UK Poker

History of Poker in UK

Other than the United States the United Kingdom has perhaps the richest tradition of any country when it comes to poker. And even though the game was not as popular in the UK as it was in the US, the UK seems to have been ahead of its time considering that while the vast majority of US poker players were playing 7-Card-Stud and Limit Holdem, UK players were busy perfecting big bet poker like Pot Limit Holdem and PLO.

Since the early days of the World Series of Poker players from the UK have been travelling halfway around the globe to flout their skills at the WSOP, and over the years no country, other than the United States of course, has performed better than the UK at the WSOP. In 1999 Irishman Noel Furlong won the WSOP Main Event, and remains the only UK poker player to win the WSOP.

In the new poker environment where No Limit Holdem reigns supreme, the UK has followed the trend and is producing some of the top young poker talent in the world –as you’ll see below when we list famous UK poker players.

Famous UK Poker Players

The UK is much like the US when it comes to having a litany of older poker players as well as a fresh crop of talent coming up through the ranks. With players like Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott, Roland de Wolfe, Ram Vaswani, John Gale, Julian Gardner, Joe Beevers, and Ross and Barney Boatman representing the horde of experienced poker players who got into the game before the poker boom, while a slew of top young talent from the UK has joined them, with the likes of Chris Moorman, James Bord, Sam Trickett, Liv Boeree, Tony Bloom, James Akenhead, Jake Cody, Roberto Romanello, and Richard Ashby now tearing up the poker world.

Here is a look at just a handful of the top poker talent from the UK:

Sam Trickett Bio Sam Trickett

  • One of the best all around players in poker
  • Equally adept in cash games and tournaments
  • Over $3 million in winnings in 2011 alone
  • Rumored to have won £1 million in Macau high-stakes cash games
  • Part owner of CheckRaise Management
  • Team Titan Poker pro


Chris Moorman Poker Chris Moorman

  • Over $7 million in online tournament winnings
  • Won over $1 million at 2011 WSOP
  • 11 online triple Crowns
  • Considered the greatest online tournament player of all-time
  • Lock Poker sponsored pro


Roland DeWolfe Roland De Wolfe

  • Triple Crown Winner
  • $5.3 million in career tournament earnings
  • 16 total WSOP cashes
  • Won his first WSOP bracelet at 2009 WSOP


Jake Cody poker Jake Cody

  • Triple Crown Winner, youngest-ever, accomplished feat in 16 months
  • Just 22 years old
  • $2.6 million in career tournament earnings
  • 2011 WSOP $25k Heads-Up Champion


Liv Boeree poker Liv Boeree

  • EPT San Remo Champion
  • Considered one of the top female talents in poker
  • In addition to poker works as presenter and model
  • Team PokerStars sponsored pro


Online Poker in the UK

The UK has the most lax policy regarding online poker of any country that has passed legislation regarding the matter. Online poker sites are allowed to operate in the UK so long as they are regulated in their local jurisdiction. So, unlike Italy or France, the UK allows its players to compete in the global market –France and Italy mandate that poker sites not only have a license from that country, but must also operate solely inside the country’s borders, and must keep competition limited only to residents of the country.

Following the failure of Full Tilt Poker to pay its players after Black Friday, coupled with the AGCC suspending their license, the UK government is looking at possibly revamping their online licensing procedures, which would call for the UK government to license each site as well, but would still allow for global competition in the industry. The popular UK poker sites are the best in the industry.

Furthermore, UK online poker players do not have to pay taxes on their winnings. So not only do they have more choices, they also have more to gain financially!

Here is a look at the Top 3 online poker sites in the UK:

pokerstars site PokerStars

  • You’ll find over 100,000 players at at any time of the day
  • Team PokerStars UK: Victoria Coren, Liv Boeree, John Duthie, Jude Ainsworth, and JP Kelly
  • Fully licensed in Malta and the UK

william hill William Hill

  • Long-time UK sports book
  • One of the most trusted names in gambling in the UK
  • Operates on the iPoker network, the largest online poker network in the world

bwin poker bWin

  • Another long-established sportsbook in the UK that offers online poker
  • Part of the OnGame poker network
  • Fastest deposits and withdrawals in online poker


Where to play poker in the UK

It’s not too hard to find a poker game in the United Kingdom, and it really never has been. The country has a number of casinos and card-rooms dotting the countryside –in all there are 120 card-rooms in the UK, which is one of the largest assemblages of casinos in what is one of the smaller countries you’ll come across!

Some of the big poker rooms in the UK at this time are the Fox Poker Club, Dusk til Dawn, Grosvenor Casino, the Gutshot Poker club, and the former home of the World Series of Poker Europe; the Casino Empire in London, England.

Poker laws in the UK

As stated previously, the UK has perhaps the most player-friendly poker laws in the world, whether it’s online poker, live casino poker, or even home games.

When it comes to online poker the UK allows any poker site that is regulated in any jurisdiction around the world to operate and advertise in the UK. This law is likely to undergo some minor changes in the wake of the Full Tilt Poker fiasco post-Black Friday.

The UK also has the very best tax laws for poker players: In order to keep residents from declaring losses, the UK does not tax any type of gambling winnings, including poker. Basically, if you are a professional poker player in the UK –provided you can show some form of income—you will not be taxed on your winnings.

All in all, you won’t find a more poker-friendly environment than the UK.

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