The History of Poker in the Philippines

The First Steps

Poker in the Philippines really started in 2006, when the very first poker room was created at the PAGCOR’s Airport Casino. Back then, it was the only casino of the country where you could play Texas Holdem Poker. 

Soon after, what now became the largest poker room in the Philippines, the Metro Card Club, opened in the center of Manila, and saw its popularity rise with the launch of the Filipino Poker Tour, sponsored by PokerStars. Then, poker rooms began to sprout all over the country. 

August 2007 was the next key date for poker in the philippines, as the Hyatt Regency Hotel & Casino in Manila inaugurated the very first Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) tournament, definitely putting the Philippines on the Poker Map.

The next year, it was Asian Poker Tour (APT)’s turn to conquer the country by extending its satellites events to the Philippines.

Media Coverage & The Arrival of Somuchpoker

From then on, seeing the tremendous potential of the Philippines, the Poker Media implemented some structures to follow the evolution of the Filipino poker scene.

Somuchpoker launched in 2014 in the Philippines, and thanks to its permanent team of writers, photographers and reporters, they did since then the coverage of most key events of the country. With this new media, the biggest tournaments and cash game – which thrived even more with the arrival of the Poker King Club and the organisation of the Triton Super High Roller series – now had all the attention they deserved.

APT Coverage in the Philippines by Somuchpoker
APT Coverage in the Philippines by Somuchpoker

Filipino Poker Players

As the popularity of poker rose, local talents developed, such as Mike Takayama, n°1 Filipino player, and once again, Somuchpoker was here to give a voice to those players through interviews. Lester Edoc in particular, winner of several important Events at the Metro Card Club, shared its views on the job and poker in the Philippines to the newsteam. With this greater visibility for Filipino Poker, a greater influx of international poker players now attend prestigious tournaments like the APPT, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) and the World Poker Tour (WPT) National Philippines

Lester Edoc

Online Gaming

In the middle of a continent that knows very strict legal environments regarding online poker, the Philippines definitely became Asia’s most favorable jurisdictions for licensing and regulating iGaming. As such, numerous online poker sites are operating directly from the filipino islands.