The World Poker Tour (WPT) is one of the most popular and well known poker tournaments in the world. The company has made it a mission to expand its international presence in 2017 and has placed an emphasis on expanding its brand into the Asia market. The WPT had its presence in 7 countries a few years ago but once 2017 is completed, the WPT will be in as many as 18 countries if everything goes as per plan.

WPT Partners With Japan Union Poker Corporation

The WPT has made a number of strategic changes to its procedures in the last 12 months and recently concluded one of its big events in the United States known as the ‘Monster Tournament of Champions’. The WPT has now set its sights on expanding into Japan and will hold its first ever WPT Japan tournament from November 23 to 26 in Tokyo. The WPT has decided to partner with Japan Union Poker Corporation to launch its first tournament in the country and its first edition will feature four events.

Players who are interested in qualifying for the WPT Japan will have to play the qualifiers which are scheduled to take place at poker clubs in Japan. The WPT believes that Japan will be a key Asian market for the company and WPT CEO Adam Pliska hoped that poker players from all over the country would come and be part of the first ever WPT Japan.

In a statement, Pliska said “The World Poker Tour is honored to partner with the Japan Poker Union Corporation for this momentous occasion, not only the history of the World Poker Tour, but for our industry. Japan is a truly spectacular place, and the Japanese poker market is a flourishing one that deserves to be showcased on a global stage such as the World Poker Tour.”

No Cash Prizes At WPT Japan

It is interesting to see the response that the WPT Japan would invoke as this will not be a typical WPT Event. This is because the WPT is used to organizing events that come with a massive guaranteed prize pool but cannot do that in Japan because it is still not legal. Japan legalized the casino industry in December 2016 but is still to release a second law that will approve the regulations that will govern the gambling in Japan. As a result, the WPT will not be able to offer any money on its events.

The WPT is putting together a unique package that will allow winners at WPT Japan to receive free passage to WPT events in the future. The first place winner at a WPT Japan event will get a guaranteed package to a WPT Beijing tournament in Season 17 or to an inaugural WPT India tournament which is scheduled to take place in November 2017. The WPT is expected to release a finalized list of events for the WPT Japan edition along with the confirmed prizes so that players are clear what they will win at each event.

Players who attend WPT Tournaments around the world are used to walking away with huge cash prizes and hence it is hard to tell how attractive these WPT packages will be Japanese poker players. Since this is the first ever WPT event in Japan and given the fact that the WPT is one of the biggest poker brands in the world, it is possible that Japanese poker players could turn out in large numbers to see if they can a WPT event and make a name for themselves.

WPT Asia-Pacific Player Leaderboard

The WPT has done its best to make the event as attractive as it possibly can in Japan, give the legal limitations. The WPT has created a special prize for the WPT Asia-Pacific Player of the Year leaderboard and the eventual winner will receive a total package valued at $15,000 and can be used at any future WPT stops. The player who finishes in second place on the leaderboard will receive a total package valued at $3,500 and the player in third place on the leaderboard will receive a total package valued at $1,700.



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