Poker Is Growing In Africa

Poker Is Growing In Africa

The poker scene if Africa has been exploding over the last couple decades and does not seem to be slowing down for anything. From north to south, this popular game and its many variations have taken root here and as a result many top tier players are coming from Africa. Let’s take a look at the status of gaming and poker in several African countries and the pro players that are making their name.


Most Popular Countries for Poker

Across this huge continent poker and Texas Hold’em are being spread but there are several countries that have already established themselves as leaders of the poker community. South Africa and Morocco, in particular, are hotbeds for card games currently.

In South Africa, poker is growing into a popular scene, alongside their famous safaris. With over 43 licensed land-based casinos spread across 34 different cities in South Africa, there are cash games to play every day, and players are becoming recognized here for their skill.

Morocco has favorable laws towards poker and gaming and thus has become a breeding ground for great poker players. Marrakech hosts a number of tournaments like the Marrakech Poker Cup and the Marrakech Poker Open. More casinos are emerging throughout the country and their reputation as a great poker destination is quickly spreading.

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African Pros

Raymond Rahme

A certified celebrity and the biggest name in South African poker, Raymond has incredible lifetime winnings of over $3,500,000. He is credited with putting poker on the map in South Africa and bringing a lot of international media attention to his home country. Raymond has an interesting story as well. He owned and operated a bed and breakfast in South Africa until he retired in 2004. It would come as a shock to him that years after his retirement, he would be the first African player to end up at a Main Event final table. In 2007, Raymond made an appearance at the World Series of Poker main event where he eventually finished in 3rd place with an impressive $3,000,000 haul. Encouraged by this great placing, he would return home to take 4th place in the All African tournament. Truly a pioneer in the African poker scene.

Jarred Solomon

Another legend in South Africa, Jarred has won over $1,500,000 in his career and is still going strong. Starting his career in 2007 playing in the All African Poker Tournaments, he performed well and then went on to the international scene. In 2009, he competed in the Aussie Millions Poker Championship but his first big placing was in the following year. In 2010, Jarred played in the World Series of Poker, coming in 5th place with a $100,000 prize. Outdoing that placing the following year, he returned to the WSOP coming in 2nd and winning over $350,000. He is still competing and continuously proves he is one of the best poker players in Africa and the world.

Emmanuel Arokodare

While South Africa might be home to some of the biggest pros, Nigeria is also making some noise with rising talent. Emmanuel Arokodare is another player to keep an eye on. While still rising the ranks on the live poker scene, he has had several accomplishments he is known for, such as his $24K in winnings from live games. Not bad for an up-and-comer. As of February he is back on the live poker scene with a 21st place finish in the Grosvenor Deepstack Series in Lutton.

Dany Chidiac

Possibly the best poker player to come from Nigeria so far is the well respected Dany Chidiac. He has competed all over the world and sat at the tables with some of the best players in the game today. His total live earnings is over $85,000 thus far making him a solid player. In 2019 he competed in Barcelona for the European Poker Tour, finishing in 7th with €56,000 as his take home. Definitely keep an eye out for Dany as he is looking to compete more in 2020.

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