Hong Kong Pro Elton Tsang Wins €11M in One Drop
Hong Kong Pro Elton Tsang Wins €11M in One Drop

Monaco Extravaganza in incredible interiors and neat costumes ended. Elton Tsang defeated Russian businessman Anatoly Gurtovoy heads-up and received €11,111,111! There were 26 participants in the event, less than expected.

When acrobatic tricks of Guy Laliberte (they made a real performance on the tournament opening), when the price of Monaco Albert II told his speech; when they all gathered in luxurious Casino de Monte-Carlo hall – the tournament with the most expensive buy-in in history of poker began.

The spectacle was extraordinary.

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Taj Mahal Casino is closed, Atlantic City mourns
Taj Mahal Casino is closed, Atlantic City mourns

“Eighth wonder of the world”, as Donald Trump himself called Taj Mahal has officially closed its doors in the morning of October, 10th. The most favorable forecast predict its work renewal in spring, but the majority thinks this closure is permanent.

“I still remember the times when Taj used to be the most popular place for playing poker in the whole Atlantic City,” one of the players writes on 2+2 forums.

Really, in the end of 90s Taj Mahal prospered. The Casino opened in the 1990, right after gambling became legal in New Jersey. In 1996 U.S. Poker Championship tournament with $10,000 has become the first one which had buy-in equal to the one of World Series tournaments.

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One Drop Extravaganza: the most expensive poker tournament in history
One Drop Extravaganza: the most expensive poker tournament in history

One of the grandest events in the poker history already started (on October, 13th). At least if we’re talking of charity events. Almost a week of high roller tournaments with buy-ins of €10,000 to €1,000,000 and cash games with rocket high stakes and €300/hour rake.

The upcoming event is exclusively for businessmen and recreational players, no professionals. This decision was made by the organizer of the event Guy Laliberte there were more pros than amateurs on the latest One Drop event, so the latter had no point in participating in such an expensive event against opponents this strong.

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Poker in China: Red Bull cans instead of prize money
Poker in China: Red Bull cans instead of prize money

As you might know, gambling is officially prohibited in China. It doesn’t stop poker enthusiast though. Just like in any other country where gambling is prohibited, the Chinese think of their own ways and tricks to bypass the law. Besides, donэt forget about many underground games around the country.

At the moment, official poker life in China is centered in Macao, and is quite poor in comparison with Vegas, for instance. This comparison isn’t correct even. Vegas is head and shoulders above Macao.

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Macao reborn (or not?)
Macao reborn (or not?)

For the first time in two years (starting June, 2014) Macao casinos showed positive economical results. In comparison with August, 2015 gambling facilities earned 1.1% more – $2.36 billion total. This fact may seem insignificant but in reality, things get better than it seems. Wynn Palace casino opened in the region Cotai, and Parisian Macao (Las Vegas Sands) will open its doors in the middle of September.

“Macao economics is now in the period of spreading cost and increased competition in conditions of aggressive macro environment“, says Jaime Suh, Daiwa Capital Markets analytic.

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Top 10 biggest poker clubs in the world
Top 10 biggest poker clubs in the world

Poker is a game of small rooms. This is not slot machines which are stockpiled in the most casinos. Card games require com comfort and some atmosphere. That is not always the case. There are some giants, Walmart, Media Markt and Tesco of the poker world.

The casinos that will be mentioned are sorted by the number of tables – from the smaller number to the bigger one. This is the only condition. We don’t take into account stakes, no service level or placement. This rating is only about the size – the bigger, the better. By th way, the biggest poker rooms are usually first-class facilities. So there is a direct correlation between the size and the quality.

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Red Baron of the high stakes
Red Baron of the high stakes

One of the major peculiarities of online poker is that players remain relatively anonymous. When you are playing cash games or tournaments in poker clubs – you will be identified in the future this way or another. But when you only see an avatar, some random nickname and country of the player – it is easy to create atmosphere of mystery around yourself.

We seldom write about online poker. It is not our profile. However, sometimes there are interesting stories there. And it doesn’t make sense to leave them without our attention: why limit ourselves with some unnecessary borders.

Besides, the topic of the article is somehow connected with live poker as well.

