Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT)
History and Information
The Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) was created in 2007 to make it possible for British players to play big events in their local casino for an affordable cost. The GUKPT was created by Grosvenor Casino, an online casino site also offering poker. Grosvenor wanted to create affordable tournaments in all of the United Kingdom, but with big guaranteed prizes so that everybody could experience the thrill of playing for a big first prize as well as experience how a live tournament feels.
When the GUKPT was founded, the series had 11 stops in total, but by season five they only had seven stops. The reason for the drop in tournaments, was the overall recession hitting, making players unable to participate in the tournaments. The GUKPT now has 12 different stops all over the UK, with 11 regular stops and a Grand Final stop in London. Each regular destination on the GUKPT offers multiple small side-events in the most popular poker variants Texas Hold'em and Omaha and in various formats. Besides the side-events, the destination also hosts a main event, with between £50,000 and £200,000 guaranteed prize pool, no matter how many players that plays it. The £50,000 guaranteed events are all deepstack events, where the rest is played with regular chip stacks. The lucky winner of the main event or any £101+ buy-in side-event at each destination also wins a seat into the Grand Final Main Event, worth £2,125.
The Grand Final is played in London every year and has a guaranteed prize pool in the main event of £400,000. The high prize pool attracts players from all of Europe as well as many locals trying out their luck. With the high attendance at the Grand Final each year, the prize pool reaches levels of up to £550,000, way over the guaranteed prize pool. The Grand Final doesn't offer a lot of side-events like the other destinations, but mainly focuses on the main event.
In 2010 the GUKPT created its own tournament called the "Goliath". The Goliath has the biggest attendance of the entire series and actually broke the European record for most unique players and most entries in a tournament, with 1,822 unique entries and a total entry pool of 2,568 players in 2013. The Goliath guarantees £200,000 for a small buy-in of only £120, making it great value to play. The GUKPT plans to break even more records with the Goliath in the future, guaranteeing more money and adding more value.
Being a British tournament series, the GUKPT takes place in different locations all over the United Kingdom. The GUKPT has made agreements with many of the biggest casinos, to have their tournament series spread out as much possible and have as many players being able to participate as possible.
The GUKPT has visited many different cities in its seven seasons; some of them are London, Blackpool, Bolton, Manchester, Reading, Portsmouth, Brighton, Coventry, Luton, Walsall, Plymouth, Newcastle and many more. This shows that unlike many other tournament series that only focuses on a few casinos, GUKPT focuses more on the players and giving them the chance to play live tournament poker rather than what casino the events are hosted at. This is one of the most important things that has made GUKPT become as popular as they are today.
Biggest GUKPT Win
Despite having run for many years now, the biggest GUKPT first prize was actually won in the first year of the series. British poker player Mike Paul Ellis won the GUKPT Grand Final in London in 2007, claiming a first prize of £197,600 ($407,700), the largest prize to have been won so far. With increased overall guaranteed prize pools and attendance going up for the events, maybe the prize will be beaten in the future, but for now Mike keeps the honor.