WPT partners with Natural8 for Asia Online Series

Jon Pill
Published by:
Posted on: September 29, 2020 8:26 pm EDT

No sooner was the GGPoker Network done with serving the biggest brand in live poker with the WSOP Online Championship, than they picked up the other biggest brand. Natural8 will be hosting the World Poker Tour Asia Online Series this October.

Their website sports marketing copy states, “WPT Asia Online Series is the tournament every player in Asia has been waiting for. The series will be available exclusively for Asian IPs, and there’ll be 22 trophies to be won, HK$100 million in guarantees, and so much more!”

The tourneys are running from October 3rd – 25th.

Natural8 is the biggest skin on GGPoker that markets largely to East Asia. Here they’re expanding their remit to include IP addresses as far west as Jordan. 

The full list of countries the series will be available to is: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lebanon, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Russia is a little too European, it would seem.

Legal questions

Legal eagles among our readers will notice that in some of the nations offered here are not exactly online poker friendly. For example, in Pakistan and the UAE online poker is illegal. While in other countries from the list — like in India and Taiwan to name but two  — online poker exists in a decidedly grey area.

This may explain why the WPT was pleased to advertise its expansion into online poker in India, but www.worldpokertour.com has been oddly quiet about such a large scale international series.

The events are themed around some of the previously scheduled locations with buy-ins in the local currency. In the past, the WPT’s overseas arms have been able to negotiate one-off deals to host events on otherwise poker-shy soil, with Japan and China as prime examples. Neither country allows brick-and-mortar poker in general, but both have hosted WPT events as part of special exemptions.

This leads to the somewhat unusual situation with the WPT Asia Online series, where Event #17: 30,000 JPY WPT Japan Championship is marketed as Japanese and the buy-in is in Japanese yen — and yet no one actually in Japan will be able to legally play.

The Korean leg is even stranger since even Korean citizens that are abroad can be prosecuted for gambling.

The line-up

This internationalist’s smorgasbord of poker delights kicks off on the 3rd October 2020 at 8 PM Hong Kong Time. It starts with an HKD 2,100 Beat the Pros bounty event and later that evening an HKD 8,000 buy-in WPTDeepStack event.

From there the series is a whistlestop tour that includes: a 25 million dong Vietnamese Championship, a 1.65 million won Korean Championship, and the 800 yuan Golden Dragon event.

The whole thing will then be capped on the 25th of October with an HKD 10,000 Asia Main Event with a HKD 10 million guarantee.

Thanks to the limitations of GGPoker software, most tourneys will be No-Limit Hold’em with the odd game of PLO and short deck thrown in.

You can see the full tourney line up below.

Event List

  • Oct 3 – Event #1: 2,100 HKD Beat the Pros Bounty
  • Oct 3 – Event #2: 8,000 HKD WPTDeepStacks
  • Oct 4 – Event #3: 25,000,000 VND WPT Vietnam Championship
  • Oct 4 – Event #4: 300 HKD WPT300
  • Oct 6 – Event #5: 1,650,000 KRW WPT Korea Championship
  • Oct 8 – Event #6: 600 HKD Short Deck Poker Open
  • Oct 10 – Event #7: 1,050 CNY Zodiac Shooting Star Bounty
  • Oct 10 – Event #8: 400 HKD PLO Turbo
  • Oct 11 – Event #9: 80,000 PHP WPT Philippines Championship
  • Oct 11 – Event #10: 4,000 HKD Superstack Classic
  • Oct 13 – Event #11: 30,000 TWD WPT Taiwan Championship
  • Oct 15 – Event #12: 600 HKD Six-Max Poker Open
  • Oct 17 – Event #13: 800 CNY Zodiac Golden dragon
  • Oct 17 – Event #14: 525 HKD PLO Bounty
  • Oct 18 – Event #15: 3,500 USD WPT Cambodia High Roller Championship
  • Oct 18 – Event #16: 1,000 HKD WPT Asia Mini Main Event
  • Oct 20 – Event #17: 30,000 JPY WPT Japan Championship
  • Oct 22 – Event #18: 600 HKD Turbo Poker Open
  • Oct 24 – Event #19: 800 CNY Zodiac White Tiger
  • Oct 24 – Event #20: 1,000 HKD PLO Finale
  • Oct 25 – Event #21: 3,500 HKD WPT Macau Championship
  • Oct 25 – Event #22: 10,000 HKD WPT Asia Main Event