Currency: Chilean Peso (CLP)
Casinos with Poker
- Sun Monticello
- Casino Vina del Mar
- Enjoy Vina del Mar
Gambling has a long and rich history in the long coastal country of Chile. As Simon’s Guide points it out, the first licensed casino opened all the way back in 1852. Meanwhile, another historic gambling house, The Vina del Mar Casino in the city of Vina del Mar has been in operation since New Years’ Eve 1930.
Casino games are very popular in the country, and so is sports betting, especially – as you could expect from a South American nation – betting on soccer matches. Their appetite for sports betting is somewhat hindered by the fact the government has a legal monopoly in the online gambling market.
Polla Chilena is the only domestic company that is allowed to host games of chance over the internet. They have lotteries and sports betting in their game selection – however, not poker. Chileans are technically not allowed to gamble on foreign poker sites, but it’s not a law that is in any “danger” of being enforced. Virtually all online poker rooms allow players from the region so it’s no trouble to make a deposit and play some online poker from Chile.
As for live poker, Chileans can have a modest choice of 8 poker clubs running in the country, according to pokerdiscover.com. Those 8 clubs are spread out to 8 cities, which narrows even further down the options of one player, unless they’re willing to travel quite a bit for some action.
Famous Chilean Poker Players
Nicolos Fierro currently tops Chile’s all time money list on Hendon with $1.788 million in live tournament earnings.
In December 2015, he won a $2,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament in Punta del Este, Uruguay for $620,000. That is his biggest single live tournament cash to date. In 2011, he made a deep run in the WSOP Main Event, eventually taking 34th place in the 6,865-player field for $242,636.
Fierro has been even more successful on the online felt. He has won over $12.4 million in online tournaments. He uses the alias “pkaiser” on PokerStars, “pokerkaiser” on the late poker site Full Tilt, and “JokerzFull” on partypoker. In December 2019, he won one of the most famous online poker tournaments, the $109 Sunday MILLION on PokerStars for $99,731.
Nick Yunis is a close second behind Fierro on the Chilean Hendon list with $1.520 million. He has a World Poker Tour title from 2015. He took down the $5K event at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio for $249,152. He cashed in the WSOP Main Event in 2014.
Yunis is also a prolific online MTT grinder. He has amassed over $2.4 million in online cashes while playing under the screen name “chilenocl” on PokerStars and Full Tilt.
Because soccer is so popular in South America, and thus in Chile as well, it was big news when Chilean soccer star Arturo Vidal cashed big at EPT Barcelona in August 2019. The FC Barcelona midfielder came in 5th in the €25K High Roller for €134,460. Meanwhile, his teammate Gerard Pique ended up taking second place for €352,950. For the record, this is Vidal’s only cash on his Hendon page.
– Playing Live Poker in Chile –
Live Poker Legislation in Chile
The gambling law currently in effect was passed in 2004. The Federal Gambling Commission, which is in charge of all games of chance in the country, was founded through that bill.
Live Poker Venues in Chile
The biggest casino in Chile is the Sun Monticello, located in the city of San Francisco de Mostazal. Their tournament schedule is usually made of one big event and a number of satellites every couple of months. In April 2020, for example, they hosted the CHP700,000 buy-in (around $900) Monticello Poker Time Main Event and a handful of satellites to that tourney with exactly one 10h of the Main’s buy-in.
We mentioned Casino Vina del Mar in our intro – the gambling house opened in the early 20th Century and still operates. They do not have a poker room – however, Enjoy Vina del Mar in the city does. They’re home to the Enjoy Poker Series every year.
Enjoy Vina del Mar was formerly known as Municipal Casino and hosted a leg of the Latin American Poker Tour many times.
– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Chile –
Online Poker Legislation in Chile
We’ve covered a lot about online poker in Chile in our intro.
Polla Chilena has a legal monopoly on online gambling – they offer lotteries and sports betting, but not poker. While it is technically illegal to play on foreign gambling sites, that law is never enforced.
None of the major online poker rooms block players from Chile. Thus can have their pick of the poker sites, be it PokerStars, partypoker, Natural8 and more.