How Can Poker Players in the Middle East Improve Their Chances of Making the Big Time


The international poker scene is awash with players from nearly every nation on the planet. However, some countries enjoy much greater representation than others. The majority of professional poker players hail from the United States, probably because the game has existed for the longest period of time over there. Other countries are beginning to catch up, with European nations also producing a high number of Texas Hold’em experts. It is harder for players in the Middle East to break out, though, as many of these nations have stricter gambling laws. However, it is not impossible for experts from these countries to hit the big time.

Ways Around the Restrictions

Some countries in the Middle East have a complete ban on online gambling, meaning that it can be hard for players to access sites. Luckily, for people in the region who want to play online casino games and poker, there are some ways around the legislation. According to Arabian Betting, Kuwait is a tricky gambling market to navigate. But it isn’t impossible to find games. Arabian Betting have found online gambling sites that Kuwaiti players can access, and have also provided some tips on how to stay safe online. They suggest logging on through a VPN, choosing an anonymous payment method, and only sticking to the trusted sites that have been recommended.

Although the above advice is for online casinos, players in Kuwait and other surrounding countries can follow it when searching for poker-specific sites as well. The VPN is the most useful tool, as it allows users to change their IP address so that they appear in a different country. They will then be able to find some of the top international poker sites that are usually blocked on their own country’s servers. Another way to gain poker skills is to read books about the subject or watch YouTube videos created by professionals.

Look to Successful Middle Eastern Players for Inspiration

Poker players from the Middle East who want to become famous can be encouraged by the fact that a number of other players from the region have already had success on the world stage. Indeed, one of the top-earning players of all time, Antonio Esfandiari, was born in Iran. Prior to 2014, the player known as The Magician was at one point ranked number one in the world for tournament winnings. He has amassed more than $15 million in poker winnings to date and serves as an inspiration to many Middle Eastern players who want to follow his journey.

One of the other famous poker names from the Arabic region is Sam Farha from Lebanon. The 62-year-old has won three World Series of Poker bracelets in his career and is best known for ending the 2003 Main Event as runner-up. Chris Moneymaker ultimately won that tournament and, in the process, sparked the poker boom. Since then, Farha has been a tournament regular and has also appeared on a number of televised poker series including High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark.

Travel to Poker Tournaments in Other Countries

After following the careers of expert Middle Eastern players, others from the region could look to follow the same path. Nearly all of the best poker players from the Middle East have made the journey to the USA to compete in tournaments there, and this has enabled them to get worldwide recognition.

Nowadays, though, it is not essential to travel all the way across the Atlantic to find the world’s biggest poker tournaments. Middle Eastern players can find other events that are held in high esteem in countries much closer to home. For instance, the European Poker Tour is now considered to be one of the paramount competitions in the poker calendar. The Asian Poker Tour is another huge annual event that could be a good starting point for people wanting to hit the big time.

There is no denying that aspiring poker players in the Middle East have a few more hurdles to jump over than their counterparts in America or Europe. Fortunately, there are ways for them to master their craft online and gain the skills needed to compete in major tournaments.