On Saturday, the 2017 WSOP Main Event began with Day 1a, showcasing players from around the world as they hit the felt to take part in the 48th running of this prestigious event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Before the tournament began, Ty Stewart, the Executive Director of the WSOP,  made a big announcement. For many years, the WSOP has had a home base in America and has visited other continents to offer poker gaming, such as Australia and Europe. The WSOP has now decided to take poker gaming to China.

During the special announcement, Stewart spoke about the humble beginnings of the WSOP and how the poker tournament series has grown to attract tens of thousands of poker players from over 100 countries from around the world. Stewart discussed how major events have taken place in Europe, Australia and Latin America but Asia represents a big opportunity for the game.

To help bring the WSOP to China, the company has signed a deal with Tencent for a ten-year agreement. This will be the longest agreement ever signed by the WSOP and the two will be working together to make poker the biggest its ever been. The WSOP China will start this December, so players only have a short time to wait until they have access to quality poker gaming in Asia.

The new partnership will see the WSOP work with Tencent to help train tournament staff and provide the structure for tournament gaming as well as provide procedural knowledge to help see the WSOP events take place in China with ease.

On the WSOP.com website, Stewart continued with his statement about the new deal, revealing that there is so much untapped potential in Asia and that the WSOP has found the perfect partner in Tencent to be able to help spread the game within the continent. Stewart stated that the plan is to use the WSOP brand along with their expertise in tournament gaming plus Tencent’s reach in Asia to inspire the next generation.