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Poker Players and Casino Gaming

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Poker players often like to recover from a stressful session with an hour or two grinding some casino games

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It’s no great secret that poker players often like to recover from a stressful session with an hour or two grinding some casino games. Roulette, blackjack, and even craps are typical favourites. In brick-and-mortar casinos, during high-profile poker series, it is common to see star names, such as Phil Ivey, heading to the gaming floor to blow off some steam.

We don’t have to be away from home to have a little flutter ourselves though. There are tons of new casino sites popping up almost every day online. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but when we read some of the degen stories about poker players playing casino games it’s easy to understand why it might be worth a try.

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting casino gaming stories from years gone by.


Phil Ivey Having to Pay It All Back

Back in 2012, Phil Ivey, possibly the greatest all-round poker player of modern times, walked into the Borgata Casino in New Jersey, USA setting off a chain of events that would see him having to pay back around $25 million of winnings. He wasn’t blowing off steam though, he had another plan in mind. 

It transpired that over four visits to Borgata, and another to Crockfords exclusive premises in Mayfair, London, Ivey and his playing partner were using a technique called edge sorting while playing punta banca - a form of baccarat. This entailed taking advantage of imperfections of the pattern on the back of the cards to have a better idea of the value of them. For a player of Ivey’s calibre this switch of edge to the player came with devastating effect.

Sadly for Ivey, the house soon worked out what was going on and courts in the UK and USA ruled in their favour.


Jake Cody - Stick It All on Black!

English poker pro Jake Cody got tongues wagging back in February after he took down the high roller event at the partypoker UK championships for almost $60,000. In a jubilant mood and amongst his friends, he decided to create a bit of a talking point by sticking the whole lot on black on the roulette wheel. 

The 30-year-old Team Pokerstars Pro had to ask Rob Yong, the owner of the Dusk ‘til Dawn casino and card room, for permission for such a large bet, but it wasn’t a problem. Minutes later almost the entire contingent of players were gathered around the roulette table in time to see the ball land sweetly on black 22.


Andy Bloch and the Infamous MIT Blackjack Team

Andy Bloch has been a serious poker player for more than 25 years. What a lot of people aren’t aware of is his participation in the infamous blackjack team that took Las Vegas for millions of dollars back in the 90’s. The members were all current or former students of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Business School, and Harvard University.

Bloch was learning engineering during the week and hitting the casinos at the weekends with his teammates. This was serious high pressure stuff. Poker at the highest level is incredibly stressful, but it doesn’t usually come with a potential threat of violence.

I know of a guy who won money and then was playing golf with the casino owner, who pulled a gun on him and said: 'Give me all the money you just won from me and I won't kill you.' So he gave him the money."

When Bloch tried to enter the World Series of Poker Europe in 2007 he had to apply for special permission to even enter the premises! He is still a marked man till today.

It’s all water under the bridge now though. Bloch has almost $5.5 million from live tournament winnings alone. Plus any cash and online profit to go on top.

With all this kind of drama surrounding casino games, who wouldn’t want to try their luck.

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Mark Patrickson

Mark Patrickson is a professional cash game player grinding stakes up to 100nl 6 Max NL Hold'em13 years experience of poker, across MTT SnG and cash, FL PL NL.Currently living in South East Asia and trying to make it back to mid-stakes before the end of 2019.

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