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Poker Life: The Big Game, where’s the money come from?

Thu, Dec 8, 9:19am by Poker Guru

I am sure you have read about the Big Game in Las Vegas where some of the best players in the world play for extremely high stakes. The Big Game is usually played in the Bobby’s Room at Bellagio but it has occasionally been played at other casinos as well. I remember Aria tried to get the highrollers to move there when it opened and Phil Hellmuth promoted it.

Nowadays the biggest games in the world are played in Macau, the new gambling capital of the world. Top high stakes players like Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Tom Dwan are all regulars there. Nobody will talk about how much money is won and lost at those games but we are talking about millions of dollars each night.

Where does this money come from? Some of it comes from rich businessmen with a source of income that is not poker related. But some of the money at these game actually comes from players like you and me. Even if you (and I) are winning players, we are part of the poker ecosystem where money flows up in the pyramid. You will win money from players below you in the pyramid and lose to players above you. On the way up in the pyramid, winning players will take out some money and so will poker rooms and online poker operators. Whatever is left when it reaches the top will end up at those big games in Macau or Las Vegas.

Without those businessmen, the big games would not take place. You can even say that those businessmen are paying customers and the sharp players they play against are selling them a service. If the businessmen want to play Omaha or Badugi, that is what the game will be. Some professional players who play too boring will not be invited. You need to play a reasonably loose and entertaining style to be invited. Remember, the sharp players are selling a service and who wants to play against boring players? A player like Tom Dwan will always be welcome though.

This is interesting we all should think about when we play against bad players. Think of yourself as the service provider and make sure the bad players get a pleasant experience. Of course you still want their money but be nice to them even if they get lucky. Just as Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius will be very nice to you if you ever play at the Big Game.

I would like to finish with the biggest cash game pot from the High Stakes Poker TV show. I love Tom Dwan’s style and I love how he refuses to make a deal with Barry Greenstein.


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