It seems like live poker is booming right now around the world and no more so than in the good old United Kingdom, where attendances at all events here were nothing short of fantastic.
Whilst mainland Europe is the home to the likes of the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour, back home in the UK we have a number of tours that seem to be going from strength to strength and we cannot wait to see what sort of figures they put up during 2012.
Arguably the most popular tour of them all is the PokerStars run UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT). This year marked only its second season but attendances were through the roof and some massive prizes were awarded as a result. The first stop on Season 2's calendar was UKIPT Galway and that saw 266 players pay €1,100 and was eventual won by Nick Abou Risk for a cool €67,100.
Two months later and Gareth Walker took down one of the biggest tournaments ever held in the UK at UKIPT Nottingham. Some of the best British and European talent were amongst the 1,058 entrants, the largest turnout for the season by a long way. All of the other events attracted players in their droves including Manchester (615 players), Newcastle (554), Brighton (603), Edinburgh (519) and Dublin (718).
Season 3 kicks off on February 16 in Galway and it will be interesting to see how the new €770 and £770 buy-ins, that will be standard in Season 3, effect the attendances.
It is impossible to talk about UK live poker and not mention the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) which has just announced details of its sixth season. The £1,070 Main Events are seen as one of the best tournaments held in Europe never mind just the UK and they regularly attract some of the biggest names in the business, and go to show there is a demand for mid-stakes tournaments in the British Isles.
Along with the GUKPT Main Events there was also the record-breaking Goliath event that saw 1,765 players take part at the G Casino in the Ricoh Arena in Coventry and the extremely popular Summer Series events that took place around the country.
This year will see no fewer than 13 stops, including two overseas tours in Ireland and Belgium! The action kicks off on January 22 with GUKPT Manchester and ends with the £2,590 Grand Final on November 24.
Other honourable mentions have to go to the superbly run Sky Poker Tour (now in Season 2) which I have had the pleasure of playing on two events. You will not find a friendlier atmosphere anywhere in the world of poker and they are great to play in. Then there is the Amateur Poker Association and Tour (APAT) which seems to be spreading its wings far and wide these days and one never hears any negativity emanating from within it. We also have the weekly and monthly specials at Dusk Till Dawn, the Fox Poker Club and venues around our great country!
Next year should be an even bigger and better because along with all the aforementioned tours running there is a new kid on the block in the shape of the Genting Poker Series and they look to be attempting to muscle in on the low buy-in market as they have priced their buy-ins at £430.
The UK poker scene is booming and everyone at UK PokerNews cannot wait to see what 2012 has in store.UK PokerNews