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Grosvenor UK Poker Tour

by Lucy Rokach |  Published: Jul 01, 2007

Apart from the first one held in Bolton, I've been to all of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) tournaments. I wanted to attend that one, as well, but after four phone calls, I gave up. Having never been to this particular venue, I thought I might go for the supporting tournaments, as well, but finding insufficient details on the Net, I gave them a call (unlike so many who regularly post on forums, asking for information on a particular competition and cardroom … obviously, picking up the phone and getting that info straight from the horse's mouth has become a dangerous endeavour). I knew they were holding competitions for the two preceding days, and I wanted to know the starting times and structures.

"Hello, can you tell me what time your Tuesday and Wednesday tournaments start, please?"

"10 o'clock, love."

"And if that's a one-day finish, what are the starting chips and how often do the blinds go up?"

"You get 1,000 in chips and the blinds are 50-100 on a 15-minute clock."

Choking and spluttering, I managed to ask, "And that's for both the two-hundred and two-fifty comps?"

"No, love, that's for our five-pound tournament."

"I thought you were holding bigger tournaments before the GUKPT one."

"Is that next week, then?"


"Well, you'll have to phone back when XXX [I forgot the name] is back. He's not feeling well, but should be back tomorrow."

"Have you nothing written down or on a computer?"

"No, love, phone back tomorrow."

To say that I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. I phoned three more times over the next two days, trying to catch the elusive XXX, but to no avail, and no one else there could shed any light on the proceedings. That's quite unbelievable lack of organisation, really. So, I gave them a miss. The event was a sellout.

I have no gripes about the Walsall and Cardiff legs of the tour, because I didn't last long enough in the tournaments to develop any (apologies to my sponsor,, for a no-show so far). However, I do have a little bone to pick with the Grosvenor Manchester venue, known as the "G" club, where my last effort took place. A friend kindly gave us a Tomtom navigation system just a few days before I was due to go to Manchester. For the uninitiated, it's a fantastic piece of equipment; you just type in the address or postcode, and you're directed to the front door.

And that's just what I did, never having been to the G club before. I got the postcode from the website, entered it into Tomtom, and off I went. Easy, peasy … well, not quite. The traffic in the centre of Manchester was dreadful, but with just five minutes to spare, I turned into a garage lockup area on a housing estate, and Tomtom proudly announced, "You have arrived!" There was not a human being or shop in sight, let alone a casino. Panic stricken, I phoned the G club, and, fortunately, Paul on reception answered the phone. He was invaluable.

"No sweat, Lucy, we'll be starting just a little bit late and I'll direct you in."

That was music to my ears. After driving around for about five minutes till I came across a landmark that he recognised, he did exactly what he promised. And what's more, he was waiting for me in reception with a membership application form, all ready and just waiting for my signature, bypassing the throng trying to get into the casino. Paul, you are a gem. At dinner, I was relating my tale of woe regarding Tomtom's navigation skills, only to be told by another player that exactly the same thing had happened to him the previous day. It transpires that whilst the address on the website is correct, the postcode is not! Sorry, Tomtom, I take back all those nasty things I called you.

Now, I think the GUKPT is a great idea, and so do all the other players, as each venue is virtually sold out, but come on, guys, let's have a bit more info from the participating venues, and correct postcodes, please.

Lucy has been playing poker for 20 years and has won more than $1 million in tournament prize money all over the world. She prefers playing pot-limit Omaha and pot-limit seven-card stud eight-or-better.