Breaking Down the Action:
  • When Does the UKIPT Take Place?
  • A Tournament Series Full of History
  • A Global Poker Effect

4 Minute Read

UKIPT London returns this April, but the global reach of the tournament's success or failure could be felt for years.

PokerStars have announced a raft of changes to the forthcoming season on their live European Poker Tour. With Monte Carlo back on the schedule after an already successful EPT Prague saw crowned the Main Event winner, regional tours are also returning from this month.

The first such festival takes place in England’s capital, as the UK & Ireland Poker Tour, a legendary tour in the minds of British fans and many European television viewers, comes back after five years in the wilderness.

When Does the UKIPT Take Place?

The UKIPT London festival has already kicked off, with action taking place at the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square, London, from April 1st. It has been a long six years since the UKIPT saw a London Main Event winner, that being Usman Siddique, who won the $119,526 top prize in April of 2016.

When PokerStars was bought out by Amaya, the UKIPT had become something of a legacy event, ad after buy-ins were hiked in its final years, the tour had lost a little of its gloss as it waned to the point where it was removed from the schedules. This time around, the value is back, with a $360-entry London Series and a $1,440-entry UKIPT London Main Event both on the cards.

With live reporting from the festival and major investment coming from PokerStars to hype up the series, it is clear that regional tours really are back in a big way on the PokerStars schedule. With the announcement of the return of EPT Monte Carlo came the news that multiple regional events were taking place around Europe under the ‘Stars name.

A Tournament Series Full of History

“The UKIPT [has] made a big difference in my life.”

The UKIPT London Main Event got off to an amazing start when it first took place, with the final event being combined with the EPT London festival, meaning huge top prizes for the series’ first two winners, German player Benny Spindler and Scotsman David Vamplew.

The UKIPT series has launched the careers of players we now consider to be among the game’s elite. Spanish player Sergio Aido took down the Season 3 UKIPT London Main Event for approximately $189,434 in today’s currency.

One of PokerStars finest, Team Pro Sam Grafton can’t wait to take part after winning a side event at the recent EPT Prague festival. He recently told PokerStars that the UKIPT had made “a big difference in my life, not only in terms of improvement in my game but the friendships I made”. That’s reflective of the feeling many British players will have in regard to the tour and with UKIPT London coming hot on the heels of plenty of fun in Prague, as brought to life by Joe ‘Stapes’ Stapleton and James Hartigan, the tour is bound to be just as popular as ever before.

A Global Poker Effect

The events on offer in the English capital will include the Main Event, London Series and High Roller, which costs around $3,000 to play. What effect will the UKIPT London series have on poker around the globe? It could be a lot bigger than you might think.

The knock-on impact of British poker on American poker has long been felt. The United States may well be the home of poker as a global game, with the World Series of Poker and many World Poker Tour events taking place on American soil. PokerStars – the biggest online poker brand in America prior to the 2011 ‘Black Friday’ shutdown — relies a lot on word of mouth for the success of live tours. While a showdown in the United Kingdom might seem far away from a new tour stop in Las Vegas, every tour counts as building a global picture of how a poker brand’s ideas are carried out.

The UK & Ireland Poker Tour is an iconic European poker stop, but its global impact means that for everyone, how successful this next fortnight is could have a big effect on the game in general. From the iconic Main Event to High Roller and other side events, the PokerStars event will make headlines, hopefully for the right reasons.

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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