World Poker Tour Set For UK Return In November

WPT United Kingdom

WPT United Kingdom

Poker players from the United Kingdom today rejoiced at the news that World Poker Tour (WPT) is set to host its first full buy-in main event in the UK for four, long years when it heads to the Dusk Till Dawn club in November.

Rob Yong, owner of the Dusk Till Dawn club, made the announcement came via his popular, often frank, blog. Yong revealed that the WPT United Kingdom festival is to span across 17 day, during which time six events are planned with guaranteed prize pools in excess of £2 million.

One of the tournaments with a large guarantee is the £500 buy-in WPT National event. Despite its low buy-in Yong and the WPT has agreed to place a £1 million guarantee on its prize pool, meaning the Nottingham-based club has to take at least 2,000 buy-ins in order to avoid a dreaded overlay.

To help boost attendance figures as much as humanly possible, Yong said the club has invested in what he calls a “supersized marquee” that has room for an extra 25-50 tables, temporarily boosting the capacity of the club way past its current 450 cap.

In addition to the £1 million guaranteed National event, Dusk Till Dawn is running what is billed as a WPT Warm Up, a WPT High Roller, a WPT Pot Limit Omaha tournament and a WPT 6-Max event, although dates, buy-ins and guarantees are still a work in progress.

Date have been confirmed, however, for the £3,000 buy-in WPT United Kingdom Main Event, which also boasts a £1 million guarantee. Players wishing to play in this tournament need to November 18 through November 23 free and be prepared to lock horns with some of the best poker talent the United Kingdom and Europe has to offer.

Yong hopes for 500 entrants over the course of two starting days, which would create a £1.5 million prize pool. Should that lofty target be reached, Yong and the Dusk Till Dawn would lay claim to having one of the largest European-based WPTs in recent history.

The £3,000 buy-in Main Event is the first full buy-in WPT held in the UK for four years. The last time such a tournament took place was in September 2010 when the Genting-owned Palm Beach Casino in London’s affluent Mayfair hosted WPT London.

Jake Cody after his WPT London win in 2010.

Jake Cody after his WPT London win in 2010.

On that occasion, the Main Event cost £5,300 to enter and its prize pool reached £820,000 ($1,275,624), some £179,200 short of what Yong and Co. are guaranteeing for this latest event. The event is fondly remembered fondly by the British poker community because it was eventually won by now Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody who scooped the £273,783 first place prize. It was the second prong in the coveted Triple Crown of live poker tournaments for Cody as he was victorious at European Poker Tour (EPT) Deauville eight months earlier.

The WPT has struggled when away from its native American home and attendances for its European events have been extremely poor in comparison. Usually such a statement would send shivers down the spine of a casino owner who has agreed to a £1 million guarantee, but not Yong.

Anyone who has ever been involved with anything Yong and his excellent Dusk Till Dawn team have run will attest to it being one of the best run events they have ever played in. Yong attempted to save the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) Wembley from certain disaster by guaranteeing €1 million to its champion, and paid out despite an overlay of almost €600,000.

Recent success stories include the inaugural Sky Poker UK Poker Championships that saw all of its tournaments’ guarantees hit and the 2014 United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Nottingham Main Event that smashed its £1 million guarantee by £223,000 even though the event only cost £1,100 to buy into.

Satellites to the various events are expected to run at partypoker, the World Poker Tour’s online site, the Dusk Till Dawn’s iPoker-powered online operation and at the Dusk Till Dawn poker club right up to the start of the eagerly anticipated festival that is pencilled in to commence on November 7.

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