12k Stacks Added to GUKPT London Main Event, Betting Market Open
For the first time on the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour, a main event outside of the grand final has had the buy-in increased from £1000 to £1,500. It makes sense as this is the GUKPT London at the Victoria Casino – people have more money generally in London, the Vic is home to some of the biggest players in the UK and last year this was the biggest event of the year.
So as a reaction to this and to prove that they do not mind changing things at the last minute to accommodate their players, the event organisers have decided to make the starting stacks for the main event 12,000 instead of the main event standard of 10,000. The trend for deep stack poker is getting more and more pertinent on the poker circuit and this move will surely be met with lots of praise from all the players on the tour.
In other news, the betting market for this event has opened on Blue Square. Lots of interesting names in this one and there seems to be a real anticipation that this event could be won by a young star. Ben Vinson, Sunny Chattha, Chris Moorman, James Akenhead, Karl Mahrenholz, Praz Bansi and Stuart Rutter are all amongst the joint favourites at 80/1. Four of those are Hit Squad members and it's hard to bet against them at the moment, as they are all making big final tables at the moment (Chaz Chattha could therefore be the value bet at 125/1).
The market is huge and really tough to predict, but scrolling through we have found a few interesting bets. Nick Gibson is due a big result and already has made two finals this week, worth a peek at 125/1 as is in form Kevin O'Leary and Dave Penly. Perhaps the best value bet we have spotted is John Eames at 150/1 who has been making final tables for fun recently and missing out on the big prize at the final hurdle.
Online Gambling Consolidation Predicted
A news item in UK newspaper the Guardian this week has suggested that financial analysts are expecting the online gambling industry to consolidate and several operators to merge. It suggests that massive savings would be made by sharing operating costs and those smaller brands would benefit from increasing their online market presence by acquiring existing operators. It isn't clear yet whether these mergers would take place before or after any resolution to the regulatory issues in the United States.
Amongst the predictions quoted from Evolution Securities analyst Ivor Jones was a possible link between the 888 group taking on SportingBet, PartyGaming taking on Germany's Bwin, Bwin buying 888 or possibly PartyGaming buying 888. Obviously not all of these things would happen (Well, it is possible, they would make one hell of a super group brand) but it certainly seems that PartyGaming, Bwin, SportingBet and 888 are the four major operators that have shown an interest in expanding their market share through acquisition.
Boeree and Tony G Make Alpine Cup Final
UK player Live Boeree and Pokernews own Tony G both made the final table of the Pokernews Cup Alpine €100 Bounty Event. Boeree went on to a third place finish and has something of a good record in Bounty Events, having made the final table of the Bounty Event at the Aussie Millions at the start of the year. The next two events are the €300 PLO and the €5000 High Rollers PLO, both being played today and you can catch all the action in our exclusive live updates section.