The opening leg of the 2016 Genting Poker Series (GPS) sees the popular tour head to Luton from January 21 through to Sunday 24, which are the dates for the £35,000 guaranteed Main Event. It is the second consecutive year that the GPS has held an event in Luton and if we base our opinion of it on the 2015 edition, those competing in the £200+£20 buy-in event are in for a real treat.
Last year’s GPS Luton Main Event took place in July 2015 and boasted of a £30,000 prize pool, a prize pool that was obliterated when 434 players turned out in force, creating a pot of £86,800. The affordable buy-in attracted a mix of recreational and professional poker players, with the likes of Willie Tann, Tommy Bingham, Leo McClean, Sunil Mistri, Richard Milner, and Renee Xie among the list of familiar names.
It was the popular figure of Yucel Eminoglu, the man affectionately known as “Mad Turk,” who walked away with the title of champion, an accolade that also came with £13,200 in prize money. Eminoglu’s haul could have been more substantial had he not agreed to a three-way deal involving runner-up Bijay Parakash and third-placed Peter Brackley, who secured payouts of £11,510 and £11,520.
This year’s GPS Luton features four starting flights, one of which takes place online at Genting Poker, with the remaining three hosted at the Genting Casino Luton in Skimpot Road. Day 1a, the online element, kicks off at 9:00 pm on January 20 and sees players sit down with 25,000 tournament chips and play to 16-minute blinds. Eleven levels are played online.
The live Day 1s run at 7:00 pm on January 21 and January 22, with Day 1d, the final flight, starting at the slightly earlier time of 5:00 pm. All live Day 1s see players begin with the same 25,000 starting stack as the online flight, but blind levels increase to 40-minutes.
2016 Genting Poker Series Luton Venue
It is the Genting Casino Luton that plays host to the opening leg of the 2016 GPS. You can find the casino on Skimpot Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU4 0JB and should you need to contact the casino prior to your visit you can do so on 0158 259 1148.
While membership is not required, Genting Casinos have a loyalty scheme across its 36 UK-based venues so it is worthwhile signing up for free membership, especially if you plan on competing on future GPS stops.
Like most casinos in the UK, Genting Casino Luton’s dress code is smart casual, with no football shirts or vest tops permitted.
On the poker side of things, no limit Hold’em and pot limit Omaha cash games run with stakes ranging from £0.50/£1 up to £2/£5, with Dealers Choice games also available with stakes of £1/£1 up to £2/£5.
Those of you wanting to try your luck at casino games can do so at the numerous slots, American Roulette, Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Baccarat and Electronic Roulette tables.
Luton used to have a substantial hat making (millinery) industry, which is why the local football team, Luton Town FC, is nicknamed “The Hatters.” They play at Kenilworth Road, but have an away fixture at Mansfield Town this weekend so you won’t be able to watch them in action.
Foodies and nightlife seekers are well catered for thanks to Luton enjoying a diverse selection of restaurants including Italian, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Malaysian, and Caribbean. Head to Bury Park if you want to have your pick of Asian cuisine.
The town also houses the headquarters of some major companies including Vauxhall Motors, Monarch Airlines, EasyJet, and Thomson UK.