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Round the World in 301 Days As long as we can just keep putting one foot in front of the other, well make it.

Snake Eyes

HONG KONG | Sunday, 16 March 2008 | Views [537]

We left Yangshou behind and took a sleeper bus to the border with Macau.  Thanks to our formula one wanna be coach driver, and the worst road conditions in the world anywhere, we arrived with time to spare before our ferry and without a wink of sleep.  The biggest surprise about the island of Macau was that we didnt need to get a ferry there at all and were, in fact, in Macau before we had even begun looking for a ferry.  The rest of the surprises were just as good.  Macau is cracking, with a casino at every other turn, and new one being constructed opposite.  Some good Macau knowledge we picked up - Macau in 2006 had 4000 hotel rooms, in 2016 they expect to have well over 200,000 to cope with the gigantic demand. It was only 3 years ago when the maffia ruled Macau and every casino was owned by a fatcat named Stanley Ho. Stan was not best pleased when the government decided to invite Vegas casino owners to set up shop and in the time since then there are as many Vegas owned casinos as Stan had all together up until that point.  Already each and every table in every new Vegas style casino in Macau is making over ten times more than its Las Vegas counterpart.  Macau smells like money.

We met Jos 3 friends there who have settled in as professional poker players.  Their statistics are the most staggering in all of Macau.  Each of them played poker online in Sweden to amass a practical fortune to bankoll them here, at the age of 21.  Theyre now 22 and live in an apartment 5 minutes from their favourite casino where they play 7 nights a week for about 8-10 hours a night. Theyve been here for about 5 months and judging by the way they live and the stories they told they must be close to their first Million id say, though we kept it polite and nobody spoke about money.  The buy in for one game of poker however, is 10,000 dollars.  Every time i think about it im filled with a sort of venemous hatrid yet total admiration; all consuming jealousy and complete awe.  Lucky lucky bastards.  They were the first three white people to play table poker in a Macau casino, where poker has only just been introduced at tables having previously been played on computer screens against opponents at other screens.  The chinese are used to Baccharrat and throw money at them!!  That said, theyre a cracking bunch who paid for nearly everything we did and were happy to do so.  We went golfing, saw the sights and then, when we were going to Hong Kong, they followed and we went for a huge night out in Hong Kongs finest drinking district, as far as i can remember, on them.  Even though i cant remember it however, my wallet was emptied at some stage during the evening.  I suspect my taxi driver recieved a several hundred dollar tip.  And Jo must have tipped him too, its the only explanation.

Hong Kong is wonderful and im already planning it as my next move when Swedens tired itself out.  Enough said.


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