U.K. Poker Tour bolts from gates

They're off. And the first event of the Grosvenor U.K. Poker Tour (GUKPT) was such a success, they've extended all of their planned events for this year from three days to four.

The GUKPT is an 11-tournament series winding its way around the U.K. in 2007, with a grand finale planned for London in November and each leg filmed for broadcast on Channel 4 later in the year.

Who knows how things might take shape by November, as the lead-off event in Bolton drew such a crowd Grosvenor decided to extend all future events to four days.

"We were delighted at the sheer demand for our first event," Russell Tamplin GUKPT Operations Director said, "and have had to re-think future tournaments so that we can cope with the expected increase in numbers.

"It's good news for the players," he continued, "as the winner of each event can now expect to walk away with over £100,000."

Only 160 players were expected for the Bolton tourney, but online qualifiers and direct buy-ins jacked the total quickly up to 200, and more are expected for the next 10 events.

World Series of Poker bracelet winners John Gale, Lawrence Gosney and Praz Banzi were in the field in Bolton, with Banzi coming out on top in the end for over £75,000 in winnings.

Buy-ins are £1,000 to each event, or players can qualify through live satellites at Grosvenor Casinos.

The rest of the schedule for 2007 looks like this:

  • Walsall, Feb. 15-18
  • Cardiff, Mar. 22-25
  • Manchester, Apr. 19-22
  • Brighton, May 17-20
  • Newcastle, Jul. 19-22
  • Luton, Aug. 9-12
  • Plymouth, Sept. 6-9
  • London, Oct. 18-21
  • Blackpool, Nov. 15-18
  • Grand Final, London, Nov. 29-Dec. 2

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