Published On August 6, 2019 |

Former world boxing champion goes from poker novice to finishing 40th out of more than 9,000 players at Grosvenor Casinos’ Goliath Poker Tournament in Coventry

Goliath is expected to break records to become the biggest annual live poker tournament in the world

Monday 5th August: David Haye has defied the odds after beating more than 9,000 poker players at what is expected to be a record-breaking year for the Goliath Poker Tournament in Coventry.

Having confessed to not knowing the difference between clubs and spades a year ago, the former Unified World Cruiserweight and WBA Heavyweight Boxing Champion placed 40th out of 9,300 players at the Grosvenor Casinos’ event and was just four hands away from making the final day.

The Hayemaker went from poker novice to battling through the levels and at one stage was sitting in the Top 5 players of the tournament with a chip count of 5.2million. But with just 12 minutes to go, The Hayemaker’s hand was forced to go all in – losing to a superior flush hand.

Receiving a standing ovation from amateur and professional players for his incredible efforts against Goliath, Haye in his latest Instagram post, said: “One year ago, I travelled to Coventry to announce I’d be taking on the biggest live poker tournament outside of Vegas Grosvenor Casinos’ Goliath.

“It’s been ten years since I toppled the real life ‘Goliath’ Nikolai Valuev to win the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. A decade later, I again found myself in the same position in David vs Goliath.

“I’d never played a hand of poker in my life! I’ll be the first to admit, I completely underestimated the sheer complexity. The months that followed were filled with highs and lows, uncovering a world I never knew existed. That simply motivated me to immerse myself in the art, travel the planet to play with and learn from the world’s best – so come 40th out of 9,300 players is bittersweet.

“The kind tutelage and stellar advice I’ve been given by so many pros has been invaluable. Special thanks to Audley Harrison who travelled to three continents coaching and mentoring me. May my poker journey long continue.”

With 9,300 entrants in this year’s field, Grosvenor Casinos’ expects this year’s Goliath Poker Tournament to officially become the biggest annual live poker tournament in the world.

The winner of this year’s tournament was Lee Reynolds from Walsall who won the £64,601 first prize on Sunday 4th August at the Ricoh Arena. The top five players all shared the final pot and received a fantastic pay day of more than £60,000 each.

Russell Tamplin, Head of Poker for Grosvenor Casinos, said: “Goliath continues to break records on the live annual poker circuit. The talent in the field has been incredibly high and with the added edge of David vs Goliath the drama and atmosphere has created a memorable event.

“When Grosvenor Casinos set off on its journey with The Hayemaker, we believed as a world champion and elite sportsman he had the natural ability to take on the physical and mental challenge of learning poker. David has surpassed all expectations placing 40 in this field and should be very proud of what he has achieved proving the doubters wrong.”

Grosvenor Casinos’ Goliath Poker Tournament 2019 took place between 27 July to 4 August 2019 at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. For more information and to follow the David vs Goliath journey visit www.facebook.com/grosvenorcasinos/

Please gamble responsibly: www.begambleaware.org


For more information contact Andrew Boocock or Liam McNamara at Stripe Communications on grosvenorcasinos@stripecommunications.com or call 020 3889 1980.

Notes to Editors

About the Goliath Poker Tournament

The ten-day poker festival Goliath took play at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The £100+25 buy-in tournament has exceeded last year’s record of 7,584 entries.

2019 also saw the return of the Grosvenor Casinos’ U.K. Women’s Poker Championship (GUKWPC), which broke the record for the largest women’s poker tournament in the U.K with over 200 runners last year. Back on the schedule in 2019 was the Grosvenor Casinos U.K. Masters Poker Championship (GUKMPC) for all poker aficionados over the age of 50.

About Grosvenor Casinos

Grosvenor Casinos is part of The Rank Group Plc, a leading European gaming business, based in the UK and listed on the London Stock Exchange. Rank Group owns Grosvenor Casinos, the largest UK casino operator with 52 casinos nationwide and Mecca Bingo, the UK’s leading bingo operator.

Players can experience the best that Grosvenor Casinos has to offer by visiting one of its casinos or by playing online at grosvenorcasinos.com. For more information on Rank Group, please call the head office on +44 (0)1628 504000 or visit www.rank.com.

The Rank Group Plc is committed to the promotion of responsible gaming practices and works hard to ensure a positive leisure experience for all customers. For more details on The Rank Group Plc’s policies on responsible gambling please visit www.rank.com/responsibility.

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