Flying the Flag

The WSOP may be the talk of the poker world but not everyone has the bankroll to make it to Vegas. We’ve picked the best UK tournaments still to come in 2013 to suit those without megabucks…

It’s always fun to read about the game’s top pros winning and losing millions of dollars in Vegas over the WSOP, but to the average poker player, that crazy lifestyle seems worlds away. For every poker-obsessed Brit that makes it out to Vegas there are thousands more left at home playing in their local casinos, grinding small-stakes online or enjoying a gin-soaked MTT round at their mate’s house.
If that’s you then don’t worry, PokerPlayer hasn’t forgotten about you. In 2013 you don’t need to go to Vegas to find world-class poker tournaments – they’re right on your doorstep in the UK. As we’re just over halfway through the year it’s time to revisit your diary as we present ten must-play tournaments that won’t bankrupt you or require you to hunt out the passport. After all, who needs Sin City when Coventry is just a few hours away?!

1. PokerPlayer UK Tour Leeds

When: August 17-18

Where: Grosvenor Casino, Leeds

Buy-in: £100+£10


Why must you play this?

The PPUKT has as good a structure as you’ll find anywhere in the country for a £110 buy-in. There’s also tons of added value, with a GUKPT seat awarded to the winner (worth up to £1,000!) and a top prize of well over £2k for the champ. The Leeds leg looks to be the biggest of the season and the Northern banter will be in full flow. Team PokerPlayer will also be there in full force – we’re not very
good so that only adds to the value for you!

2. GUKPT Goliath

When: August 20-26

Where: Grosvenor G Casino, Coventry

Buy-in: £100+£20


Why must you play this? 

After you’ve finished winning PPUKT Leeds it makes sense to stay up North and move on to the salubrious surroundings of Coventry for the aptly-named Goliath. It’s just a £120  buy-in but there is a £200,000 guaranteed prizepool. That’s TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS! Nearly 2,000 runners are expected so it’s going to be a long slog but, with a first prize of well over £30k, it offers the biggest potential return on investment of the year. Much like the WSOP Main Event there are a crazy four Day Ones for the tournament, running from August 20-23, giving you no excuse to miss it. And if you do happen to get knocked out you can explore Coventry, so everybody is a winner. Oh…

3. UKIPT Series

When: September 27-29

Where: The Hippodrome Casino, London

Buy-in: £250+£25


Why must you play this? 

PokerStars introduced this UKIPT spin-off back in April when Jake Cody won the inaugural event for £19,400. It’s a great middle ground between low-stakes tourneys such as the PPUKT and the UKIPT, which now has a set £1,000 buy-in. And despite the cheaper buy-in the structure is very good. It’s also worth checking out The Hippodrome if you haven’t had the chance. It’s one of the UK’s more unique poker venues.

4. UKIPT Nottingham

When: November 28–December 2

Where: Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham

Buy-in: £1,000 +£100


Why must you play this?

The UKIPT Series’ big brother lands at Dusk Till Dawn in September for this six-max event. It will definitely reach the 600 player cap as PokerStars have guaranteed a £500k prizepool for the event, so
we advise that you satellite or buy-in early for this one. If you haven’t played a six-max event live before they are tremendous fun and you can get away with playing more hands than in full ring. There’s sure to be fireworks when the UKIPT brings this format to Nottingham in November.

5. GUKPT Bolton

When: August 4-11

Where: Grosvenor G Casino, Bolton

Buy-in: £500+£50


Why must you play this?

The GUKPT is one of the UK’s longest-running major poker tours, operating since 2007. It had a big resurgence in numbers in 2012 due to dropping the buy-in for many events to £500+£50. The structure is great and the fields are typically softer than in a UKIPT event so there is lots of value. If a £500 buy-in is too steep for you, cheap live and online satellites will be running constantly while we also like the sound of the £75 PLO side event on August 8.

6. Full Tilt Galway Poker Festival

When: July 27-August 12

Where: Full Tilt Poker Village, Galway


Why must you play this?

An all-star line up will be in attendance for the first ever Full Tilt Galway Poker Festival. The festival’s 60 events culminate in the UKIPT Galway €1k finale. All of the action takes place in the custom-built Full Tilt Poker Village and there’s bound to be fun and games outside of the poker tables too.

7. Sky Poker Tour Newcastle

When: September 7-8

Where: Aspers Casino, Newcastle

Buy-in: £110


Why must you play this?

For years now the Sky Poker Tour has been full of great banter, a friendly community and fun, loose action. The next leg of this season is in Newcastle at the luxurious Aspers Casino, one of the best venues in the UK. A £15k prizepool is guaranteed but the field will be capped at 200, so stay tuned to to satellite in online. There may still be some seats left for direct buy-in nearer the time but best to get in there early to avoid disappointment.

8. £250,000 GTD Grand Prix VIII

When: September 22-29

Where: Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham and

Buy-in: £50+£10 (online)


Why must you play this?

Dusk Till Dawn are continually pushing UK live poker to its limits and they are going all-in again with their eighth Grand Prix. It has a huge guarantee of £250k for the prizepool and £50k for the winner – all for just £60 entry! How can DTD try to achieve these staggering figures? To start, there are 16 Day 1s, four of them taking place live in the casino and the rest online. If you get knocked out re-entry is permitted into any other Day 1, allowing you to keep having a go. All players that make Day 2 – whether online or in the card room – will automatically be in the money and receive a minimum of £250. It’s a unique tournament that only DTD would dare put on.

9. Genting Poker Series Southend

When: August 11-18

Where: Genting Club, Southend

Buy-in: £400+£40


Why must you play this?

The Genting Poker Series has carved out a niche for itself as a mid-priced poker tour with top structures and big prizes. Poker by the seaside is always more fun and in August the weather should be  tunning. However, the climate won’t be of concern if you run deep in the tournament, with the winner receiving at least £25k.

10. APAT UKCOAP 2013

When: August 23-26

Where: Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham

Buy-in: £100+£10 (Main Event)


Why must you play this? 

The Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT) is now in its seventh year and details have just been released for their annual UK Championship of Amateur Poker festival. There’s a feast of small-stakes tourneys to choose from, all at just a £50+£5 buy-in. Our top pick is the £100+£10 main event, starting on August 25 and running for two days. The standard of play on the APAT circuit has always been much higher than you’d expect and these main events are a great way to pit your skills against future stars of the game for a small price.

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