The coronavirus has had a damaging effect on the gambling industry in Asia, and that only looks set to continue after the announcement that the World Poker Tour has cancelled the Season XVIII WPT event in Vietnam next month. As well as that, the WPT event in Taiwan has also been postponed after the uncertainty of the dangers that will come with holding events in the region.
These aren’t the only events that have been cancelled in the region of the past couple of weeks as the high roller event in Jeju was also cancelled a few weeks ago after operations in Macau were closed for at least two weeks. This announcement surrounding Macau is expected to have far-reaching effects on the industry in the area.
WPT Taking A Break
The official announcement was made on the 14th February, with the statement admitting that the WPT will be taking a break from events taking place in Asia for at least the next three months. The news didn’t come as much of a shock as the organisation is putting the wellbeing of the players at the forefront of their operation.
It was reported shortly afterwards that the Taiwan event would still be played, with a date in May between the 14th and 24th now likely to be the most likely time that it is competed. The event that concluded yesterday had already been affected, as the prize pot for the Philippines event was reduced from PHP20 million to PHP12 million. That reduction came after the President of the country put a temporary ban on non-Filipino visitors travelling from China, Macau and Hong Kong into the Philippines.
Dimitar Blazhev Wins Philippines Event
That announcement from the president refused to take the gloss of the success of Dimitar Blazhev however, as he won the WPT Deep Stakes in the Philippines main event. Blazhev took home PHP4,812,000 for his success, as he topped a field of 322 entries. This was just his fifth success of his poker career. Before this success, he had only previously won $11,500 during his career in live earnings.
The reason for this low amount of earnings throughout his career wasn’t down to a lack of tournament experience, as he typically doesn’t play in tournaments. He told reporters after the success that he typically plays in five tournaments a year. His success was mainly down to his friend, as he suggested that Blazhev take a vacation and compete in the competition.
The Bulgarian fought back excellently in the last round, as he did open the closing game in sixth spot. The pendulum continued to swing in the final stages against Kunwoo Kim, but Blazhev was eventually able to pull ahead and claim the win. Kim also managed to take home PHP3,372,000, while Mark Dela Cruz and David Erquiaga also took home over PHP1,000,000. Players to also finish in the top ten including Roger Del Rosario, Christos Vlahos, Ryo Naito and Vikaash Shah.