According to Phil Ivey, Las Vegas is becoming a tough place for professional poker players to live and so they are choosing to leave. The high-stakes games where the poker sharks feed are now to be found in China, Macau and other locations in Asia. Ivey, Tom Dwan, John Juanda, Chau Giang and other names in the business have trekked to China to play. And another sign of the times is the fact that the businessman from Malaysia who got those players to travel afar has also decided to have his TV cash game debut in Australia and not in the famed and notorious town of high rollers, Las Vegas.
Ivey is not the only one who makes the case that Las Vegas has become a place that cannot support high rollers. Doyle Brunson actually made the statement earlier. Brunson noted that at least you can find a wealth of mid-stakes games in California, which is where many see the action going.
There used to be five high stakes games a week in Vegas, now you’re lucky to find two. Ivey noted that the death of poker legend and Vegas cornerstone Chip Reese seemed to turn the tide as the high-stakes game began to disappear.
Ivey, who noted he too was interested in California, said, “Once Chip Reese died it was pretty much over. He was pretty much the backbone of the high-stakes games and now, there’s really no big game (in Las Vegas) anymore, except for during the World Series or when a tournament is in town or something like that. So yeah, there’s no real reason to be there.”
The news on the street is if you’re looking for a game at $4,000/$8,000 stakes, Vegas is not the place to be. California, here they come.