Earning Your Poker Stripes Across the Pond
Top poker rooms to visit in the UK
Poker is an American sport, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to many that aside from playing host to two of the biggest poker leagues in the world – the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the World Poker Tour (WPT) – the country is also home to most of the world-renowned poker players. That being said, ever since the sport became a worldwide phenomenon after that historic ESPN broadcast of 2003’s WSOP tournament, Europe has slowly but surely been showing signs of becoming a force to be reckoned with in the poker scene.
Among the European nations giving the US a run for its money is the UK. More amazingly, many of its card sharks are relative young guns not even past their 30s. In the last couple of years alone, we’ve seen Sam Holden putting on good shows in multiple November Nines (the name given to WSOP main events). We’ve been privy to fashion model and TV presenter Liv Boeree making waves in the European Poker Tour (EPT) through a combination of her beauty and admirable playing style. And we’ve certainly witnessed Chris Moorman’s near-meteoric rise to fame with not just many spectacular money finishes in the WSOP and a title win in the WPT, but also a career-defining record as the all-time leader in online poker earnings.
Clearly, Britons have made quite a lot of noise in the international poker scene. For the budding poker player, planning a trip to visit the UK’s actively competitive poker rooms might just be a good place to build up his playing experience, especially considering the youthful fervor of the country’s top players. A sampling of the choice casino destinations to visit are as follows:
- The Colony Club in Mayfair, London exudes style, flair, and exclusivity: three words which can trigger the country’s young denizens to flock to the location; and could probably entice you into making a stopover. Of course, you’d have to be a guest of a member, since only they are granted access to the club. Still, the club’s five-star service and modern-styled lounge and game rooms might just get you to consider a membership of your own via an extended country visit. And yes, should you try your hand at the poker tables, just remember that it’s the veritable high rollers you’ll be dealing with, so you might just make a killing if you bring your A-game.
- For a more casual atmosphere with no membership requirements to burden you, Birmingham’s Gala Casino is worth checking out. The unrestrictive access and casual dress code notwithstanding, the gaming establishment has a top-notch bar and restaurant that just has to be sampled. As for the poker scene, the relaxed ambiance contributes to the more-social-than-competitive mood at the tables, making for a good stepping stone for novice players.
- And then we have Aspers Casino in Westfield Stratford. It recently hosted the Partypoker WPT National UK leg of the prestigious tournament, garnering it a lot of attention further bolstered by Partypoker’s constant Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook channel updates. In fact, going in, you’ll immediately get the feel that poker fever isn’t quite over and done yet at the venue. Another aspect that’ll grab you is the fact that Aspers is dubbed the “largest supercasino in the UK,” despite having just opened in 2011.
There’s a certain level of challenge that poker fans can only get when they test their mettle in unfamiliar locales. Traveling to another country for just that is definitely the ultimate way to go about this. With the level of skill and talent the UK has been showing in international tournaments thus far, charting a visit to the country should provide you with the experience-builder you seek.