When planning your next holiday destination why not forget the travel agents recommendations and chose a holiday around your hobbies? So where better to spend some of these last minute summer vacations than basking in the glow and warmth of the world’s best poker destinations. Below are what are currently the top 10 hottest places for poker lovers everywhere to go and enjoy their summer – no matter what your budget, there’s something for everyone and for the sunnier destinations whip out those poker sunglasses!
1. Las Vegas, Nevada
The most famous gambling city in the world, there is still nowhere in the world that does poker quite like Las Vegas. Home to the biggest cash game action and the world’s richest poker tournament, The World Series of Poker main event. It doesn’t matter if you are working to a budget or have loads of cash to splash around, you’ll always find something right for you on the Las Vegas strip. If you’re a newbie to the poker scene, you can either play Texas Hold ’em at Treasure Island’s low buy-in daily tournaments, or try The Mirage and the Imperial Palace for more low budget action. And if you win big and fancy celebrating, you’ll never have to look far for a night club or hotel. Just remember that you can’t get rakeback at live casinos!
2. Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monte Carlo is casino royalty, famous for James bond and F1 racing drivers looking to spend some of their millions at the tables and therefore may not be suitable for those who want to travel on a budget, but if you’re willing to splurge out and live in luxury for a while, then this could be the place for you. Tucked in between the French and Italian borders on the Mediterranean, Monte Carlo provides you with all your champagne and caviar dreams. In a place where €25 is the going rate for a cheeseburger, it may not come as a surprise that Monte Carlo also hosts Europe’s richest poker tournament – the European Poker Tour Grand Final. If you feel like living the James Bond lifestyle and possibly spotting a celebrity or two, head over to Monte Carlo’s Grand Casino.
3. London, U.K.
Of course, no one really needs reminding that London is seen as a major tourist attraction around the world. What with the wide selection of theatres, the rich history, royal parks, museums, galleries and the massive London Eye offering views across the whole city – you’re bound to find something to keep you entertained for days. But London is also home to some of the world’s poker elite. Each September the World Series of Poker Europe descends on London and the European Poker Tour’s UK stop also takes place in the city. There are a wide variety of casinos and Poker clubs to visit, some of the more famous ones being the Grosvenor Victoria and Empire. And for American poker players arriving for The English Poker Open in September, it may be worth taking into account that the pound has fallen so dramatically against the dollar, making now a better time than ever to head over to London.
4. Paradise Island, Bahamas
Paradise Island has made quite a name for itself in the poker world, now being an official stop on the European Poker Tour. Every January this small island in the Bahamas is visited by poker players from around the world for the poker Caribbean Adventure. The Atlantis Resort is the perfect place for poker players travelling with families. Needless to say a trip to the Bahamas can make a fantastic family holiday with stunning beaches and some amazing pools.
5. Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne is also home the largest casino in the southern hemisphere, known as Melbourne’s Crown Casino. Every January this casino hosts the Aussie Millions and is also home to two hotels; the four star Crown Promenade, and the height of luxury Crown Towers. Australia is perhaps best known for its laid back beach culture and gorgeous landscape promoting an outdoors lifestyle, but Poker in Australia is absolutely booming, with many players at the casinos still learning the complexities of the game, if you are an experienced player Australia is primed to take advantage of some cash game action that could blow your mind!
6. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is already a popular European destination. The sandy beaches, beautiful landscape, and a roaring nightlife all help attract tourists to the city. There is also a state-run casino known as the Casino De Barcelona. It’s modern, sleek, and home to some of the wildest cash games in Europe. Poker lovers may already recognise Barcelona as a hot European poker destination as the European Poker Tournament stops here every September for the Barcelona Open.
7. Dublin, Ireland
There’s a rich Poker history in the city of Dublin. Plenty of the local community are big time poker players – populating their card clubs such as The Jackpot and Fitzwilliam. Poker players may recognise Dublin best for hosting the countries longest running major tournament, the Irish Poker Open each year. Dublin is also home to the European Deep Stack Championship where a €1,500 buy-in gives players 50,000 in starting chips and blinds that begin at 25/50. You will also find a massively wide choice of pubs and bars to choose from in Dublin, many of which host pub poker leagues. So both newer and more serious poker players will find something to quench their poker thirst when on holiday.
8. Macau, China
Macau is the gaming capital of the East, with a phenomenal 28 casinos, including the massive Venetian Macau. The Venetian Macau may look familiar to Las Vegas regulars who know of its counterpart – the two are very similar. Poker is still a fairly recent introduction to the casinos in Macau but since its introduction 2 years ago, the game has really took off and grown in popularity. And for those who like to do a bit a sight-seeing as well as play their favourite game on holiday, Hong Kong is easily accessible from Macau.
9. San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose, a small Central American country, is already a famous holiday destination for it’s beautiful landscape. There are waterfalls, orchid gardens, and volcanoes all located very close to the city. With surfers heading to San Jose for the beaches and thrill seekers being drawn to the city for tours of the canopy and a zip lines through the trees you can’t argue that there isn’t something for everyone. And this includes poker lovers. Poker is legal here and so there are dozens of casinos to choose from. San Jose also hosts a stop on the Latin American Poker Tour by Poker Stars. This tour features a $3,500 Main Event that boasted a million-dollar prize pool last season.
10. Los Angeles, CA
If you’re a sucker for Southern Californian vacations, then you’ll already know about the shopping facilities, the gorgeous beaches and – of course – Disneyland. But it may come as a surprise that it is here in Las Angeles, and not Las Vegas, where you can find the world’s largest poker room. Located at the Commerce Casino, you will find two cavernous poker rooms with a low-limit area that has over 100 tables. You can find some of the juiciest cash games on the planet and around 800 players in a tournament at the Commerce Casino. Not only this, but there are other casinos located only a short distance from the Commerce Casino, such as Hollywood Park and Larry Flynt’s Hustler Casino.
If you are a regular poker player and want to add a little extra to your holiday fund make sure you look into getting a rakeback deal where you can get as much as 50% of your total rake paid back into your poker account!
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