Grosvenor Poker Review Continued...
Grosvenor Casinos owns 57 establishments across the UK, many of which host dedicated cardrooms and poker events, and now players can enjoy the same prestigious gaming experience online by dabbling in the company’s poker offering, which is now powered by the highly successful Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) as of the first quarter of 2016.
Games and Tournaments
There are a decent number of games to play, with tables offering all flavours of Texas Hold‘em, Omaha, stud and Five-Card Draw alongside MPN’s fun Blaze Poker, where you are instantly transported to a new table as soon as you fold. Due to the fact that it forms part of a mighty network, there will always be someone to play against and finding competitors of a similar level to you is also reasonably straightforward.
There are plenty of tournaments available to enter online as is fairly standard, however an interesting twist is that you can also win places at a number of offline games through the Grosvenor poker client. The Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT), UK Student Poker Tour and 25/25 Series all take place in Grosvenor’s bricks and mortar properties and have seats available for players who win through qualifying rounds online. The ability to straddle both the virtual and physical games is a powerful combination which will appeal to many.
Grosvenor has traded the functional but uninspiring iPoker client for MPN’s offering, which works just as well but looks so much more modern and appealing. There is a choice of ways to watch the action, from the stunningly designed fun view to the neat overhead view, and arcade and mini versions are available as well.
The actual gameplay on the client is sleek and modern, in sharp contrast to the Grosvenor Poker website itself, which is more of an afterthought tacked on to the main casino site. There is scant content throughout the pages on top of an uninspiring design. Thankfully, the chilling image of a shark in a suit has been relegated from the main site to the GUKPT mini site.
Functionality and Features
The link to Grosvenor Poker’s Tournament Survival guide is stuck in a box on the right hand side of the screen, below a promotion for the site’s live chat support. It is easily dismissed as an advert as you scan over the site, which is a shame because it is crammed with information and advice from professionals and put together in a very well-designed package.
Links from a page detailing Grosvenor’s sponsored players are presumably meant to take you to their individual sections of the survival guide, but don’t seem to actually work, which feels a little slapdash.
The lobby, once downloaded, opens quickly and runs smoothly, allowing you to jump right in, but there really should be an instant play Flash site too as is the case with the majority of brands under the MPN umbrella. It’s a real shame that they don’t offer one at the moment.
Grosvenor Poker spins its first deposit bonus as “deposit £25, get £100”. However, the actual deal is for a 200 percent match up to £700 plus a £50 collection of bonuses for those whose first deposit is £25 or more. It isn’t misleading, as depositing £25 does bring you £50 in bonus cash plus the £50 bundle, but it is an odd part of the deal to concentrate on. You will be informed of the number of Knockout Points (the site’s loyalty scheme) you need to accrue to release your bonus in the Balances section of your player account.
The £50 worth of bonuses include two free tickets worth £5 each to Grosvenor Poker tournaments, released by playing a Texas Hold’em cash hand. In addition, you receive 20 spins on the High Society slot game, £20 in bonus cash for Grosvenor Casino (providing you have a membership card) and 350 Knockout Points. Other promotions allow players to win holidays and entry to freerolls in a section that is fairly decent, if not remarkable.
You earn Knockout Points for every £1 in rake or £1 in tournament fees you pay and stacking up enough of them can give you access to cash bonuses, entry into online and live poker tournaments and special gifts and merchandise. The site is sketchy about how many points you earn for your £1 and how many you need to pick up to receive any of the offers, but you can keep an eye on your progress in your player account once you have joined.
Grosvenor Poker could do so much more, but instead feels like an unloved section of the casino website. The poker guide is great but hidden away, leaving a very basic-looking collection of pages which are less than inspiring.
The move to MPN means the tables look great, the first deposit bonus is fine and the ability to cross the streams between playing online and offline is a big plus for some users, but the lack of a mobile option or Flash site in 2016 seems a real missed opportunity.