The Asia Poker League is back with a new event announced in Beijing, starting April 15th. Somuchpoker took some time to discuss this with Judic Kim, founder of the league.
Somuchpoker: The Asia Poker League has just announced a return to Beijing. Can you tell us more about this upcoming event?
Judic Kim: First, I would like to send a warm “Hello” to our supporters and partners worldwide. It has been a while since our last interview.
To answer your question, the upcoming Asia Poker League “Reloaded” tournament in Beijing on April 15th holds great significance to the brand. As a start-up company on foreign ground we have realised how difficult it is to organise tournaments of such stature. With that said, based on past experience, we have matured and now understand the market better, and with that, players can look forward to our event in Beijing.
SMP: A lot of poker players still have in mind the interruption of the last APL event in Shanghai by the local authorities.
What is pushing you to return to China, a country where it seems to be more complicated to host an event?
What guarantees do you offer to the players who would be interested in joining the event?
Judic Kim: Shanghai, Kunshan is something I’d like to leave behind. However, it is through that incident that the APL has matured. Furthermore, it is easy to put blame on domestic partners and other factors but as was demonstrated to our international and domestic players, the APL took full responsibility.
Why are we going back to Beijing? First and foremost, The Beijing Poker Room (BPR) has proven during our successful first leg that safety and government compliance are two most important factors. The BPR is our strongest partner in a fast-growing market. They have proven time and time again that they are the “go-to” organization in Mainland China. The Beijing Cup in December 2016 brought in over 1,500 entries and just recently in February, they continued their success with a follow-up tournament which boasted close to 1,200 entries for the Main Event. It is an honour and privilege to be invited back.
SMP: Compared to the first edition of the APL last summer in Beijing, what changes can players expect for this event?
Judic Kim: “The World is Yours,” APL Beijing, was the first time international players were invited to BPR, therefore it was kind of rough around the edges in terms of communication. We believe we have resolved those minor issues and players can expect quality gaming. We have also added more satellites and events to cater to the masses.
SMP: What attendance figures do you expect for the Main event?
Ironically enough, the way we handled both events in Mainland China has created quite a positive stir for the APL. Combined with the continued success of BPR we are expecting at least 800-1,000 entries for the Main Event and a substantial amount of entries for our side events. I forgot to add that a new edition of custom made APL trophies will also be displayed.
SMP: What arrangements in terms of visa / flights would you recommend and or provide to international players who decide to join the event? What can players can expect in terms of parties / visits/ foods if they make the trip to Beijing?
Judic Kim: We are arduously developing our website and updating information daily. Players can log on to asiapokerleague.com for information on hotel/travel/event schedule/and tourism online. For more information, such as invitation letters/hotel upgrades, you can reach us through [email protected]. As for who we expect to join our event we are currently organising details with independent international coordinators such as Mike Kim (USA, Philippines), Vikram Verma (Pokerbuddies, India), Denis Pham (Vietnam, Cambodia), Brian C. McAllister (Australia). Other countries we are in talks with are Mongolia, Japan, Malaysia, Macau, and Hong Kong. We will update confirmations through our Asia Poker League Facebook page and on asiapokerleague.com.
SMP: Thank you for your time!