The Asian Poker Tour (APT) confirmed this week that the tour stop planned for March in Taiwan will continue as scheduled. There were plans to rearrange the schedule due to the coronavirus outbreak, but now the stop appears to be back on. The APT will run as scheduled on March 4th to the 15th in Taipei.
Details of the Stop:
Jeff Man, the chief executive of the APT, stated that a lot of thought went into the decision to go ahead with the March event. Travel issues remain in Asia due to trying to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.
The Taiwan stop of the APT will still have 26 tournament events however, the prize pool guarantees have been removed. In general, big events such as this would have a set guarantee, which would be reachable in a standard poker environment. However, with travel restrictions and players perhaps afraid to venture out due to the virus, such guarantees would not be met and the APT would have to cover the difference.
Mann stated that the prime concern of the APT was the safety and health of those involved in the event. After reviewing the current situation and measures being taken by authorities in Taiwan, they decided to go ahead with the festival. According to Mann, the partner of the APT, the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Club will be implementing strict health checks daily throughout the event.
Lower Tournament Numbers:
Last year’s poker event in Taiwan was the first time the APT traveled to the region. Hosting 23 events, the stop was a hit with just over 3,200 players competing. This time around, it is expected that the number of international players will be much less than last year due to travel restrictions. However, they do expect that the participation of players will still be strong for the many tournament events on the schedule.
Coronavirus Shutdown to End in Macau:
When the Coronavirus outbreak began, Macau was one area that decided to shut down almost completely to help stop the spread of the virus. The gambling region announced a temporary closure and after 15 days of non-operation, will be open for business reportedly on Thursday.
According to a recent press release, the temporary closure will not be extended. However, casinos can apply for a 30 day delay if needed to prepare for reopening. Casinos can also reduce their operation size during the 30 day period but sanctions may come into play if regular operations are not up and running by March 20th.