Genting UK is set to embark upon its latest annual poker tour, which gets underway as the organisation’s Newcastle property later today (Thursday 21 February).

The Genting Poker Series is to feature 17 events spread across England and Scotland, comprising 13 mini events and four majors, which are to be open to players of all ability with no qualification required.

Main events are to held at Resorts World Birmingham, Luton, Liverpool Queen Square and Edinburgh Fountain Park with a guaranteed £100,000 prize pool, whilst the 13 smaller entries in various Genting properties featuring a prize pool of £35,000 and nine Genting Poker Series main event seats.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to promote our offering to players”

All set to enter its eighth year, CasinoBeats has been speaking to Kevin Proctor, poker operations manager at Genting UK, to delve a little more into the series and to find out why land-based entity’s are more than capable of taking on the rising tide on their online counterparts.

CasinoBeats: When announcing the final details on this year’s Genting Poker Series it was stated that “we will continue to lead the way when it comes to poker in the UK,” how does this series, as well other events/initiatives achieve this?

Kevin Proctor: At Genting we are always looking for new and innovative ways to promote our offering to players, not only to enhance their curiosity but to also provide them with a new and innovative experience.

This year, following player demand, we have amended the Genting Poker Series tournament structure and introduced button ante for all Genting Poker Series Events.

As well as this, all main events will now have an additional day one which will run on a 40-minute clock rather than the normal one-hour level. Genting Poker Series events will also have four day one’s at each Main event, to ensure the Main events are much more accessible to people who are working.

CB: Now entering its eighth year, how crucial is it to develop and introduce fresh changes? And how difficult is it to produce?

KP: It is imperative that we continue to develop the Genting Poker Series. The poker tournament market is very competitive, and now there are so many more poker players in comparison to when Genting first introduced its series eight years ago.

As a team we are always looking for ways to improve the events and make decisions”

The team behind the Genting Poker Series strives for innovation in order to remain competitive in the market. We believe that the changes we’ve made in the past are necessary to help maintain our ethos of targeting grassroots poker players.

The Genting Poker Series is unique in that it comprises of two different level events – main events and mini events. We felt it was right to include the mini events under the series umbrella to give even more players the opportunity to experience a Genting Poker Series event.

What we see today is not the final product. As a team we are always looking for ways to improve the events and make decisions that are beneficial for players and the tournament, but that are also financially viable.

In terms of production and organisation of the events, I initially plan the schedule and find available dates in the UK poker calendar that do not impact other events, and then the team will meet to discuss changes to the tournament for the year.

Then eight weeks prior to an event the planning will start. We liaise with the host casinos general manager and cardroom supervisor, as well as its marketing and event operations team. In addition, we also need to ensure staffing and equipment requirements have been discussed to make the event as successful as possible.

We have four main events and 13 mini events this year, so with 17 events in total there is a lot of planning that goes into making the tournament a success!

“It is important that we have a presence in as many different venues as possible”

CB: The series takes in a number of locations, how important is this in encouraging current, and potential new, customers through the door?

KP: We have always tried to ensure that the Genting Poker Series mini events take place in as many Genting casinos as possible, and this helps encouraging both new and existing customers through the door.

Initially, Genting Poker Series Mini events were held at Luton and Liverpool Queen Square but since those days we have introduced more venues to the series up and down the country. The Genting Poker Series mini events are mainly targeted at local poker players, and it is important that we have a presence in as many different venues as possible.

It helps to reduce travelling costs for players and gives local players an opportunity to play events like the Genting Poker Series mini without it dramatically impacting them financially.

CB: Amongst the growing trend of igaming and online casinos, how do you ensure that land-based operations continue to thrive?

KP: There is no denying the proliferation of online casinos and igaming and I am sure this is an industry that will continue to grow. The differences between these offers and that of a land-based operation are two-fold.

Land-based casinos offer human interaction that you do not get from an online offer, and it also means we can deliver customer service direct to the customer and immediately impact that players experience positively.

“We tailor our poker tournaments to local players”

In addition, land-based casinos pay-out immediately and there is no delay in receiving funds. That being said, the Genting Interactive offer, Genting Pay, allows players to collect online winnings from a land-based casino.

CB: What message would you send to those who favour online gaming, to encourage an uptake of land-based visitation?

KP: I would say visit your local casino to experience great service with a more human element. We can enhance your experience with offers and great customer service ensuring you have an enjoyable time. In addition we tailor our poker tournaments to local players, to ensure we give our players what they want in a great environment.