Coronavirus impact sees World Poker Tour cancel all events in Asia-Pacific until May

The World Poker Tour (WPT) has announced the cancelation of all events in Asia-Pacific until May as a result of regional travel disruption caused by the recent Coronavirus outbreak.

WPT Live Events Specialist Danny McDonagh announced via his Facebook page on Saturday that next month’s WPT Vietnam, originally scheduled for 13 to 22 March at Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh City, has been cancelled while WPT Taiwan has been moved from late March to mid-May. 

“This past week we have considered seriously our upcoming events in Asia, notably WPT Vietnam from March 13 to 22 and WPT Taiwan from March 27 to April 6, given the current uncertainty surrounding hosting events in this region,” McDonagh said.

“We have come to the conclusion that it is best for WPT to take a break from events in Asia these next three months until a clearer picture about the spread of the Corona Virus, and the ability to safely hold the events, can be determined.

“Accordingly we will be cancelling our 2nd Season XVIII WPT Vietnam event and postponing the inaugural WPT Taiwan event to May 14 to 24, which will become our final event of Season XVIII counting towards Asia Pacific Player of the Year.

“We once again ask for your understanding of this decision, as we feel it is better to give players some surety as to our plans now.”

The WPT had already been forced to reduce the guarantee of its WPT Philippines main event, which kicked off on Friday, from Php20 million to Php12 million after President Rodrigo Duterte placed a ban on all travel to the Philippines from mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Despite lower numbers than had been hoped at Okada Manila, McDonagh promised, “We will be back in 2021 bigger and better and in more favorable circumstances.”

The WPT announced last year an expanded menu of events for the 2019/20 season as part its “Asia Swing”, with WPT Philippines the seventh of nine events on the season schedule following recent stops in Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Australia, India and Cambodia.

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