Intercontinental Poker Tour. Great poker rooms to visit from each of the world’s continents.

Poker aficionados have a lot to like about the sport. Certainly there’s the more obvious aspect of coming up with the best card combinations possible, and the thrill that a guaranteed winning hand brings with it. However, there’s also the more subtle, mental side of the sport that only true fans can appreciate.

Poker actually puts more emphasis on this. It’s a mind sport first and foremost, after all. This doesn’t only entail having at the very least a working knowledge of probability theory, but also of scoping out your opponents’ ticks and tells, as well as maintaining your own composure to make it harder for them to do the same to you.

For a seasoned player, though, sometimes the challenge provided by his regular poker room just isn’t enough; and this is where traveling comes in. Getting out of your comfort zone and taking in the unfamiliar head-on is what traveling is all about. For the poker enthusiast looking to up his game, checking out the poker scene from the rest of the world might just be what the doctor ordered.

Below are some of the best poker rooms from all six habitable continents of the world. Antarctica, obviously, won’t have a representative on this list, but there’s no denying the widespread international appeal of poker as evidenced by the following gaming establishments:

1. First up, we have Asia’s Grand Lisboa, located in what is now considered the continent’s answer to Las Vegas: Macau. The first thing to catch the attention of visitors is the casino’s rather unique trophy-like shape. For poker fans, though, it’ll be the fact that the casino hosts most of the major Asian tournaments that’ll get them all excited.

grand-lisboa-hotel-and-casino-1

2. Going to the Land Down Under, Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex in Melbourne has to be visited. As its name implies, it’s a one-stop destination for world-class hotel, restaurant, and entertainment facilities. Also, being one of the other major hosts of Asia-Pacific region poker tournaments should put it on your radar.

crowncasino

3. For a touch of the exotic, a stopover at South Africa’s Sun City Resort is on order. After a few rounds at the poker table, you could opt for a different kind of thrill by registering for wildlife reserve visits and safari drives.

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4. Heading to South America, there’s the Casino de Tigre in Argentina. The largest casino in the continent, it houses 74 gaming table, as well as more than 1,700 slot machines and video poker consoles.

antiguo casino de buenos

5. No poker pilgrimage is complete without going to the gaming Mecca of the world, Las Vegas. Of its many casinos, the MGM Grand is probably the most renowned. It boasts one of the largest gaming floors in all of Sin City, with its poker room touted as the best place to hone your Texas Hold’em skills.

Mgm_grand_closeup-1

6. The Vegas Strip is so emblematic of the gaming lifestyle that it just has to be mentioned twice. Aside from the aforementioned MGM Grand, the other casino that comes to the minds of most people is the Bellagio, having been featured in such popular movies as Ocean’s 11, 21, The Hangover, and many more.

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7. Finally, of all Europe’s grand and majestic gaming places, none could arguably top the Casino de Monte Carlo. Not only is it connected to the Monacan Royal Family, but its patrons are more often than not on the affluent side, further adding to the luxurious elegance of the place. In poker terms, that means deeper pockets to test your A-game against.

casino_monte_carlo

With the cross-country nature of major poker events, traveling has become one of the things that many pro players just have to get used to. Tournament regular and Partypoker brand ambassador Kara Scott has even gotten a bit of a reputation among the poker community as a pseudo-travel blogger of sorts; a direct result of her international playing itinerary.

You could probably make a case that these pros are able to maintain their skill levels largely because of the constant stream of challenges afforded to them by the international poker scene. Whether you subscribe to that or not, one thing’s for sure: the experiences gathered from it – both in the playing sense and of life in general – are just invaluable.

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