Macau, one of the special administrative regions of China is famous for its Portuguese history and gambling tourism. Since Portuguese were pioneers in settling down here it’s obvious that gambling was an integral part of the culture. In fact gambling was legal here since 1850s. Since then gambling has grown here exponentially and this region has been renowned worldwide as “Monte Carlo of the orient”
When casinos of Atlantic City close their doors, half way round the world in Macau casinos start welcoming people. In South Asia Macau is also known as home of gambling. With 35 Casinos operating day &night Macau has every single bit to offer to gamblers.
Gambling generates 40% of GDP and more than 50% of revenues of Macau, this clearly indicates how important gambling is in Macau. But if look at poker specifically it does not have long history as it has in Vegas. Till 2007 there was no poker room but after summers of 2007 many poker rooms opened. Currently 6 casinos in Macau offer live cash games and seasonal tournaments. When poker rooms started in Macau, games were lucrative and every rich players tried his/her luck and mastery of the game was not adequate. Soon professional players turned up and restrictions came into existence. But this is history too, competency in high limit games has increased and it’s no more a fishes’ place now.
Macau is the perfect poker destination for high rollers as well as amateur and rookie level players.
Playing poker in Macau is a different experience compared to Las Vegas. With all world class amnesties Macau is the home of some of the best casino resorts and poker rooms.
GRIND IN MACAU-
The best options when it comes to Poker in Macau are as under –
1) Wynn Macau: A luxury resort equipped with all modern facilities based on Vegas theme, first in Asia. It has gaming area, hotel, shops, spa, restaurants and everything that you will see in any luxury Vegas resort. With 600 hotel rooms, 501 table games plus 375 slot machines Wynn offers 205,000 sq. ft gaming space. Started in 2006 this resort has become top preference among poker players because of its extra ordinary poker experience. Wynn offers Hold’em as well as Omaha games unlike other rooms. Pros can be spotted easily here, so if you are roaming in Macau and wish to try poker Wynn is the place to be.
2) Casino Lisboa: One of the most renowned casino hotels of Macau, China. It started in 1960 and has 2362 rooms available today after renovations of 2010. With 107 slots,146 table games casino operates24x7 and spreads across 190,000 Sq. ft. Poker room of this Casino was known as Grand Liboa and also as home of Pokerstars. It had 33 tables and specific tables for beginners. This poker room has also hosted Poker Tournaments like Asia Pacific Poker Tour, Macau Millions and Macau Poker Cup in the past. The only drawback was it offers Texas Hold’em games only. Unfortunately poker room is closed but still this casino is definitely a preferred destination for gamblers. .
3) StarWorld Macau: A 5 Star Top rated Hotel Casino of Macau, astonishing night views, 140,000 Sqft gaming space, 500 luxury rooms and 223 gaming tables are some of the iconic features of this casino. Cherished as tallestcasinos of Macau StarWord offers wide range of gambling games including poker. Poker room here is called Poker King Club, it has 11 tables and very professionally managed poker facilities after Wynn. Both forms of Texas Hold’em (Limit & No Limit)are available here and the only poker room with Sit & Goes. Apart from Cash Games tournaments are also organized regularly, In 2014 StarWorld hosted Asian Poker Tour Events during July. Many Poker Pros like Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, John Juanda and Tom Dwan are spotted frequently here.
4) The Venetian Macao: An integrated casino resort of Macau and largest casino in the world. Started in 2007 this casino features 3000 suites, 550,000 Sq Ft gaming space, 3400 Slots and 800 gaming tables. Venetian’s poker room offers both forms ofTexas Hold’em but no limit is played more often here, one of the best poker rooms for playing small stake cash games and tournaments. The only bit that a poker player will hate here is highes rake that applies. By standards of game play Venetian’s poker room is way behind compared to Wynn and StarWord. Mostly you will not fine all tables running as well, Sodefinitely a choice among available poker rooms for small stakes cash games.
