Ivey and Dwan Open Macau Poker Room

Ivey and Dwan Open Macau Poker Room

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Phil Ivey doesn't always make public appearances, but when he does it often causes a stir and that happened again late last week during the opening of a new poker room inside the Venetian Macau.

Anteing up alongside the likes of Johnny Chan and Tom 'durrrr' Dwan, Ivey was on hand to help push the latest project by Suncity's Poker King Brand and christen the first dedicated tournament area in the building.

Although Poker King usually focuses on elite players with its VIP lifestyle, the brand is now shifting its strategy in an effort to cater more to the masses and tap into the growing popularity of poker in mainland China.

Part of the reason for this move towards poker, which is a model not favoured by Macau casino bosses due to the lack of revenue they generate, is the continued decline for Macau's casinos.

April's financial reports showed a 39 percent year-on-year decline for Macau's casinos, but Yu believes poker could be a way to reverse the current trend.

"[Poker] has not always been the most profitable game among the casino games. But due to the slowdown in the revenues coming, poker is becoming recognized as a way of bringing in traffic and gaming customers," said Yu.

The growing interest in poker among Chinese gamblers, combined with Suncity Poker King's ability to offer VIP experiences, could be enough to help the new poker room thrive.

To help launch the new project, Ivey and Dwan were drafted in to take part in a charity tournament and draw some media attention to the room. However, despite a seat being reserved, Dwan didn't sit down until 90-minutes into the action.

The American pro has been largely absent from the online scene for the last two years and many pros now say he spends the majority of his time playing in private games in Macau. Regardless of his timing, Dwan still has a name in Asia and it seems the combination of his fame and that of Ivey, the room was given a glittering opening, but whether it can maintain that interest in the coming months is unclear.

Tags: Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Macau