Poker Dispatches: Bangkok, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Canmore


It’s a big poker world out there, and each week we try to find a few far-flung locales where poker makes an unexpected appearance.

In honor of the start of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker on Sunday, this week’s edition is all WCOOP, all the time.

Truly a “world” championship with 62 events, $30 million guaranteed and players from every corner of the globe, the WCOOP supercedes even the WSOP as the best time of year for online poker players.

Unfortunately for most American players, they'll have to sit 2011 out. Even from the rail.

Still, it's such an essential part of an online pro's earning potential that dozens (see Shane Schleger, Matt Stout, Brian Hastings, Randy Lew, David Sands and even Daniel Negreanu) have relocated to other parts of the world just to play it.

For international pros, though, it's business as usual and several have taken to their blogs to post their schedules/enthusiasm for the upcoming three-week poker binge:

Bangkok, Thailand – Dale “Daleroxxu” Philip

Dale Phillips
Dale: roxx a lot of sunscreen in Thailand. Photo: PokerStars

Scottish PokerStars Team Onine Pro Dale Phillip has been living in Bangkok since Dec. 2010 and blogs liberally about his exploits playing poker and traveling the world on his personal blog.

Nominated for “Best Social Media User” in the upcoming British Poker Awards, Philip is also a Twitter fiend and isn't afraid to share his opinions and insights with his fans hourly. Even minute-ly.

As with most Team PokerStars pros, he's been looking forward to the WCOOP for a long time:

“The first time I saw the list of tournaments for the 2011 WCOOP I got goosebumps.

“I took an initial glance and saw words like 'Big Ante', 'Ante Up' and 'Shootout'. My eye's lit up.

“Then as I scrolled down the list and seen a PLO Knockout, a PLO H/L 6max 1r1a, a No Limit Omaha H/L, and tons of other action tournaments, I was shivering with excitement.”

More on

Results are godlike. Photo: Poker Network

Brisbane, Australia - Roy “Godlikeroy” Bhasin

Another 2010 Supernova Elite on PokerStars, Indian-Australian Bhasin began his career in the online poker world in 2006 with a $50 deposit on Party Poker.

A couple of weeks later he had $1,000 in his account and was on his way.

Since then he's explored virtually every poker variation and now splits his time between playing 2/4 to 10/20 and being a $250/hour poker coach.

Along with his impressive results online, he also has a $5k PLO title from the 2008 Victorian Poker Championships in Australia to his credit.

He blogs regularly about poker, food and coaching at

Check out his WCOOP preview and schedule here.

Lau: Sees WCOOP success. Photo: PokerStars

Hong Kong, China – Phil Lau

Two-time winner of the Macau Poker Cup High Roller Challenge, Phil Lau may or may not be a Supernova Elite. 

He's definitely got big plans for this year's WCOOP, regardless, including nine predictions about his results:

“Nine days until I'll be losing A LOT of sleep for three whole weeks. I'll also have an amazing amount of fun (together with the proper dozes of heartbreaks) and hopefully some decent paychecks. “

“And since this waiting game sucks, I'm gonna look into the crystal ball and predict my results: 

* I'll somehow cash more PLO events than NLH despite playing 6 PLO and 12 NLH;

* I'll definitely definitely DEFINITELY make money in 8-game;”

Find the rest at his personal blog here.

Canmore, Alberta, Canada – Kevin “WizardofAhhs” Thurman

While most poker exiles to Canada picked either Vancouver or Toronto, Supernova Elite Kevin Thurman went in a completely different direction.

WizardofAhhs. Photo: PokerStars

He moved from Dallas to the small town of Canmore, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies (coincidentally, as did Andrew Brokos).

Making the transition over a month ago he's already worked the rust off his online game, he says, which should bode well for his WCOOP:

"As far as poker is concerned, my first month (about 2.5 weeks of play so far) has gone... let's say I have mixed emotions. 

"I surprisingly wasn't rusty at all in grinding 6max, but my Heads-Up game has been atrocious. Ironically HU was my best game pre-Black Friday.. so I don't know what happened. 

"Perhaps I shouldn't be taking on the best HU CAP regulars in the world at the highest stakes offered in my first couple weeks back (ya think???)

"I'm sure September will go much smoother at the office since I've had enough time to shake the cob webs from my HU game now (either that or I'll just stick to strictly 6max). 

"And hopefully I can make a big score in the WCOOP, which starts up here in a few days.. maybe this year will be the WCOOPOfAHHS!"

More on Thurman's blog here.

Best of luck to all in the 2011 WCOOP.

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