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Big guns back for ACOP

Written by Ben Blaschke

One of Asia’s biggest annual tournament series is back in Macau this October with the 2017 Asia Championship of Poker boasting a full schedule of 24 events.

Swiss star Vladimir Geshkenbein will be looking to create another slice of history this month when he returns to the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room at City of Dreams to defend his Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Main Event title.

Twelve months ago, Geshkenbein became the first player ever to win both an Asia Pacific Poker Tour and a European Poker Tour title, having previously prevailed at EPT Snowfest 2011 in Russia.

The 28-year-old collected a career-high score of HK$5.64 million for his Macau victory last November as well as winning entry into this year’s ACOP Main Event – a long-standing tradition since the maiden ACOP series in 2012.

However, he will have to outlast another top quality field to do so, with last year’s event attracting 302 starters including the likes of former WSOP champ Joe Hachem, high stakes specialists Steve O’Dywer, Justin Bonomo and James Obst plus JC Tran, Bryan Huang, Terrence Chan, Celina Lin, Kitty Kuo, Matthew Wakeman and Jonathan Karamalikis.

The 2017 Asia Championship of Poker will again boast a packed schedule of 24 ACOP title events between 13 and 29 October, with the HK$100,000 buy-in Main Event including a massive HK$25 million prize pool guarantee – the largest in Asian history to date.

In total, there will be 50 tournaments spread throughout the 17-day series with a wide variety of buy-ins ranging from HK$1,000 to HK$800,000 – providing an opportunity for everyone from the game’s biggest names to recreational rookies to take their seat at the tables.

“Regardless of bankroll, there’s something here for you and we’ve created tonnes of qualifying options for you to compete with the world’s best at a fraction of the cost,” said PokerStars’ Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager for Live Events Asia, Fred Leung.

“The previous ACOP poker festival attracted 4,479 entrants and awarded more than HK$95 million (US$12.3 million) in prize money. Call me bold but right now it looks like this year’s numbers will be closer to 7,000 entrants and HK$200 million.”