While covering the 888poker-powered 2024 UKPL Edinburgh stop, I’ve had the good fortune to spend quite a bit of time inside the Maybury, as the Scottish capital’s Grosvenor Poker Room is affectionately known.
With 53 locations across the United Kingdom, Grosvenor Casinos have been an institution across the British Isles for over half a century. Even so, to a poker-playing visitor from outside the UK, the experience of visiting a Grosvenor Poker Room can be a new one. With such a vast network of poker rooms, there are of course commonalities a visitor would experience when visiting any of the Grosvenor venues, but of course each is unique.
Here, then, is my review of what a poker player can expect when paying a visit to the Grosvenor Poker Room in Edinburgh.
Upon entering the Art Deco building housing Grosvenor Casino Edinburgh for the first time, you’ll need to sign up for a Player’s Card. If you’re not a UK citizen, be sure to bring your passport with you for ID purposes. Once you’ve got the card, you can leave your passport in your hotel safe on future visits.
Visitors to the boutique venue are greeted with a range of amenities designed to enhance their gaming experience. As you walk in, you’re greeted by a number of slot machines. On the left side of the building, there are 8-9 table games featuring roulette and blackjack.
There’s also a staircase leading to the second floor, where you’ll find a restaurant overlooking the table games area and ample lounging space just outside. Every so often, I noticed a mah-jongg game pop up in that area, where a few pounds were changing hands.
On the right side of the building’s bottom floor is the dedicated poker area. Ordinarily, it’s a pretty spacious layout with comfortable seating across two connected rooms of gaming space. When larger-scale tournament series – such as the UKPL – are in session, staff fills the rooms with additional poker tables, thus making it more tightly-packed. When they’re expecting a ton of player overflow, even more tables get installed in other areas of the facility, including in that upstairs lounging area.
Just outside the poker room is a fully decked-out bar, which offers a diverse range of beverages to keep players refreshed during their gaming sessions. Complimentary soft drinks, tea, and coffee are available, along with bottled water, while alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.
While it’s primarily a locals poker room, the casino does get its fair share of visitors from abroad, and thus provides a currency exchange facility. This service allows players to exchange their home currency for British pounds at the daily rate. Should you have a winning session, you can reclaim your foreign currency back at the same rate upon cashing out. However, it’s important to note that you can only reclaim the same exact amount you initially exchanged – no more or less.
Grosvenor Poker Edinburgh: Cash Games and Tournaments
In terms of the cash games offered, the most common stakes are £1/2, although £2/5 games are occasionally available. The facility is open from noon every day, but cash games only get going in the evening hours, after folks have gotten off work. Closing time is 5am each day. The poker room is always closed on Tuesdays, unless there’s a big poker series running, such as the UK Poker League.
I was delighted to learn that the Grosvenor Poker Room has a very player-friendly rake structure, taking a 5% rake up to just £5. Especially considering that they’ve got a relatively captive player pool, with just one other poker room in the city, it was nice to learn that Grosvenor Poker Edinburgh doesn’t reach their hands too deeply into player pockets. Chapeau!
For tournament enthusiasts, the room hosts daily tournaments with buy-ins ranging from £40-£100, the higher amounts on weekend nights. These tournaments tend to attract a healthy turnout, typically with 8-9 tables in action alongside one or two cash games that inevitably break out.
Thus far we see 16 tables set up across the facility’s two main rooms, with another few yet to be set up outside and on the building’s second floor.
Good, friendly vibes here! pic.twitter.com/E9ThJDwpsD
— Cardplayer Lifestyle (@PokerLifeMedia) February 12, 2024
It’s a bit more of a mixed bag when it comes to technology that the room employs. On the downside, unfortunately the poker tables don’t come equipped with USB charger points or automatic shufflers. So you’ll get dealt fewer hands per hour and you best come equipped with a portable charger to ensure your Smartphone doesn’t run out of juice.
On a more positive note, the room offers a sleek and stellar service via the Grosvenor Poker Live app. This app provides players with valuable information about rooms across the UK, allowing them to register for tournaments using vouchers and place their names on cash game waitlists with ease. Plus, you can learn about all sort of promotions, like the National Bad Beat Jackpot, and when larger tournament series will be coming to town.
Grosvenor Poker Room Edinburgh: Overall Impressions
All in all, the Grosvenor Poker Room in Edinburgh is a genuinely pleasant oasis of poker in the Scottish capital. Boasting a thriving locals scene that also caters well to outsiders, players will be welcomed by a tastefully designed venue, courteous staff, and a very friendly rake structure. A room catering definitely to low-stakes poker players, you won’t necessarily walk away with a boatload of winnings, even after a stellar session, but big prizes can sometimes be on offer for marquee tournaments dotting the calendar. Win or lose, however, you’ll have a great time conversing and competing with the primarily local crowd of poker players, and head home with pleasant memories of your poker sessions here.