LAS VEGAS, Nevada. Melbourne, Australia. April 30, 2012. With poker’s popularity exploding across the Asia-Pacific, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), in partnership with Australia’s Crown Melbourne, have today reached a multi-year agreement to bring the major poker tournament series to the region commencing in April 2013.
World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific (WSOP APAC) will take place April 4-15, 2013, at Crown Melbourne and feature five WSOP gold bracelet events.
“Our goal is to establish the worldwide grand slam of poker and use our platform to elevate the game through a series of major championships,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “With WSOP Las Vegas growing annually and WSOP Europe poised for long-term success after five years, the time is right to turn our attention to the dynamic poker scene in Asia and Australia. Given Crown’s success with the ‘Aussie Millions Poker Championship’, we couldn’t ask for a better partner than Crown to establish the Asia-Pacific’s definitive poker festival.”
Crown Melbourne is Australia’s leading integrated entertainment resort attracting approximately 18 million local, interstate and international visitors each year. It is one of the largest entertainment complexes in the world showcasing world-class gaming facilities and is the home of the renowned and most prestigious ‘Aussie Millions Poker Championship’ along with the largest poker room outside North America. The world-class complex also boasts Australia’s best restaurant precinct, international designer brand shopping and award winning hotels - Crown Towers, Crown Promenade and Crown Metropol.
“This exciting partnership brings together two industry leaders, and two strong brands, to create a premier poker event in this region,” said Crown Melbourne’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Hawkins. “Our agreement firmly aligns with our objective of attracting the very best local and international players, all vying for a coveted WSOP bracelet. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved with the Aussie Millions and look forward to featuring WSOP Asia Pacific on our poker calendar in April 2013.”
The agreement marks the first time the WSOP is exporting its prestigious tournament series to Australia, and marks just the second expansion of the 42-year-old brand, after the advent of WSOP Europe in 2007. To date, WSOP gold bracelets have only been awarded in Las Vegas (1970-2011), London (2007-2010) and France (2011).
Crown’s agreement with the WSOP includes provisions for international television production of the event and is expected to be shown globally on ESPN.
Legions of locals have been swept up in the Australian poker boom that was ignited when Melburnian and Crown ambassador Joe Hachem became the 2005 World Series of Poker Champion, scooping up $7.5 million in prize money for his efforts.
“It’s thrilling to think the World Series of Poker is coming to Australian soil,” said Joe Hachem. “I know first-hand what a life-changing moment winning the WSOP gold bracelet was and how it served as a catalyst for the growth of poker in Australia and Asia. It will be a dream come true to host a worldwide poker event such as this at Crown. I can’t wait.”
Crown’s CEO Greg Hawkins further added, “This initiative will provide Crown with significant exposure in Asia, Europe and America, and forms an integral part of Crown’s global marketing strategy to attract further international visitors to Australia and Crown Melbourne.”
The complete schedule and dates are expected to be announced later this year.
ABOUT THE WSOP
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2011, the event attracted 75,672 entrants from 105 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded over $192 million in prize money. In addition, the WSOP has experienced groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe.
For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit our website at www.WSOP.com
ABOUT CROWN MELBOURNE
Crown Melbourne is Australia’s leading integrated entertainment resort attracting approximately 18 million local, interstate and international visitors each year to its 560,000 square metre entertainment complex. The property features 1,600 guest rooms across the complex’s three hotels - Crown Towers, Crown Metropol and Crown Promenade Hotel – in addition to the Palladium, which is Australia’s largest ballroom, a world-class convention centre, over 50 award winning restaurants and bars, international designer boutiques, 14 cinemas, two nightclubs and a live entertainment theatre. Crown Melbourne was built at a cost of $2 billion in 1997 and in the period 1997 to 2014 a further $2 billion will have been spent to further enhance Crown Melbourne including building Promenade and Metropol hotels, expanding the Mahogany Room and further enhancing the restaurant precinct in Crown Melbourne. Crown Melbourne is one of Victoria’s leading tourism icons.
For more information on Crown Melbourne, please visit our website at www.crownmelbourne.com.au