Poker in Austria
Austria is one of the richest countries in the world. Substantial part of countries budget comes from gambling. Particularly from the big numbers of poker clubs. Poker in Austria is unchangeably popular.
When we speak of Vienna or Salzburg we imagine old-fashioned buildings, silent streets and law-obeying citizens…. And those citizens won’t disagree with proposals to gamble.
Austria is a black sheep for European Union for quite a long time. Most of the European countries have negative attitude toward gambling, but Austria looks at this matter differently.
Austrians made poker, slots roulette and everything else legal. And they have one unique term: Kleines Glücksspiel («little gambling»), it is about card games, slot machines and everything else with under 50 cents. Special facilities with this stakes can be opened separately from classic big official casinos where big games take place.
Well, now the rules on this matter are stricter, but there is still separation between chip and expensive games.
There are 12 casinos under brand Casinos Austria, one of the biggest gambling corporations in the world (50 places in 16 countries total). Many of these facilities have poker. The company is in the business since the 30s of the last century.
Where do they play poker in Austria?
Well, where the games take place after all? In the capital? Well, yes. There are over 30 casinos and poker clubs in Austria. About five of them provide poker in Vienna or in its suburbs.
First of all these are Montesino Wien, Casino Wien and CCC Wien – Simmering. The second one is official (Casinos Austria filial), the other two are “card clubs”. Montesion Vienna poker is what a tourist might need.
We need to tell you about number of poker clubs – Concord Card Casino (CCC). The company has over 15 facilities all over the country. Most of the clubs work 24/7. They have not only NL Holdem and Omaha, but also 7-card Stud and some other variations of poker (including Triple Draw!).
Amarillo Slim (second from the left) at Concord Card Casino, 2001
We can also highlight one of the biggest card casinos in Europe – Poker Royale Card Casino. There are 60 tables, 600 clients capacity, worked from 2007. The Casino is situated in 60 km from Vienna, in a small town called Wiener-Neustadt.
Tournaments and cash games in Austria
Similar to many other European countries buy-ins to daily tournaments in Austria are under €100. Usually. There are huge exceptions to that. In March of 2014 the Ukrainian Alexei Khoroshenin won Main Event of European Poker Tour in Vienna and got $795,462 for that.
There are rather popular series Spring Poker Festival, Austrian Masters, Austrian Classics in clubs of Concord Card Casino. Vienna poker festival is probably the best choice for tournament play in the country.
Cash in Austria begins with approximately €1/1 (in CCC). In classic casinos it’s €2/5 (for example, in Casino Wien).
Who plays poker in Austria?
If we talk about mere mortals, everything is much clearer. There is huge variety of tournaments and poker stages all over country, what creates interest of tourists and locals. Many of Austrian cities are like a magnet for rich Europeans.
Several hundreds of clueless to poker people can participate in ordinary tournaments. They are going to call till they turn blue and raise very rarely.
So Austria will be interesting not only to the most experienced regulars but also to usual amateurs of poker.