Following news of Asian Poker Tour’s ownership change last June, the prime live tournament operator now under APT Events Private Limited, has announced its newly appointed key leaders as of yesterday. The press release revealed the brand’s decision to sign Neil Johnson as its President and Fred Leung as its latest Chief Executive Officer.
“The vision of what the Asian Poker Tour wants to become is an opportunity and challenge that I simply couldn’t pass up. I can’t wait to get started on this adventure!”, said Johnson.
The 48 year old well-known figure has accrued extensive experience within the industry, having been heavily involved in the live scene for the past two decades. Johnson has previously worked with PokerStars Live as its global representative, backed as well by a 10-year position in the Board of Directors for the Tournament Directors Association. In 2013, Johnson claimed the Poker Industry Person of the Year title at the GPI European Poker Awards for his impressive performance all throughout.
“Neil Johnson is one of the finest individuals in the poker industry. This is a major addition for the APT.” said Leung. “Neil and I will largely work in tandem. He will lead the live event operations while my focus will be on marketing initiatives.”
A day prior to the news, APT also announced its hiring of Fred Leung who similarly worked with PokerStars Live in spearheading major events which included the Macau Poker Cup, Red Dragon event and Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) throughout the region.
“When the stakeholders were in the process of identifying new leadership, it was clear that Fred (Leung) was the best person for the role given his prior experience and success in the Far East. We’re ecstatic to have him at the helm and confident he will raise the Asian Poker Tour to new heights,” said Soyza.
“I’m beyond excited at this opportunity with the APT which has had a strong presence in the region for over a dozen years. Our objective is to retain the Asian Poker Tour’s legacy while advancing its competitive position within Asia,” said Leung.
The 45-year old added, “The alignment in vision for APT arrived quickly with the new ownership group which was paramount in my decision to join the team. They’re aggressive, ambitious, and most importantly, passionate about the game of poker.”
With its goal set for international expansion, the first agenda on the brand’s calendar remains to be next week’s APT Philippines 2022 at Newport World Resorts, running from September 6 to 18. Three more tours are scheduled to follow, wrapping up another exciting year of live poker mainly within the Asia-Pacific region. So far, the Asian Poker Tour has set foot in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Czech Republic, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, India, Australia, United Kingdom, Singapore, China, Japan, and New Caledonia, and have awarded over US$ 100 million in prize money to its players.