The final stage of removing COVID-19 restrictions may not happen on June 21 as planned, but Rob Yong is still looking ahead to brighter days.
The Dusk Till Dawn owner is asking his Twitter followers to help shape the UK Poker Championships (UKPC), which has been on break since 2018. Now, Yong is ready to revive the mid-stakes tour as the UK moves out of lockdown.
The Partypoker advisor put out the call to his followers over the weekend and Dusk Till Dawn’s live poker director, Simone Trumper, will use the feedback received from Twitter to help create a new UKPC schedule.
UK Poker Championships to offer something for everyone
The initial plan is to run a series of main events across the UK. Buy-ins are most likely going to be £500, and there will be a £1,000 season-ending finale at Dusk Till Dawn. Although Yong didn’t confirm it on Twitter, Partypoker will likely have some involvement in the tour.
During the last nine-day UKPC festival at Dusk Till Dawn, Partypoker helped to organize a variety of events, including a £220 opener and £5,500 super high roller. Despite Party’s recent involvement, Yong says he’s open to working with any of the UK’s leading operators. From Genting to Aspers, he says, the aim is to make the UKPC bigger and better.
In terms of partnerships – happy to work with anyone we get on with to be honest – don’t see anyone as competitors, worked with Genting, Aspers, LCI in past and all good
— Rob Yong (@rob_yong_) June 5, 2021
People across the UK have been unable to play live tournaments for the best part of 18 months. With the ending of all restrictions on the horizon, Yong wants to run a tour that everyone can enjoy.
So far, the suggestions have been flooding in. The Hippodrome and Aspers, both of which are in London, have been touted as host venues. Players have also asked for there to be at least one event in Scotland and/or Wales. And, as expected, UK poker hotspots such as Blackpool, Newcastle, Brighton, and Sheffield have all been thrown into the mix.
All roads lead to Dusk Till Dawn
There’s also talk about the potential buy-ins. Although Yong put out a figure of £500, he’s not stuck on that price. Twitter user Karma Dope suggested £330 as a compromise between a low and mid-stakes buy-in. He would also like to see the winner of each main event get a free seat in the UKPC grand finale.
A £1k Grand Final sounds spot on. Could also do a £3k or £5k HR as well if numbers are good. Think £250 is a little low as some places were doing that for a bog standard 2 dayer before COVID but £330-£500 should be the sweet spot. I'll be trying to sat in either way.
— Karma Dope (@Plasma_Dasher) June 5, 2021
The nuances of the next UK Poker Championships will take time to organize. However, what Yong’s Twitter thread demonstrates is the desire among poker players in the UK to get out and play. Online activity has surged during the pandemic. But even with the likes of Partypoker, GGPoker, and PokerStars all offering mega-prize pools, there’s an aspect of live poker that can’t be replicated.
There are still hurdles to overcome before the UK is back to business as usual, but the winds of change are beginning to blow. Grosvenor on Monday announced the return of its popular GUKPT, and now Yong is planning a player-led UKPC. It may have taken longer than anyone could have predicted, but it looks as though the UK’s live tournament scene is on the brink of a much-welcomed return.