Live Poker Tournaments 2023: The Best Live Poker Events in the UK and Beyond

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Live Poker Tournaments 2023: The Best Live Poker Events in the UK and Beyond
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The 2023 live poker tournament calendar is proving to be another bumper year for poker enthusiasts and there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved in the action, including the main event of the World Series of Poker next month.

Of course, there are also plenty of other live poker tournaments in the UK and Ireland if you don’t fancy a trip to Las Vegas this year.

With 2020 and 2021 almost complete washouts, the live poker circuit finally got back underway in 2022 with huge attendances at most of the comeback events. 

Many online poker enthusiasts were glad to leave their laptops behind and once again stare down their opponents eye-to-eye in live poker tournaments – one of the true thrills of the game.

Whether you’re a high or a low roller, there is enough choice in the calendar to find the perfect event for you. Some events take just one or two days to conclude, but the bigger ones can take up to a week to reach a conclusion, so your amount of available time is also a key factor in choosing which events to play.

And if forking out the full buy-in from your wallet leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you will be pleased to hear that most live poker tournaments have online qualification paths, enabling you to have a go at securing your seat in the main event for a fraction of the usual buy-in.

The World Series of Poker

If you only have one live poker event on your bucket list, it’s likely to be the main event of the World Series of Poker. The seven-week long festival is the Cadillac of tournament poker, featuring over 40 bracelet events, including the $10,000 buy-in main event at the Horseshoe and Paris casinos.

Some of poker’s most famous names have taken down this tournament, including Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Chris Moneymaker, Stu Ungar and even the poker brat himself, Phil Hellmuth. 

The main event takes place from July 3 to July 17, after most of the championship events have already concluded. 

In addition to its annual hurrah in Las Vegas, the WSOP also takes place in Europe every year - held at the King’s Resort Casino in Rozvadov in the Czech since 2017, with several of the World Series of Poker Europe events classifying as ‘bracelet’ events.

The World Series of Poker also runs circuit events, which take place several times a year at different locations in the USA. These lower buy-in events award gold rings to the main event winners and are fiercely competitive, albeit smaller in size than their big brother in Nevada. 

Outside the USA, they are run as WSOP International Circuit events and take place a few times a year.

Seats into all World Series of Poker events can be won online at GGPoker

PokerStars Live Events

Like most other operators, PokerStars put its live poker tournaments on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. However, they restarted in 2022 with several European Poker Tour stops, each incorporating the return of national tours like the Eureka and Estrellas Poker Tours. 

PokerStars continues to lead the way as a live poker provider, with several tours scheduled in 2023. These include returns to the EPT favourite locations of Barcelona and Prague, in addition to new stops in Paris and Cyprus. 

The EPT had a regular home in the Normandy commune of Deauville for many years, but this is the first time the prestigious tour has held an event in the French capital. 

For players in South and Central America, or indeed for players from anywhere else who fancy a trip there, PokerStars also operate the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) and are the online partner of the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP). The LAPT has 2023 stops in Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Panama City.

Grosvenor UK Poker Tour

Now in its 17th year, the GUKPT continues to be the main draw in the UK live poker circuit, with stops almost every month in locations like London, Luton, Blackpool, Edinburgh and Coventry. 

Most of the festivals are week-long affairs featuring several warm-up and side events, concluding with £1,150 main event. The exception is the Grand Final which takes place in London in December, where the main event stakes are raised to a £2k buy-in. 

The GUKPT also caters to players without such deep pockets, with Coventry’s Goliath being the highlight of the live poker calendar for many UK players. 

Taking place in August with a buy-in of just £150 and with multiple starting days to try and get a stack through to the second day of the tournament for a shot at the seven-figure prize money. 2022 Champion Jeffrey Kyle bagged a whopping £200k for his efforts!

Players from the UK and Ireland have the option to qualify online for all GUKPT 2023 events at Grosvenor Poker. While online satellites are not available to players outside the UK or Ireland, all GUKPT festivals include live satellites to the key events on the schedule. 

888Poker Live

888Poker Live 2023 has two live festivals in the UK (both in London), two in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona) and one in Romania (Bucharest). 

They provide something for most players, with low buy-in side events for as little as €90 at one end of the spectrum with a €2,000 high roller at the other. 

In between you will find several other moderately priced side-events (in the €150-€330 range), including a mystery bounty tournament and a €150 Pot Limit Omaha event. 

The conclusion of the 2023 tour is the second Live London Festival (October 18-29) at the iconic VIC casino and as you would expect with a tour run by an online poker site, varied and affordable qualification satellites are available online at 888Poker.

2022 Live Poker Highlights

  • The World Series of Poker finally left the Rio and took up residence on the Las Vegas Strip (at the Bally’s and Paris casinos) for its 53rd edition. It was the second biggest main event in WSOP history with 8,663 participants. Dane Espen Uhlen Jorstad scooped the bracelet and a cool $10m from a prize pool of over $80m.
  • The European Poker Tour (EPT) held events in both Prague and Barcelona, along with revamped national tours The Eureka and Estrellas Poker Tours.
  • There was a new entrant in Europe, with The Festival Series fast becoming one of the continent’s best loved poker events. The fun packed schedule boasts casino table games and sports betting tournaments as well as a wide range of poker formats, featuring a €500 buy-in main event.
  • The first Mediterranean Poker Party took place in Cyprus, while high roller tours Poker Go and Triton also held several events in 2022.
  • In the UK, the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour resumed with the long running series posting record attendances at its London leg and breaking its own record at the 10th anniversary Goliath in Coventry, which with 10,584 entrants, easily rubber stamped its authority as the largest annual live poker tournament held outside of Las Vegas.
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