5) City of dreams :Popularly known as COD it has 4 high rise towers and the ‘PokerStars LIVE’ poker room located in 2nd floor is the hub of most poker activity. This casino property features 420,000 Sq Ft gaming space, 450 gaming tables, 1500+ slots, restaurants, spa and much more. It offersTexas Hold’em with no limit and VIP Tables. In recent times this poker property has faced many challenges and closed now.
Considering “City of dreams” Macau has astonishing gambling facilities it has always been a favorite destination for poker players. Some of the featured poker events of Macau in 2014 –
1) Macau Poker Cup, January
2) Macau Millions 2014, March
3) Asia Pacific Poker Tour 8, May
4) ACOP Platinum Series, September
5) Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) 2014, October
With all big Asian poker tournaments taking place in Macau it also been a destination to spot some of the best poker pros from China. Few leading names are –Pete Yen Han Chen, Ka Cheong Wong, ZhenruXie, Quan Zhou.
Gambling tourism is key revenue generator of Macau’s economy and poker too is finding its space with growing popularity in Asia. Season of poker is on, this is the perfect time to plan for poker holidays in Macau. Studies suggest that the gambling opportunity in Macau is the biggest in the world currently. With an estimated $45 Million gambling market, Macau leads the world in Gambling opportunities.
UNWIND IN MACAU
The best options to stay and unwind in Macau are as follows:
Crown Towers – Crown Macau is one of the chosen destination to unwind when players grind in poker rooms. Crown Towers features 33 luxurious villas out of a total of 290 guest rooms, offering an exclusive experience for those seeking refinement in every aspect of their stay.
Grand Hyatt Macau – Grand Hyatt Macau is one of Macau’s most luxurious hotels and was voted “Best Business Hotel in Macau” at the 2012 Business Traveller Asia Pacific and China Awards. The hotel comprises 791 guestrooms and exceptional event facilities.
Hard Rock Hotel – Hard Rock Hotel Macau entertains guests’ dreams of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Check into any of our 322 guest rooms including two ultra-chic and luxurious Rock Star Suites, take in the stunning views of Cotai, and soak in the atmosphere in the guitar-shaped pool, the hotspot for parties and entertainment. The Hard Rock is a chosen destination because of its proximity to the City of Dreams Casino.
Venetian Macau– The Venetian is one of the 7 hotels in the Cotai Strip in Macau and also one of the preferred ones for all tourists, gambling and otherwise.The largest single structure hotel building of Asia also houses the biggest casino in the world. The All Suite hotel has 3000 state of the art luxurious suites with all modern amenities.
Four Seasons and Shangri-La are the other two options that are available on the strip itself. But these being expensive options, sometimes poker tourists choose to stay slightly away from the casinos.
How to Reach Macau:
Reaching Macau is easy as Macau is one convenient and well developed destination in South East Asia in terms of transportation and links with other parts of the world. Macau also acts as an entrant gate from South China Sea. Being one of the special administrative regions Macau has its own immigration rules and procedures. From India you can reach Macau by air route directly –
You can board from multiple cities in India to take flights for Macau; however there is no direct flight to Macau. You can take flights from Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kochi, Varanasi, Hyderabad and Tiruchirapalli. Minimum stoppage is 1 and that is Hong Kong, from Hong Kong you also have option of ferry services to reach Macau in case you haven’t booked flight till Macau International Airport (MFM). From here just immigration clearance and then Macau is all yours.
Minimum time from India to Macau is 8 Hrs and can go up to 27 hrs which depends on number of stoppages. Few Airlines take you to Macau via Bangkok which is another stoppage point route. This journey can cost you from 40K INR to 1 Lac INR.
There is no direct sea route available from India, however from Bangkok and Hong Kong multiple sea routes, bus services and ferry services open up. From there you can board on cruise services to make your journey more exciting.
So next time you are in the mood of some poker, get grinding in Macau, its a great place to unwind too!