Behind the Scenes: Crafting a Grosvenor Poker Live Stream Experience with Phil “the Tower” Heald

By Robbie Strazynski
February 15, 2024

In the dynamic world of poker live streaming, Grosvenor Poker stands out as tops in the UK for its engaging and professional broadcasts. One of the beating hearts of this operation is longtime beloved poker commentator Phil “the Tower” Heald, who, along with a dedicated team, works tirelessly to deliver a seamless and entertaining experience for viewers worldwide. In this exclusive interview, Phil shares insights into the intricate workings of Grosvenor Poker’s live streams, from preparation to execution and beyond.

Grosvenor Poker live stream UKPL

A featured live stream table at the 2024 UKPL Edinburgh stop

Grosvenor Poker Stream Team Dynamics

Collaboration and Communication: During our interview, Phil provided a comprehensive overview of the live streaming team, consisting of commentators, an action tracker, equipment setup personnel, and a supervising manager. He emphasized the fluid communication and coordination among team members, facilitated through platforms like WhatsApp.

Phil elaborated on the team’s roles, highlighting the importance of each member’s contribution to the smooth operation of the live stream. He shared anecdotes of successful collaborations and problem-solving instances, showcasing the cohesion and efficiency of the team. I was surprised to learn that the team consisted of only five members, but that just goes to show how slick and smooth an operation can be run when you’ve got the right talented professionals on the job!

Preparation and Security Measures: Phil delved into the preparation and security measures employed before each live stream. In particular, he explained the rationale behind the 20-minute delay, emphasizing its role in maintaining the integrity and security of the game.

Phil detailed the comprehensive checklist followed by the team during setup, ensuring that all technical aspects are in place for a flawless broadcast. He discussed the evolving nature of security protocols in response to emerging threats, underscoring Grosvenor Poker’s commitment to providing a safe and secure streaming environment for players and viewers alike.

Because everything is on 20-minute delay and live, the commentating team only really have 20 minutes to prepare on the regular. They’re often live for up to 12 straight hours, and the action doesn’t stop. Once play reaches final table action, it’s a bit different and because of the great database of information Grosvenor Poker has about most of the players, it enables the commentary team to talk more about them and provide some deeper storytelling and analysis, as well as mention some recent results some of them may have had while on tour.

live stream poker action tracker

The action-tracker station, where a skilled technician ensures a smooth feed and graphics display on screen

Engagement and Community: Building Phil highlighted the importance of audience engagement and community building in Grosvenor Poker’s live streams. He discussed the multi-platform simulcast strategy, which allows viewers to interact across YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook simultaneously.

Additionally, Phil shared insights into the active engagement with the audience, with commentators addressing questions and comments from all platforms in real-time. He emphasized the vibrant and supportive community that has grown around Grosvenor Poker’s live streams, fostering a sense of camaraderie and belonging among viewers. No question is too basic for the commentary team, including simple poker questions about pot odds and even outside of poker about ice skating and rugby scores.

Expert Analysis and Innovation: In discussing Grosvenor Poker’s innovative approach to live streaming, Phil showcased the platform’s pioneering role in broadcasting 6-card PLO. He explained how this format, coupled with expert analysis from his co-commentator Jay Harwood, provides viewers with a unique and immersive viewing experience.

Phil shared anecdotes of memorable moments from 6-card PLO streams, highlighting the excitement and strategic depth of the game. He emphasized Grosvenor Poker’s commitment to innovation and continuous improvement, driven by a passion for delivering high-quality content to its audience.

Phil Heald Jay Harwood

Phil Heald (left) and Jay Harwood (right) getting ready for another day’s work in the booth

Community Bonding and Event Highlights: Phil also shed light on the unique atmosphere of Grosvenor Poker events, particularly highlighting the stop in Edinburgh. He described it as one of the nicest stops on the tour, where everyone knows each other, creating a vibrant and welcoming environment akin to a party.

READ MORE: Poker Room Review: Grosvenor Poker Room Edinburgh | The Maybury

Phil noted the significant turnout of locals, due in part to the distance from London and the south of the UK. He recounted the jovial atmosphere at Edinburgh events, with players often ordering drinks right from the start of play and sharing laughs before, during, and after the games.

Player Interaction and Partnership Benefits

Further, Phil discussed the personal connection forged with players as they criss-cross the country, chasing top spots on the leaderboards. He highlighted the camaraderie shared with players at bars and the enjoyment of listening to their bad beat stories.

Phil also mentioned the partnership with 888poker-powered stops, which helps attract more players to Grosvenor Poker’s events via the online satellite qualifiers, enriching the overall experience for participants and viewers alike.

Grosvenor Poker Stream Team’s Success Measures

Wrapping up our conversation, Phil reflected on the metrics used to measure the success of Grosvenor Poker’s live streams, in particular viewer engagement, feedback, and community sentiment. He expressed pride in the team’s track record of delivering consistently successful broadcasts and highlighted the positive impact of viewer interaction on the overall experience.

“Once we do the final interviews at the end of the night, we shake their hands, and there’s a smile on their face. The chat means everything in the world to us; we have such a great community – and everywhere we travel to around the UK they’re always so kind and forthcoming in their praise of our broadcast.”

Phil Heald

Phil’s insights offer a comprehensive look into the inner workings of Grosvenor Poker’s live streaming operation. From meticulous preparation to engaging with viewers in real-time, each aspect contributes to the success of these captivating broadcasts.

Grosvenor Poker certainly maintains a high bar for its live streams, particularly in the realm of community engagement. Through innovation, collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to quality, the Grosvenor Poker stream team continues to captivate audiences and elevate the poker viewing experience to new heights.



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]

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