LA Tech Poker Games Closely Guarded by Uber Investor

1 week ago
LA Tech Poker Games Closely Guarded by Uber Investor
08:27
08 Oct

If you want a seat at the biggest home game in LA, you need to get past the internet entrepreneur with a net worth of $100 million! If Uber investor Jason Calacanis doesn’t like or trust you, then you’re out, as several players have found out to their cost...

Ryan Mac, an LA-based tech reporter for the New York Times, was ousted from the game, and the man playing bouncer – Jason Calacanis – wasn’t exactly shy about letting people know who he is, or why Mac was booted.

Private high stakes poker games are notorious for their invitations and, conversely, tagging people with ‘persona non grata’ status.


Calacanis – an angel investor who has helped found and launch hundreds of successful companies and described his early Uber investment as like “hitting a Royal Flush”– has also banned others from playing if Twitter rumours are anything to go by.

Peter Pham is the co-founder of Science Inc and was apparently one of the regulars at the home game, along with Chamath Palihapitiya, David Friedberg and David Sacks.

The above-named are Calacanis’ “besties” from the AllIn Podcast, a political discussion with a tech bent, and minus Sacks they make up the AllInSyndicate, an angel investment club.

Their Silicon Valley and LA home games can vary in stakes and line-up, but Phil Hellmuth has been known to play, and has given the tech investor plenty of playing tips and advice over the years.

Roger Sippl, who has close to $4million in tournament earnings is another regular, and Palihapitiya’s wife, Brigitte Lau, also gets a seat at the game.

Although the stakes aren’t known, Calacanis once stated he was “pretty comfortable playing with $50k or $100k in front of me,” and although cash games are his thing, he has played the $10k Main Event at the WSOP as well as the $111,111 buy-in Big One for One Drop.

Chamath Palihapitiya once revealed the $400/$800 high stakes poker cash game didn’t daunt him, having “played as high as $5,000/$10,000” and the fact is that this home game likely has a net worth higher than poker’s top 100 all-time list combined.

However, it seems that if they don’t trust you, you’re not getting a seat regardless of your bank balance!


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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