Early in my formative years as a PokerStars blogger, I pondered often over two questions: why did PokerStars not have its own live poker room somewhere? And surely there was more it could do to embrace poker interest that was growing fast in the Far East? Turns out that the top brass had been thinking the same things, and in 2008 they answered both at once. They opened PokerStars Macau.
You’ll no doubt be familiar now with PokerStars Macau, the biggest live poker room in Asia situated in the sumptuous Grand Lisboa Hotel, but you may not realise it actually started somewhere else.
Back in May, 2008, the ribbon was cut at the original PokerStars Macau, situated in the Grand Waldo Casino in the city. Guests, celebrities and top players arrived to play in the initial tournament, a charity event to raise funds for the local Red Cross which was involved in a huge relief effort following a devastating earthquake in China.
While it was a success, the poker room was to move to its new and present home in the Grand Lisboa Hotel in March, 2009. Anyone who has attended PokerStars events here will know just what a superb facility it is. Just ask anyone who played last week’s APPT Macau, won by Team PokerStars Online’s Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew.
As well as APPTs, other events include the Red Dragon, Macau Millions, Macau Poker Cup, other regular tournaments and some of the best action-filled cash games you’ll find anywhere. If that sounds tempting, here’s the latest schedule for 2012.
Macau has so much to offer the visitor, with a colourful history. As I wrote in 2010 after arriving to cover APPT Macau that year…
The Macau Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino is the jewel in Macau’s crown, standing tall and oh-so-pretty within a glittering and breathtaking skyline that screams Las Vegas, except that’s in the desert and this is in the middle of the ocean.
The colony is a heady mix of European, Far East, and Nevada thanks to a fascinating history. The Chinese gave Macau to the Portuguese centuries ago as a thank you for ridding the area of pesky pirates. Then, in 1999, it returned to China as a Special Administrative Region and has not looked back since.
Nothing beats seeing and experiencing it all for yourself, of course. With that in mind, visit the PokerStars Macau website and see if you can make any of the upcoming events.
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We are publishing these daily review articles throughout November as PokerStars gears up to celebrate its 10th Anniversary.
Isildur1, out of the shadows
PokerStars and charity
Daniel Negreanu, poker star
Liv Boeree, winner
Rocking all over the world
The Selbst Factor
Milestones to go before we sleep
World Cup of Poker
The Bear Necessities
SCOOP, hold the front page
Slaying the EPT monkey
When two cards just won’t do
ElkY, one name says it all
Going live at the PCA
It’s a bling thing
Online wizards cast their spell
The EPT circus
Making world champions