Posts Tagged ‘Tom Hall’

Tom Hall dishes Secrets on Macau High Stakes Poker

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The Macau high stakes poker scene: every poker player wants in, only a few are accepted.

This being the case, poker pros who are lucky enough to play with the Asian whales keep pretty quiet about what goes on in these games. Luckily, we get a small glimpse inside of this world of multi-million dollar pots and unfathomable wealth every now and then. And Macau mainstay Tom Hall recently shared a few secrets of what goes on in these massive poker games.

Known as “Hong Kong Tom,” Hall did an interview with PokerNews that discussed some very interesting topics, including how many players get in on the action, what’s the most won and lost in a session, and if the Macau high stakes action has reached a plateau. That said, let’s take a look at a few of the more interesting questions and answers from Hall’s interview.

PokerNews: If you had to guesstimate, how many players rotate in and out of the Big Game?

Tom Hall: I would guess since we started there has been somewhere between 100-150 players that have played at one point in the game. There is a core of 10-20 that play regularly at some point every month and three to four that play pretty much all the time they are in Macau. The lineup changes all the time, though usually the pros rotate with some frequency and locals – usually junket operators in Macau who hear about the game and like to gamble – frequently pop up for a few sessions.

PN: What is the networking process like? We assume it’s not easy to get into the game.

TH: It all depends. If there are some brand new local players chancing their arm – guys that are very new to the game and relatively inexperienced – there can be a crazy waiting list even amongst the “regulars,” whereas at other times if the core regular group are away on business or playing a high roller tourney somewhere else in the world, pretty much anybody is allowed as the remaining guys just want to play. It is a quasi-private game, so you shouldn’t turn up and expect to be allowed to play, particularly as a pro. Pros are usually introduced through a pro that has played before or through Winfred Yu who organizes the games. Visiting businessmen are usually always accommodated!

PN: What’s the most anyone has ever won in a sessions in the Big Game? What’s the most someone has lost?

TH: I would say approximately the same, around HK$100 million (~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. What I will say is that without a doubt the single biggest winner in live table poker of all time is one of the big game players who plays the Macau game regularly and some of the other big private games around the Region. This is not one of the established pros but any of the pros that play regularly will know whom it is. Not going to get into quantum or specifics but the Macau game formed the base for some pretty phenomenal winnings (and obviously losses). All of the local regulars usually play their own funds whereas most of the pros are either staked or pieced out to a certain degree. This is probably pretty smart taking into consideration the size of the games and the swings.

Joe Hachem: From PokerStars to AsianLogic

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem definitely raised some eyebrows when he chose not to renew his sponsorship/endorsement contract with PokerStars. Seeing as how PokerStars is the world’s biggest poker site, one would think he’d have stayed put here.

Then came the rumors that the Aussie had signed on with a little known Merge Gaming Network site known as HahaPoker. This definitely got people talking because of the disparity of the move from PokerStars to HahaPoker. However, this has definitely been proven as a rumor following Hachem’s announcement that he will be signing with the AsianLogic Group.

If you’re unfamiliar with AsianLogic, they are best known for operating the Asian Poker Tour, and they also provide software services for online poker sites and other gaming entities. As for Hachem’s role within this company, he shed a little light on the subject by saying, “I am delighted to announce that I have decided to partner with a consortium comprising the AsianLogic Group and some of their contemporaries.” He added, “I will be working with the group in several areas, initially as a new ambassador for the Asian Poker Tour to further the growth of poker and to assist them with several strategic opportunities in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.”

AsianLogic’s chairman, Tom Hall, expanded on Hachem’s role with his company by saying, “Joe brings much more to the table than just his poker playing skills. His knowledge and understanding of the gaming industry both domestically and internationally will be invaluable to us going forwards.” He also said, “The Asian Poker Tour is already widely recognized as Asia’s only independent tour and we feel Joe will be able to help us expand this business. AsianLogic and its partners are also involved in a number of poker and gaming projects and Joe is helping us with some of these, particularly those in Australia and New Zealand.”

It’s no surprise that Joe Hachem would sign a sponsorship deal so quickly since he’s not only the 2005 WSOP Main Event winner, but also ninth in career poker tournament winnings with $11,342,508. Considering that almost $3.9 million of this has come away from the Main Event winnings, Hachem is definitely one of the most successful ME winners of all-time.

Macau Poker Pot Reportedly hits $13.8 Million

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

In case you haven’t heard yet, there are some enormous cash games going on in Macau right now. And the word enormous might even be an understatement after reports are coming out that one of the cash game pots was worth a reported $14 million!

APT owner Tom Hall has been the biggest source of rumors about the $14 million pot, which was won by an unknown player who was reportedly down over $12.6 million; Hall wrote the following about the big play:

Biggest hand I ever saw and arguably the craziest was a guy betting HK$28m (US$3.6) on the river into a HK$51m (US$6.55) pot with a gutshot straight draw against what turned out to be top set. He was down over HK$100m (US$12.8) at the time and hit it.

When you add up all of the money that Hall described, this equals around $13.75 million (or $13.8m just to round off). You can read about all of Tom Hall’s reports on the Macau high stakes poker games in this thread.

The action has been pretty intense all throughout the big games at Macau with Johnny Chan reportedly winning $1.41 million. In addition to this, Tom Dwan lost $2.6 million in one day, but came back to win $1.7m overall, and Andrew Robl was up $2 million – only to drop back down to even.

Apparently the games are pretty exclusive because Patrik Antonius was denied a seat at the big table. 2010 WSOPE Main Event champion James Bord tried to get him into the game, but Canadian billionaire Guy Laliberte refused because he thinks that Antonius is too nitty. Hall wrote about this by typing:

Confirmed that Patrik Antonius was not allowed into the game, James Bord (who was playing) tried to get him in but Guy Laliberte insisted no WAY. Antonius played ~US$640/US$1280 PLO instead with Andrew “good2cu” Robl and a few others.

Apparently, the rich businessmen who play in this game want lots of action, and people who bring their own money – as opposed to being staked.