Tom Hall Lifts Lid On Macau's High-Stakes Cash GameMarch 14, 2014 12:40 pm
Over the past few years, Macau’s Big Game has piqued the attention of poker buffs everywhere, who have been treated to tantalizing glimpses into the world of super high-stakes poker cash games where super-rich Asian businessmen battle it out against super-talented poker players with millions of dollars at stake.
The intricate details which have been revealed to us thus far have predominantly come from Tom Hall (photo), also known as “Hong Kong Tom,” who has subsequently posted various updates via the TwoPlusTwo forum. Now, however, Hall has given us our biggest insight ever into The Big Game in an interview he did with pokernews.com.
One intricate details to emerge is that the game is almost exclusively nine-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em, and that although up to 150 different players have been allowed to sit in on the game held at the Poker King Club in Macau, there is a core of up to 20 regulars who will play at some point every month, and four players who play much of the time they are visiting Macau.
Interestingly, The Big Game only permits an average of one or two pros to play at the nine-handed table at any one time, with those pros usually having been introduced through an already welcome pro, or alternatively through the game’s organizer Winfred Yu. As is already well-known, the Asian businessmen are as much interested in the entertainment as the actual game itself, with Hall explaining that “those super nitty, “silent at the table” pros are extremely unlikely to get a second invite back to the table.”
Talking about minimum buy-ins for the Big Game, Hall then said that although at times it has been as low as HK$1-2 million (approx. US$130k to $260k), at other times it can be as high as HK$10m (US$1.3m). Hall also said over the past one year the game stakes have mostly been around HK$100K/200K (US$13k/$26k) blinds or occasionally they play with no blinds, but just a HK$100K (US$13k) ante per hand.
When asked what was the most anyone has ever won or lost in a single session of the Big Game, Hall then had this to say: “I would say approximately the same, around HK$100m (~USD$12.8 million) won/lost in a single session, bearing in mind these sessions can run 30-40 hours regularly with perhaps a mini food break or quick nap or break to watch a soccer game.”
For further fascinating details about Macau’s Big Game, the whole article can be read here.