The GUKPT heads to Walsall this week and to the Grosvenor Casino there that has helped mould the careers of some of the greatest poker players this country has ever produced.
GUKPT champs Marc Goodwin and the late Dave Colclough plus legends like Mickey Wernick, Lucy Rokach, Marty Wilson and Paul Jackson are among the fine poker players Walsall and the surrounding area has produced, and with cash games and tournaments running every night at Grosvenor Casino Walsall, there’s every chance the next generation of poker great might be learning their trade there this week.
Between them the above players have won over $10million playing tournament poker, and there’s a new generation of Midlands poker stars coming through, with Paul’s son Ben, already a GUKPT side event winner and Main Event runner-up, and nosebleed cash player James Parks, who is as likely to be seen in Bobby’s Room as Junction 10, continue to show this area is a hotbed for UK poker.
For me, of course, Walsall will always hold a special place in my heart, being the place I won my (as yet) only GUKPT Main Event, taking down the 2008 Walsall Main Event for £84k.
These days Walsall hosts a £500 buy-in Main Event, so the top prize is more likely to be around the £30k mark in this £100k Guaranteed comp.
While some of the Midlands legends listed above have retired from the game, and others are unfortunately no longer with us, expect to see the likes of Paul Jackson and Mickey Wernick take their seats among the GUKPT regulars this week.
Paul, of course, famously found himself heads-up with Phil Ivey in a $25k buy-in tournament in Monte Carlo few years back, eventually having to settle for second place to the great man and a $600k consolation prize.
Mickey, a former European number one, has more tales to tell about his old school gambling than Uncle Albert had about the War. Known as the Worm (because no matter how many times you cut him in half, he still wasn’t dead), Mickey travelled to Vegas and took on all comers, including playing long heads-up sessions against the legendary Stu Ungar.
In fact if you buy Mickey a drink he’ll happily tell you about the time he was down on his luck in Vegas and decided it was a good idea to make bricks of $1 bills with $100 wrapped round the outside. They looked like $10k bricks, but actually were only worth a fraction of that. Get caught doing that in old school Vegas? Well, it doesn’t bear thinking about it, but thankfully Mickey won, didn’t get caught and lives to tell the tale!
If you’ve never played GUKPT Walsall, it’s not known as Junction 10 Cardroom for nothing – it’s a minute’s drive off that junction on the M6. There’s plenty of hotels, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express and the Village to name but three, and there’s an excellent curry house right outside the casino.
A £100k guarantee, a line-up of local legends to play against and a casino easy to get to with plenty of amenities.
See you this week at GUKPT Walsall!
Ensure you don’t miss the next leg! 5 Seat guaranteed GUKPT satellites run every Sunday and Tuesday, with Grosvenor live satellite tickets you can qualify for as little as £0.25p at Grosvenor Poker