Poker in Holland

History of Poker in Holland

The Dutch have a storied poker tradition, and were amongst the very few locales in mainland Europe –along with Vienna, Austria—where one could find a poker game before the Internet and a player named Chris Moneymaker took the game to new heights in the early 2000’s.

With Amsterdam being one of the first International cities, a number of different poker variants can be found at Dutch poker tables. However, Holland’s main game is, and always has been, PLO. Although PLO has definitely lost some sway during the No Limit Holdem era that has taken over the entire poker world, the Dutch are still renowned for their PLO excellence. With players like Marcel Luske, Pieter de Korver, Rob Hollink, and Lex Veldhuis all considered amongst the best poker players in the world.

Famous Dutch Poker Players

Similar to how they sneak up on the world when it comes to their National Soccer team; the Dutch poker community has a slew of highly talented players that seemingly fly below the radar. The reason for this is likely due to the fact that Dutch players really haven’t broken through on the biggest poker stages in the world –namely the WSOP—so the general poker population continues to overlook them.

In addition to the players I named in the opening, you’ll likely recognize names like Ed de Haas, Noah Boeken, Steven Van Zadelhoff, and Rolf Slotboom, all of whom hail from the Netherlands.

Here is a look at some of the most well known poker players from Holland and their career accomplishments:

Marcel Luske poker Marcel Luske

  • Known for his suits, singing to his opponents, and wearing upside down sunglasses
  • Nearly $4 million in career tournament earnings
  • Considered by many to be the best player without a WSOP bracelet
  • 2001 European Player of the Year
  • Working behind the scenes to get standardized tournament rules put in place

 

Rob Hollink poker Rob Hollink

  • Considered one of the best PLO players in poker history
  • 2005 EPT Grand Finale Champion
  • WSOP bracelet winner in 2008
  • Finished 5th in the 2005 WPT Championship
  • Over $3.2 million in career tournament earnings
  • Full Tilt red pro

 

Lex Veldhuis poker Lex Veldhuis

  • High stakes NLHE and PLO cash game player
  • Member of Team PokerStars Pro
  • Over $600k in career tournament earnings
  • Dating fellow poker pro Evelyn Ng

 

de Korver poker Pieter de Korver

  • 2009 EPT Grand Finale Champion
  • Cash game pro
  • Well over $3.2 million in career tournament earnings
  • Won the Poker Champion of Holland TV show in 2008

 

Rolf Slotboom poker Rolf Slotboom

  • Long-time Card Player Magazine columnist
  • Excellent theoretician and best-selling poker author
  • High-Stakes PLO cash game player
  • One of the most underrated PLO players due to his Nitty reputation

 

Online Poker in Holland

Like everything in the Netherlands online poker is looked upon with a, “it’s your choice to either play or not to play.” Despite their usually ‘out in front’ progressive stance on vices, the Netherlands was a little late to the ball when it came to passing online poker legislation, introducing a bill in late March 2011 that would see the online poker industry regulated in the same way casinos are regulated in the country; by the government.

Under the current legislation –the bill is still in the works—online poker falls under Holland’s current laws governing gambling, which puts all forms of gaming under the control of the central government –which means current online poker providers are operating in a legal limbo, much as they do across the globe.

The new legislation would allow sites to setup shop in the Netherlands so long as they are licensed by the government –similar to Italy and France.

Here are the Top 3 online poker sites currently operating in Holland, and likely to receive a gaming license when legislation passes:

pokerstars site PokerStars

  • Over 50,000 players online at any given time
  • Team PokerStars Netherlands: Marcel Luske, Noah Boeken, Lex Veldhuis, Fatima Moreira de Melo
  • Fully licensed and regulated by ARJEL

party poker Party Poker

  • Over 10,000 players online at any given time, second most in online poker
  • €1,000 Euro deposit bonus for Dutch Players
  • Top rated European Poker site

888 poker 888 Poker

  • Excellent reputation and one of the longest standing online poker rooms (formerly Pacific Poker)
  • 4th largest poker site in the world
  • Partnered with Caesars Entertainment and the WSOP

 

Where to Play Poker in Holland

There has always been plenty of high-stakes poker action in Holland, with the Dutch poker scene considered one of the best in Europe for decades. In addition to the high-stakes action you’ll also find a good mix of games in brick and mortar casinos in Holland, and these games are notorious for their loose play.

The big poker center in Holland is the Holland Casino in Amsterdam, which per the laws stated above is overseen by the government. Along with Holland Casino in Amsterdam, you’ll also find a Holland Casino in Scheviningen, Utrecht, Breda, Enschede, and Venlo, all of which have poker rooms of varying sizes.

Poker laws in Holland

Basically, in Holland the government runs the legalized gambling in the country, which will likely soon extend to online poker as well as the Holland Casinos dotting the countryside. When it comes to home poker games and small local tournaments, the only stipulation is that there is no cut taken from the pots, and the house is not gaining financially –i.e. selling food and drinks.

Overall the Dutch have some of the laxest laws regarding gambling in Europe and therefore anywhere in the world.



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