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Hard life of the poker dealer, or why the croupier is always a faggot
Hard life of the poker dealer, or why the croupier is always a faggot

Once you get to the casino, you stay there for at least several years. The dealer’s job is attractive and exhausting at the same time. Many people become the hostages of high salaries and their habits. You have to earn 10-15 hours a day but it is easy to adjust in some time. You’ve got to make no mistakes to avoid getting hit in the face by a tattooed fist, a pack of chips or getting shot by a traumatic gun.

We wanted to get a little information about the life of poker dealers in various countries. How do dealers work in the heart of the cards world – Las Vegas, at WSOP. And how do they feel themselves in the other corner of the Earth – at underground clubs of Russia and Ukraine. Are there any differences (you bet there are!) and what are they?

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Impudent “Collusion” in Commerce Casino
Impudent “Collusion” in Commerce Casino

Commerce Casino is one of the biggest and most popular casinos in the USA, which is situated in Los Angeles where there are several more big facilities with poker rooms. Poker in the city lives by its own laws, some of which seem to the players some sort of anarchy.

In the article “Las Vegas vs. Los Angeles, or The Last Stand of “Gambling Poker we compared Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and told about specialties of the latter city from poker standpoint.

One of the major advantages was the “gambling spirit” of the local field. People feel themselves looser at the table; don’t like regulars, math geniuses and players like that.

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Underground poker in New York
Underground poker in New York

It is difficult to write about something illegal. That’s because the sources are hard to check and those sources try to talk in the vaguest manner, hiding the most important facts. Thanks God for the Internet where people speak openly about illegal stuff – like it is talked about some toy store.

We may start with "Observer" article, which says about a woman who played in New York underground clubs in the second half of 2000s.

“The game took place in nondescript buildings. Instead of nice dresses I wore sweatshirt with a hood and headphones. There were cameras everywhere, sometimes I had to get through burly securities. Some facilities issued IDs. However, security systems were always dull and ineffective. Cops could enter the room almost as easily as robbers”, remembers the hero of the article.

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Venetian cut the poker room space in half… for blackjack
Venetian cut the poker room space in half… for blackjack

Las Vegas, next to Macao, Singapore and other Asian countries starts the technical revolution. Huge areas (in terms of Western countries) are given to the building of the “stadium-type” complexes: tens or even hundreds of people are able to simultaneously play blackjack or baccarat against live dealers.

It all started in 2012 when big casinos of Macau started to try to find a solution to the problem of limited gaming space and a limit for a number of tables.

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Like in good old days…
Like in good old days…

The time of the cult poker TV shows where the best players had million buy-ins are long gone. But the participants of those games are still there – in the best clubs of Las Vegas. Who would have thought, it is summer of 2016, and Negreanu, Hansen, Harman, Antonius, Brunson and other legends are playing in Bellagio at $2000-$4000 stakes.

The time didn’t go backwards; those games are now closed to public and TV viewers. Although players doesn’t try to keep any secrets.

Daniel Negreanu in his blog told another story of the big poker world and also remembered the incredibly tough game where he lost his first million of dollars.

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New rule for EPT: 20% of players make money!
New rule for EPT: 20% of players make money!

The 13th season of European Poker Tour have separated poker community on two camps. One camp supports the increase of ITM zone from 15% to 20%, the others are very opposed to it, calling it another step to making poker a lottery.

In the middle of August the CEO of Amaya Gaming, Canadian company which owns PokerStars, David Baazov made a statement that he is stepping down from the position as he was accused of inside trading. This is the other story, which began two years ago after the Canadian company bought PokerStars for $$4.9 billion.

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Unknown world of online backing
Unknown world of online backing

Mass media doesn’t speak a lot about poker, and the most of the materials are one-sided. Recently published Motherboard (VICE) article isn’t flawless and describes the world of online backing. Turns out, buy-ins for $111,111 One Drop are governed in merely hours and some famous regulars use crowd funding web sites for quite some time.

We’ve read the article, highlighted the most interesting part and deleted the ads and the hidden ads, also added something from ourselves.

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Tropical Poker
Tropical Poker

Airless smoky rooms with hanging lights over the tables, sloppily dressed dealers, rustling of the rain outside the window and swearing opponents – dismiss me please, poker has long grown out of that cliché, becoming the worldwide popular  game. You can play poker on the beaches of Aruba and Costa Rica, as well as in such distant places as Krugersdorp, South Africa.

The biggest migration of poker players occurred in 2011. And by the way we are not talking about live regulars. When online poker in the United States suddenly became taboo, and potential income was still huge, many players began to look for a new shelter.

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