The most rugged poker games and destinations in the world

Fancy traveling? Poker tournaments can take you anywhere from cushy international casinos all the way to the Arctic Circle!
If there’s one thing aside from the money that makes joining the international poker circuit so enticing, it’s the travel opportunities. In just a single year, a hardcore tournament player could potentially find himself playing poker in every continent in the world.
Despite the sometimes hectic tournament schedules, though, these poker tournaments are still held in the comfort of a casino. No matter how crowded the venues become, you can still count on air conditioning and some relatively comfortable chairs.
You could even play on a cruise ship like in last year’s World Poker Tour Cruise. Playing poker with legendary Hall of Famer and Team partypoker member Mike Sexton as well as the WPT’s Royal Flush Girls on a luxury cruise liner? Sounds like a dream come true.

Of course, not everybody is out to play in cushy tournaments. Every now and then, some hardcore poker players organize tournaments around the world that require not only the requisite poker skill but a strong enough constitution to keep playing in some of the most rugged environments ever to play host to a poker game as well.

Take Australia, for example. The country is mostly known in poker circles for the annual Aussie Millions tournament. In 2007, however, another game took poker to new heights – literally!

A field of six players converged on a steel platform 90 meters above the Pacific Ocean for one of the more memorable poker stunts in recent years. In the words of the winner, Hugo Asenjo, “as long as you don’t look down, it’s quite fine.”

Another recent and arguably more rugged game took things in a different direction. Instead of having the game take place high above, the Grosvenor Casino in Huddersfield chose to descend nearly 140 meters to the bottom of a mine shaft at the National Coal Mining Museum.

The 90-minute subterranean poker game took place in November 2011 and attracted a field of ten players. It wasn’t organized solely for publicity purposes, either. The charity game was held for the benefit of the Marie Curie Cancer Care foundation. Perhaps the most rugged poker tournament ever held, however, has to be the one at the Arctic Circle in 2006. With temperatures reaching 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it was the very definition of that one game that you wouldn’t want to lose your shirt in.

2002 World Series of Poker champion Robert Varkonyi eventually rallied from almost getting eliminated early to winning the game over local favorite Juha Helppi, but only after he had to take the option of trading in his jacket for a new stack of chips. Well, at least he didn’t lose his jacket for nothing.


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