Poker is widely gaining popularity internationally as a sport and favorite pastime.The first championship level poker tournament in the Asia Pacific region is going to be held in Seoul late this month. The event has a three-day schedule to meet the rapidly increasing popularity among Korean poker fans and to gain further momentum in the country.
The PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) is schedule to be held from Sept. 28-30 at the Paradise Seoul Casino of Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. The APPT is an annual international poker competition, sponsored by the online poker powerhouse, PokerStars.net.
PokerStars is a U.S.based free online poker Web site. It provides players with a variety of online poker games such as Texas HoldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢em, Omaha, Stud, Razz, HORSE and 7-Card Stud. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We created this series of world-class poker tournaments for poker tourists who want to experience something exciting and new along with their favorite pastime,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Jeffrey Haas, president of APPT, in an interview with The Korea Times Ã¢â‚¬Å“We saw an opportunity to promote Seoul as a unique tourist destination for international poker players who wanted a great poker tournament experience.Ã¢â‚¬Â
One of the proÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s planning on attending the events in Seoul this month is 2005 World Series Of Poker Champion, Joe Hachem. He is not the only big name participating in the event, but at the known moment, he is the only bracelet holder pre-registered.
Texas HoldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢em is one of the most popular forms of poker particularly in North America, where Poker Stars is based. The game has its own rules and structure, compared to the typical Ã¢â‚¬Å“7-Card StudÃ¢â‚¬Â which is popular among Koreans. The unique way of playing the game adopted for TV viewers has greatly contributed to the popularity of poker around the world. Texas HoldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Em is gaining popularity in Korea and several online poker Web sites operate for local players. A casino in Incheon, that targets tourists held a live Texas Holdem tournament last year for the first time in Korea.
The Asia Pacific Poker Tour allows viewers to see all the cards the players have, facilitating a way to gain insight into how players think and react in a variety of situations. It is not uncommon to see hundreds of thousands of people gather before TV screens to watch the annual poker event, broadcast by ESPN, the sports-only channel in the U.S. On a down note, the Seoul tournament will not be televised because the government views poker as gambling thus it is banned from any TV exposure.
The Asian Pacific Poker Tour began last month in Manila, Philippines, with 255 players completing from 35 countries, worldwide. The final stop in the APPT is being held in Sydney Australia this December. A player who qualifies for the final event, by competing in and winning during the tournaments in Seoul, and Manila, will be invited to be a part of the final televised event, where the cash will be promising.
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