Bluff Europe names top poker cities

27 June 2007
LONDON, England -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Bluff Europe, Europe's most widely read poker magazine, has named Europe's top five poker destinations based on a number of criteria and on the general level of poker enthusiasm in the city.

The 2007 list, printed in Bluff Europe's July issue, sees London topping the bill, closely followed by Dublin, Tallinn (Estonia), Barcelona and Monte Carlo. Other factors taken into account when making the choices included the range of games on offer, the number of venues in which to play, the gaming laws of each respective city, as well as the big high-profile TV tournaments each has to offer.

1. London

"It was a difficult decision naming the top five poker cities in Europe," said Michael Caselli, Editor-in-Chief of Bluff Europe, "but poker in London is like poker in no other city on earth. From the major TV tournaments like the European Poker Tour, to the gorgeous new poker room at the Casino at the Empire in Leicester Square, right through to the grassroots home games, private club games, pub tournaments and online games - which are going to be regulated by the British government come September - poker is quickly becoming one the city's most popular past times. If you want a game, anytime day or night, you'll easily find one in London."

Furthermore, changes in the UK gambling laws have paved the way for "Vegas-style" casinos to slowly make their way into the country, as well as to allow more licensed terrestrial poker. Poker's growth in the UK has been recognised by the World Poker Tour® (WPT) which is expected to finalise a distribution deal with Challenge TV; and World Series of Poker, which has elected to hold the first ever WSOP Europe in the capital.

In order to celebrate London hitting the number one spot, Bluff Europe is throwing an afternoon of "Poker in the Park", sponsored by the World Poker Tour® (WPT), on Friday July 6th. Bluff and WPT invite the public to Leicester Square for a day of play-for-fun poker tournaments, tutoring and giveaways.

2. Dublin

In 1979 Irishmen Terry Rogers wandered into a casino in Las Vegas, discovered Texas Hold'em and brought it back to Ireland. Two years later, Rogers launched the Irish Open, a tournament that still thrives today as the longest-running poker tournament bar the World Series. In 1999 Dubliner Noel Furlong won the World Series, one of only two Europeans to hold the World Championship title. Dublin, therefore, has enjoyed a rich poker history over the last 20 years, filled with characters and great players. From the famous Fitzwilliam Card Club—the spiritual home of poker in Ireland—to newer venues like the Jackpot and Silks, it looks set to thrive for many years to come. While the Irish Open may be the city's flagship tournament, there are plenty of smaller tournaments and cash games going all around the city, making Dublin the ultimate place to play in the Emerald Isle.

3. Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia, is situated conveniently near Scandinavia, where some of the hungriest poker players in the world live. And because there aren't many places to play live poker in Scandinavia, Tallinn has become something of the poker Mecca for Swedes, Norwegians and Fins. The destination of the Swedish Poker Championships, The Baltic Poker Open and the Olympic Hold'em Series -- Tallinn also has plenty of casino card rooms that make it a poker hotspot.

4. Barcelona

Barcelona has always been the centre of poker in Spain and the Gran Casino Barcelona has long been revered for its juicy Pot Limit Omaha games. The EPT Barcelona is a big date on every European poker player's calendar, and WPT recently announced a new stop at Casino Barcelona--big news for the Catalan capital.

5. Monte Carlo

Until a couple of years ago, Monte Carlo had never staged a poker tournament. That all changed when the Monte Carlo Millions hit in 2005. Suddenly, a town, which had hitherto been known for sedate, Bondesque casino gambling, was a bang on the poker map. While players may struggle to find a decent Hold'em cash game when the big tourneys aren't in town, Monte Carlo remains the destination of one of the most important tournaments in Europe, the EPT Grand Final.