For months now, a small series of satellites and qualifiers have lived in weird colors in the Party Poker lobby. From small buy-in MTTs written in yellow to high-stakes sit-n-goes written in red, the Macau Asian Poker Tour has been all over Party Poker.

For good reason too; August 28th, 2008 now marks the start date for the largest poker tournament in the history of Asia as the APT main event gets underway in the Chinese city of Macau. While the buy-in paid by most of the pros for the inaugural APT main event was $5,300 USD ($5,000 + $300) dozens of online qualifiers paid anywhere from $1+$0.10 to $4,500 through a series of qualifiers run on every site from Party Poker to Titan Poker.

The prize pool for the APT main event is guaranteed at $1.5 million USD with the first prize also guaranteed at $500,000 USD; in sum it will mark the most lucrative live poker tournament held on the Asian continent to date.

The Who’s Who in the poker world has turned out for the event as well: Johnny Chan, Todd Brunson, Liz Lieu, J.C Tran, Kenny Tran, John Juanda, Nam Le, Quinn Do, Steve Sung, Huck Seed, Michael ‘Chino’ Rheem, Mel Judah, Mansour Matloubi, Harry Demetriou, Carter Gill, Richard En, APT Philippines champion David Saab and even Texas Dolly himself – Doyle Brunson – has made the field.

Famed tournament director and gaming mogul, Jack Binion offered the players these words as they first took their seats for the historic tournament, “This is the future of poker…This is so exciting and significant – you can see the potential and feel the energy.”

But the real Macau action won’t be occurring in the APT main event. Beginning Friday, August 29th at 7 pm local time, the Asian Poker Tour will be organizing what is expected to be the largest cash game in the history of Asia. The details of the game are as impressive as any game played in Vegas or Atlantic City: minimum buy-in is HK$1,000,000 (US$130,000), starting blinds are HK$3,000 – $6,000, with straddling, blinds and prop bets to be raised or altered at the discretion of the players. Conservative estimates put the total amount in play for the Macau cash game around HK$15 million (well over US$1.5 million) and some expect to see as much as HK$ 30 million or about $3,000,000 USD. Players already confirmed to take part include Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Johnny Chan, Nam Le, JC Tran, Kenny Tran, John Juanda, Steve Sung, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Waki, Yamazaki, Gary Benson and Bruce Parker. Doyle Brunson has already wired in HK$2,000,000 (US$260,000) and remarked “that’s just the start.”

APT CEO Chris Parker joked at the player turnout for the Macau extravaganza:

“I’m so glad we have such soft tables! (…) In all seriousness, we were astounded by the interest in the high stakes cash game – everybody wants a piece of the action. We set the mimimum buy-in at HK$1,000,000 but anybody who knows anything about Macau or the potential of poker in this area of the world knows this will be small stakes by the end of the night. It is going to be something very special – when it airs we predict you will witness record breaking pots! You think the action in Vegas is big, just wait and see what comes out of Macau!”

If you want to follow along with the action live on either the APT main event or the monster cash game, follow http://www.pokernews.com/live-reporting/2008-apt-macau/main-event/ or check the APT official website at www.asianpt.com.

Of course if you really want to follow along with the action, start buying into those APT satellites listed on Party Poker and get yourself to Macau in 2009.

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