Of all the locations in which to play poker in Europe, the Aviation Club of France is without a doubt the most iconic. It is the temple of French poker, smack in the middle of Paris’ Champs d’Elysses, mere meters from the Arc de Triumph, open as a gaming club since 1907.
When poker was introduced there in 1995, it wasn’t long before the cash games burst at the seams and drew poker journeymen from around Europe and the globe. I first went there sometime in the late nineties, wide eyed and button downed and without a word of French. I was awed by the elegance, by the white china in the dining room, by the flowing wine and cigars and the courses of cheese.
When the World Poker Tour decided to come overseas in 2003, the Aviation Club was the only choice. The tournaments have become some of the most memorable in WPT history. It was here where Tony G became the mouth of the south, berating and shouting his way to two final tables only to get stopped up by the Zen-like Surinder Sunar in front of a raucous crowd. Roland de Wolfe jumpstarted his career in Paris with a WPT victory over Juha Helppi, and David Benyamine proved why he is long been considered the best in France.
Every poker player of age has memories of their first visit to Paris for poker, and most return as often as they can. Season XI was as fun as any I can remember, and I was glad to get the opportunity to talk memories with a varied cast and crew there, including some of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten tell.
Make Paris a regular stop on your poker travels. If the tournament goes gritty, you can always wash it down with a great meal and a bottle of fine French red. And after Paris why not Copenhagen, yes the World Poker Tour is making its debut in historic Copenhagen from 12th–17th November — and you can be there only with PartyPoker!
Make sure to listen to the Poker Shows latest episode and all our fantastic archives below right here now on PartyPoker Blog!
Show 40 (October 1st) The Poker Show comes to Paris where Mike and Vince talk Ketchup. Just click on the play button to listen, sit back and enjoy!
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