Those of you who have frequented Dusk Till Dawn since it first opened will no doubt have crossed paths with the unmistakable figure that is Simon “Aces” Trumper. When he’s not busy adding to his $1.54 million in live tournament winnings, Trumper can be found helping keep all things live poker running smoothly at Europe’s premier poker room, Dusk Till Dawn, and on both the Grand Prix Poker Tour (GPPT) and GPPT Mini series.

A few days ago, Trumper thought he was going to enjoy a few minutes of downtime, but instead the partypoker blog pounced on him and grilled him about the GPPT and the GPPT Minis. Here’s what Trumper had to say for himself.

Where did the idea for the GPPT Mini series stem from? Was the plan for the Mini to complement the main GPPT?

When Rob and I outlined the Main GPPT Tour we knew we needed to work with local partners to make the tour successful. All of these partners have been excellent in growing the GPPT brand and the Mini grew as an extension.

How did you come to the decision to host the GPPT Minis where you have?

You may have seen Rob tag me in an unflattering photo on Facebook looking at a map of the UK many months ago but it wasn’t an extreme game of pin the tail on the donkey.
Our first ports of call were venues that supported and are still supporting us with the Main Tour. We then looked at areas where we see plenty of player support, for example Bristol. We had 500 entries in Bristol and when we were in the cardroom I was shocked at how many familiar faces I saw that frequented DTD. Why wouldn’t we want to take such a great product to these guys?

Obviously there are plenty of things to factor in when planning a tour for 25 + legs so we had to be careful, but I think everyone in the UK is within a couple of hours drive from a GPPT Mini leg.

The live tournament schedule in the UK is quite busy these days. Which of the current tournament offerings do you see as the biggest rival to the GPPT Mini, and what differentiates the Minis from your competitors?

Our closest rival looks to be the 25/25 Series offered by Grosvenor. That tour has an event most weeks, as does our GPPT Mini Tour but we offer an extensive satellite schedule on partypoker where players can qualify for practically nothing.

Our guarantee is $50,000 which works out at around £34,000 sterling, which is impressive for any weekly tournament, and our buy-in of $109 (£76) undercuts the 25/25 by around two thirds. Plus the huge advantage of working with partypoker means we can offer Online Day 1s. Players from all over the country can play an Online Day 1 and only have to travel to the live venue if they make Day 2 or fail to get through and want another bullet.

DTD, the GPPT and partypoker are creating plenty of stories for the small stakes player and the GPPT Mini is no different. We had five players freerolling the recent WPT National, all from GPPT Mini’s and our new Golden Chip promotion will hopefully see qualifiers playing the WPT UK in October!

Simon Trumper in action at the poker table

What has been your biggest GPPT Mini challenge so far?

The biggest challenge so far was whether the players would like the smaller guarantee. The Main Tour speaks for itself thanks to its $250,000 guarantee, getting to play at a football stadium, and spend the afternoon with Mad Marty. We had to work hard on solidifying these relationships with local cardrooms and the players. So far however, it looks like that is working very well.
The general feedback on the Mini Tour as a whole is very good. We listen to what players and partners have to say and make improvements accordingly.

You just covered the biggest challenge, but what do you consider to be your biggest GPPT Mini related achievement so far?

I’d consider it more of an overall achievement of the tour so far. We have had a bum on every seat in each cardroom we have visited. The first ever Live Day 1 at Milton Keynes was great and we got touching 150 runners on a Friday night Day 1 in Bristol. It’s great to see these smaller cardrooms packed with tournament players and partypoker qualifiers. You can see the players and staff taking in a festival atmosphere in their local venue and enjoying the experience, all for a $109 buy-in.

Are there plans afoot to take the Minis, or perhaps event the GPPT main events, outside of the United Kingdom?

As many of you will already know from whispers (and Rob’s Social Media Channels) we’re already taking the Main Tour to Ireland to accompany a World Poker Tour National event over there. The GPPT brand and the GPPT Mini brand both have room for growth and expansion, so we’ll see what happens.

What can we expect from the GPPT and GPPT Minis in future?

I want to see the Mini tour become a frequent event in every player’s calendar. We already hear ‘When are you back?’ as we pack up and leave the venues. If we could progress into a cycle where we are returning to a local venue every eight weeks it would be great. From there we can look at reviewing guarantees and improving promotions to give GPPT players from across the country chances to play some flagship events around the world.

What would you say to those sat on the fence about whether they should play a Mini or not?

Get involved. Even if you don’t fancy directly buying in there are plenty of satellites, freerolls and promotions on partypoker where you can spin up even if you have a smaller bankroll.
$109 tickets are readily available across a range of partypoker satellites and you can use them to buy-in to the Mini’s. Furthermore, each venue has their own ‘Freeroll night’ where for $0.01 a player can bag a seat for the next GPPT Mini near them.

I’m working with a great team who many players are familiar with and recognise from DTD. Working with them means we can bring a DTD and partypoker festival atmosphere to a venue near you without you having to break the bankroll.

Simon Trumper and Mike Sexton

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