The World Poker Tour (WPT) has cancelled or postponed all of its Asia-Pacific events for the next three months as a result of the widespread disruption to regional travel caused by the Coronavirus.
The decision means that next month’s WPT Vietnam, originally scheduled for 13 to 22 March, has been cancelled while WPT Taiwan has been rescheduled from late March to mid-May. The WPT had already been forced to reduce the guarantee of its WPT Philippines main event, which kicked off on Friday, from Php20 million to Php12 million after President Rodrigo Duterte placed a ban on all travel to the Philippines from mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Announcing the changes via a statement on his Facebook page, WPT Live Events Specialist Danny McDonagh said, “This past week we have considered seriously our upcoming events in Asia, notably WPT Vietnam from March 13 to 22 and WPT Taiwan from March 27 to April 6, given the current uncertainty surrounding hosting events in this region.
“We have come to the conclusion that it is best for WPT to take a break from events in Asia these next three months until a clearer picture about the spread of the Corona Virus, and the ability to safely hold the events, can be determined.
“Accordingly we will be cancelling our 2nd Season XVIII WPT Vietnam event and postponing the inaugural WPT Taiwan event to May 14 to 24, which will become our final event of Season XVIII counting towards Asia Pacific Player of the Year.
“We once again ask for your understanding of this decision, as we feel it is better to give players some surety as to our plans now.”
The WPT’s 18th season globally had been notable for its substantially expanded calendar of events in what the WPT dubbed its “Asia Swing”, with WPT Philippines the seventh of nine events on the season schedule following stops in Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Australia, India and Cambodia.