The eighth season of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) starts this week with the first leg to be held at London’s famous Grosvenor Victoria casino. There will be a total of 14 events (including main event satellites) that culminates in the £1,080 main event, which has a £200,000 guarantee. Day 1A of the main event starts on Thursday 6 February, with 1B the day after. Both days will allow re-entries.
The London leg of the GUKPT was a major success in 2013, with 397 players entering to smash the £200k guaranteed prizepool. Local player Martin Bader eventually won it for a £56,000 first prize. Given the success of last year the £200k guarantee in 2014 is very conservative by the GUKPT. However, after the recent disappointing turnouts at PokerStars UKIPT events – see our exclusive interview with UKIPT President Kirsty Thompson here – perhaps it is prudent for Grosvenor to take a safety-first approach. Nevertheless, it is expected that this year’s main event will also break the guarantee.
The GUKPT is the longest-running poker tour in the UK and was an immediate success thanks to mainstream TV coverage on Channel 4. The tour has helped create a lot of major stars within UK poker with past champions including Praz Bansi, Julian Thew and Sam Trickett, who kickstarted his $20m tournament winnings with a victory in the 2008 Luton GUKPT. Despite the might of the PokerStars UKIPT since becoming the UK’s biggest poker tour there is still a definite place for the GUKPT, which saw rebounding, positive numbers throughout season 7. The GUKPT will look to continue this forward momentum in 2014 and, with a £2m guarantee placed across the whole season, it looks likely to be another step in the right direction.
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