Poker in Europe has surged in popularity during the last decade as leading tournaments, including The World Series of Poker Europe, and a clutch of exciting and extremely talented online stars such as Viktor ‘isildur1’ Blom bring the game to the mainstream. Poker was once seen by many as an American game but it is now going global and Europe has been the driving force behind that growth. There are now different variants of poker available in the majority of casinos in cities across the continent while poker professionals from Scandinavia, the UK and Germany, among others, have enjoyed huge success in official poker tournaments around the world.
The United Kingdom has a much more liberal attitude to gambling than other countries. This has been instrumental in attracting stars to take up residence there and has increased the popularity of local table games in London and beyond. More European players are also now getting involved in the international scene, which was initially felt back in 2008 when Peter Eastgate became the first European player to win the world’s premier poker tournament, the WSOP Main Event title. Since then, television director and poker player John Duthie has helped to grow the European Poker Tour by adding dates in more obscure locations, such as Vilamoura, Salzburg and Baden, which has extended the reach of the game further. The EPT has also become an attractive proposition for many US based players due to its well-structured series and the vast array of picturesque cities and casinos it frequents such as the Casino Barriere de Deauville and The Casino Barcelona.
The rise of tournament poker has also coincided with the emergence of a new generation of online stars that regularly face off against each other on poker sites such as Betfair. Many people are now taking up online poker as a hobby as it caters for everyone, from low stakes Texas Hold’em ‘sit n’ gos’ to ultra high stakes events. Many of these sites also host online qualifiers that offer players the chance to earn a place in EPT Tour tournaments and other local events. You can find many of the best English betting sites by visiting online betting and gaming gateway BookiePlanet.
The future looks bright for the UK as the UKGC recently released figures showing an uptick in gambling revenue and remarkable growth during the last few years. Europe is not the only place experiencing a poker boom though as Australia and parts of Asia including China are also growing. Former WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem recently revealed that there were only a few poker tables in Australia at the turn of the millennium but his victory and the emergence of top sportsman playing the game such as Shane Warne has vastly increased its scope. Hachem added, “Aussies love poker, I don’t see any reason why it can’t keep growing.” It is a similar picture in countries like South Korea, China, Brazil, New Zealand, Peru and Japan that are now among the fastest growing markets for online poker.