It’s been a fabulous year so far for Chris Da-silva, the charismatic Ambassador for London’s Hippodrome Casino.
With more than $160,000 in live cashes under his belt already, Chris is fresh back from a highly successful trip to Malta, is currently in Dublin for the UKIPT and next month will be leading a large group of Hippodrome Casino promotion winners out to Vegas.
Chris, a former software solutions architect, is something of a rare beast in the world of poker. His bags of enthusiasm come untainted by cynicism or arrogance and he is a genuine and ardent fan of the sponsor he so ably represents. “I’m not kidding”, he said. “The Hippodrome is definitely the best place to play poker in the UK and one of the best places I’ve ever played poker in the world.”
Chris, who grew up in Tooting and now lives in Dagenham, was already a regular at the Hippodrome when he started wearing the patch on an ad hoc basis as a “Friend of the Hippodrome”. A year later – in 2019 – he joined the Team officially as a full-time sponsored Pro. He said: “One of my earliest cashes was at the Hippodrome – in the Autumn Classic in 2016. I’ve been playing there for years. I love everything about the Hippodrome – the staff are amazing, the new poker room is excellent and the location is superb. It’s in Leicester Square right in the middle of London so there are always lots of tourists around. You meet people from all over the world at the Hippodrome; it’s like attending an international event without actually having to go anywhere.”
At the recent Battle of Malta, Chris was hosting a group of Hippodrome Casino regulars who had all won their trip to Malta in a month-long, house-funded promotion for cash game players. He said: “It was a really great promotion and entirely funded by the Casino: a full expenses-paid trip to the Battle of Malta including the flight, accommodation and buy-in. For a lot of them, it was the first time they had ever competed in a major tournament, let alone worn a patch so it was very exciting!”
The Malta trip wasn’t just a lot of fun for Chris, it was also highly profitable. He bust the Battle of Malta Main Event but that meant he was just in time to jump into a €350 buy-in NL Hold’em turbo side event. Chris beat the 186-entry field to take it down for £12,000 and then stayed on in Malta to compete at another festival where he finished third in the Main Event for €25,000 as well as cashing in a side event.
He added: “Battle of Malta is definitely one of my favourite festivals. The Intercontinental is a fabulous hotel and it’s a great place to play poker. I won the High Roller there in 2019 for €73,070 and that’s still my second-biggest cash so I’m really looking forward to the next Battle of Malta in October.”
Three of the Hippodrome group cashed in the BOM Main Event: Kerryjane Craigie, who is Director of Poker for PokerStars Live at The Hippodrome Casino, was 193rd for €1,240 while promotion winner Alex Peschel finished in 290th place and Steven Game soon after in 293rd place. Both snagged a €870 payday. The promotion was such a success – and the trip was such fun – that the Hippodrome Casino is considering running another promotion for the Autmn Battle of Malta in October 2022 (tournament details coming soon!)
Chris is now in Dublin at the UKIPT, a series close to his heart. It was his third-place finish for £19,250 at the UKIPT Super Series Main Event in 2016 that spurred him on to play tournaments. Naturally, the event was held at the Hippodrome.
Kerryjane Craigie said: “Chris was always a natural choice for us to represent the Hippodrome Casino. We were looking for a rising star but it’s also important that Chris is a really nice guy. Plus he really loves the Hippodrome! He is getting some great results too and we’re looking forward to seeing what he achieves next.”
Off to Vegas
All eyes will certainly be on Chris when he heads to Vegas next month. Not only did he have a very deep run there in 2018, finishing 99th for $66,330 but he is currently in the UK top ten on the Global Poker Index rankings. He will be heading up a 15-strong team of players who have all won an incredible trip to Vegas thanks to promotions run at the Hippodrome.
Chris said: “It seems like the whole world is going to be in Vegas this year. It’s going to be buzzing and it will be great to be part of it. I’m very excited that we are taking a bunch of people from the Hippodrome. It’s a fun group and I’m really looking forward to it. A lot of them have never been to Vegas before and it’s incredible that the Hippodrome can provide people with that opportunity. They get buy-ins to at least four amazing tournaments plus a boat trip on Lake Mead and a sensational dinner overlooking the Bellagio fountains. It’s going to be incredible.”
Back in the UK, the Hippodrome Casino is about to launch its next house-funded loyalty promotion on June 1. The promotion will award ten seats into July’s £550 buy-in Super Series which kicks off Friday, July 15. There are four start flights in total: Day 1a at 1pm on Friday, an 8pm turbo on Friday evening, Day 1c starting midday on Saturday (July 16) and a final Day 1d turbo at 7pm on Saturday evening. Day 2 starts midday on Sunday (July 17) and everyone who has survived Day 1 will be in the money.
Chris added: “If I’m back in the UK in time, I’ll definitely be competing in the Super Series – it’s such a great tourney. However, if I’m being absolutely honest, I hope I’m still in Vegas and still in the Main Event there!”
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