G Casino Coventry, £50 Deepstack, £5,000 Guaranteed

The G Casino group having taken over the Isle Casino inside the Ricoh football stadium (Coventry) a while ago, is finally starting to show the improvement that I was hoping for.

The casino has always looked brilliant and is the best casino in the UK for comfort, decor, facilities etc. However in my younger days I pulled this girl who looked stunning but she was about as exciting as a bundle of wet washing. Looking good just isn’t enough! (Though I perhaps wouldn’t be so fussy at my age now.)

Although the G immediately organised a summer festival when they took over the Ilse and added it to their schedule for the GUKPT in 2010, it largely went unchanged for the “normal” tournament and cash schedule.

However the “bad beat jackpot” they run for the cash games has always been a terrific idea. (£1/2 and upwards) They have also run some great “earn points to enter” free-rolls.

My biggest complaint has always been that they don’t have “all” tournaments dealer dealt and this is still the case. The Friday night £20 DCFO has always been a particular irritant to me. (Friday being the night that I traditionally go out to play live poker).

They used to charge £5.50 juice for Fridays £20 comp and only provide a dealer for the FT. This is an absolute joke IMO as the way the prize pool works out, only the winner gets more than the juice collected with 2nd prize actually being less than what the house takes! Either out of pure embarrassment or as a gesture they now only take £5 juice, thanks!

I’m convinced that if it was dealer dealt they would double the number of players on a Friday in no time at all. Such a shame as the cash games are great on a Friday and I love playing them but it needs bust outs from the comp to feed them. With currently only 40 -60 runners it’s just not enough. I played cash there Friday 9th but the game folded at 2.00am as it was down to 4 players. Such a shame as it was a terrific game.

It’s not rocket science is it. At the Broadway in Birmingham all the staff are trained to deal poker as well as the house table games. When their comps start they may have 15 dealers dealing poker. As the tables break the dealers from the broken tables get sent into the pit. (A lot of the busted poker players head off there as well). Obviously the blackjack tables are not that busy at 9.00pm but they get busier as the night wears on, and this is covered by the fact that poker tables are being broken up. So it works really well.

However on the positive side the G Coventry’s card room manager(s) Karl and Ruben now have lots of trained part-time dealers. This enables them to run, very successfully, the new Tuesday night £50 Deepstack.

Why is this so successful? Again not rocket science. Fully dealer dealt 10,000 starting stack 25 min blind levels including a 75/150 and a 150/300 level. Absolutely terrific structure but more importantly a £5,000 guarantee!!!!!

I, like loads of others, turned up for the first one on Tuesday 6th expecting no more than 60 runners and a big overlay. The previous Tuesdays tourney had 27 runners and 5 of those thought the £5,000 guarantee comp was on and turned up for that a week early!

However nothing brings poker players out like value for money does and 127 players played the event. It would have been more but they actually had to turn players away!

The second one Tuesday 13th had about 105 runners as some of the bargain hunters didn’t bother to show up. Although I’d have liked overlay I still intend to play this most weeks as it’s a great opportunity. The average local player in the £10-£50 comps at Cov have weakness’s that are exploitable and some of the worst players are so easy to read they may as well play with their cards face up. My table this week had players opening pots for between 6 and 10BB’s. They have no idea of trying to control the pot size and the size of bets on the flop are often way too much, often getting themselves into situations where they are totally pot committed with very poor holdings. My normal opening bet is 2.5 BB’s but I upped it to 3x and still they were looking at me like I was from another planet.

However there are some very good young players at Coventry and all of these plus quite a few very good players who normally play at the Broadway, Walsall, or Star City appeared from the woodwork. So I’d say the normal 80/20 rule applied. (If the comp was played 1,000 times 80% of the prize money would go to 20% of the field) I saw some “old” faces I haven’t seen for a while and if I could have hand picked 10 players from the field to make up the FT it would not have looked out of place at a £1,000 GUKPT.

For my own run of form it’s been awful both weeks. I tweeted that for the 2 weeks I’d played the event I hadn’t won a pot. That’s not strictly true, (I’m a poker player, we’re like fishermen) I raised and took the blinds once last week and raised and cbet and took a small pot this week. The simple fact is though that I’ve never got going either week.

Going forward I hope they (G Cov) stick with this event, they have already taken out the 75/150 and 150/300 levels, as the first week finished with a chip count at 5.30am. Which lets be fair, is awfully late for a “school night”. But I wish them well they deserve the success. Let this also be a lesson to other casinos. Provide good value, well run comps and the players will come. The cash games this Tuesday were immense, I like to think I can normally hold my own on any cash game at Cov but there was one game that I don’t mind admitting I would have been reluctant to sit at even if i had taken enough to sit down at it. It was only £1/2 but there were 9 players with at least £500 in front of them and every pot was being fiercely contested. The rake is capped at £5 but they would have taken that from every single pot. There were 3 other more “sensible” games including a lively round of each game. The £1/2 game I was at was comfortable for me.

The rake taken from the cash games on Tuesday must have been the best of any night of the week by a mile. See, when they run good dealer dealt comps the cash games are also really good and earn them loads of rake all night.

Now if they could just come to the conclusion that it might be worth providing dealers on a Friday as well…

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