I am already buzzing for Goliath 2019. The dream of lifting the biggest trophy I have ever seen, the sound of the huge gong resonating around the tournament room, and a chance to knock David Haye out heads-up after a 3-day fight are just a few of the thoughts running through my head in preparation for the biggest tournament this side of the Atlantic has ever seen.
To share my excitement; I’ll share some insight, tips and tricks for the 12-day festival which kicks off on Wednesday 24th July 2019.
Dreams Come True
Many punters could be daunted by the fact that there is likely to be over 8,000 entries at the Goliath main event this year but should take great comfort from the 2018 results. 9 of the 10 players at the final table in 2018 were recreational players recording their biggest ever live cash and this has been a trend for many years at the event. The talented Romanian pro, Florian Duta went on to win the 2018 main event, whereas the lion’s share of the final table prize money (c.£250,000; c.70%) was distributed to the grass roots of UK poker. It could be your turn for a huge score this year.
Why not become a success story who qualified for 25p? The ‘satellite trees’ on Grosvenor Poker are some of the best online. For the Goliath Main Event there are regular satellites online including £30 FOs and £5 R/As. Grosvenor satellites overlay often, giving YOU more value and as Goliath draws closer, more and more seats will be guaranteed. Achieving the 25p -> £5 -> £30 -> £125 -> £100,000+ is possible as demonstrated by many success stories. One of my favourite poker fairy-tales recently comes from the 2018 Irish Open Main Event where Ferdia O’Connell finished 2nd, turning a $0.01 satellite investment into a massive €140,000.
The Grosvenor Casino at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry is a great location for this event. Free parking, reasonably priced hotels and a relatively small main event buy-in makes the shot at £100,000+ feel like a freeroll. Last year I stayed about 2-miles from the main event in a local hotel for only £20 per person per night. Given the increase in attendance in many live Grosvenor tournaments including GUKPT and 25-25 series in 2019, everything points towards there being an increase in numbers at Goliath too.
Record Breaking 25-Series
2019 has already seen the biggest 25 series ever (in The Poker Room, London), drawing an amazing £139k prize-pool. Goliath 2019 kicks off with another 25 series which is sure to have yet another great guarantee. My prediction is for yet another record-breaking prize-pool to be set in this event and the online day 1 on Wednesday 24th July will prove a success.
Super High Roller
This year, the Super High Roller is running for the 3rd consecutive year. In the past two years £58,800 and £96,300 have been collected respectively. For the first time in recent memory, the Super High Roller is the only side event in action on Saturday 3rd August which should aid in increasing numbers yet again. In recent years, this event has become somewhat of a Swift invitational. Grosvenor Team Pro, Katie Swift’s husband (Dean) and mum (Susan) have had a podium finish in this event in 2017 and 2018 respectively taking home a combined total of £27,000. Let’s knock the Swifts off podium this year!
Strategy & Recommendations
In the past, I have been 102nd on the alternative list during Goliath’s final day 1. That meant waiting for a few hours to be seated. Fortunately, there were 24-hour cash games running, which kept me away from the bar for most of my waiting time. However, pre-registering online or at your local casino can help avoid this hassle with alternate lists and long waits. Simply join a holding tank of your choice in the online client to lock-in a seat and get straight into the action. Your chips wont be in play until you take your seat. Don’t pre-register for more than 1 holding tank, this will render your entry null!
16 Levels Day 1 – Be Prepared
16 40-minute levels result in a bit of a marathon for day 1, but it is an important piece of the tournament organiser’s puzzle in running an event like this well in 3-days while giving the players an excellent tournament structure. Arriving for the main event well rested will give you the best shot at surviving day 1 and have chance at a potential life changing weekend.
Dealers – Good Karma
During the Goliath festival dealers will likely be working 12-hour shifts for 10-days. For the most part the dealers and floor staff are exceptional. They will make the occasional mistake. Give them a break, they are doing their best to give you a great experience. If they aren’t performing as expected, mention it to the floor staff quietly rather than attacking the dealer directly.
Qualify Twice….or more
You might need a few bullets to get through this mammoth field. I was fortunate enough to finish 11th in the main event in 2018, and my 2nd bullet was my golden ticket to £7,650. Huge events like this are few and far between so having an extra ticket available can keep the dream alive if you get your aces cracked. Fortunately, if you do not use your 2nd bullet this year, you can always use your ticket for Goliath 2020 (Grosvenor online tickets to live events never expire) which with continued success this year could be an incredible £1,000,000 guarantee. As I stated before, the Goliath satellite schedule on Grosvenorpoker.com is massive, so rack up the tickets prior. Satellites are now running DAILY, with a minimum of 25 nightly, so don’t miss out on the value on offer.
Finally, just enjoy the experience. Even the best players in the world aren’t guaranteed to cash in every single tournament. If you go to enjoy yourself as your first target, then you can guarantee that it will be a great weekend even before your 6-figure score.
Hopefully I am writing about your fairly tale before next year’s Goliath!