PokerStars has announced the opening of the first permanent, live poker room in Macau. Dubbed PokerStars Macau, the 25-table room (250 players capacity), will be housed at the prestigious Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino in Cotai, the same location that hosted the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau event last year.
Yesterday's launch of the new room included a benefit no-limit hold'em tournament, with proceeds targeted for disaster relief for victims of the recent devastating earthquake in western China, where the death toll continues to mount. Participants competed for HKD $150,000 in prizes, including a seat to this September's APPT Macau event, which features an HKD $25,000 buy-in. That event runs September 1-6, 2008 and has a guarantee of HKD $10,000,000.
PokerStars is excited about the new live-room venture in the burgeoning Asian market. The new room will host what is described as a "robust" weekly tournament schedule, along with a regular diet of cash games. Said Australia's Joe Hachem, 2005 WSOP Main Event champion, Team PokerStars member and one of the game's leaders in the region, "PokerStars is committed to the development of poker in Asia. Although Macau has become a gaming powerhouse, it was only with the incredible success of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour last November that Texas hold'em poker started growing there. PokerStars planted the seeds and now this beautiful poker room is going to be the garden where future champions learn to play. I wouldn't be surprised if the next World comes from Macau or elsewhere in China."
APPT president Jeffrey Haas added, "Poker has grown tremendously in Asia and we are very excited to be driving that growth, particularly as we were the first to produce live poker in Macau. The significance of the PokerStars Macau poker room on Asia will likely parallel the effect that Chris Moneymaker had on the USA when he won the 2003 WSOP."