While Canada’s great outdoors has long been known as a premiere vacation destination, the country has also become known in recent years for producing some of the best poker talent in the world. Canada is second only to the United States in the number of World Series of Poker bracelets won by country. Perhaps even more telling, Canadians crushed the competition at last year’s WSOP by netting a record ten bracelets in total.
Jonathan Duhamel, the first Canadian to win a WSOP Main Event, has a simple explanation for why Canadians seem to be so darn good at the game. “During the winter there’s not much to do in Canada so we play hockey or poker,” Duhamel laughingly told Pokerlistings. “That’s pretty much all we do.”
Toronto-born Daniel Negreanu, the first man ever to be named WSOP Player of the Year twice, concurs. He jokingly told the Partypoker blog that “long cold winters with nothing to do” has done more for Canadian poker than anything else.
Beyond the jokes, though, it’s clear that Canada has a lot to offer – especially to hardcore fans of outdoor activities. The Canadian Rockies, in particular, is a hotbed of outdoor adventure and is home to five national parks considered by UNESCO as a single World Heritage Site thanks to their unique mountain landscapes. That distinction definitely says a lot about the natural beauty that’s on display there.
Banff, Canada’s oldest national park at well over a century old, is a veritable paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. Visitors can experience everything from adrenaline pumping zip line, ATV, and rock climbing tours to more idyllic activities such as lake cruises and golf. It’s a unique opportunity to commune with nature and indulge your thirst for adventure at the same time.
It’s the perfect escape for risk-takers and adrenaline junkies – two descriptions that would fit a high-stakes poker player well. It’s really no surprise that poker players take to crazy risks so well. It’s part of the job description, after all. Banff, however, has more to offer the typical poker player than a chance to unwind after a particularly grueling live tournament circuit. It can also rightly be considered one of the best poker vacation destinations in North America.
For us, a good poker vacation combines three things: beautiful scenery, exciting activities, and a whole lot of poker. Banff won’t be found lacking in any of those three criteria. We’ve already talked about the landscape and the things you can do there. As for the last item, there’s the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino. The venue has a wealth of table games and poker is at center stage. From three-card poker to No Limit Texas Hold’em, there’s a game for poker players of any level.
The next time you want to get away and recharge your batteries for another run at the live tournament circuit, stop by Banff, get the break you need, and polish your edge anew.