Spend any amount of time watching online poker grinders on Twitch and you will see that one of the questions they field the most is: do you play casino games when you are not playing poker?
Answers to this question vary from streamer to streamer, but one thing that is clear is that there is a close relationship between poker variants such as Texas Hold’em – where no house edge is present – and casino games like roulette and blackjack, in which house edge most certainly is in play.
It is usually for this reason that many poker pros shun casino games because the very idea of them runs counter to a pro’s poker training, where every possible advantage and edge must be sought through study and practice.
However, there are some high-profile poker pros who, despite knowing that the odds are against them in most casino games, continue to play them anyway. Here we take a look at some of these characters and the exact games they like to play.
Las Vegas has seen many magical Phil Ivey moments, whether that is in a poker tournament or at a baccarat table surrounded by fascinated onlookers and fans
Phil Ivey – Baccarat
Phil Ivey is a legend in the poker world. Boasting perhaps the most menacing poker face in the game, he can get top players to fold the sorts of hands they would normally never lay down, such is his table presence. 2002 was his breakout year, when he won three WSOP bracelets, instantly eclipsing many of his more experienced peers who’d struggled to get their hands on just one. His incredible run that year earned him the moniker “The Phenom” and his legend has not stopped growing since.
When Ivey is not involved in some of the biggest high stakes poker games on the planet, he also likes to try his hand at select casino games. His most famous foray into the realm of casino games saw him using his skills as a poker pro as he sought an edge in the game of baccarat. Ultimately, the edge he gained over multiple casinos in the game of baccarat was deemed to be outside of the rules and he was ordered to return much of his winnings, but the whole affair only acted to further fuel the Ivey myth and legend, which has made him perhaps the most well-known figure in poker and casino-based gaming in general. With his edge taken away, it is unclear if Ivey will be seen back at a baccarat table anytime soon.
Jake Cody – Roulette
Roulette is probably the most commonly played casino table game, be that in land-based casinos or online casinos. The beauty of the game is that lots of people can play at the same time and therefore build a camaraderie round the table, as some go on incredible runs and others rue their decisions. More and more online players are getting acquainted with this classic game via the best legal casino sites according to OLBG and other comparison sites, but Jake Cody’s brush with the game came straight after he had just taken down a high roller poker tournament in his native UK.
Rather than resting on his laurels, the accomplished poker pro wagered all his winnings on a roulette table that was part of the casino complex that hosted the poker tournament. Thankfully Cody came away a winner for the second time that day, although he later admitted that his visit to the roulette table had been somewhat ill-judged as he was still running on adrenaline after his big victory and so perhaps was not thinking straight.
People can catch Parker Talbot, AKA Tonkaaaap, on Twitch where he often celebrates the end of a poker session by kicking back and playing casino games like blackjack and roulette
Parker Talbot – Blackjack
Parker Talbot is another professional poker player who likes to let his hair down at casino table games once he is done with a lengthy poker session or high roller tournament. His main go-to game is blackjack and especially live blackjack, which is where a real-life live croupier deals cards at a table based in a live casino studio. By the time Talbot gets round to sharing his blackjack exploits with his stream’s followers there is usually a pretty jovial mood in the chat, and he likes to interact where possible with the live dealers, which is a great example of how the classic table game should be approached by anyone going in search of the hallowed 21.