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Macau Pro Am Open richest poker event ever held

Nov 22, 2011 3:09 AM

GamingToday has learned of plans for a proposed Macau Pro Am Open for the spring of 2013, which would be the richest poker event ever held.

William Murray, an American businessman, told GT he represents one of five Chinese company industrialists sponsoring the event. He said the prize pool would be somewhere between $65 million and $100 million with a first prize of $25 million for the Main Event.

The first prize payoff for this year’s World Series of Poker, won by Germany’s Pius Heinz, was $8.72 million.

"The current goal is to have 500 participants with one-third coming from the Far East, one-third from the U.S., and one-third from other countries," Murray said. "The subscription for the seats in the Far East has already been taken."

Cutoff would be Dec. 15, 2011 for registration on a first come, first serve basis regardless of the player’s status in the poker industry.

An organizational meeting was held last March in Hong Kong, according to Murray, to set the infrastructure for the tournament. He did not give details, but indicated the group sponsoring the event is not affiliated with any hotel, casino, or any current organization, guild, or trade association.

Murray said current plans call for other events, ranging from Texas hold’em to baccarat, to precede the main event.

There will be a guaranteed prize pool of $2 million with $1 million to the winners, Murray said.

"This spectacular event will establish Macau as the poker tournament capital of the world and hopefully will bring the world’s top players there for cash and tournament contests," Murray said. "Macau is already the baccarat capital of the world and now we are completing the other half of the puzzle, poker."