Some massive news arrived today with a $100 million poker tournament planned for Asia in what would be the largest tournament of all time.
William Murray, an American businessman, spoke to GamingToday about the plans, stating that a group of five Chinese firms have got together to come up with the Macau Pro Am Open, which will be held early in 2013.
The cut-off date for registration is projected to be December 15 this year, with players gaining entry on a first come, first served basis – no matter how well known a player might be.
Murray reckons these Chinese businesses will aim to create a prize pool of anywhere from $65 million to $100 million for the tournament, and that should produce a main event top prize of about $25 million – even putting the World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event winner’s cheque in the shade.
Germany’s Pius Heinz collected a rather handy $8.72 million for taking down the November Nine just last month, but that is only just over one-third of what could well be on offer in Macau. Incredible.
While chatting with GamingToday – which specialises in covering the commercial casino industry – Murray said: “The current goal is to have 500 participants with one-third coming from the Far East, one-third from the US, and one-third from other countries. The subscription for the seats in the Far East has already been taken.
“With a field as small for a total as big, we can deduce that the entry fees will be substantial – unless the sponsors, whose names are not revealed, only support a portion of the prize pool.”
That means the buy-in for the main event will most likely cost players about $200,000. Phew!
That might be a bit hopeful, though, as this year’s $100,000 Super High Roller tournament during the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) attracted just 38 competitors, with Ukrainian Eugene Katchalov leaving with $1.5 million for his victory.
However, maybe Murray hasn’t quite lost his mind as many big-name pros have been venturing east recently to take advantage of the booming high-stakes games on offer in Macau.
In fact, over the past week or so, players such as Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Patrik Antonius, Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan, Guy Laliberte and Andrew Robl have been spotted taking part in high-stakes games in Macau.
Murray also pointed out that a meeting was held in Hong Kong in March this year to agree on the tournament’s infrastructure and, while he didn’t give any great detail of that gathering, he did indicate that the sponsoring group has no affiliations with any casino, hotel, or any organisation, trade association or guild.
The businessman added that initial plans suggest there will be provision for players to take part in additional events, from baccarat to Texas Hold’em, to lead into the main event.
These events will possess guaranteed prize pools, with$1 million and $2 million going to the eventual winners.
Murray is excited by the prospect of the world’s biggest poker tournament and added: “This spectacular event will establish Macau as the poker tournament capital of the world and hopefully will bring the world’s top players there for cash and tournament contests.
“Macau is already the baccarat capital of the world and now we are completing the other half of the puzzle, poker.”