F1 x Poker - Top 5 F1 and Poker Destinations
Poker players have a unique opportunity this Fall to combine their love of poker and racing with a double dipped experience in Las Vegas when the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) and the Las Vegas Grand Prix take over the Strip in November.
PokerStars a partner of the Oracle Red Bull Racing team is offering players a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Las Vegas with a Vegas Gold Pass. The Vegas Gold Pass covers the buy in for, travel to, and accommodation during the $5,300 NAPT Las Vegas High Roller. In addition, Vegas Gold Pass holders will attend the Oracle Red Bull Fan Experience at the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Its a mouth-watering poker package worth $20,300.
While Las Vegas is just getting its feet wet in the world of Formula 1 racing, its not the only place where poker players can get their poker fix before or after a weekend at the circuit. Here is a look at the top five F1 x Poker destinations.
5. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona hosted the first-ever stop on the European Poker Tour, and the EPT has returned every August since for some of the biggest poker tournaments in the world. The Iberian Peninsula also plays host to the Spanish Grand Prix, usually held in the early part of the summer at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya just outside of Barcelona.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has a capacity of about 140,000 and has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix since it was built in 1991.
EPT Barcelona has hosted the six largest EPT Main Events in history, and the stop is easily the most popular on tour. Players turn out from all over the world 1,593 players from 85 different countries in 2023.
Both events provide visitors an opportunity to experience Barcelona and its surrounding areas while taking in some of the best action on the planet.
4. So Paolo, Brazil
One of Brazils biggest exports in recent years has been top-flight poker talent, with the likes of Yuri Dzivielevski, Bruno Volkmann, Felipe Ramos, Andre Akkari, Pablo Brito Silva, and a host of others taking down big tournaments all over the world.
Poker has seen an explosion of popularity in Brazil, where most gambling is illegal but tournament poker is considered a game of skill and big poker series are offered throughout the year like the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP). The BSOP is organized by PokerStars and has held events in cities like So Paulo and Gramado since 2008.
The So Paulo Grand Prix/b>, known locally as the Grande Prmio De So Paulo, is part of the North American swing in the final legs of the Formula One schedule. The 2023 edition will be held just before the Las Vegas Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, known to many as Interlagos, in the city of So Paulo. Interlagos is one of the smaller circuits on the schedule with a capacity between 60,000 and 80,000 with no infield access, but the great location makes it a must-do for race fans.
Poker, like most forms of gambling, is illegal in Japan but that doesnt mean you cant find a great game. Similar to other popular Japanese gambling activities like Pachinko, a series of loopholes allows players and operators to avoid the technical issue of gambling for money.
Prior to COVID-19, Japan undertook an effort to increase tourism by reforming its gambling laws, but the industry has been slow to recover since the pandemic. Still, popular vloggers like Masato Yokosawa have opened up poker to new audiences, and its very likely that the game is ready for serious growth in Japan.
The Japanese Grand Prix is held at the Suzuka Circuit, one of the oldest tracks on the calendar and one that is well regarded by fans around the world. Suzuka Circuit is located about two hours by car from Osaka, Japan in the Mei Prefecture, where it is likely that youll find a great poker game. The track has a capacity of about 155,000 and it is usually held late in the schedule, so its almost always an exciting factor in the World Championship points race.
2. Miami, Florida, United States
While the United States is not traditionally known for Formula One, South Florida is a top destination for poker fans and the Miami Grand Prix is a unique experience on the growing U.S. racing scene.
South Floridas poker scene is highly concentrated just down the highway at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The SHRO is home to several big poker series throughout the year, including the WPT Seminole Rock n Roll Poker Open in late November. Players in town for the race will have no problem finding a great game in Miami.
Back in Miami, the grounds for the grand prix are located in the area around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Miami International Autodrome is a temporary stadium that holds around 100,000 with planned expansions in the future.
While it may not be the most exciting race on the schedule, the Monaco Grand Prix may be the most recognizable, and its proximity to the EPT Monte Carlo stop cant be ignored.
The European Poker Tour makes its traditional stop in Monte Carlo at the beginning of May, just a few weeks before the race which utilizes nearly all of Monte Carlos shore line for its two miles of track. Its one of the most expensive sporting events in the world, but Circuit de Monaco remains on the bucket list for racing fans.
If you cant afford to attend the Monaco Grand Prix, there are two other races held in the lead-up to the event a Historic Grand Prix with older cars and the Formula E race. The Formula E race utilizes electric cars and often overlaps with EPT Monte Carlo, and it makes a great activity on a day off from the action at Sporting Monte Carlo.
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