Monday, March 22, 2010

Live game. WHAAATTTTT???

I'm out of town right now and when I return to Hong Kong in five days, there might no longer be a live poker scene. At least not a public one. For those of you who doesn't know what happened, here's the long story short. The Blue Room (a place for higher stakes poker) has been raided by the cops. It's not some minor "license-check" either, they took chips and tables and money and people. Apparently they plotted an undercover cop at the place disguised as a player for a few weeks before the raid.

What's gonna happen to live poker in town? No idea. But all I know (from what I can hear so far) is people are scared to play publicly. This really kills the action as poker is hardly profitable without new fishes coming in. Pretty sad thing imo. There might be private 1-table games at private places, but the accessibility is incomparable. More people might play online and more people will definitely go to Macau. Both for me aren't ideal as online poker is just different and Macau, well, Macau is just far. No more can I drive 10 minutes to a game I know is running. And I'll have to go thru the pain of finding out which game happens when and where. (TO ALL: PLEASE email me or call me or fb me or whatever with any private games that might be running or being set up. This will very much be appreciated. obv don't post details in comment here lol.) I'll still have my one high stake private game at my disposal and I think that game will never be raided because it's set up inside a VERY safe venue but I won't disclose more to protect the game.

What's gonna happen to the most popular poker room in town namely HKPH? No idea. But my guess is they'll see much less traffic. The action there is pretty pfff before all this happened anyways (they only have 10/20 on most nights, or at best 25/50NLH.) Unless they set up a higher stake game and they somehow prove that it's safe to play there, I can't be bothered going.

This just sucks.


Gary_Neville said...

:( can't even play live anymore

Andrew Scott said...

Hi Phil

I agree with you that this will hurt live poker in HK for a while. But it may also be the catalyst to get the game properly regulated too. From what I have heard (admittedly second-hand) Blue Room was not compliant with the laws which allowed poker in HK. HKPH, from what I have seen, tries their utmost to comply.

But I agree with you that it is about perception not reality, and some of the HK poker public will not see the difference between the two clubs.

Bring on regulation!

Andrew Scott
(disclosure: HKPH advertises in my World Gaming magazine, which I am CEO of, but that does not affect my comments at all)

David Steicke said...

Hi Phil,

If HKPH was going to be shut down, it would have been a few days after the front page spread in SCMP, there must have been lots of phone calls from the public to the authorities on that day asking "How can this be!"

On another note, I see there is going to be a World Team Poker event soon in Vegas.
Have a look at

If you are interested, do you think we could find 3 other good HK players who would be interested to make up a HK team?

David Steicke

Phil Lau said...

Andrew: Let's see what happens with HKPH. Hopefully they can get the 50/100 and above going so we don't have to resort to sea-travel all the time.

David: yes i'm indeed interested. I'll be emailing you.

Manish said...

Just when j bought my first poker book...

vikthestick said...

Is their an article anywhere? Also let me know about this private game, stake me, keep some of the profit and enjoy life.

- Vik

peter said...

i was there that night, pretty much the cops took everything, charged John and his gf and sebatian, alone with all the players. sebatian was crying to the cops as i saw that when i walked by his room when he was being question by the cops, and they lined up pictures infront of him and he was pointing out ppl and stuff, sigh...... john just pushed everything on to sebatian saying he's the owner and john is just a player and willing to pay the fine right away, the cops ended up letting most of the people go, but they sent sebatian into the holding cell for over night. heard from his friend that he had to get poked in the ass to check for drugs or something. that's what happen when you have to stay over night in the holding cell. when his mom came bailed him out the next day, he cried so much that he had to go into the hospital right away to check his eyes, his gf wanted to leave him but his mom help him talk her back , mom gave her like some crazy size dimond ring. according from his friends, but sebatian's and john's, both their mom and dad is goinna put their house on 2nd mortgage, hopefully that'd be enough to pay for the blue room's rent, and stuff since they needed to pay for expends for 2 more months til they get the proper club licence, hopefully by then they'll be able to re-open. but i really don't think anyone is goinna go there anymore. i was only a player there and they charged me, now i might have a criminal record, paying 50k for lawyer fees, have to report to the police station every week, cops took my passport, and proply have to pay 60k at the end for the fine, 20k for bail just paid upon my release from the station, all this for what? trusting the blue room and paid them money so i can get arrested with them?

Andrew Scott said...

interesting post here:

Glad to be out of HK for a bit while all this dies down. I'm playing EPT Sanremo and Monte Carlo along with David Steicke over next 2 weeks...

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