In a story that could have been designed to inspire a wave of revolutionary fervour across Europe, it’s been reported that members of several royal families have signed up for a million-dollar buy-in tournament at Sydney’s Star Casino. The event will take place in March, and a press release from tournament director David Chen promises a $50m first prize.
Reports that Queen Elizabeth II is secretly a master of poker strategy were unconfirmed at the time of writing, but speculation is mounting about which members of the British, Danish and Monegasque royal families will be participating. The news feed at Pokerstrategy.com suggests that the royals’ appearance fees (and their winnings, if any) will be donated to charity, though that doesn’t seem to answer the question of where their buy-ins will be coming from.
|King of Swaziland|
48 players have signed up so far, and Chen suggests that “several African and Asian monarchy members” will also be involved, as well as a number of Hollywood stars and poker pros. The tournament is to be backed by property company Rainbow, supposedly known for its philanthropic work.
More sceptical readers may be beginning to wonder if this is all just an elaborate publicity stunt. The press release is noticeably coy about revealing any of the entrants’ names, whether Hollywood or actual royalty. While the prize pot would be the joint biggest ever, the official website is perhaps a touch basic for such a huge event.
Speculation over possible attendees will no doubt continue until the end of March, and it’s worth remembering that the term “member of the royal family” encompasses a great many individuals who most people would struggle to identify in a line-up. Viscount Severn, for example; while a full member of the British royal family, he’s unlikely to be attending as he’s only six years old.
|HRH Prince Harry of Wales|
A better bet might be Prince Harry. Known the world over for high jinks of varying levels of inappropriateness, it was reported in 2012 that he’d lost $50 million dollars playing poker in Las Vegas. Bear in mind however that these figures were quoted by the Weekly World News, the website that National Enquirer readers find insufficiently serious. We’ll just have to wait and see.
(Images courtesy of theguardian.com [x2], madhattery.com, mirror.co.uk)