London is a fantastic destination for anyone who wants a fix of live poker action and whether you’re a seasoned player or making your first, tentative steps from online poker to a live, table game, there’s something on offer for everyone.
Widely acknowledged as one of the best gambling cities in the world, there are over 30 different casinos in and around the centre of the city and this plethora of choice offers something for everyone.
A great way to get acquainted with the scene, its regulars and the atmosphere at a larger event, is to visit a live poker event…
Where to play
Aspers – Stratford City
Located in East London, Aspers is part of a development that sprang up alongside the 2012 Olympic stadium. In fact, the location of Aspers makes it an ideal entertainment destination for anyone visiting London to see West Ham, who took up residence in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2016.
There are plenty of live events at the Aspers casino, including an 888poker live event planned for November 2019.
The venue offers a trendy, cosmopolitan atmosphere and has a number of tables offering a wide range of limits.
For those members of your party less interested in poker, there’s the Westfield Shopping Centre to explore (of which Aspers occupies the third floor).
Empire Casino – Leicester Square
Set in the heart of the city’s West End tourist district and among its many theatres, sits the Empire.
Back in 2007, this casino hosted the World Series of Poker Europe and this is a good indication of its standing in poker circles!
The Empire offers a very broad range of limits, favouring neither exclusively those with a smaller or larger bankroll, instead attracting players of varying means to play under one roof.
Genting Casino Cromwell Mint – Kensington
Kensington is a district know for its expense and associated luxury and the GCCM maintains this perception by enforcing a dress code. Dress smartly and formally to ensure entry.
Once inside, players can indulge in mid-range to high stake games and the emphasis is very much on poker (unsurprising, as it was opened in conjunction with Bluff Europe!). The GCCM also offers an impressive range of other facilities, such as a restaurant and bar, where players can break and their guests can relax.
Live poker offers a multitude of benefits compared with online poker and, in many ways, you’re probably more ready to do so than you think:
You know more than you know
If you’re coming from an online poker background, then there’s a good chance that you’re more clued-up than many older, less tech-savvy table players.
It’s likely you’ve spent hours learning theory and have a better technical understanding than somebody whose experience is purely anecdotal.
Face-to-face knowledge transfer
Having said that you might be more technically clued-up than older, table players, there’s still a lot you can learn from them and becoming a member of a group of people who share a drink and socialise together is a great way to learn how more experienced players handle different situations and where your own live game is lacking.
You’ve played more than you think
An online poker table generally averages around 100 hands per hour. A live table will average less than a third of that figure, around 30 hands.
This means that somebody who’s only played online for the past 5 years will likely have played as many games as a table player who’s played for 15 years (if not more).
Capability favours convenience
Online poker will tend to attract better players who are playing more games and this is simply a matter of convenience.
If you’re making (or supplementing) an income from poker, then the time required to travel to and from casinos makes poor economical sense. That’s not to say that the best players don’t mix up the online and live formats, but it is to say that if you’re a strong online player then you’re probably going to do well in a live environment.