PokerStars is the biggest online poker company in the world and was recently in the news as it is in the process of being acquired by the Amaya Gaming. PokerStars has experienced incredible growth and expansion during the last decade because it has come up with innovative tournaments, promotions and strategic collaborations all across the world.
In July 2014, PokerStars along with the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) will launch the first ever Beijing Millions, a tournament that will be held in Mainland China. The tournament will take place at the Beijing Star Poker Club and will be held between the 18th – 27th of July.
There will be a $480 tournament buy-in (¥3,000) and will most likely be in a similar format to the 2014 Macau Millions. However, an official tournament structure is yet to be released. The main event of the tournament will be a $3,200 (¥20,000) “high roller” which will take place on the 27th of July. Apart from this, there will be a $240 (¥1,500) PLO, a $320 (¥2,000) NLHE Deepstack and a 16-player max $1,600 (¥10,000).
The Beijing Millions will be one of the biggest poker tournaments to be conducted in Mainland China. While Macau is considered to be the hub of casino and gambling activity, mainland China does not have a high profile when it comes to casino and poker style events. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has played host to the 2012 and 2013 WPT events which were held on the island of Hainan in Sanya.
The PRC only permits gambling in Macau and Hong Kong and is extremely strict in cracking down on illegal gambling activities in Mainland China. However, these poker festivals are being promoted as “mind sports” on the basis of being a game of intellect, skill and wit. Thus, the event that PokerStars and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour will promote will be considered a “mind sport” and will be governed and monitored by the sporting governing body in China.
PokerStars has started promotions for the Beijing Millions tournament and live online satellites are already underway. The response has been extremely encouraging and APPT head honcho Danny McDonagh was please with the interest that Beijing Millions has generated so far. He posted a tweet which read
What a massive first satellite for the Beijing Millions just started. Well over 100 runners. Not seen this level of interest ever before in Asia Pacific.