Patrik Antonius: Live, High-Stakes Games as Good as Ever

patrik antonius psc monte carlo 2017 2
It's good to change, too.

Will there soon be a poker room with Patrik Antonius’ name on it?

Will there ever be another 'big' poker show on TV? And what's with the different patches he’s wearing?

When it comes to high-stakes poker legend Patrik Antonius, enquiring poker minds want to know.

Two weeks after his appearance in Monaco for the PokerStars Championship Antonius is back at the tables at 888Live Barcelona so we took it upon ourselves to ask him those questions.

And, importantly, find out if he’s really going to open a poker room in his chosen hometown of Monte Carlo.

antonius kassouf 888 barcelona 2017 FG
Making it happen in Monaco. (Photo: Fabian Grubler)

PokerListings: How much is there to the idea of opening a poker room in Monaco?

Patrik Antonius: What I can say is we’re working on getting a poker room in Monaco and I think it’s going to happen sooner or later.

Hopefully I can help to make it real but there are a lot of things to do. You need to get a licence, for example, and we’re negotiating with the Monaco government. We’ll take it from there when I know more.

PL: Why a poker room in Monaco?

PA: Everybody loves to play in Monaco. There’s so much demand for poker there. It would be great to have a place to play.

Right now there is no poker room there; it doesn’t exist. There are a couple of casinos that could be options, like the Grand Casino, but there hasn’t been a place to play poker for years.

PL: Do they need all the space for James Bond movies?

PA: They’re not using the space efficiently, that much I know. The Fairmont used to be the place back in the days so that might be an option.

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Poker at the Fairmont again?

Personally, I think it would be good for the image of Monte Carlo because there are so many people who want to play.

PL: With all the big TV poker shows gone, with the nosebleed games online gone, what does Patrik Antonius do these days?

PA: I still play a lot of live cash games. I go to Vegas quite a bit and I’ve been to other places, too.

I also invested and got involved in a couple of businesses, and I’ve just been enjoying life with my family a lot.

I’ve been taking things easy. But I do miss poker, and online poker as well. But I don’t find what I’m looking for anymore.

It’s very hard to compete and you have to face the facts: the games are not what they used to be. On the other hand, live games are booming and they’re as good as ever - especially when it comes to high-stakes games.

But sometimes I don’t play for months and obviously that’s not a good thing for a player like me.

Patrik Antonius
Big-time poker TV will be back.

PL: Live games are on a comeback. Can there also be a big TV poker show again?

PA: I definitely think this will happen again. Someone’s going to show up with a good concept and then it will happen.

PL: There’s a photo of you with Viktor Blom and Phil Ivey on a tennis court. Is there any decent tennis player among the poker community?

PA: There are a couple. Of the high-stakes poker players Gus Hansen can play. David Benyamine used to be a good player. And there is Ronny Kaiser. He’s quite a decent tennis player.

Brandon Adams would give me a nice challenge, but I’ve been playing rather poorly myself.

PL: You were connected with IveyPoker, wearing a King’s Casino patch, and now you’re in Barcelona with 888poker. What’s your deal?

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Enjoying his invite to Barcelona c/o 888. (Photo: Fabian Grubler)

PA: I have a good relationship with Leon Tsoukernik, and I went to play in the cash games there, but I never made any money or anything for wearing the patch.

The King’s is the number one poker room in Europe right now. Leon knows very well how to get the players there.

He’s good at marketing and he’s a smart person. He’s making poker good. But now I’ve come here as an invited guest and it’s great to be in Barcelona.

PL: What do you think of the decision to get rid of the November Nine?

PA: I think it’s a very good decision. If I was in this tournament I wouldn’t want to go away and come back much later.

Also, I don’t think it has fulfilled the expectations to get the main event final hyped up and get more attention.

It’s good to change, and it’s time for a change. There are so many tournaments everywhere; you need to finish it off. Maybe they could take a few days off so you can fly your friends over, that would be an idea.

Patrik and Maya Antonius
Considering a WSOP return?

Some players may have benefitted from the long break but there might also be something happening in your personal life and things can be totally different after three months.

I didn’t see the point.

PL: Are you playing this year?

PA: I’m not sure yet. Playing WSOP tournaments means you sometimes invest several days and miss good cash games.

I’ve mostly been playing cash games at the Bellagio and the Aria, that’s where they usually are. I’ve now heard a rumor that there’ll be big games at the Rio.

We’ll see if that’s true, and I might show up at the Rio.

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