The World Poker Tour (WPT) is set on global dominance and there are no two ways about this. One of the world’s best known tournament events is now heading out for a second tour in India and kicking off its inaugural event in Vietnam.
It’s certainly refreshing to see poker organizers, such as the World Poker Tour (WPT), are expanding into fresh markets. WPT is now set on conquering Asia where its presence has been growing respectfully. Apart from Japan and South Korea, the event is now heading to India in November and Vietnam in September. Both events are much anticipated and will definitely break up the mold in the sector by quite a bit.
Enter Vietnam, Hello Again India
And so, the facts are that the WPT will be travelling across Asia for 20 days, featuring a number of events. The highlights are the Vietnam meet-up, which will be the first in the tournament’s history. The event will be co-hosted with the help of Ho Chi Minh’s Pro Poker Club and the start date is September 26. The events that will be part of the tour are quite numerous, including a $500 WPT Pro Poker Club Superstack Classic and a $1,000 Main Event.
While touring Asia, the WPT intends to stop in Japan and South Korea both before hitting Vietnam. The South Korean event will be of a particular interest as it will feature a 16-team event. Each team will have four players on its roster and representatives from multiple countries have announced their interest.
Coming Back to India
India is a particularly subtle market where local legal hurdles make it somewhat tough to kick start the market in earnest. Despite the obstacles, though, WPT is set on promoting poker across India. To this end, the WPT event will kick off at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa. The start date is given as November 13 and the event will be on for 6 days all the way through November 19.
Poker laws continue to make the embracing of the segment difficult in the country, but specialized hosts, such as WPT are managing to broker deals that allow aspiring professionals to play locally without having to bear pricey costs of travelling to main events.
Looking ahead, it’s possible that the whole of the Indian poker industry will develop with legislation becoming slightly more accommodating as time goes by.
Poker Taking Off in Neighbouring Japan
Meanwhile, Japan has been working on a bill that passed all legal challenges to legalize casinos, which will also feature poker, albeit the segment is much underdeveloped. The Japanese Diet has endorsed a bill reforming strict bans on gambling, which may draw Chinese and regional nationals to come flocking to the country. Still, there’s plenty of local opposition against the bill.
However, it will take some time until poker enjoys the same popularity as it does in Europe and the United States both. The presence of tournament hosts such as WPT is certainly a most optimistic prognosis for the future of poker in Asia.