ASIA: Junket group announces high stakes event for Macau

In 2012, the first Macau High Stakes Challenge at StarWorld in Macau attracted a field of 73 players who generated a staggering prizepool of HKD $182,360,000 (or AUD $22,781,600).

The Guangdong Group (Macau) Ltd is out to surpass that mark in the ‘GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions’ (GDAM) tournament, which organisers hope will be the biggest poker tournament ever held outside of the World Series of Poker in terms of prize pool, and the largest ever high-roller event by number of players.

The event is to be held in the new PokerStars LIVE Macau, at the City of Dreams casino. It is hoped that more than 100 players will enter, many of who will be members of the Guangdong Group, a Macau-based junket operator, which organises VIP rooms for high stakes gamblers.

The series kicks-off with a HKD $250,000 (AUD $31,700) warm-up event on June 4 before the main event on June 5-7, which will cost a HKD $1m (AUD $126,650) to buy-in, with two HKD $1m rebuys allowed.

“This is going to be the one of the most amazing poker tournaments of all-time,” controversial Macau Director of Live Poker Operations for the Asia Pacific for PokerStars Danny McDonagh said.

“We are expecting over 100 players to sit down and play and one of the biggest prize pools for a poker tournament outside of the World Series of Poker. It’s going to be seriously huge!”

Winnie Wong, CEO from Guangdong Group said: “Guangdong is happy to organize another high stake poker tournament in Macau this year. I see strong synergy between Guangdong and PokerStars. I believe this Event will be excited (sic), stunning and leave a mark in Macau poker history.”

Organisers are hoping for a prize pool in excess of $10m, which would put it on par with the biggest WCOOP events and WPT Championships, though still far from the highs of the WSOP Main Event.

Seats for those outside the Guangdong Group are limited. PokerStars will be giving away one seat in the event – in a package that includes the buy-in, but not rebuys – through an online satellite. It will be the largest tournament package PokerStars has ever awarded.

According to a report in late 2012, the Guangdong Macau group has 15 VIP rooms with presence in City of Dreams as well as Venetian, Sands, Four Seasons, MGM, Wynn, Grand Lisboa, and more.

PokerStars’ new poker room is now the home to the Macau Poker Cup, which ended last month. The room has bounced between numerous Macau casinos with its latest base at the City of Dreams. The Macau stop of the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) will start at the end of GDAM (June 7-16).

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