Poker in Asia: a busted flush?

For over a decade, Asia has been touted as the region where the next – and most explosive – poker boom will occur, and yet the spark has failed to fully ignite. So how much appetite is there still for poker in the Far East and what’s holding the game back? Ten years ago, more than 300 poker professionals and amateurs congregated in the fourth-floor ballroom at the Meritus Mandarin Hotel in Singapore. With a buy-in of $5,000 and a first-place prize of $451,700, this was the first real poker event of significance in the Far East and the inaugural leg of the new Asian Poker Tour (APT). Three days later, one man was left standing as businessman, philanthropist and notorious poker player Antanas Guoga, known simply as ‘Tony G’, was crowned champion. The gregarious Australian promptly (and unexpectedly) donated half his winnings to charity and handed the trophy depicting...

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