Germany has gradually turned into a hotspot for poker enthusiasts of differing skill and experience levels. For the past ten years, poker has enjoyed a massive amount of popularity and prestige, and is now widely recognized as a sport that requires finely honed intuition, strategic mastery and tactical execution. Both the World Poker Tour (WPT) and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) have taken advantage of extensive television coverage to maximize their exposure to the millions of poker fans from all over the world. Indeed, poker tournaments are now considered legitimate sporting events with all the excitement, tension and drama of more established sports as football, basketball or cycling.
The rise of online poker has made a tremendous impact on the evolution of poker into a veritable worldwide phenomenon. At any given time, scores of poker fans from across the globe are competing against each other in online game rooms, not only to have fun and get their poker fix, but more importantly, to improve their overall poker games against equally skilled players. In Germany, poker has gained traction through the exploits of Team partypoker Pro stalwarts Marvin Rettenmaier and Bodo Sbrzesny, two of the most high-profile and well-respected poker players in the game today. As a matter of fact, poker is such a well-established sport in Germany nowadays that there are qualifier rounds set up in swanky hotels such as the Grand Hyatt Berlin; these are excellent opportunities for poker fans to compete in international poker tournaments like the WPT, WSOP, and the European Poker Tour (EPT).
Poker has even made its presence felt in a surprisingly appropriate setting: the Wacken Foundation Camp, an outdoor arts festival held alongside the world-famous Wacken Open Air heavy metal music festival. Fittingly, one of the primary goals of the Wacken Foundation is to provide the necessary financial assistance to local bands and artists from the metal scene. First introduced at the 2012 Wacken Open Air, the camp has featured the artworks of several highly talented individuals, from the comic-strip artists Tim Eckhorst and Kim Schmidt, and from the painters Jens Rusch and Andreas Ole Ohlendorff.
In only its second year, the 2013 edition of the Wacken Foundation Camp doubled in size and featured a smorgasbord of new attractions. Some of these diversions included a 3D photograph exhibit from Horus Vision; an erotic body painting show for the whole family to enjoy; a dedicated poker lounge where the players’ participation fees were donated to the Wacken Foundation. Unsurprisingly, the 2013 Wacken Open Air featured a ridiculous lineup of heavy metal legends, including Motorhead, Danzig, Meshuggah, and of course, Rammstein.
Blessed with equally thriving fan bases for both heavy metal and poker, Germany continues its rapid ascent as a high-profile tourist destination.