The biggest games in Macau are notoriously very private, but every now and then, details leak out in relation to this intriguing high stakes games.
This last week, certain details about these games slipped out into the public domain, with King's Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik recalling in a interview with PokerNews playing HK$5,000/10,000 at a Venetian Macau table that included Philip Gruissem, Tobias Reinkemeier, and Max Altergott. With a flopped set of tens, Tsoukernik claims he won USD$1 million in that single hand, versus a Chinese opponent who held pocket aces.
Brian Rast vs the"Chairman" and Rono Lo
More interesting Brian Rast an accomplished professional player from Las Vegas who won 2 WSOP bracelets, freely admitting in an other interview with Pokernews he has participated in these high stakes games before. He wouldn't reveal many details: the mystique surrounding Macau cash games only seems to grow as the players involved keep most of the details to themselves. In the event that they do mention a name it will often be a nickname such as 'Chairman.' This particular "Macau Businessmen" remains anonymous, but according to Brian Rast he is one of the biggest gamblers a player can come across at the high stakes tables in Macau. Brian Rast gave a small amount of illumination to how this player liked to play, when he mentioned having pocket kings on a 4-7-J flop against the 'Chairman.' at the Aria Casino in Vegas. His opponent ended up getting USD$1.5 million in on the flop with an open end straight draw, putting Rast under a lot of pressure. Having made the call, Rast was delighted to see the board brick out.
Rast recounts an other story that Rono Lo (a local businessmen) likes to talk about, which began with Rast winning a few big pots from him with the help of some good variance, before Rono Lo challenged him to a heads up match. Lo finished the heads up match with a profit and left the game with a story to tell, having beaten a top class pro.
The high stakes players who are not pros in Macau aren't deluding themselves about the fact that they are underdogs, but as the Rono Lo story demonstrates, the challenge of taking on the best, and sometimes putting them to the sword, is something that businessmen thrive on.
Brian Rast is an accomplished player both live and online under the screenname "Tsarrast"
Less action recently
The “bigger” game was previously held in the Neptune Room and a "smaller" game in an outer room at Winfred Yu's Poker King Club (PKC) at StarWorld. Now, the PKC has relocated to Venetian Macau,(More info about changes at PKC Macau) and Paul Phua key figure of the biggest game had to face illegal sports-betting charges in Las Vegas. For these reasons the action has not been as lively recently, but there is a hope in the poker world that these huge games will start up again, even if they are shrouded in mystery and most players never get a seat at them. Perhaps it is because games like these are the nourishment of dreams for cash game players working their way up in the world. If the biggest games fade away, along with the mysterious individuals who make them exciting, then the poker world loses an enthralling piece of itself in the process.