The Grosvenor Victoria Casino, located north of Hyde Park on Edgware Road in London and colloquially known as the London Vic, is a historical landmark for poker players. Virtually every top poker pro in the United Kingdom has found their way inside the London Vic's walls.
Origins of the London Vic
The London Vic began as the Victoria Sporting Club, a single room private club for bookmakers to set prices for horse races. With a bunch of gamblers congregating in one room, it was only natural that card games would break out. As in the U.S., the popular seven-card stud gave way to Texas hold'em and Omaha. However, the "big game" at the London Vic Casino was lowball. In particular, high-stakes London Vic players played London lowball, a seven-card stud low game like Razz. The stakes for these games grew throughout the '80s to become the highest stakes games in the world at the time, with average pots in the tens of thousands of pounds. The games went on for hours and hours, with starts like Willie "The Diceman" Tann and Surinder Sunar mixing it up at the tables.
The Modern London Vic and The Poker Boom
While the high level of action could not be sustained, the London Vic survived even without the big game. The poker explosion of the 21st Century has brought an infusion of new players, and the Vic has responded by adding a new card room with more poker tables and lower stakes tournaments. It is still considered a must stop location on any European poker player's tour. In fact, the existence of the European Poker Tour has added some new life to the Vic, and its namesake, journalist Vicky Coren, won the PokerStars European Poker Tour London event at the Vic in 2006, defeating Australian player Emad Tahtouh.
The Grosvenor Casino London Victoria
The London Vic is one of an array of Grosvenor Casinos that includes casinos at Birmingham, Blackpool, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and more. In addition to poker, the casino offers slot machines and blackjack. You must be a member to play at the London Vic, but membership is usually easily attained and granted in 24 hours. The London Vic is the locale for the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour's Grand Final. They currently feature pot-limit and no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha as well as tournament play.