It's that time again where we take a look at the biggest and most popular stories to hit the pages of UK & Ireland PokerNews and put them all here in an easy-to-digest article in case you missed any of them during the week or want a handy recap of the action.
The beginning of the week was an exciting one as we saw popular British grinder Sam Grafton reach back-to-back UKIKPT Marbella Main Event final tables. Sadly for us, even more so for Grafton, he fell in sixth place and his wait for a UKIPT title continues.
While Grafton was in sunny Spain, Matty Stitt was grinding away in Liverpool in the Genting Poker Series Mini. The GPS Mini events are the master plan of Genting to try and inject some fun back into live poker and be more attractive to recreational players. It seems to be working based on the fact the Liverpool leg had a solid turnout, which you can read about here.
Also in the winner's circle this week was the former European Poker Tour (EPT) Sanremo champion, Rupert Elder. It was the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up that Elder sunk his teeth into, walking away as its champion for $65,186.12 after a heads-up deal.
As the week progressed, the 2015 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) headed to Reading for the fifth leg of its current season. At time of writing, Day 1a of the £100,000 guaranteed Main Event is done and dusted with Raul Martinez being its chip leader.
UK & Ireland PokerNews will recap the Day 1b action on Saturday, Day 2 on Sunday, and a full final table report on Monday so stay tuned.
Keeping with live poker, there were some announcements from the UK's premier card room, Dusk Till Dawn (DTD). Since partnering with partypoker, DTD has launched a number of new and exciting products aimed at the grassroots players of the United Kingdom and beyond. These new initiatives look set to continue throughout 2015 and beyond according to DTD owner Rob Yong's blog.
Meanwhile, players from UK & Ireland have cashed nearly 200 times at the 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP) through Event #49 for more than $4.3 million. This is a superb achievement and we believe our players will have won at least one more bracelet and a couple more million dollars before the curtain comes down on the summer.
Rounding out this week's Round-Up is a story that broke midweek, one that revealed Ladbrokes and Gala Coral — two huge gambling companies from the UK — are in preliminary talks about a potential merger. While no financial data has been released, it is thought the private equity owners of Gala Coral are considering floatation on the London Stock Exchange this autumn with an initial valuation of £2 billion.