Poker growing in Asia

Jeffrey Lisandro
Jeffrey Lisandro will be playing poker in China for at least three months of the year.

Poker appears to be expanding in a market that everybody in the industry has their eye on.

Just recently PokerStars announced their first APPT event to be held in Macau, a special administrative region of China, and the hits keep coming.

On Friday the PokerDome group announced they had partnered with the Diamond Casino in the Holiday Inn with the plan of unveiling the first permanent cash game in China.

The target opening date is Nov. 20 and the room is scheduled to have eight tables although in the future it would be possible to expand that number by 25 to 30 more tables. The plan is to spread the popular poker games including No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Hold'em, with Pot-Limit Omaha and Seven-Card Stud and their lowball variants likely in the works as well.

Big-name professional poker player Jeffrey Lisandro, who recently took down his first WSOP gold bracelet, will be one of the feature attractions of the room. Lisandro, who is a PokerDome shareholder, plans on making his home in the burgeoning poker room for at least a few months of the year. He will also help oversee the room's operation.

The PokerDome group has experience in running poker events, being the organizers of the Oz Poker Tour in Australia and operating five poker rooms.

Diamond Casino and the PokerDome Group also plan on hosting a major international poker tournament to help kick-start the poker scene in Macau.

Macau is gaining renown as the gambling capital of the world and in the past few years it has regularly been earning more gambling revenue than Las Vegas.

China is not the only country in Asia where poker is starting to flourish. Recently PokerStars held a very successful APPT event in Manila and, according to the Cebu Daily News, a Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) franchisee has sought the authority of the Cebu City council to operate a poker gaming center along Salinas Drive in Barangay Lahung, Cebu City.

The group requesting legalized poker operations in the city has said that it would be a much better system than the current one where there are only shady home games for people who wish to play poker.

The city council has subsequently referred the group's request for further study to the committee on games and amusement and the committee on laws and good governance.

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