The second season of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) started its 2008 run with live broadcasts from the Grand Waldo Casino in Macau. 538 players showed up, boosting the prize pool to $1,620, 897. Both numbers were record breakers for Chinese poker tournaments.

President of the APPT Jeffrey Haas said “the second season of the APPT showcased the phenomenal growth of Poker in Asia with a dynamic and far larger field of players hailing from the region this year, five of whom made it all the way to final table. We believe the popularity of this sport will continue to spread here as the opportunity to play tournament level poker in destinations like Macau grows.”

After close to a week of tournament play, APPT Macau was won by Edward Sabat of the United States. A relative newcomer to top poker play, Sabat only had 8 prior cashes of his career and his highest prize thus far was $70, 680 in the 2008 WSOP Harrah’s Rincon Circuit Event. He managed to turn his $8 qualifying seat into top honors with a diamond flush in the end, netting close to half a million dollars.

Sabat continued on with the APPT to its next stop in Seoul, Korea this past week but was out of the tournament half way through the first day of play. The top prize in the Seoul leg of the APPT was taken for the first time by a Japanese competitor, Yoshihiro Tasaka from Osaka. Tasaka won $128, 250 USD after outlasting the rest of the 165 players.

Next month will see the APPT in Auckland, New Zealand for the third event of this year. After that will come Manila in the Philippines for November and the last leg of the series to be held in Sydney, Australia in December.