£100,000 Goliath Goes Digital as Grosvenor Poker Moves Tournament Online

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Grosvenor Poker’s Goliath may not break any attendance records this year, but it can set new standards following the decision to host the event online.

Grosvenor Poker Goliath
The Goliath by Grosvenor Poker will take place online this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions in the UK. (Image: Grosvenor)

The annual tournament is the largest live poker event outside of Las Vegas, but things will be different this summer. With the British government stopping casinos in the UK from reopening due to COVID-19, Grosvenor has made alternative arrangements.

Their plan is to host the Goliath online. A total of 15 events, including the Goliath, will take place on GrosvenorPoker.com between August 1 and 10.

Same Goliath but Different

In addition to switching from Coventry’s Ricoh Arena to Grosvenor’s online platform, the tournament will have a slightly different name: The National Online Goliath.

Otherwise, this year’s GUKPT Goliath will be almost identical to its offline counterpart. Grosvenor has kept the buy-in at £125/$152, and there will be multiple starting days, as usual. The guarantee will also remain the same at £100,000/$123,000.

With almost all things being equal, the tournament should attract a significant amount of interest from players in the UK, and those in countries able to access GrosvenorPoker.com. The question, however, is whether the online event will surpass what its live counterpart has achieved.

In 2019, Grosvenor Poker broke its own record when the Goliath attracted 9,300 entries. As a point of comparison, 1,765 players anted up when the tournament first launched in 2011.

Now established as the largest live poker tournament outside of the US, the Goliath attracts the full spectrum of players. David Haye was among the famous faces competing with pros and amateurs last year.

The retired boxing champ sat down to play after a year of training with Team Grosvenor Poker and finished in 40th place. That performance gave him the desire to achieve more next time around, but this summer he’ll have to do it online.

Grosvenor Poker Doing What It Can

Grosvenor Poker and its parent company, the Rank Group, are hoping Haye and thousands like him ante-up. Since the UK went into lockdown on March 23, its casinos, poker rooms, and bingo halls have been closed.

Government subsidies have helped stem the outflow of cash, but Rank CEO John O’Reilly says the lockdown is costing his company £10 million/$12.3 million per month. The Online National Goliath is a chance to boost activity on GrosvenorPoker.com and recoup recent losses.

While the Goliath may not be the same as it ever was, something is always better than nothing. What’s more, if the recent surge in online poker activity is still in effect, the MTT could attract a similar number of entrants to last year. At the very least, the Goliath will set a new record, as it will be the first time it crowns an online champion.

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