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The latest new addition to the Grosvenor Poker stable has arrived in the shape of Bolton Casino. This is a fabulous venue for Poker with all the usual Grosvenor assets in place. It is very spacious, well decorated and has a very welcoming and airy feel to it.
Grosvenor Bolton first opened it's doors in November 2004 and forms part of a huge entertainment complex along with an enormous Bingo hall. The carpark has a huge capacity and is very well lit and has a comfortable and safe feel to it which is obviously very important in city venues.
The casino decoration is still as new and whilst it boasts a similar design to Salford, Blackpool and Walsall Casinos it is slightly more refined and upmarket. We personally like the way Grosvenor have designed their casinos with an emphasis on large spacious settings with high ceilings and colourful decor. The whole feel of the place is a long way removed from the bad old days of smoky claustrophobic, dark and dank rooms where the customers characters were more colourful than the decor.
The casino boasts a very spacious restaurant, which again is more upmarket than other Grosvenor eateries. There are two enourmous bars which are very well stocked. There is also a large stage for outside entertainment and anyone visiting this venue for the first time will certainly not be disappointed as it caters for more than just gambling.
The usual array of table games are in place in comfortable surroundings and although there is no craps table it has been substituted with the fiercly addictive and great fun automated sic bo dice game.
The cardroom was created in September 2005 and is absoultely pristine, it has a comfortable capacity of 110 and boasts a simple but highly efficient layout. The final table is overlooked by a huge rail for all the railbirds and aspiring poker pros. There is even special lighting above the final table where the surrounding lights can be dimmed and a type of spotlight put over the action.
No expense has been spared with the setup and the tables are imaculate and the chairs are far more comfortable than the norm. The cardroom manager Ian Bryan was keen to point out that the original chairs were sent back as they were not plush or comfortable enough. Such as the eye for detail that thas been afforded to this luxurious setting.
Ian is a brillian asset for the cardroom as he is keen and enthusiastic about poker. He has taken the time and trouble to consult the other managers of successful poker rooms within the Grosvenor group. He has specifically picked the brains of Blackpools Danny Bell and has also consulted Dani and Zak from Walsall. The result is a very welcoming and player friendly environment.
The cardroom is currently averaging between 60 and 70 runners in each of it's events and has an itinerary to cater for most pockets. The buyins range from between £2 and £50. The casino have also committed to a poker festival for next year and we firmly believe that this will put Bolton on the poker map.
The idea of the £2 and £5 buyin events is obviously to encourage new blood within the game and this has to be a good idea. Whilst we feel that some season players would turn their noses up at such small buyin tournaments the principle of "from small acorns do great oaks grow" must apply. This refreshing approach can only benefit the game in the long term and the attendances show a good response already.
Unfortunatley a lot of the tournaments are self deal until the final table and it would be a major improvement if this could be remedied with the introduction of house dealers. However in contrast the casino has a refreshing approach to cash games and will provide dealers at almost all times. There are very reasonable table fees of £7 per hour for the £200 table and £5 per hour for the £50 and £100 tables. The games are similar to Walsall and Blackpool with Hi Low and High only Omaha, Irish, Pineapple, Texas Holdem and super stud all available.
We have to say this is a terrific new addition to the North West Poker scene and with a very capable Ian Bryan at the helm we believe this venue will go from strength to strength. It is a definate must visit for any poker enthusiast.
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