Grosvenor Poker’s GUKPT may be reeling from COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, but organizers aren’t giving up. Building on August’s inaugural Goliath Online, the GUKPT returns this week with another digital event.
The National Online GUKPT Series will run between Oct. 10 and 18. The nine-day festival features 12 MTTs and carries a £200,000 guarantee.
Buy-ins will start at £30 and scale to £560 for the main event on Oct. 17. In addition to prize money, anyone who cashes in an event will earn Player of the Series leaderboard points.
Grosvenor Poker Isn’t Resting on Its Laurels
September’s National Online GUKPT offered a similar line-up of events. Although some tournaments, such as the £150 Pot-Limit Omaha showdown, teetered on the edge of an overlay, others were a hit. The organizers are looking to build on that initial momentum with the forthcoming festival.
Grosvenor’s online innovations may not be on the level of those hosted by the likes of GGPoker and the WSOP, but the changes made in response to COVID-19 restrictions have helped the GUKPT remain relevant. What’s more, the latest series comes off the back of Grosvenor’s online platform enjoying a surge in recent months.
In general, success online will continue to be important for Grosvenor Poker and the GUKPT as the “new normal” caused by COVID-19 has hurt the company’s network of brick and mortar casinos.
In a recent report from Grosvenor’s parent company, the Rank Group, pre-COVID revenue for its casinos was up 121%. With COVID closures costing £10 million each month and 7,000 employees furloughed, earnings dropped significantly between March and September.
Digital Evolution Keeps Business Ticking Over
Despite the downswing, Rank CEO John O’Reilly said the company is in a “robust” position thanks to ongoing efforts to become a “multi-channel operator.” The National Online GUKPT Series is the latest example of the company’s evolution, and it couldn’t come at a better time.
With the government recently implementing a 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants, and casinos, there are fresh concerns that venues won’t survive. Fears of a second wave haven’t been borne out by the data, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the latest restrictions will remain in place for at least six months.
The Betting and Gaming Council, of which the Rank Group is a member, said the curfew puts thousands of jobs at risk. Grosvenor Poker is fighting back though. Its National Online GUKPT Series won’t completely fill the hole caused by a 10pm curfew, but it will help. Moreover, it’s another chance for GUKPT fans to play for a share of £200,000.