A report on April 18th regarding the Nanjing Millions event in Nanjing, China, has now been updated with more information on the raid by the Chinese Police. It is now believed to be the format of the Nanjing Millions Main Event that could have brought the tournament under the scrutiny of the Chinese authorities and consequently brought about the raid by the police that stopped the tournament on April 17th.
What is believed to have led to the raid is the format of the Main Event allowing unlimited rebuys and some players believed it could be a problem with the strict laws China has against gambling according to a source that has knowledge of the investigation.
PokerNews.com reached out to the Nanjing police but the police would not disclose any details concerning the investigation. Xinhua News Agency has reported that police currently are in control of the organizers of the event for alleged gambling which has been a criminal activity in China since 1997.
Poker Asia Pacific, which was one of the few media outlets covering the event at the Jiangsu Wutaishan Sports Center, reported in an article that gambling "appears to be the key issue with the Chinese authorities." Poker Asia Pacific also added in the article that the structure of the event was "very fair and not one that was slanted towards a need for excessive re-entries."
The event was organized by the Star Poker Club and although rumors and noise have surfaced regarding PokerStars activities in China, the Amaya-owned poker site is not the focus of the investigation and not involved in any alleged criminal activities in China. Poker Asia Pacific has clearly pointed out that the PokerStars APPT was simply a sponsor of the event, in the same manner the sponsorship works with the Aussie Millions.
Amaya's Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser said, "The event itself was organized and operated by a local poker operator, the Star Poker Club, and sponsored by the APPT China."
Hollreiser continued, stating that Amaya is "in contact with Star Poker Club and are seeking additional details. The organizers have issued a statement to apologize for the inconvenience and plan to resume the tournament in the near future."
Poker Asia Pacific believes there is a possibility the players in the first-ever Nanjing Millions will see a solution that does not include the continuation of the tournament — the event may not resume. Originally 2,359 players took to the tables and when the tournament was stopped by the police, there were still 165 left in the competition.
The organizers of the event are considering possible ways to resolve the matter without further complications, one of which is the main event players that were still in action may find they will receive prizes proportional to their stacks of the total prize pool. That same resolution may apply for the side events that were halted by the authorities.
"The local poker operator, Star Poker Club, led by APOY champion Jian Yang, have confirmed that there were 165 players through to Day 2 of the Main Event with chip counts recorded," from the Poker Asia Pacific report. "Taking that information into account, it appears the most logical resolution is that those players will be entitled to equity in the prize pool based on their chip count, while those who were eliminated on Day 1 of the event will not be eligible for any refund. The same would apply for any of the side events that also remain incomplete. The Star Poker Club also confirmed in a statement that all funds raised from the charity event will be donated as planned."
Image courtesy of PokerStars APPT.