Rumors about a a hundred million dollar tournament to be hosted in Macau have surfaced during the later part of last year. As the first prize was purportedly a cool $25 million, this event got a lot of attention in gambling circles.
The tournament details have since been widely circulated over the internet. This event was supposedly sponsored by five Chinese companies and given the rise of Chinese wealth and their appetite for gambling, people initially thought that this was a true story.
American businessman William Murray represented one of these five purported companies. Apparently, it all began when Murray gave the information to Gaming Today Magazine which then published an article about it. According to Murray, the goal of the event was to attract no less than 500 participants for the event which would take place in the spring of 2013. Each player would register with a buy in of $200,000 and when the news came out, the registration period was just two weeks away.
The huge amounts involved and the vagueness of the reports have caused many from the poker scene to speculate that the tournament is most likely a publicity stunt or an hoax. Notable poker players have even been commenting in several forums that the tournament may likely be sham.
Several of these pros pointed out that in Macau where the tournament is to be held, no one seems to know anything about it – not the casino operators, the room managers, the junket regulars, not even the players. The lack of advertisements in other media aside from the internet is also a real concern for the credibility of this story.
Asia Pacific Poker Tour founder, Tom Hall, one of the best credible sources for high-stakes poker events in Asia, believes that the event is a fake. He has said that aside from there being no clear information on the tournament, an event such as this would need to be first approved by the Macau regulating agency. To this date, no approval, nor any tournament schedule has yet been reported.
Another question was where would the organizers find the 500 players needed to fork out $200k each to play in this event. At the recent PCA Super High Roller tournament organized by Pokerstars, only 32 entrants were present in this $100k entry fee event.
For now, the 100-million poker tournament remains to be an entertaining topic in the poker scene but the event is likely to be a hoax.