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Poker News | Casino Poker | News

World Poker - Venezuela

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Officially known as The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, this 353,841 square mile South American country borders the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

Although known for its major oil industry, Venezuela is considered to be among one of the most diverse countries in the world. Sharing the Caribbean Sea with exotic islands like Aruba, Barbados and Saint Vincent makes the Venezuelan beach resorts very popular with tourists. Before flying off to soak up some sun in Venezuela however, visitors should be aware of some precautions they should take.

Travelers to Venezuela are advised to obtain vaccinations for a variety of diseases including cholera, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis D, typhoid and yellow fever. These diseases are present throughout the country and are exacerbated by poor sanitation.

Most cities lack adequate sewage treatment facilities, so only an estimated 3% of sewage is treated. The United Nations reports that 32% of the 28 million population does not have proper sanitation, mainly in rural areas. Access to water is also a problem, as 17% of Venezuelans have no access to potable water.

Many Americans avoid travelling to Venezuela due to the current political climate. During most of the 20th century, the government was friendly with most Western nations, including the USA. Relations began to deteriorate between the two however, when in 1998 Hugo Chávez was elected President. Since then, relations between Venezuela and the USA have progressively worsened, which resulted in the US imposing military sanctions. To make matters worse, Chávez has since strengthened ties to anti-U.S. Middle-Eastern countries and leftist-led Latin American countries.

In spite of the political and health obstacles, tourists still flock to Venezuela, especially to the coastal cities. After a day of lying on the beach, many of these visitors find their way to one of the four casinos the country has to offer.

The InterContinental Hotel Guayana and Fiesta Casino is located in Guayana, at Avenida Guayana Parque Punta Vista, Puerto Ordaz.
The casino is open from 1p.m. until 5a.m. daily. The casino has 101 slot machines and 26 table and poker games. The property features a hotel with 189 rooms, a bar and three restaurants. While the casino lists poker games, it does not advertise which particular games are offered.

The Casino Laguna Mar is in Pampatar, Nueva Esparta, at Caserio Guerra, Sector Apostadero. The casino is open Sunday through Thursday 4p.m. until 5 a.m. and advertises 97 slot machines and 23 table games. Poker is not currently listed as being offered.

The Gran Casino Puerta la Cruz is located in Puerto La Cruz, Anzoátegui at Paseo Colon a lado del hotel. The Gran is the only casino in Venezuela that is open 24 hours a day. The casino boasts a 1,506 foot gaming floor, 158 slot machines and 25 table games, with 10 of them listed as poker tables. Which specific games of poker are offered is not advertised. The property also offers a restaurant and hotel.

The Maruma International Hotel and Casino is in Maracaibo at Circunvalación Nº2 Sector los Estanques. The Maruma is the largest casino in Venezuela featuring 314 slot machines and 32 table games. Of the table games, six are listed as poker. Which variation of poker is not stated. The casino is open 11a.m. until 5 a.m., but the table games do not open until 2 p.m. daily. The Maruma also has a 410 room hotel which is a Crowne Plaza property, featuring four upscale restaurants.

The most popular poker game in Venezuela is Oasis Stud, which is a variant of Caribbean Stud. Hold’em poker however is gaining popularity fast and soon may overtake Oasis Stud as the game of choice for Venezuelans. When visiting Venezuela, check out the casinos, as poker is becoming more and more popular, although not advertised, many casinos now have poker games.

The popularity of Hold’em in Venezuela was proven at the 2007 Poker Tournament held in Caracas. This event was attended by several Venezuelan poker players, including Mayela Cudemos and Jorge Mardell, who both made it to the final table. Jorge finished third and took home $21,250 for his victory. Mayela was a crowd favorite, keeping the spectators entertained by yelling “Pásame la salsa!” (Pass me the sauce!) every time she won a pot. Being one of only five female players to enter the tournament, Mayela bested 270 men to come in 5th place.

Latin Americans are a passionate people, and this passion shows when they are at the poker table. Grab an online poker seat and you can play with the Latin Americans, but be prepared for a lot of action and entertainment!

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