Grosvenor’s Goliath Returns Bigger than Ever, £250K Event Gets Underway Online Tomorrow

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Grosvenor’s biggest live event, the Goliath, will take place online this year. Although England’s COVID restrictions were lifted on July 19, Grosvenor has opted to play it safe and build on 2020’s efforts.

grosvenor goliath
Grosvenor’s Goliath will take place online this year with a smaller buy-in and a larger guarantee than 2020’s event. (Image: Grosvenor Poker/Twitter)

Like last year’s online event, there will be five starting flights between Aug. 25 and Aug. 29. However, in a change to proceedings, Grosvenor reduced the buy-in from £125 to £110 while upping the guarantee from £100,000 to £250,000.

Grosvenor raises the stakes

The improved dynamics are a result of last year’s success. Grosvenor attracted a record-setting 2,013 entries and beat the Goliath’s guarantee by more than £131,000. The fact that certain restrictions were still in place across the UK certainly helped boost the event’s numbers, but it’s worth remembering that Brits weren’t under a full lockdown last summer.

So, even though the UK’s dynamics are less restrictive now than they were in 2020, things aren’t so different that a significant drop-off is likely. In fact, recent GUKPT events in London and Manchester attracted some of the biggest fields in recent memory.

If Grosvenor can harness the success of these events, Goliath 2021 could surpass last year’s achievements. That will be great for the brand, but the organizers say the Goliath will definitely return to a live setting in 2022. Indeed, as impressive as the online switch has been, Goliath made its name by becoming the biggest live poker tournament outside of the US.

Grosvenor wants to keep that title but trying to do it this year was a gamble.

Uncertainty means online event is the safe bet in 2021

England, and the UK as a whole, was in a state of lockdown uncertainty during the early part of 2021. Prime Minister Borish Johnson set out a four-step roadmap toward freedom at the start of the year, but various hurdles meant certain stages were delayed. The final delay occurred in June when the plan to lift all remaining restrictions was pushed back to July 19. Johnson did stick to that date, and live poker tournaments have returned in earnest since then.

In fact, Grosvenor will be hosting a live GUKPT in Coventry beginning on Aug. 28. But, there’s a big difference between running a GUKPT main event with a few hundred players and organizing the Goliath, which attracts almost 10,000 players.

The uncertainty caused by Jonhson’s backtracking meant that time ran out to organize this year’s live Goliath.  Having already shown that Goliath can be just as popular online and, with a juiced-up guarantee, Grosvenor is betting that this year’s event should keep players happy until things return to normal next summer.

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