asia poker circuit. The player named APOY in 2011 will win a one year sponsorship deal with PokerStars Macau.
The reigning APOY is Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang and the new APOY competition starts during the MPC January Special from January 21-23.
“Winning the Asia Player of the Year in 2010 and wearing the PokerStars badge has to be the greatest accomplishment in my poker career,” said Huang. “Next Year (2011) the APOY schedule will carry more events which means more poker and a bigger challenge. Tony Hachem won back-to-back ANZPT Player of the Year titles so I’m excited to beat the challenge here in Asia.”
Players can qualify for free to the Red Dragon and other PokerStars Macau events at PokerStars.net. Qualifying tournaments are listed under the “events” tab, and then click “Macau”.
2011 Asia Player of the Year Schedule
Jan 21-23 — MPC January Special
Feb 21-27 — Macau Poker Cup
Mar 18-20 — MPC March Special
April 2-10 — Macau Millions
May 13-15 — MPC May Special
May 30-Jun 5 — Macau Poker Cup
July 8-10 — MPC July Special
Aug 8-14 — Macau Poker Cup
Sep 9-11 — MPC September Special
Oct 7-16 — Macau Poker Cup Championship
November — APPT Macau
*Note: All Asia-based Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Main Events and select Filipino Poker Tour (FPT) will count towards the APOY. Dates and schedules to be confirmed