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Today in the 3-Bet we find the much-anticipated Asian poker boom rising to the surface in Beijing, some obligatory ocean-view bragging from the Bahamas and high-stakes poker gadfly Dan Bilzerian kicking off 2014 with a $5m buy-in shot.
1) Pop Stars Lead New Poker Wave in Beijing
We've been waiting for something like this, haven't we?
With over a billion people and an exploding middle class China has been seen as a panacea for new poker money for years.
Those visions are starting to come to fruition these days, the Global Times says in a new post, with poker on the rise among just the types it needs to blow up big time - celebrities.
Among the names reported to be gracing the poker tables at events recently were actress Zhang Ziyi and her pop-star partner Wang Feng. Also profiled in the piece are actress/poker pro Li Sixiao and former businessman Yang Chongxian, who won the recent WPT event in Sanya.
By the sounds of it events are growing despite current gambling laws and crackdowns and more and more officially endorsed poker clubs are popping up.
Organizers of the recent China Beijing Poker Tournament promoted the game as a "healthy mental sport" and in 2012 the General Administration of Sport of China approved promotion of Texas Hold'em in Hubei Province, just for two examples. More here.
2) We're Here and We're Pants-less
As you likely already know the kick-off event for the 2014 poker year - the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure -- got underway yesterday with Day 1 of the $100k Super High Roller.
As Day 2 of the SHR plays out today (watch the live stream right here) the rest of the poker world, despite some major weather-related delays, are trickling in for tomorrow's Day 1a of the $10k Main Event.
How do we know? The obligatory "My view from the Bahamas" posts on social media. A sampling:
Obligatory room view photo here at the PCA. Have had two blissful days of yoga so far. Loving it. pic.twitter.com/mAJFJKlXL4— Liv Boeree (@Liv_Boeree) January 5, 2014
Guess I gotta one-up all you ballers tweeting your views pic.twitter.com/w1ba2gewL5— Mike McDonald (@MikeMcDonald89) January 5, 2014
3) Bilzerian Buys In for $5m
Few people made more of a buzz in the poker world last year than Dan Bilzerian (despite not really even playing much poker) and he's off to a similar start in 2014.
Saturday night he posted a pic of his $5m ($5m!) poker-game buy-in before following up with a lament about a $3.5m bluff gone awry:
And the war wages on, 5 million minimum buy in, this guy really wants to take my head off... pic.twitter.com/hLg8Bc1h93— Dan Bilzerian (@DanBilzerian) January 5, 2014
I was up a lot, then bluffed off 3.5 million, ugh. Still win, but kinda pissed that I just can't help my self haha #gottafire— Dan Bilzerian (@DanBilzerian) January 6, 2014
Standard Bilzerian fare, of course. Who's he playing with? We have no idea, but we're guessing he's not on the GPI Top 300.
If you enjoy goats, guns, cars, cash, poker and breasts (not necessarily in that order) following Bilzerian on Twitter and Instagram is pretty much a must for 2014. Be forewarned though - he's not winning any awards for taste.