The Poker World Adds New Events in Andorra and Asia, and on the High Seas

Live poker events took a break because of COVID-19’s impact on consumerism and travel, but things are finally returning to normal. The arrival of new poker tournaments in Europe and Asia, as well as on the high seas, will help the recovery continue.

The entrance to the WPT at Sea poker room on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady cruise ship
The entrance to the WPT at Sea poker room on Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady cruise ship. It’s one of several new additions coming to the poker ecosystem this year. (Image: Scarlet Lady via Facebook)

Particularly in 2020, COVID-19 forced the cancellation or delay of numerous poker events and the transition of some to an online format. While the latter option was a viable alternative for some, the inability to properly read opponents kept some players away.

From Vegas to the Czech Republic and Singapore, poker events were off the table. It’s now time for round three and players are getting more live options than ever.

Poker Comes To Andorra

Andorra, the microstate that borders Spain, recently inaugurated a new casino. Now, the Unnic Integral Leisure Center announced that it will host the first-ever Gran Casino d’Andorra Poker Tournament this weekend.

The event has a buy-in of €200 (US$220) and the participants will receive 50,000 chips at the start of the Day 1 flights. These flights will be held on Friday and Saturday from 6:00 PM. Day 2, the day of the final table, will begin on Sunday at 5:00 PM.

Players who scratch can rebuy to continue participating in the tournament up to level 10. After that, they’ll only be able to catch the action from the rail.

Registration begins Friday afternoon, although the casino has left out one element that might entice more people to play. As the casino confirmed with, there doesn’t appear to be a guarantee, which means the prize pool may be small if the turnout isn’t that great.

One of the main attractions of the casino is the organization of international poker tournaments in which up to 800 players could participate – the minimum will be 40. This is just the first of many events the casino has planned. The goal is to organize them in the low season to boost tourism when traffic is typically slower.

WPT Expands On the High Seas

The World Poker Tour (WPT) already knows how to navigate at-sea poker tournaments, thanks to its WPT Cruise events, but is adding new options. Virgin Voyages is set to launch a new WPT experience on its Scarlet Lady cruises.

Departing from Miami on four- and five-night sails, the vessel will offer a permanent WPT at Sea Poker Room. It boasts eight poker tables manned by expert dealers and offers various activities for poker enthusiasts, such as training, bonus games and satellites.

There will also be WPT tournaments, with buy-ins ranging from $80 to $320. The main event, WPT at Sea, has a buy-in of $320 and will take place during every cruise.

There will be a WPT Prize Package valued at $5,000 in the main event, which can be used for any WPT event or a Virgin cruise. However, there’s a catch – the package won’t be available unless the event draws enough participants. A press release on the launch didn’t specify the minimum required.

Southeast Asia Gets New Events

PokerStars took its Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) to Cambodia for the first time last year, and the series proved to be highly successful. Competing for players is the long-standing Asian Poker Tour (APT), which has announced new stops this year as it continues to enjoy greater success in the region, as well.

The APT, which will hold its Taipei series beginning this weekend, has announced three new stops this year, giving it six on the schedule. The new stops include two in Vietnam, the APT Summer Series Hanoi at Grand Loyal Poker Club, from May 26 to June 4, and the APT Summer Series Da Nang at Furama Resort. The latter runs from July 21-30.

Joining these will be a stop in South Korea at the Paradise City resort. The APT Incheon event will take place from August 25 to September 3.

Vietnam proved to be a strong target for the APT last year, and it hopes to build on that success again. However, according to the APT’s announcement on the lineup, there are still some things to figure out.

The APT explained that the new additions replace the APT Ho Chi Minh 2023 event. The organization said it had to postpone that series “until there is greater clarity on the regulatory climate,” but didn’t provide clarification.

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