Tamas Nador sent me a little write-up about the poker scene in South Africa for anybody who is down that way for the World Cup and gets the poker bug.
The legal situation is similar to what’s happening in US. at the moment. Government has deemed all online gaming illegal until they have issued regulated (and locally taxed) licenses. The Gaming authorities are relying on the exchange control laws since there is no definition for Internet gaming or multiplayer poker (as we understand it). The amended gaming bill is scheduled to go into the parliament right after world cup and we could see the tendering process starting already this year which also means great demand for international gaming solutions and technology.
The players in South Africa are very passionate about anything competitive. Besides the current soccer hysteria, South Africa is a sporting power in many sports like Rugby, Cricket, Hockey (not Ice) and Golf. With time, South Africa has the potential to become a notable country for poker achievements as well. Currently, South Africa holds a 3rd place WSOP main event 2007, Few bracelets from old school players around 70’s and 80’s, a WPT La Poker
Classic title and couple of Bellagio Cups. The local live poker play can be wild at times. It’s not unusual to have 3-4 callers with even 15-20BB Pre flop raise. Also if you want to bluff on the river you might get called by someone “just to keep you honest”. But in general, players follow the game on ESPN and know what’s going on.
The venues have only recently introduced permanent poker-rooms on to the gaming floor. Local Casinos are finally seeing the benefits in the bottom line and even some of the toughest skeptics have become supporters just like Mr. Macintyre from one of the largest casino groups in SA
“Poker is continually growing in popularity worldwide and particularly in South Africa. Our exclusive Poker Suite and future tournaments will cater to this demand and will further entrench Montecasino as the ‘Gamer-tainment’ destination in Gauteng” said Adam MacIntyre the Main Floor Tables Manager.
There is only NLHE offered with few limit options on cash games starting from $0.75/$1.5. Higher limits can be arranged if there is a demand. In 2008 there were 2 major tournaments in SA and it saw many International top players in visiting the country. During those periods cash game limits were up to $150-$300 with a surprisingly big participation from different parts of Africa.
There are average about 10 poker tables in each casino and some organise weekly MTT’s starting from $200. Its better to call and speak to their poker room to find out the latest events and schedules.
Grand West Casino, Tel. 021 505 7777 (ex. 7134)
Broadwalk Casino, Tel 041 507 7777
Hemingways Tel: 043 707 7777
Windmill Casino, Tel: 051 410 2000