GUKPT season 8 kicks off this week with the first leg at London’s Victoria casino

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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