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Asia Pacific poker players have Seoul
PokerStars.com is getting the ball rolling in the Asia Pacific region this month by hosting the first-ever world-class poker tournament in Seoul, South Korea.
"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," APPT president Jeffrey Haas told The Korea Times.
"We saw an opportunity to promote Seoul as a unique tourist destination for international poker players who wanted a great poker tournament experience."
Online poker sites have started to branch out to Asia and Europe following the passage of the U.S. Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act a year ago. The unexpected ban on online poker sent the industry searching for new markets such as Korea, where Seven-Card Stud has proved quite popular.
With several poker sites open to Korean players, the worldwide phenomenon of Texas Hold'em has spread and local players are now starting to pick up the game. A foreigner-only casino in Incheon held a live Hold'em tournament last year for the first time in the country, The Korea Times reports.
This tournament will be No-Limit Hold'em but unlike World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour events the Seoul stopover will not be televised because of a government regulation that bans all forms of gambling from receiving TV coverage.
The pan-Asia tour began last month in the Philippines and drew 255 players from 35 different countries. Brett Parise, a 22-year-old California college student, won the APPT main event for $180,000 in prize money.
The winner of the Seoul tournament will go on to play at the APPT Grand Final in Sydney, Australia, this December.