APPT Seoul set to build on Macau success

Empire Casino, London

After a few weeks off for players to get rid of their jet lag following a trip to Macau, the Asia Pacific Poker Tour kicks off the second tournament of its second season this Friday with the only major poker tournament of the year scheduled in South Korea.

The APPT Macau event, the first of the season, would have to be considered a success in just about anybody's book. Its main event drew 538 players, eclipsing the previous year's mark of 352 and creating a first prize of $453,851 for the champion.

Then there was the High Rollers event, which drew 61 players despite its heavy price tag and was taken down by well-known professional poker player Nam Le.

Despite the PokerStars APPT's status as a second-year tour, Macau made it clear that it has already made an impact on the world poker scene.

This weekend's event in Seoul, South Korea, will be looking to reinforce the statement made in Macau earlier in the month by topping its own numbers from last year.

With a price tag of $2,500, the 2007 APPT installment at the Paradise Walker-Hill Casino in Seoul drew 186 players. That resulted in a total prize pool of $437,100, with a first prize of $139,872 for the first-ever major poker tournament in South Korea.

The final table in Seoul was populated by players from seven countries, demonstrating the appeal poker holds around the world. Eventual champion Ziv Bachar of Israel topped a table comprised of three Americans based in Korea, a Swede based in Malaysia, a French-Canadian, a New Zealander, an Australian and a Norwegian.

Bachar's triumph came in relatively short order for a major poker tournament, finishing in less than six hours - including a heads-up match with Australian Jo Berec that lasted a mere nine hands.

It would be an understatement to say that last year's APPT numbers were impressive in a country without any real poker tradition to speak of. If the first stop of the year in Macau is any indication, this year's Seoul tournament promises to be bigger and better in almost every way.

As you might expect, PokerListings' stalwart tournament reporters will be there the whole way to capture the action and atmosphere for you in the Live Tournaments section, so be sure to come along with us this weekend and follow every hand dealt in South Korea.

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